Just days after an exciting and incident-strewn British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Formula One heads high into the Eiffel.
The teams will regroup at another of the sport’s ancestral homes with F-1 resuming at the Nürburgring and the German Grand Prix – round nine of the 2013 FIA F-1 World Championship.
Opened in 1984, the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit doesn’t present quite the challenge offered by the revered Nürburgring-Nordschleife but over the years it has proved itself to be a stern examination of a Formula One car and its driver. The narrow, flowing circuit demands a compromise in set-up: the twisty, low-speed first sector contrasts the high-speeds reached later in the lap, while the chicanes demand soft suspension to allow drivers to really attack the curbs.
True form ahead of the race is difficult to predict given that the German Grand Prix comes after a series of atypical circuits and – in the case of Silverstone – an atypical race. That the Nürburgring demands a little bit of everything frequently ensures it is a race that finds out any weaknesses in the technical package. Car performance can be rendered less-relevant, however, by the stormy weather that often afflicts the region – though the forecast is currently predicting a dry German Grand Prix.
After 14 consecutive scoring finishes, Sebastian Vettel’s race-ending gearbox malfunction denied the World Champion a likely 25 points at Silverstone. His failure to score, combined with a gutsy drive to third from Fernando Alonso sees the Drivers’ Championship battle intensify, with Vettel (132), having his lead over Alonso (111) cut to just 21 points. Meanwhile, in the Constructors’ table, Mercedes (171) has moved ahead of Ferrari (168) and is closing on championship leaders Red Bull Racing (219).