Welcome back Germany! Last season F1 missed off this iconic location due to financial disputes – in 2016, the racing returns to one of its most historic venues – Hockenheim.
The track itself is much-changed from its earlier incarnations. At one point the track was over 4 miles long, stretching deep into the forest, and the circuit was fast. Nowadays it retains only part of that original design, and some would argue it has lost some of its charm and challenge as a result. Nevertheless, Hockenheim is a welcome return to the calendar.
Coming into this Grand Prix, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has snatched the lead of the world championship for the first time in 2016, having won last time out in Hungary. Nico Rosberg, heading into his home Grand Prix, will be determined to halt Hamilton’s momentum. Meanwhile Ferrari will be looking over their shoulders at the onrushing Red Bulls, who are now only one point behind in the constructor’s championship.
Confidence is going to be key at this stage of the season. Rosberg will be all-too aware of what happens if Hamilton gets any wind in his sails, and Hamilton needs to build a buffer before he takes an almost inevitable engine penalty later in the season. The last time this race was held, Rosberg won from pole, whilst Hamilton, starting from the pit lane following car trouble, managed to climb back to third.