By Neil Leverett
- Round 11 of the 2019 Formula 1 season moves on to Hockenheim this weekend, for the German Grand Prix
- Sesbatian Vettel looking for first win of season on home tarmac, with Lewis Hamilton holding remarkable 100-point lead over German
- Briton leads World Drivers’ Championship standings by 39 points after Silverstone win
HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY – As Round 11 of the Formula 1 season rolls into Germany, can Sebastian Vettel get his first win of the campaign over a formidable Lewis Hamilton?
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Barren Vettel seeks win
As Round 11 of the 2019 Formula 1 season rolls into Germany this weekend, the mere notion of former four-time World Drivers’ Champion Sebastian Vettel going without after ten races, would have been quite the fanciful one in years past.
For the German, that is the grim scenario, however this weekend, the Ferrari man who grew up in just 45km from this weekend’s venue, will look to Hockenheim’s home comforts to re-ignite his season.
As the 2019 season reaches it half-way mark, a staggering 100-point gap is the bridge to Hamilton, with any hope of ending the Briton’s aim to win three consecutive world titles a pipe dream at best – for Vettel at least.
With 11 months having passes since the German’s win however, a return to familiar surroundings presents Vettel with the chance to kick-start his campaign and give hope to his fans for the remainder of the season.
That ‘hope’ however seems to have been a consistently flawed premise this season, and for Vettel to pick up just his second win on home tarmac in his 14th race, the Huppenheim driver must thwart an increasingly buoyant Hamilton.
Having won 70% of races this campaign, the Briton holds a weighty 39-point advantage over teammate Valtteri Bottas, with Hamilton looking for his fifth career Formula 1 victory at Hockenheim this weekend – a winner last year also.
The Prancing Horse had a dominant start to the weekend’s proceedings, with Charles Leclerc leading after second practice, and as the Brit told BBC Sport, Vettel is still a force to be reckoned with, with the McLaren-Mercedes driver expecting a response for remainder of the season.
“People can be easily forgetful. I just remember him [Vettel] as a four-time champion and a formidable competitor. You need to keep the respect there and expect him to come back strong.”
The Hockenheimring again welcomes F1 this weekend, with the Rhine Valley circuit in Baden-Wurttemberg remaining one of the most iconic stops on the motorsport calendar.
Hosting its’ 78th race on Sunday, the German GP remains a race that has smiled back at Ferrari, with the Italian manufacturer having won 22 times in the race’s annuls.
Whilst the future of the race still remains shrouded in doubt after its’ biannual rotation with the Nurburgring, the 67-lap, 4.574km circuit is somewhat of a proving ground, with multiple bends and a fast, dog-leg straight in DRS section one.
Following the heatwave that has gripped much of Northern Europe this week, this weekend has seen a breakdown with heavy storms and Hockenheim is set for a wet weekend. That could make for a highly unpredictable qualifying session and indeed race, which the 2019 season Formula 1 is very much in need of.
The 2019 German Grand Prix takes place this weekend at the Hockenheimring, with the race on Sunday at 2.10pm.
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