D-Day for Hamilton’s Rivals in this Weekend’s Crucial German Grand Prix

After his seventh race victory in ten races of the 2019 Formula 1 season, Lewis Hamilton has opened up a commanding lead in the Driver’s Championship. The five-time World Champion has amassed 223 points already this season after just 10 races and he leads team mate Valtteri Bottas by 39 points.

The two Mercedes drivers are well clear of Max Verstappen in third, with Hamilton’s fiercest rival over the last decade, Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari 100 points exactly behind the Brit. What this means is that we have now reached a point in the season where if Hamilton manages to land another victory, then it could well make the Driver’s Championship something of a foregone conclusion after the summer’s break.

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So, there is a lot on the line this weekend in Germany when the teams convene for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. The race, which was won last year by Lewis Hamilton, is the home race for Hamilton’s team Mercedes and also Ferrari’s main driver Sebastian Vettel and there will be plenty of punters backing him to win this weekend.

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Let’s take a look now at how the season looks heading into the German Grand Prix this weekend.

Current F1 Standings (following the British Grand Prix)

Drivers Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 223
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 184
  3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 136
  4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) – 123
  5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 120
  6. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) – 55
  7. Carlos Sainz Jr (McLaren) – 38
  8. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) – 25
  9. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 22
  10. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) – 22
  11. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) – 17
  12. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 14
  13. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) – 13
  14. Danil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) – 12
  15. Alexander Albon (Toro Rosso) – 7
  16. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) – 6
  17. Romain Grosjean (Haas) – 2
  18. Antonio Giovanazzi (Alfa Romeo) – 1
  19. George Russell (Williams) – 0
  20. Robert Kubica (Williams) – 0

Constructor’s Championship

  1. Mercedes – 407
  2. Ferrari – 243
  3. Red Bull – 191
  4. McLaren – 60
  5. Renault – 39
  6. Alfa Romeo – 26
  7. Racing Point – 19
  8. Toro Rosso – 19
  9. Haas – 16
  10. Williams – 0

Fastest Lap Winners

The driver setting the fastest lap in a race earns 1 championship point on top of any earned in the race too.

  • Australia – Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
  • Bahrain – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  • China – Pierre Gasly (Red Bull)
  • Azerbaijan – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  • Spain – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  • Monaco – Pierre Gasly (Red Bull)
  • Canada – Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
  • France – Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
  • Austria – Max Vestappen (Red Bull)
  • Great Britain – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

German Grand Prix Preview

First contested back in 1926, the German Grand Prix has not been the most regular race in the F1 season at times. German driving legend Rudolf Caracciola holds the record for six wins in the race, but they call came in the 1920s and 1930s and some of those races were not part of the official F1 season.

Two drivers won the race three times in its early years as part of the F1 World Championship, Alberto Ascari of Italy and Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina. Ayrton Senna did the three-peat from 1988 to 1990 at Hockenheim and Lewis Hamilton could join that elite list of drivers to win the German Grand Prix three times in a row with a victory at the track this weekend, although Hamilton’s first win in that run would be in 2016 as the race was not contested in 2017.

Hamilton along with Michael Schumacher has four wins in the race to his name and only Sebastian Vettel, who won in 2013 when driving for Red Bull, out of the current crop of F1 Drivers can claim to have won a German Grand Prix here.

2019 will be fourth time in a row that the race has been held at the newly designed Hockenheim Ring, which is a shorter, more twisty circuit than the fast original. Although this makes it more technically demanding, it is not as fast a race as it used to be.

Who can stop Lewis Hamilton?

Given his dominant performance in Great Britain in front of his home fans where Hamilton claimed the hat trick of race win, pole position and fastest lap in the race, the British driver will be the hot favourite to win in Germany for the third time in a row. It is hard to make a case against him on a track where Mercedes will feel very comfortable and where they will enjoy fulsome support too.

Hamilton’s main threat will therefore be his team mate Valtteri Bottas and he has shown at times that he can beat Hamilton but there is no doubt that Hamilton’s faster and more experienced than the Finn, who is a consistent if unspectacular team mate. The ideal foil for Hamilton at Mercedes.

Of the three others that could challenge, Vettel is the intriguing one. However, Ferrari have not won a race all season long and after the incident in Canada, which saw Vettel demoted from 1st into 2nd with a time penalty for dangerous driving after he slid off the circuit, a somewhat unfair penalty in my view, the German has cut a somewhat solitary and distant figure and his performances since have reflected that.

It may well be left to the likes of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc to try and pressure Hamilton but they just lack the pace and experience of the Mercedes man and I think their race is more likely to be with each other and Vettel, than it is the two Mercedes.

Our Podium Position Tip is – 1st – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 2nd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), 3rd Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

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