Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2016

Hamilton eyes chances to pass Rosberg in race

2016 German Grand Prix pre-race analysis

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Red Bull believe their race pace is reasonably close to Mercedes this weekend, but the silver team may have grabbed a strategic advantage for the race in qualifying.

By running on soft tyres in Q1, the silver cars have reserved a fresh set of super-soft tyres for the race. As they also have a two sets of soft tyres the Mercedes drivers could have the option of three-stopping in the race.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Hockenheimring, 2016
Ricciardo likes the look of Red Bull’s race pace
Lewis Hamilton used a three-stop strategy at the last race at this track two years ago as he fought his way from the back of the field to finish on the podium. This was the preferred strategy for seven of the ten points-scorers in the race, though Nico Rosberg could afford to cruise home on a two-stop strategy as he was under little pressure from behind.

A three-stop strategy is viable at the Hockenheimring because the time lost making a pit stop is comparatively low. And we’ve seen some seriously quick pit stops this year – such as the unofficial record set by Mercedes in the last race.

The speed of the Red Bulls could be enough to force the Mercedes to run closer to their maximum pace. We’ve seen several times already this year Red Bull are content to make aggressively early pit stops to try to gain the benefit of the undercut – as Daniel Ricciardo did in Hungary. However they only have one new set each of super-softs and softs, limiting their strategic options compared to Mercedes.

Ricciardo, third on the grid, will also start the race at a slight disadvantage. “I’ll start the race on slightly older tyres because I had to do two laps in Q2,” he explained, “which means they are not as fresh for the start but it’ll be fine.”

Red Bull once again banished the Ferraris to the third row of the grid. Max Verstappen lines up one place in front of Kimi Raikkonen, ready to pick up where they left off six day ago.

The first corner at the Hockenheimring is a bit of a trouble spot. Last time F1 raced here Felipe Massa was flipped after a collision with Kevin Magnussen.

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As in Hungary Hamilton lines up behind Nico Rosberg on the front row. But after passing his team mate at turn one last week he’s ready to play it cautious at the start tomorrow if he needs to.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2016
Ferrari are behind Red Bull again
“This is a track where you can overtake,” said Hamilton, “so I don’t have to go for it at the first corner”.

Although drivers have been given greater freedom with track limits this weekend they will still have to give the outside of this corner some respect. Sergio Perez was briefly launched by the kerb at the end of the run-off area during practice.

There have been other incidents during the weekend too. During Saturday’s GP2 race Philo Paz Armand was launched by the same kerb. Earlier this year at the same point on the track Will Buller’s Formula Three var was flipped over during a test. The levels of downforce F1 cars produce may prevent that, though it’s not something which can necessary be taken for granted, particularly when the cars are running in the slipstream of each other.

Earlier on at the outside of that corner GP3 driver Alexander Albon found another launching pad during their race. Drivers may be able to exploit track limits more this weekend but they will have to do so with caution.

Although some weather forecast give no indication of the possibility of rain tomorrow, the teams are alert to the possibility. “There is talk of some rain tomorrow,” said Nico Hulkenberg, who starts eighth after a penalty, “to be honest I would not mind a shower during the race but let’s wait and see what happens.”

Qualifying times in full


Q2 (vs Q1)

Q3 (vs Q2)
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’15.4851’14.839 (-0.646)1’14.363 (-0.476)
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’15.2431’14.748 (-0.495)1’14.470 (-0.278)
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’15.5911’15.545 (-0.046)1’14.726 (-0.819)
4Max VerstappenRed Bull1’15.8751’15.124 (-0.751)1’14.834 (-0.290)
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’15.7521’15.242 (-0.510)1’15.142 (-0.100)
6Sebastian VettelFerrari1’15.9271’15.630 (-0.297)1’15.315 (-0.315)
7Nico HulkenbergForce India1’16.3011’15.623 (-0.678)1’15.510 (-0.113)
8Valtteri BottasWilliams1’15.9521’15.490 (-0.462)1’15.530 (+0.040)
9Sergio PerezForce India1’16.1691’15.500 (-0.669)1’15.537 (+0.037)
10Felipe MassaWilliams1’16.5031’15.699 (-0.804)1’15.615 (-0.084)
11Esteban GutierrezHaas1’15.9871’15.883 (-0.104)
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’16.1721’15.909 (-0.263)
13Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso1’16.3171’15.989 (-0.328)
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’16.3381’16.041 (-0.297)
15Romain GrosjeanHaas1’16.3281’16.086 (-0.242)
16Jolyon PalmerRenault1’16.6361’16.665 (+0.029)
17Kevin MagnussenRenault1’16.716
18Pascal WehrleinManor1’16.717
19Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1’16.876
20Rio HaryantoManor1’16.977
21Felipe NasrSauber1’17.123
22Marcus EricssonSauber1’17.238

Sector times

DriverSector 1Sector 2Sector 3
Nico Rosberg16.160 (2)34.777 (1)23.356 (3)
Lewis Hamilton16.128 (1)34.993 (2)23.182 (1)
Daniel Ricciardo16.193 (3)35.189 (7)23.275 (2)
Max Verstappen16.196 (4)35.098 (3)23.439 (4)
Kimi Raikkonen16.363 (5)35.278 (9)23.498 (5)
Sebastian Vettel16.432 (6)35.345 (10)23.509 (6)
Nico Hulkenberg16.479 (9)35.147 (5)23.762 (9)
Valtteri Bottas16.493 (10)35.142 (4)23.842 (12)
Sergio Perez16.472 (8)35.255 (8)23.679 (8)
Felipe Massa16.552 (12)35.181 (6)23.845 (13)
Esteban Gutierrez16.537 (11)35.492 (13)23.788 (10)
Jenson Button16.609 (13)35.480 (12)23.820 (11)
Carlos Sainz Jnr16.642 (15)35.626 (16)23.667 (7)
Fernando Alonso16.446 (7)35.638 (18)23.937 (14)
Romain Grosjean16.625 (14)35.439 (11)23.967 (15)
Jolyon Palmer16.734 (16)35.561 (15)24.128 (18)
Kevin Magnussen16.971 (21)35.631 (17)24.114 (17)
Pascal Wehrlein16.856 (18)35.559 (14)24.302 (20)
Daniil Kvyat16.765 (17)35.775 (21)24.066 (16)
Rio Haryanto16.894 (19)35.753 (19)24.330 (21)
Felipe Nasr16.961 (20)35.959 (22)24.203 (19)
Marcus Ericsson17.021 (22)35.765 (20)24.452 (22)

Speed trap

PosDriverCarEngineSpeed (kph/mph)Gap
1Pascal WehrleinManorMercedes341.0 (211.9)
2Rio HaryantoManorMercedes340.4 (211.5)-0.6
3Kevin MagnussenRenaultRenault339.1 (210.7)-1.9
4Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes339.0 (210.6)-2.0
5Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes338.8 (210.5)-2.2
6Valtteri BottasWilliamsMercedes338.0 (210.0)-3.0
7Kimi RaikkonenFerrariFerrari337.7 (209.8)-3.3
8Sebastian VettelFerrariFerrari336.7 (209.2)-4.3
9Felipe MassaWilliamsMercedes336.4 (209.0)-4.6
10Sergio PerezForce IndiaMercedes335.8 (208.7)-5.2
11Jolyon PalmerRenaultRenault335.6 (208.5)-5.4
12Nico HulkenbergForce IndiaMercedes334.7 (208.0)-6.3
13Marcus EricssonSauberFerrari334.6 (207.9)-6.4
14Max VerstappenRed BullTAG Heuer334.5 (207.8)-6.5
15Esteban GutierrezHaasFerrari334.1 (207.6)-6.9
16Romain GrosjeanHaasFerrari334.0 (207.5)-7.0
17Daniel RicciardoRed BullTAG Heuer332.9 (206.9)-8.1
18Felipe NasrSauberFerrari332.3 (206.5)-8.7
19Daniil KvyatToro RossoFerrari332.1 (206.4)-8.9
20Carlos Sainz JnrToro RossoFerrari331.3 (205.9)-9.7
21Fernando AlonsoMcLarenHonda329.5 (204.7)-11.5
22Jenson ButtonMcLarenHonda329.0 (204.4)-12.0

Drivers’ remaining tyres for the race

Lewis HamiltonMercedes011112
Nico RosbergMercedes011112
Sebastian VettelFerrari012003
Kimi RaikkonenFerrari012003
Felipe MassaWilliams012003
Valtteri BottasWilliams012003
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull011013
Max VerstappenRed Bull101013
Nico HulkenbergForce India102003
Sergio PerezForce India012003
Kevin MagnussenRenault011032
Jolyon PalmerRenault012013
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso011032
Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso011014
Marcus EricssonSauber012022
Felipe NasrSauber012022
Fernando AlonsoMcLaren011023
Jenson ButtonMcLaren011014
Pascal WehrleinManor101113
Rio HaryantoManor102013
Romain GrosjeanHaas011014
Esteban GutierrezHaas011014

Over to you

Will Rosberg win – and re-take the championship lead – in front of his home crowd? Can Red Bull use their race pace to take the fight to Mercedes?

Share your views on the German Grand Prix in the comments.

2016 German Grand Prix

Browse all 2016 German Grand Prix articles

Author information

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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33 comments on “Hamilton eyes chances to pass Rosberg in race”

  1. I think Rosberg will have an engine or electronic failure during the race, and blame it on someone probably Ric :)
    Hamilton will win most likely with Max behind him

    1. As much as I hope this is true.. It’s probably a bit too ‘mystic’ for me ;)

      1. why do you hope? it’s boring enough already

        1. can’t have Rosberg winning a WDC can we. He’s just so jammy (lucky)

          1. how about the gifted wins for lewis in monaco and canada and of course rosbergs penalty in silverstone? (i’m not a fan of either)

    2. Well if Lewis does not win he can again go to Charlie and beg him to penalize Nico.

      1. Traverse (@hellotraverse)
        31st July 2016, 8:57

        Oh dear oh dear…

      2. Oh dear dear dear…..

  2. Highindutchman
    30th July 2016, 21:17

    Im sorry but i think mercedes will win this one hands down and with two fingers in the nose as we say in holland. More interesting is the fight between red bull and ferrari i think. Just like the races we saw in the past. Maybe a surprising strategy will do the trick? Anyway max need al the luck he can get and then make something of it. He has proven he can keep a car with faster tires behind him. Is there any chance of rain btw?

  3. The top photo of Hamilton exiting turn 1 is the perfect example of everything wrong with modern track design. What a joke.

    1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
      31st July 2016, 6:37

      I agree that modern track design isn’t great, but the picture above could have easily been taken on the ‘original’ Hockenheimring. Turn one has always been like this.

      1. Turn 1 was reprofiled with the redesign. The original curve had a straight run toward it and had a more curved radius. The exit kerb was more forgiving than most back in the day but it was not dead flat or three metres wide. It also had grass and gravel immediately behind the kerb, the circuit limits were clearly defined. There was great footage of Berger making a mistake during qualifying in a Mclaren, skiping wide over the kerb onto the grass and keeping it off the wall. Youtube it. Shows the difference between a track with a limit and a natural edge, compared with todays rubbish.

  4. The speed trap data seem to give an accurate description of the current engine power situation. Apparently Magnussen was on a low-downforce setup. Interestingly, he was very slow in the first sector, which only consists of one turn, while Alonso was much faster despite his low top speed. That McLaren really must be mighty in the first corner.

  5. Is sector 2 a high speed section? Red Bull are pretty far behind there. But they’re right on pace in sectors 1 and 3.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      30th July 2016, 23:30

      Sector 2 is from the beginning of the Parabolika to the turn before the stadium.

    2. @grippgoat It’s mostly flat out, so Mercedes with their PU advantage are much quicker there

  6. Mark in Florida
    31st July 2016, 1:15

    Crash in the first corner. Red Bull 1,2 . Hamilton looked like he was about to cry during the interview. Chaps his rear that Rosberg took pole so he will try to cut across Nico and Nico will go deep with no let up, so Red Bull 1,2.

    1. Doubt it, this race is not a charge for turn 1 unlike Hungary. Even though there is often an incident.

  7. DannyRic for a win, fingers crossed

  8. Hamilton will get a huge run on Rosberg on the back straight, Rosberg moves to the inside to defend, Hamilton tries to overtake around the outside at the hairpin, Rosberg runs Hamilton wide and they crash, red bull 1-2. Mark my words….

  9. Howcome Hamilton is unable to outqualify his teammate at Hockenheim? What is different here? Normally he is second to nobody on most tracks. Seems here he is unable to get the job done.

    1. I have an idea it’s T2/3. Are Lewis’ worse tracks Kimi’s better tracks? Dunno, just wondering if it’s a corner exit thing.

    2. To be fair his qualy record isn’t as bad as it is being made out to be. There have only been 4 qualifying sessions since the last time Hamilton out qualified a teammate here. One was scuppered by McLaren for both Button and Hamilton in 2012 when they messed up their tyre strategy compared to the other teams (Hamilton was on provisional pole at that point) and in 2014 Hamilton’s brakes failed in Q1

  10. Interestingly Red Bull have more supersoft tires than both Mercedes and Ferrari, so they may be stuck on a 3-stop strategy. Due to their poor qualifying Ferrari will likely go for 2 stops, so it will be difficult for Mercedes to decide which of them they have to cover. A podium for Räikkönen doesn’t seem unlikely.

  11. The atmosphere at the press conference certainly seemed tense yesterday for some reason.

    My guess is Hamilton will overtake Rosberg within the first 5 laps and then will drive away from him. Nico just doesn’t seem to be able to stay close enough once Hamilton hits the lead.

    The battle behind them between both RBR’s and both Ferraris should be the bit that is really worth watching.

    1. another hamilton snoozefest

  12. Rob (@potsie9000)
    31st July 2016, 11:31

    Interesting that Keith mentioned GP2 and GP3 above. I’ve never watched those formulas (formulae?) before yesterday. (Not sure if GP2 had been televised in AussieLand before now)

    That GP2 racing is amazing. Much more exciting to watch than F1. I just wished that I knew who the drivers were so I could have understood what the commentators were talking about.

    I’d love for F1 racing to be like that GP2 race … much more interesting than hearing talk about track limits, radio bans, halos etc. and get F1 back to something good to watch

    1. Rob (@potsie9000)
      31st July 2016, 11:42

      oh .. and back to the question .. undoubtedly I like to see RIC to win … or anything really other than HAM as I am finding the SKY F1 Lewis Hamilton centric telecast harder ad harder to put up with (as is my dog .. she gets upset every time when I scream at the telly telling that Brundle bloke to shut the *something* up)

      1. @potsie9000 The race result makes me very happy, but very sad for your poor dog and your rabid rants at a TV? Newsflash, Brundle can’t hear you.

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