Dre’s Five Thoughts On…F1’s German Grand Prix 2014

Read time: 8 mins

“Nico Rosberg seals the week of his life.”

You know you’ve had a good week when you run out of the Mercedes garage singing Janis Joplin. Hey folks, Dre here, back with another “Five Thoughts On…”, and this time, we’re heading back to Germany for the final (At least for now), GP at the Hockenheimring. More on that later, but we’ll talk about how the pendulum has swung YET AGAIN in the two-way Mercedes title race, more argy-bargy as the stewards take the race off, K-Mag and Massa’s rotten luck continues, and the concerning lack of attendance. All that and more in my five thoughts, on Germany!


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Another tale of two Mercedes

Just when you thought Hamilton was back ahead again, Rosberg has a near perfect weekend and crushes it. For those who missed it, Hamilton suffered a brake failure in Q1, forcing him to start in 20th place after also having to change parts around. It was a tale of two different Mercedes, as Rosberg dominated the race, while Hamilton put on a masterful performance climbing up from 20th, to eventually finish in 3rd. This is what happens when you put an Elite driver in the most relatively broken car in 25 years… And this was despite having a damaged front wing from a collision with Kimi Raikkonen, AND pitting out of sync due to there NOT being a safety car, while 3-stopping, which wasn’t the optimal strategy!

This was another case of Rosberg cashing in on yet more unfortunate Hamilton luck, but Lewis should take a little pride in knowing he only lost 10 points, compared to the 18 in Canada the other time he had a brake failure. Rosberg’s drive was impeccable, and seemed like he was only at about 70% the whole time. So much so, I think most of us forget he was still racing. Very Vettel-like.

Like I’ve said before, when Mercedes show their true pace as always, it is scary. Hamilton’s Super Soft stints at the end showed that. Not to mention the highest speed recorded during a GP so far this season, [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”215mph”]346km/h[/fusion_tooltip] from DRS’ing behind 2nd placed Valterri Bottas. From a pure constructors standpoint, this season is now dead, and probably has been for some time. All of a sudden though, the driver’s battle takes another turn as Hamilton has to go chasing again. Can he win again in Hungary to cut Rosberg’s lead in half?

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Oh Felipe…

Not again Felipe! Dammit! Yes, for the 3rd time in four races, Felipe Massa suffered a crash which wasn’t his fault. But that’s what happens when you decide to go 3-wide off the start into a corner you take at 140mph, it’s GOING to end in tears. Kevin Magnussen took the inside line, didn’t see Massa till the last second, banged wheels and then Felipe does a barrel roll into the gravel trap, ending his race after a solid 3rd in Quali, and forcing Daniel Ricciardo to take extreme avoiding action.

I’m glad the Stewards did nothing here, as to me, Magnussen didn’t cause a collison. The on-board on Massa’s car showed he could only ever see Bottas’ Williams, and he never saw K-Mag till it was too late. This incident was no-one’s fault, it just happened, and sometimes, things like that are unavoidable, and Massa was the unlucky one.

So for Massa to effectively blame Magnussen for the crash annoys me. A lot. This was nothing more than a racing incident, and yet, Massa flips all the blame onto Kevin, which I felt was very unfair. Felipe is a very likeable guy, but he needs to get the Ferrari days of being the victim complex out of his head, or else its going to start alienating him amongst the fans.

This is a guy who said Kobayashi should have been giving a penalty, despite suffering a mechanical brake failure in Australia, and totally blamed Perez for the Canada crash, which in my eyes, both had a hand in. It’s frustrating as Felipe is normally a very likeable, passionate guy, but taking no responsibility for your actions is something that grates on me.

(Also, is it just me, or are the cars flipping over WAY too much this season?)

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When The Stewards Sleep, The Racing Shines

What made this GP great this time around, was the multi-car fights up and down the field, and not just Hamilton’s great comeback. He got involved in some very nice multiple car scraps, including the train behind Perez with Raikkonen and Ricciardo in a 4-way through the 2nd DRS zone, great driving from all of them to only have very minor contact, Hamilton pulling the mother of all breaking jobs. Martin Brundle put it very eloquently on Sky’s commentary when he said: “Lewis Hamilton plays ‘chicken’ with his front wing more than anyone I’ve ever seen”. It’s very Senna-like forcing a driver to back off, or basically have an accident… Which funnily enough, he actually did when he hit Jenson Button, in what was a mis-communication into the hairpin.

Another big one was Sebastian Vettel caught in a Ferrai sandwich that wouldn’t look out of place on an episode of “Wacky Races”. Vettel was a bit naughty about his placement of his front wing, but he got away with it, as I suspect the Stewards were basically in the mode of: “F*ck it”, let them race, besides the 5-second stop-go they gave for Jean-Eric Vergne’s track extending. I don’t think anything else we saw on track today was worthy of a penalty.

And finally a tremendous fight from the man of the season so far, Daniel Ricciardo against Fernando Alonso, and despite Alonso being on a brand new pair of Super Softs, Ricciardo showed some brilliant offensive and defensive driving to keep Alonso at bay for multiple laps, the pass after the hairpin was absolutely outstanding. If anyone thinks Daniel Ricciardo isn’t a top class driver after this season, you’d be dead wrong, he’s been outstanding.

Like I said, this was a great race, and those close knit battles were the big reason why.

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So, where was that Safety Car?

So, Adrian Sutil spins and stalls the car on the home stretch… And no safety car. What?!

This was an awful decision by the FIA. When Sebastian Vettel had a gearbox failure and had to retire the car on the home straight of Silverstone last year, there was a safety car, so why not here? I know they had double waved yellows, but the Marshals would have to literally RUN about 50ft on the racing line to get to Sutil’s car, which is unbelievably dangerous.

Once again, a salute to the Marshals for being INCREDIBLY brave to run across the track and get Sutil’s car safely off of it, they NEVER get enough credit for the bravery they show to enable the drivers to go racing, and for us to hopefully enjoy it. A completely bone headed call from the FIA on this one in my opinion, and[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”It should be the FIA’s motto at this point…”] just shows a lack of consistency[/fusion_tooltip] more than anything else.

And it even had an adverse effect on the race, Hamilton choosing to pit, thinking there would be a Safety Car, and potentially re-entering track on brand new SS tyres. If that had happened, he’d have probably won. Cue conspiracy! Again!

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Hockenhemim’s “Glass” was Definitely Half Empty

Another thing that definitely warranted talking about… Why was the race’s attendance so poor? I know for a fact that Hockenheim’s facility can take about 110,000 people, but less than half were there for qualifying and the race.

Toto Wolff was one of the first to raise an eyebrow over it, and he had every right too, especially given the context of the season. A season where a German team leads the standings, powered by a German engine, [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Or from Monaco…Or a Fin, depending on who you ask. “]and the Championship leader, is a German![/fusion_tooltip]

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t ever think [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Way too private…”]Sebastian Vettel[/fusion_tooltip], or [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Way too Finnish…”]Nico Rosberg[/fusion_tooltip] will ever be on Schumacher’s level in terms of popularity, but what were the reason as why the event was only half full? Was it the stupidly hot German weather? [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Apparently £220+ per ticket, 3rd highest on the calendar.”]Was it the price point?[/fusion_tooltip] Was it just the general interest of the season to date? Puzzling, even more so considering the Nurburgring was sold out in 2013 and 2011 when they last ran the event.

Anyone got any ideas? Beats me.


Hope you enjoyed the post, and thanks for reading, if you have any more thoughts on Germany, feel free to tell me in the comments!

Dre’s Germany Grand Prix 2014 Rating: 8/10 (Great)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Dre Harrison, 28 year old Bookies Manager and hobbyist Motorsport journalist. Lover of sneakers and sports, but refuses to stick to it.

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