2008 German GP preview: Home drivers

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nick Heidfeld, Silverstone, BMW, 2008, 470150

The German Grand Prix will have more home drivers competing than any other round of the championship. Five F1 drivers are German – that’s one quarter of the field!

But ironically, Germany has only one race this year where two years ago it had two because of the popularity of Michael Schumacher.

So which driver will the home crowd be cheering most strongly for this weekend? How well can the five expect to do in their home race?

Nick Heidfeld

Nick Heidfeld, BMW, Monte-Carlo, 2008, qualifying, 470313

Heidfeld has had a tough start to the year being consistently out-qualified and out-raced by his team mate.

But at Silverstone there were signs he’d turned the corner. In Q2 he was just 0.014s slower than Robert Kubica and they might have been much more closelymatched in Q3 but Kubica’s technical problem stopped us from finding out.

Heidfeld had arguably his best race of the season so far to finish second in the wet. He’d need a problem for some of the McLarens and Ferraris to win this weekend, but he looks like Germany’s best chance of ‘doing a Hamilton’.

Read more about Nick Heidfeld: Nick Heidfeld biography

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Williams, Istanbul, 2008, qualifying, 470313

Rosberg has had a mixed season so far but however well he fares this weekend he must do better than his only visit to Hockenheim in F1 so far – when he spun off on the first lap two years ago.

What Rosberg needs most of all is a ‘normal’ race. In the rain at Monaco he looked all at sea and had a big crash. His error in Canada wrote off his French Grand Prix weekend. And in Britain he was stymied by technical problems before struggling in the rain.

He badly needs a normal weekend with a high Q2 or even Q3 starting position, and above all he must put one over his increasingly impressive team mate Kazuki Nakajima.

Read more about Nico Rosberg: Nico Rosberg biography

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, Istanbul, 2008, 470313

After his excellent drive in the wet at Monaco and great qualifying performance at Silverstone it was a shame to see him taken out on the first lap when he could have thrived in the trcky conditions.

Vettel has been eliminated on lap one on four occasions this year and it’s never really looked like beign his fault. At home this weekend with the increasingly rapid STR3 at his disposal another appearance in Q3 could allow him to score points in a dry race. Providing he make it past the end of lap one.

Read more about Sebastian Vettel: Sebastian Vettel biography

Timo Glock

Timo Glock, Jose Maria Lopez, GP2, Hockenheimring, 2006, 470313

Glock, like Vettel, is making his first appearance as an F1 driver in his home event. He scored an excellent win here in GP2 in 2006, snatching the lead from Jose Maria Lopez on the final lap of the sprint race (above). With not much to shout about in the first half of the season he needs to conjure up some of that magic again.

Read more about Timo Glock: Timo Glock biography

Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil, Force India F1 Team, Silverstone, 2008, 470313

Life is more difficult for Adrian Sutil in a Force India that is making progress (witness the number of new parts on the car last weekend, above) but slowly. He edged Giancarlo Fisichella in qualifying last weekend, though, and needs to keep doing so to prove he deserves a place in F1.

Read more about Adrian Sutil: Adrian Sutil biography