Thursday, 19 July 2012 17:03
Page 1 of 14Formula One driver quotes ahead of the race at the Baden-Wurttemberg circuit in the Rhine valley.
As the 2012 Formula One season hits its mid-point, round 10 of the championships sees the teams head for the German Grand Prix and the Hockenheimring, which returns to the calendar after its now traditional year off.
It’s been 10 years since a redesign saw the circuit change from a flat out blast down two massive linked straights to a circuit offering perhaps a more complex challenge, although possibly a less viscerally exciting one.
Modern Hockenheim is a tricky race to set-up for. While the forest straights are gone, it’s still a relatively fast circuit and drivers will be on full throttle for upwards of 64% of the lap.
The high speed early part of the track, particular from turns two to six should call for a medium to lower downforce set-up but the circuit also features a tight stadium section where high downforce is needed, so a balancing act is required.
Given the quick changes of direction encountered in the stadium section and through turns three and four, a stable car is also important.
For Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli, this is something of a trip into the unknown as the only recent experience it has of the track is from a GP3 Series race in 2010 on a weekend was often wet. As such the tyre company is bringing its medium and soft tyres, believing that the adaptable medium will cover most bases on a track defined by compromise.
Five German drivers will start this weekend: Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock and Nico Hulkenberg. Of the five, only Schumacher has won here before (in 1995, 2002, 2004 and 2006).
All will be keen to put in good performances on home soil, though for Vettel, who has 100 Drivers’ Championship points, this weekend may be particularly important in his efforts to keep pace with championship leader Fernando Alonso (129 points) and second placed Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber (116 points).
2012 Germany - Schedule of Press Conferences organised by the FIA
||Timo Glock (Marussia F1)
Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes AMG)
Michael Schumacher (Mercedes AMG)
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)
Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing)
||John Booth (Marussia F1)
Norbert Haug (Mercedes AMG)
Peter Sauber (Sauber F1)
Mark Smith (Caterham F1)
Franz Tost (Scuderia Toro Rosso)
||Post qualifying *
||Three fastest drivers from qualifying
||Post race *
||First three finishing drivers
Changes to the circuit since 2012
2012 Germany - FIA Formula One Race Stewards
- The drag strip around the outside of turn 16 will have all the rubber removed before the Grand Prix.
- Better quality artificial grass will be used on the exit of turn 1, it will be three metres in width and extended to ensure drivers have to cross it to get back on the track.
- An additional conveyor belt will be fitted after two rows on all six row barriers, these barriers will then comprise, conveyor, two rows, conveyor, four rows and then wall.
PAUL GUTJAHR - PRESIDENT OF THE FIA HILL CLIMB COMMISSION
Paul Gutjahr started racing in the late 1960s with Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Lotus and Porsche, then March in Formula 3. In the early ‘70s he became President of the Automobile Club Berne and organised numerous events. He acted as President of the organising committee of the Swiss GP at Dijon from 1980-1982. From 1980-2005 he acted as President of the Commission Sportive Nationale de l’Automobile Club de Suisse and in 2005 he became President and board member of the Auto Sport Suisse motor sports club. Gutjahr is President of the Alliance of European Hill Climb Organisers and has been steward at various high level international competitions. He was the Formula 3000 Sporting Commissioner and has been a Formula One steward since 1995.
TIM MAYER - FIA ALTERNATE DELEGATE TO THE USA
As the son of former McLaren team principal Teddy Mayer, Tim Mayer, 46, has motor sport in his blood. Mayer organised IndyCar races internationally from 1992-1998, helped with the construction of several circuits, and produced international TV for multiple series. In 1998 he became CART’s Senior VP for Racing Operations. He also became VP of ACCUS, the US ASN. In 2003, Mayer became COO of IMSA, operating multiple series at all levels, and also took on the role of COO and Race Director of the American Le Mans Series. He was elected an independent Director of ACCUS and FIA US Alternate Delegate, responsible for US World Championship events. Most recently he has been appointed General Manager of the Baltimore GP in the US.
DEREK WARWICK - FORMER FORMULA ONE DRIVER
Derek Warwick makes his fifth appearance as an FIA driver steward here in Germany, having previously fulfilled this role at the Spanish and Hungarian Grands Prix in 2010 and at last year’s rounds in Turkey and Abu Dhabi. Warwick raced in 146 Grands Prix, from 1981 to 1993, for Toleman, Renault, Brabham, Arrows and Lotus. He scored 71 points and achieved four podium finishes, with two fastest laps. He was World Sportscar Champion in 1992, driving for Peugeot. He also won Le Mans in the same year. Warwick raced Jaguar sportscars in 1986 and 1991. Warwick competed in the British Touring Car Championship in 1995, 1997 and 1998, as well as making one more appearance at the Le Mans in 1996, driving for the Courage Competition team.
Picture credit FIA