The German Grand Prix has been a home affair of dominance lately, as Michael Schumacher of Scuderia Ferrari has seamlessly been able to pass the torch to Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing, keeping German fans happy.
And while Red Bull is still the dominant force in Formula One, Sebastian Vettel’s dominant performances from pole have been limited this year. Only at Montreal did Vettel show the truly dominant pace he did in 2012 en route to his third drivers’ championship.
Lewis Hamilton will have a chance for redemption this weekend from the pole position. The pace of the Mercedes GP team has been astonishing in qualifying this year, while bad luck and poor strategy have limited them. Last weekend at Silverstone, of course, was the Pirelli debacle, in which Hamilton was bit hard, blowing a tire from the lead.
With Pirelli’s new compound and strict tire regulations this weekend, rumors around the paddock were that Mercedes would directly benefit. Hamilton was certainly struggling throughout practice, and yet the team was able to put a car on pole position. And while Mercedes has once again shown they can compete with Red Bull in flashes, inconsistency has plagued them again.
While Mark Webber qualified third and will be tailing his Red Bull Racing teammate, despite barely making the second qualifying session, Mercedes had an absolute debacle with the qualifying strategy of Nico Rosberg, who having won for the first time not from pole last weekend, will start eleventh after his conservative time of 1:30.2 was eclipsed during the second qualifying session.
Track management has been something teams have been struggling with all weekend. The German Grand Prix track at Neurberg has been changing dramatically, and with Pirelli’s new compound still going through testing, race strategy will be interesting to watch, especially for someone as far back as Rosberg.
A team in an interesting position is Scuderia Ferrari, the most successful team in German Grand Prix history. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will occupy the fourth row in tomorrow’s Grand Prix, and will be rolling the dice by starting the race on the medium compound. Recall that the last time Ferrari went with an aggressive tire strategy, it paid off for them at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486