By Lee Dover
Right, let’s take a moment to catch our collective breath and try to figure out just what has been going on in Formula One this season.
It has been a rollercoaster ride on the track so far, with the likes of Venezuelan pitbull Pastor Maldonado mixing it up with top contenders such as Lewis Hamilton – possibly a little bit too close for comfort for the Brit, mind.
On top of this, Jenson Button has seen his season fizzle out like a damp squib and Mark Webber has finally emerged from Sebastian Vettel’s lofty shadow.
Things get even more complicated when we look at what is going on away from the grid. Vettel has been linked with a move to Ferrari, Felipe Massa’s future at the Scuderia is up in the air and Hamilton has been linked to just about every team in the motorsport.
So now we’ve got all that sorted out, it should be rather simple to work out where to put your money for the German Grand Prix to take home some big bucks. OK, perhaps not.
Vettel is the current favourite with Paddy Power to take the chequered flag on the Hockenheim circuit. The German is a two-time F1 champion – both achieved in the past two seasons – and has the advantage of competing in his home country.
However, fans should make note that Vettel has never recorded victory in the motorsport in Germany, or indeed even in the month of July. Remarkable stats, but everything has to come to an end sometime, right?
Vettel certainly thinks so, noting:
I’ve driven on [the Hockenheim] circuit in different series and it’s always been great. The campsites near the new circuit are fun and it’s special to meet the fans there. I haven’t won the German GP before and of course, I would like to!
One man who could put a spanner in this huge homecoming parade is Fernando Alonso who occupires pole position on the grid after Saturday’s qualifying.
Hey, the Spaniard and Vettel may be teammates in the future – at least if you believe what is being churned out of the rumour mill – but that is not going to get in the way of the current Ferrari driver winning the German Grand Prix for the second time in three seasons.
Need a little more inspiration before leaning towards Alonso? Then listen to these comments made from the Spaniard’s race engineer Andrea Stella to the Ferrari website.
The car was good in Valencia, it was also good in Silverstone. And as Hockenheim is a mix of the slow speed of Valencia and high speed of Silverstone. I would expect Ferrari to be competitive in Germany.
Stella knows the ins and outs of Alonso’s drive. So victory at Hockenheim looks a distinct possibility.