Driver quotes for the German Grand Prix preview-
Sebastian Vettel: “I’m looking forward to the German GP, hopefully there will be at least as many people supporting the German drivers as there were in Silverstone last weekend. Hockenheim is only half an hour away from my home town, so I have a lot of friends and family there and it’s always a special crowd to race in front of. I’ve driven on that circuit in different series and it’s always been great. The campsites near the new circuit are fun and it’s special to meet the fans there. I haven’t won the German GP before and of course, I would like to!”
Mark Webber: “Obviously the German GP now switches between Nürburgring and Hockenheim with this year’s taking place in Hockenheim. We were last there in 2010 and it’s always a good atmosphere. There are plenty of German drivers on the grid and the support for them is always massive. There’s a long, long straight around the back into the hairpin, so we have a high top speed there and it’s always important to get the last sector together due to the combination of corners in quick succession. The temperatures will be interesting as it can sometimes be a hot race, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Heikki Kovalainen: “Next up it’s Hockenheim which will be my hundredth Grand Prix weekend. That’s a good milestone to reach and I’m pleased I’ll be able to celebrate it with a really good team of people, and a lot of friends in the paddock.
“On track we’re back to a track that is more of a low speed circuit compared to Silverstone, but one that still has quite a lot of the lap on full throttle. It used to have one of the longest flat out sections of all F1 tracks but since that was taken out of the lap you need a car that has a balance between good traction for the low speed corners and good top speed to take advantage of the overtaking opportunities into turn six.
“One of the main objectives for us will be to have as much track time as we can to keep working on the upgrades we brought to Silverstone. We definitely didn’t get as much out of them as we had hoped, mainly due to the lack of dry running we had, so hopefully we’ll be able to have a dry Friday so we can work through the setup options and unlock more of the speed we know is there.”
“Whatever happens with the weather the race weekend will definitely be good. The German fans are about as passionate as anywhere we go in the world and there’s always a great atmosphere around the whole place. I remember when I was at Mclaren, going past the Mercedes stand and seeing all the fans holding up boards with my name on – that’s pretty cool and even though this year it’ll be other drivers’ names they’re holding up I’m always given a really warm welcome.”
Vitaly Petrov: “Now we’re going to Hockenheim which is a good track. It’s quite technical and it’s a good challenge to find the right set-up. That will be extra important for us as we need track time to get the updates we brought to Silverstone right. The basic improvements are there but we need to work on the aero balance and then I think everyone will see what they’ve given us.
“One of the really good things about Germany is the atmosphere, which is particularly positive in Hockenheim. The track is always full of fans and the fans are a lot like the British guys. They know a lot about the sport and the promoters put on a good range of events for the fans so they have a really good weekend, whether we’re on track or not.
“The whole circuit is good and if you pick the right spot you can see a lot of the lap, but one of the best places around the track is the stadium section. One day maybe I could put on a mask and go and see what it’s really like in the middle of the fans there! It would be good to go and hang out there but I think that if I didn’t wear a disguise I’d never come back!”
Pedro de la Rosa: “Hockenheim is a circuit which is a little bit more favourable for us than Silverstone because it’s made up almost entirely of slow corners, except for the first one which is quick. We haven’t brought any upgrades to this track so we’ll try to get the most out of the car with the different options at our disposal. In England we anticipated a tough weekend and we performed better than expected, which is positive. In Germany we will work to continue in this manner and try to take things one step further”.
Narain Karthikeyan: “The new Hockenheim circuit is quite different to the old one, which for my liking was more exciting. Before it was quick but now it is slower and a high-downforce track, it is also quite short, not too complicated and very stop-and-go. In the last few races we have proved that our car is quick in qualifying but we haven’t yet shown it over a race distance. We’ve been working on that and in Germany we are aiming to give our main rivals a fight throughout the entire race”.