Formula 1 kicks off a double-header before the summer break with another European classic at the German Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes returned to their dominant ways last time out at Silverstone, with the world champion
achieving a record sixth win in Britain.
Now he has the chance to put himself firmly in the drivers’ seat for the championship heading into the second half of 2019,
but there is a growing threat from Ferrari and particularly Red Bull.
So while another victory may appear likely for Mercedes for their 200th F1 Grand Prix, a fascinating duel is in store.
About the race:
A historic race needs a historic venue and Hockenheim has become synonymous with the German GP over the years.
But in the early decades, F1 had another iconic home at the Nurburgring.
And it was there that the late Niki Lauda suffered his life-altering accident in 1976, with his recovery and comeback after a
fiery crash one of the greatest stories the sport has ever told.
The following year, however, F1 moved to Hockenheim, where it would stay for all but one of the next 30 German GP’s.
The original layout was a high-speed blast with four long straights through the forest split by chicanes and ending in the
Known as a real engine-breaker, the circuit produced plenty of action and big crashes of its own, but it is the 2000 race which
lives long in the memory.
Rubens Barrichello famously won from 18th on the grid for Ferrari, staying out on dry tyres on a half wet, half dry track to beat
But with all the action taking place away from the crowds in the forest section and an incident involving an unhappy Mercedes
employee walking onto the track mid-race, the decision was made to redesign the circuit for 2002.
German hero Michael Schumacher would be the first man to win at the new Hockenheim, while Hamilton and Fernando
Alonso have both won three times since.
Indeed, Hamilton has won the previous two races at this track, including a comeback from 14th to take the victory 12 months
ago, after Sebastian Vettel crashed while leading in tricky conditions.
Can he go on and on and continue his winning run this weekend? Here are our picks.
Top Pick: Max Verstappen ($25.2m)
Hot temperatures like those seen in Austria are expected in Germany this weekend and that means Red Bull and Max
Verstappen may well start as favourites.
The team has made great progress with their car in recent weeks, and the race pace at Silverstone was very impressive on a
circuit which wasn't meant to suit them.
Hamilton and Mercedes can’t be ruled out, but if the cooling issues return once again, it could be bad news for their victory
Medium pick: Pierre Gasly ($15.5m)
At Silverstone, Gasly finally looked like a driver worthy of a seat at Red Bull.
The Frenchman was much more competitive against Verstappen and battled with the Ferraris for much of the race, which is a
step up from spending much of the year in the upper midfield.
Now, he’ll be expected to produce that performance at every race weekend and, with the boost in confidence, there is no
reason at all why Gasly can’t do it.
Low pick: Lando Norris ($5.8m)
Currently, it’s an absolute no-brainer having Norris as part of your fantasy team.
His McLaren car is the fastest in the midfield and should be even stronger around Hockenheim.
Luck hasn’t been in his favour, with poor reliability and strategy hampering recent results, but a clean weekend in Germany
would be a successful one.
Charles Leclerc ($23.8m)
Leclerc is on a roll with four consecutive podium finishes and is close to establishing himself as the top driver at Ferrari.
Of course, a home race for teammate Vettel may well provide extra motivation for the four-time world champion, but the
Monegasque is the driver you would choose right now to produce the results for the Italian team.
Kimi Raikkonen ($10.6m)
As his Alfa Romeo has improved, Raikkonen has once again become a consistent points-scoring machine with three
consecutive top 10 results.
Only the strength of Renault could pose a risk to the Finn not continuing that streak, but ahead of a weekend that’s likely to
require a lot of car management, the 2007 champion remains as reliable as ever.