Ladies and gentleman, welcome to one of the most crazy and unbelievable radio report of all time: this is Radio Hockenheim, the radio for the craziest Grand Prix. Ever. Of. The. Hybrid era.
Collecting all the radio communications with all that rain wasn’t easy for us, as it wasn’t for Teams.
Lewis. Hamilton - “…….”
“I think your microphone’s failed. Just hearing all the engine noise.”
Lewis Hamilton - “My shame.” (FP2)
Someone almost missed some pit calls, isn’t that true Mercedes?
Anyway, the weekend has been pretty chaotic from the start.
“Hey Valtteri you’re currently P1 there. Let us know if you need a flap adjust."
Valtteri Bottas - “Yeah, I need plus two on the front.”
“Plus two, so box box. You got Russell on a slow lap 1 second behind, so currently P1, 7 tenths to Lewis in P2.” (FP1)
In the weekend where Mercedes had its own home race, celebrating its 200th GP and 150 years in Motorsport, I think all that Valtteri wanted was to stop the race weekend right in that moment, when he was P1. And who cares about the front wing!
Mercedes wasn’t the only team focused on front wing adjustments. It seems like Renault was too…
Nico Hulkenberg - “Wanna box for some front wing.”
“I suggest a decent step if that’s sound okay for you, so I suggest 4 points up.”
Nico Hulkenberg - “Okay, copy that.” (FP1)
Daniel Ricciardo - “For Turn 2 and turn 6 a lot of understeer.”
“Copy that. Do you need front wing adjust?”
Daniel Ricciardo - “Yeah, let’s try. Let’s try too click up.”
“Shall we try a bit more than that?”
Daniel Ricciardo - “Okay.” (FP1)
…but not everything went as planned.
Daniel Ricciardo - “Okay, I don’t think it’s gonna get better. I wanna go back for a change.” (FP1)
Nico Hulkenberg - “I really wanna go back on this change, it feels it’s going bad, lap after lap, worse and worse.” (FP1)
Mission failed, I repeat, mission failed. And the mission failed for the entire weekend.
First, local hero Nico Hulkenberg thought everyone left to avoid Sunday’s storm.
Nico Hulkenberg - “Where’s everybody?”
“Don’t worry about it.” (Q2)
Then, something crazy happened. Nobody could believe it, Nico himself couldn’t, as it was like a dream come true, a dream the German has chased for his entire career.
His first podium finish.
“I’m not sure what position you’re in at the moment, but I think you’re P3.”
Nico Hulkenberg - “Doesn’t matter.” (Race)
I could hear on my radio frequencies Nico repeating in his mind “stay focused, stay focused, it’s about to happen, don’t distract yourself, don’t..” And then he crashed.
We were excited as well, we feel you.
Another driver who was close to his second podium finish was Lance Stroll, who had some troubles during the sessions.
For once, he wasn’t the one turning into people.
Lance Stroll - “Was all that just.. whoever that was, he just completely turned in. It was really dangerous, he was approaching at a very wide speed.”
“That was Leclerc.” (FP1)
I think he was surprised as well.
Lance Stroll - “The mirror on the left side has cracked. I can continue, but just fix it.”
Apart from his car damages, the Canadian managed to keep his Racing Point on track and earned a 4th place finish. Not bad, Lance!
Lance Stroll - “Aah, good job guys. Hah! I can’t believe we were last for the whole race. And the last 20 laps on slicks. P4, awesome.”
“Well done, Lance. Great job mate. Great job.”
Lance Stroll - “I wanted to get the podium for you guys, I tried, I wanted to get the podium for you but you gotta be happy with that boys. Yes.”
“We are happy with that mate, we are happy.” (Checkered flag)
And they lived happily ever after.
Another driver was chasing his first podium this weekend, and he worked tirelessly all sessions to get it despite radio interferences, right, Chili?
“So Carlos I missed the last part of your message, I think we got it completely wrong."
Carlos Sainz - “So… ehm.. Box.”
“Copy. Do you wanna try the other front wing?”
Carlos Sainz - “I don’t think it makes much sense like this. Or we try more balance, I don’t know.. like we said.”
“Happy to try more aerobalance.” (FP2)
To be sure the garage could hear him with all that rain..
Carlos Sainz - “Radio check.”
“Loud and clear, Carlos. So Carlos, the race should start on time, but it will be a Safety Car start, so that all cars must use the full wet tyres.”
Carlos Sainz - “Ah, okay, that makes it easier then.” (Pre- race)
From this weekend, we can see that Carlos is really growing up, taking his own decisions and it’s time for him to take the big step on the podium.
“If you’re not sure, stay out, follows car in front and let us know.”
Carlos Sainz - “I think it’s box.. let me see one second. Box, box!” (Race)
Who would’ve thought that a McLaren could deliver such results after the disastrous seasons that another Spaniard had to face? (Fernando, happy birthday. We are so sorry you had to celebrate knowing that two Honda engines were on podium on Sunday, we are really sorry!)
Unfortunately, Carlos didn’t make it, but Carlos can be proud of himself.
“P5 chilli. Smooth operator.”
Carlos Sainz - “I don’t know why it doesn’t taste good. It doesn’t taste good. Aah, it’s so close but yet so far. Aah.”
“Carlos I know what you mean but I think it’s been a great drive this afternoon. Great job, good calls with the tyres. I think you can be proud of that P5, you can be proud of this one.” (Checkered flag)
Speaking of Honda engines, the weekend didn’t start easily for Max Verstappen.
Max Verstappen - “I have no power, mate.. this is.”
“Okay, stand by. We understand your issue, but we do need to box, there’s something we have to correct.” (FP2)
Max Verstappen - “Oh, no i lost power on the straight.”
Max Verstappen - “This is not good, lack of everything.” (Q2)
“Max, where are you struggling?”
Max Verstappen - “Turn 1, Turn 8, into the stadium, 13.. almost everywhere.” (Q3)
How the hell did he managed to win with no power? (The question was made by a fan of Formula 1 Radio, I can’t say who he is, but he’s a two time F1 World Champion from Spain who has an intense history with Honda engines).
“So confirm you don’t want a look at Inter and you don’t want a flap adjust."
Max Verstappen - “Ah, don’t worry.” (Pre- race)
We all know Max loves rain conditions.
“How are conditions Max?”
Max Verstappen - “Perfect to go, I don’t understand why we are not racing.” (Formation lap)
And then, the race started.
It wasn’t easy, but he made it.
“What you feels on tyres, Max? There are people pitting already.”
Max Verstappen - “Ah, I don’t know mate.. at the moment. I’m starting to slide a bit.” (Race)
Max Verstappen - “How many position have we loose?”
“Only to Magnussen, who is currently behind Hamilton. Magnussen has not pitted.” (Race)
Some misunderstandings with his team didn’t stop him.
“Ok look out for Giovinazzi behind, Hulkenberg behind on a timed lap.”
Max Verstappen - “You need to tell me those things earlier.”
“This is not the only conversations I’m having mate.” (Q1)
Max Verstappen - “I just asked you to give me the soft tyres, f**k!!” (Race)
Max Verstappen - “What is the radar saying?”
“We can’t rely on the radar, Max. We are gonna box this lap.” (Race)
Max Verstappen - “Just keep an eye for people pitting on sleeks.”
“Yes, Stroll is pitting on sleeks.” (Race)
And while his team mate collected another DNF, unfortunately..
Pierre Gasly - “F**k. He turned. f**k. f**k.”
Pierre Gasly - “No way. Noooo.”
“Bad luck mate. You were doing great”. (Race)
…Max the Phoenix resurrected from his own ashes.
“That’s P1, good job. That’s the performance we should have had yesterday.”
Max Verstappen - “Hahah ahahha. Wow, what a race hahha. Aah. wow.”
Christian Horner - “Amazing, Max. That was just masterclass, amazing.”
Max Verstappen - “Thank you, Christian. Wow, what a result, also thank you to the whole team for the pits stops as well. You did a really good job. Thank you.” (Checkered flag)
Max Verstappen scored the second win for and Honda engine. A win that more than one driver was chasing.
Charles Leclerc was paying attention to every single detail.
Charles Leclerc - “Is the only place is where am I losing significant pace, part from last sector, where I had traffic?”
“I’ll come back to you. It just the last sector at the moment. Out of turn 6, apex of turn 6.” (FP1)
And so was Sebastian Vettel.. damn, it’s is home race and you don’t even know his name, FIA??
Sebastian Vettel - “Just so you know, the FIA boards at the wind they were red but they was saying zio or gio and 0, so not 5 and not my name.”
And by every detail I mean every. single. one.
Charles Leclerc - “The brake pedal feels a little bit more towards me compared to this morning. Everything is working fine, it’s okay. The angle of it, basically.”
Charles Leclerc - “Quite tricky to drive like this. If we can just check when we’re going.. when we’re getting back in the box.” (FP2)
Sebastian Vettel - “The front left is not in good shape. Maybe you can try and prepare to rebalance it later.”
“Is only the left front, or also the right?”
Sebastian Vettel - “The right is not a problem. Wasn’t a big lock, I don’t know, it was very early, so surprised. I tried to released it as soon as. possible, but.. aaah, is not in a good shape.”
“Okay, understood.” (FP2)
And the worse obviously happened on Saturday, during the Qualifying session.
Sebastian Vettel - “There’s an issue.. I lost power. Have a look. Something is blowing up somewhere.”
“Slow down, slow down.” (Q1)
Charles Leclerc - “Why is Sebastian slow in the straight?”
“He may have an issue, you can overtake him. And now Sebastian behind, he’s coming in.”
Charles Leclerc - “Nobody’s pushing behind, right?”
“Nobody’s pushing behind.” (Q1)
Both red cars retired, with Vettel not even completing a lap and Leclerc not being able to complete a lap in Q3.
Ferrari’s engineers were so tired of Charles team radio, they had to tell him they could not talk during the Formation laps. He was so quiet during his first GPs.
“I cannot talk to you during these laps, it’s like a formation lap, and we cannot change the tyres, we cannot pit.”
Charles Leclerc - “Okay.” (Pre- race)
But they forgot to speak to him when it mattered.
To Charles Leclerc - “And wait for traffic, WAIT FOR TRAFFIC, TRAFFIC! TRAFFIC!” (Race)
Thank God for making Leclerc avoiding Grosjean. I can’t even imagine what he would’ve said on the radio!
The Monegasque’s race ended up earlier than predicted, when he crashed against a Mercedes banner.
Charles Leclerc - “F******K! Nooooooooooo. Aah, no. Come on, Charles. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” (Race)
But Sebastian Vettel had a mission: a revenge on his last German Grand Prix. And knowing how good Ferrari’s strategies are, he decided everything on his own.
Sebastian Vettel - “Let’s go for dry if you don’t expect more wet.”
“We expect this wet for 15 minutes, stay out.”
“And box, Sebastian, on new Soft.”
Sebastian Vettel - “Copy.” (Race)
Sebastian Vettel - “Is it Safety Car or is Virtual?”
“It is Safety Car.” (Race)
Sebastian Vettel - “There’s more rain. On my own I would be faster, but… what is the rain forecast?”
“Box on new soft.”
Sebastian Vettel - “I’m not sure. Behind the Safety Car let’s put new Inters.” (Race)
And Sebastian, with a brilliant strategy, managed to take off a zero from his starting position: from P20 to P2. Bravo!
“And P2 Sebastian, fantastic job. From last to P2. Awesome job.”
Sebastian Vettel - “Woo, got a bit hairy in the final lap there. What a race. Aah, it’s been a long one. Grazie tutti. Grazie.” (Checkered flag)
From the first time this year, a Mercedes car wasn’t in the top 5. Both drivers kept complaining all weekend long.
Lewis Hamilton - “The track is really dirty. Front tyres are not working.” (FP1)
Lewis Hamilton might not have enjoyed the 1950 dress code for the weekend.
Lewis Hamilton - “My gloves won’t go on. Just give me normal gloves, normal. gloves.. they won’t fit on.” (FP3)
Valtteri Bottas - “There’s something wrong with the engine, entering the stadium before turn 12, it slows down massively.”
“The engine is just a setting thing, nothing to worry about.” (FP3)
Lewis Hamilton - “Am I in trouble?”
Ah, no Lewis, as long as you keep your fever for yourself.
Lewis Hamilton - “Box, box. I’ve lost the freaking wing.”
“Yeah, yep, coming in. Inter? You want inter?”
Lewis Hamilton - “Yes man.”
“OK, so, inter tyre.” (Race)
Fifty seconds for a pit stop. I guess Lewis has been pretty contagious in the garage.
Or the mechanics just identified themselves too much in their 50s clothing, that they thought they had to do a pit stop like it was 1953. It has to be like this.
Ah, Toto, we think white really doesn’t bring you luck. Better come back to silver and to our days, what do you think?
And I know.. You are not even waiting for our Hit Parade. You are asking yourself where are Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosejan’s team radio.
The best things are like dessert, they come at the end of the meal.
“You went to Torque 4 in the garage, but I think with the change we made you don’t need to go that extreme… if you’re happy to run that it’s not a problem, Torque 6 would have a better effect than Torque 4…”
Kevin Magnussen - “…..”
“Okay, good.” (FP2)
I’m sure 100% that Kevin Magnussen is scared of Guenther Steiner and has not the courage to talk on the radio anymore, unless it is really necessary.
Kevin Magnussen - “Car is completely different.”
“Okay…. In a good way?”
Kevin Magnussen - “Yeah.” (FP3)
On the other side, Romain is… Romain.
Romain Grosjean - “And f**k! Engine issue.”
“Okay, slow down.” (FP3)
Romain Grosjean - “Box, box, too much issues guys.” (FP3)
And he can go from this..
Romain Grosjean - “There’s a seatbelt that came loose, blocking my elbow.” (Q1)
.. to this.
“Any balance adjust Romain?”
Romain Grosjean - “Ahm, paparapam.. Just point 1 frontwing.” (Q3)
To hear (or read) the best from the Haas drivers you need to wait still.
On the third step of our Hit Parade, the winner of the Hockenheim local contest to elect the best Weather Man. The winner?
“Can you describe the conditions around the track at the moment, please.”
Lando Norris - “F**king wet. Can’t see a thing.” (Pre- race)
TEAM RADIO HIGHLIGHTS: GERMANY 🎧— Formula 1 (@F1) July 29, 2019
A weekend for the ages at Hockenheim 😀
Listen in as the drivers react to the beautiful madness 💬
WATCH >> https://t.co/1hREpglaD0#F1 #GermanGP 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/6jmy2ASran
There was a fierce competition, but Lando outscored everyone.
Second place for our lovely Kimi Raikkonen.
Kimi Raikkonen - “What the f**k is this people doing?” (FP1)
Kimi Raikkonen - “It’s unreal, this people…” (FP2)
Ah, so lovely.
He is even infecting his team mate Antonio Giovinazzi.
Antonio Giovinazzi - “Yeah, but I need to drive as well. Wait.” (Race)
He was a sweet guys before Kimi.
First place for the Revenge Man and Dad of the week Daniil Kvyat.
After all that happened in his career, the Russian took a podium with Toro Rosso (the first after Sebastian Vettel’s in Monza, 2008).
Daniil Kvyat - “Woo hoo oo. Yes. yes.”
“Yes, Dany. Fantastic job. Yes! P3. That drive was unbelievable!”
Daniil Kvyat - “My god, my god.” (Checkered flag)
We are so happy for you and congrats for your newborn baby, Penelope. That’s a nice way to celebrate fatherhood!
And now, the moment you had all been waiting for.
Our Special Prize: Honestly, what are we doing here? goes, obviously, to our heroes.
Romain Grosjean - “My god! This guy is incredible! He will never learn.”
Kevin Magnussen - “What is he doing? In case I’m quicker.. Just think about what you wanna do because I’m really not comfortable racing this guy.” (Race)
Guenther, all I want to be in my life is a fly on your pit wall.
I can’t wait to see everything on Drive to Survive, season 2, because that’s what it is all about in the Haas garage: who is going to survive, Kevin or Romain?
I’m not ready for this.
The last GP before the summer break is about to happen on Sunday. We hope you enjoyed this edition of Formula 1 Radio. Let’s see you in Budapest!