Lewis Hamilton will look to continue his hot-streak this week by claiming victory at Sunday’s German Grand Prix.
The Formula One field heads for Germany this week for what could prove to be a swan song for one of the most beloved tracks in the history of the sport.
So will Lewis Hamilton’s revival continue or can Nico Rosberg put a dent in his teammate’s title challenge?
I have to say, I’m really starting to debate whether watching the Hungarian Grand Prix is worth it. I know a few petrol heads who have stopped watching it as they reckon the track has been turned into a tame house cat instead of the roaring lion it was supposed to be made into. Overtaking, once again, proved near impossible and I found myself switching off for large segments of the race.
Lewis Hamilton took full advantage of the track’s one-dimensional nature. Having started the race second on the grid, the Brit pulled off one of those trademark starts of his that saw him get a jump on Rosberg, who had a terrible start. Hamilton’s teammate dropped to fourth before the first corner had even been negotiated. He managed to gain two places back rather quickly, passing the Red Bulls’ of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo tried to press the Mercedes duo early on but simply didn’t have the power to do so while his teammate Max Verstappen was duking it out with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen further down the field.
It was quite interesting to see Fernando Alonso’s McLaren in the top ten. While the Spaniard had put in a terrific qualifying stints, I felt that he would struggle to keep his underpowered car in the top end of the field. The former Ferrari man managed to hold off all comers and finished the race in seventh which was a terrific result for McLaren who have really struggled to get their partnership with Honda producing success.
Alonso’s teammate, Jenson Button, illustrated just how much work needs to be done on the car before it can really compete with the big boys with a brake pedal issue ending the Brit’s race – the problem started on lap five but Button soldiered on until well past the halfway point in the race before he had to eventually retire.
While Button was the only driver not to finish the race, there were some hairy moments for Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn took out a segment of his front wing when his was trying to overtake Max Verstappen and then almost repeated the trick a few laps later.
There was a lot of post-race debate surrounding which of the drivers was at fault for the collision and while Verstappen did flirt with the rules – you’re only allowed to make one direction change while defending – I suspect Kimi would have done the exact same thing.
The Ferrari man was unable to overtake Verstappen and had to settle for a sixth place finish. His teammate – who had flown somewhat under the radar – managed to nick a fourth place finish.
Vettel crossed the line just behind Daniel Ricciardo while Mercedes managed another one-two finish with Lewis Hamilton taking the victory.
The top ten was rounded out by Carlos Sainz (8th), Valtteri Bottas (9th) and Nico Hulkenberg (10th).
To Win Outright
Lewis Hamilton 7/10 | Nico Rosberg 9/4 | Sebastian Vettel 8/1 | Max Verstappen 14/1 | Daniel Ricciardo 14/1
I’m not too sure if the FIA planned this or not, but if I was forced to have the Hungaroring on my racing calendar, I would make sure the following race was at Hockenheim. While the track has lost a bit of pace – think Dale Steyn over the past few years – it still has a lot of snarl and venom hidden beneath its friendlier demeanour.
Drivers will do battle over 67 4.574-kilometer laps which include some intense corners like the ones drivers will encounter at the ‘motodrom’ section of the track.
While the track does contain a plethora of hairpin turns and twisty segments, it is a lot wider than last week’s venue which means we’re likely to see much more overtaking action than we did last time out.
Pirelli has issued the supersoft, soft and medium compound tyres for the race citing the tracks’ smooth and fast nature as the reason behind the choice.
It seems the weather gods are unwilling to play ball this weekend with a huge storm front moving up from France. The poor weather is set to hit Germany late on Friday evening and while the main concentration of rainfall is set to stay south of Hockenheim, the local weather bureau has stated that they are expecting thunderstorms over the track on Sunday.
Podium Finish Fernando Alonso 50/1
This is a huge risk but with poor weather being predicted, it may be worth putting a cheeky tenner on the former world champion to finish the race on the podium. Alonso is one of the best wet weather drivers in the field and if a few of the big boys crash out, he may just be able to capitalise.
Fastest Qualifier and To Win Outright: Lewis Hamilton 9/10 & 7/10
Barring an incident in this race, I can’t see anyone challenging Hamilton. The track will suit Mercedes’ set up and the Brit is in magnificent form. I can see him claiming pole in qualifying and taking the race honours this weekend.
Fastest Lap: Max Verstappen (Price to be added)
This youngster is completely bonkers. The weather won’t put him off taking his car to its absolute limit. With the rest of the field likely to take a conservative approach in the adverse conditions, I think young Max may have a chance of claiming the fastest lap accolade.
It’s certainly worth a punt at 10/1!