After a brief hiatus last year, the Formula One German Grand Prix is back on the calendar.
The 2016 race, round 12 of the Formula One World Championship, is on this weekend at the Hockenheimring, a high-speed circuit that’s also very demanding on the brakes.
The current layout was formulated by renowned circuit designer Hermann Tilke and measures just over 2.8 miles.
The first half of the lap is done at high speed, with drivers reaching over 186 mph on three occasions. The latter part includes a slow hairpin, flick and stadium sections.
Ferrari at the 2016 Formula One German Grand Prix
Grip levels are low and also making the circuit a challenge is the variable weather you often get in Germany. The current forecast for Sunday’s race is scattered showers and a peak temperature of 79 degrees F (26 degrees C). Pirelli has nominated its medium, soft and supersoft compounds, the same combination used for last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
After the initial practice session on Friday, Mercedes AMG's Nico Rosberg proved fastest followed by fellow Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen were third and fourth fastest for Ferrari [NYSE:RACE], respectively.
Going into Saturday’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race, Hamilton leads the 2016 Drivers’ Championship with 192 points. Rosberg is second with 186 points and Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo is third with 115 points. Mercedes leads the Constructors’ Championship with 378 points ahead of Ferrari with 224 points and Red Bull with 223 points. Rosberg won the last German Grand Prix back in 2014.
In other F1 news, the F1 Strategy Group has agreed to introduce some form of cockpit protection in 2018. The group decided against introducing it in 2017 in order to allow further testing to be conducted on the various proposed solutions, the most popular of which is the Halo already tested by a couple of teams. Alternatives include the Aeroscreen as well as an ‘active’ system where protective elements could pop out to protect the driver when a danger is present.