The elenventh Grand Prix of the season marks the home Grand Prix for the leader team in the Formula 1 Constructor Championship, Mercedes, but also the home race for Ferrari's champion Sebastian Vettel and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg.
The Hockenheim race track marks the end of a positive moment for Sebastian Vettel last year: this is where the German crashed and nothing was the same from there on.
The circuit currently used is not the original one, but is a cut down version inaugurated in 2002. The italian tyres manufacturer, Pirelli, selected for the 4.5 km circuit the C2 as the hard, C3 as the medium, and C4 as the soft.
Last year edition has been won by Lewis Hamilton, after Vettel's crash, with a one pit-stop strategy from soft to ultrasoft. He was the only one in the top 6 drivers to stop just once during the race.
“Hockenheim is not a track that the teams are historically completely familiar with; for many years it alternated with the Nurburgring, then it dropped off the calendar entirely, before returning last year." Said Mario Isola, Pirelli's Head of Car Racing. "Nonetheless, there’s nothing about the track that is particular surprise, with the demands and forces on the tyres being quite balanced. One exception is the Motodrom section, which is a bit more stop-and-go, while another thing to be aware of is the camber on Turn 12 and Turn 13. Wear and degradation is generally low, so in the past we have seen some quite long stints on the tyres. As we experienced last season though, the weather is hard to predict in Hockenheim at this time of year and this could certainly be one key element influencing strategy”.
Here are the tyres sets selected per driver.