2008 German Grand Prix preview – Ferrari looking strong in title race

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The drivers’ championship race is perfectly poised with the top three drivers tied on 48 points.

But Ferrari has been ahead in the constructors’ championship race for almost all the season. At Silverstone McLaren finally arrested their progress but are still 24 points behind with eight races remaining.

If Ferrari can add to their lead at the Hockenheimring they will have taken a major step towards securing an 16th constructors’ title.

24 points might not seem a large lead. A team can score a maximum of 18 points on a Grand Prix weekend, so a one-two for McLaren with Ferrari not scoring would cut the Scuderia’s advantage to six.

But that doesn’t happen very often. With increased reliability Ferrari and McLaren can expect to fill the top four places at Hockenheim unless something goes wrong for one of them or BMW are especially fast.

A team that finishes one-two with its rivals three-four only takes seven points off them on the day. McLaren have struggled to get one car home in front of one Ferrari this year – never mind both in front of both – and are still behind BMW in the championship. Ferrari are rapidly approaching a point where betting against them would be unwise.

Kimi Raikkonen reckons Ferrari have the advantage if the weather at the Hockenheimring is hot as usual:

I hope it will be hot, as it usually is at Hockenheim. Our car goes really well at high temperatures and also the tyre-wear is not too high. So I really hope it will be hot.

But early indications show the possibility that the weather might be wet again – or at least cooler than usual, either of which would play into McLaren’s hands.

And while we’re taking about Ferrari’s chances in Germany we cannot ignore Raikkonen’s appalling fortune at German tracks in recent years:

2003 Nurburgring – engine failure while leading
2003 Hockenheimring – eliminated in start line crash
2004 Nurburgring – engine failure while fifth
2004 Hockenheimring – rear wing wailure
2005 Nurburgring – flat spots tyre causing suspension failure on final lap while leading
2005 Hockenheimring – hydraulic failure while leading
2006 Nurburgring – fourth
2006 Hockenheimring – third
2007 Nurburgring – misses pit lane during rain shower, retires while third

From the forum: Rain forecast for Hockenheim? Check the German Grand Prix weather watch

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “2008 German Grand Prix preview – Ferrari looking strong in title race”

  1. You’de have to wonder how far ahead Ferrari might have been this year, if so many of the races had not been influenced by weather?

    It seems that in the dry, Ferrari have the race advantage, perhaps less so in qualifying.

    It will be interesting to see if this continues to be the case over the rest of the season.

  2. Weather has always been a part of racing. Their current driver line up have shown to have inconsistent wet weather driving ability, which is not acceptable considering the investments made in them.

  3. Kimi had a decent race here in 2006 aside from the clutch failure, so should be on top form.

  4. I agree that the constructors title will be easily won by Ferrari, even if they fail to win the drivers’, unless something very unusual happens…

    With Kovalainen’s current form, even if Hamilton scores a sring of wins, Massa and Raikkonen are surely expected to make regular podium visits.

  5. Yes, it is really time for Kovalainen to step up now and perform at the same level as the car or he’ll risk being dropped after one season even though that is not the usual McLaren way. To be far behind both BMW drivers is no good in the constructor’s race. And those double overtaking moments he suffered in the hand of Massa in Canada and Heidfeld in Silverstone is downright embarassing for a racer.

  6. The thing about Ferrari, in wet conditions, is that both drivers are sterling coming home in grandeur points. Massa (and I hope he proves me wrong) is made to look novice in the rain. Kimi can charge well, but he’s no rainmeister ala his predecessor.

    On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton does do well in the wet and the way he can blister his tyres in the dry can be an advantage.

    Still, in Hockenheim Ferrari have come on top in recent years, be it down to Schumacher (or even Barichello) we’ll have to wait and see.

  7. Sorry, previous comment should say “both drivers are HARDLY sterling when coming home in grandeur points”.

  8. I hope neither of the top team gets it act together, because if they do it’ll be a quick march to all the titles. Hopefully incompetence will keep it tight until the last few races.

  9. Article like this makes me feel so haffy :-)

  10. I hope its a dryish qualifying and a wettish race, just to keep all the drivers on their toes – and it would be nice to see the top teams make a few more mistakes and the lesser drivers get into the points again.
    The trouble is Ferrari and McLaren are both where they are because they do usually learn from their mistakes, but we can all hope….

  11. Dasman: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

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