Hockenheim continues 2014’s run of top races

2014 German Grand Prix

Safety Car, Hockenheimring, 2014The 2014 German Grand Prix was another well received race continuing the current trend. The drivers seemed to use every part of the tight and narrow track with some going three abreast into corners.

The track seemed most tight in the first corner where Felipe Massa and Kevin Magnussen collided. The tangle brought out the Safety Car and mixed up the field leading to some great scraps for position.

Sadly the winner was all-but decided on Saturday when Lewis Hamilton suffered a brake failure, which was later compounded by a gearbox change penalty. Hamilton put in an impressive performance battling through the field to third but it was Nico Rosberg who cruised to victory and proved Mercedes still have the advantage after the FRIC ban.

The race was rated the third best of the season and the second highest German Grand Prix since 2008. It was another race weekend which enjoyed a positive reaction from F1 Fanatic readers, further indication that Luca di Montezemolo hasn’t got around to registering an account here yet.

Driver’s tough but fair

We were treated to some great battles during the race. There was a real sense that the drivers were going for it with no fear of making a move. Luckily most of the scraps were clean with only a few causing minor damage. The stewards were particularly lenient over ‘racing incidents’ which was nice to see.

Seriously enjoyed the Alonso battles today. The guy has been involved in some of the best battles since I’ve been watching the sport.

The better drivers must look forward to squaring off against him. Vettel, Webber and now Ricciardo have had me out of my chair as they take on Alonso. Great to see the absolute professionalism and respect they give each other.
Bravo.
@Glennb

Fantastic to watch Hamilton battle through the field. Great wheel-to-wheel action from so many – Alonso, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Kvyat, Hamilton and several others. The last few laps were great, watching Bottas keep Hamilton at bay.

True, there was no battle for the lead but there was enough great action behind Rosberg along with several spectacular incidents that I didn’t really mind!
@Colossal-squid

Edge-of-the-seat

It’s a shame to think how many people enjoyed the race on television when so many seats at the track were empty:

It was very exciting, there were a lot of overtakes.
@Saubers1

Apart from the leader being untouchable it was a spectacular race. Three-wide into a hairpin – what more could you ask for?
@Bazza-spock

Really nice race, never boring. My favourite race of the year so far, barely found the time to pick up something to eat in the fridge.
@Spoutnik

DRS

Spot-on or overkill? As always DRS was a hot topic:

I didn’t like that the DRS secured plenty of “highway” passes throughout the race. However I liked it when the drivers closed on each other and in the hairpin were fighting closely in the following corners, especially when they were more than three cars like in the first laps. That was awesome.
@Cocaine-mackeine

DRS stopped this from scoring higher, it was a bit too much here, but overall it was great, and there were plenty of overtakes outside of the DRS. Very nice!
@Philereid

There were a few passes that were a bit too easy, but with the Red Bull battles with Alonso for example it worked really well I felt – just allowing the drivers to get close enough.
@Vettel1

Drivers giving way to others may have given a false impression that DRS was over-powerful.
@Sato113

Others may be happy watching button pushing and pathetically easy DRS passes, but it’s just a pathetic spectacle watching one car with its wing open, cruise past the defenceless car ahead in a boring and utterly unexciting manner.
Davey

Unsatisfied fans

But not everyone enjoyed what they saw:

I did watch the race from green lights to chequered flag. I did not see any excitement anywhere.

The television commentators are working hard as much as they can to make it a little interesting. The Alonso versus Ricciardo duel was nice. Raikkonen-Vettel-Alonso sandwich moment was two seconds of fun. But otherwise it was a dull race.

Maybe people are seeing more than what I am but I have honestly watched better races in 20-plus years to call this an exciting race.
@Tmax

It is difficult for me to get overly excited about a grand prix where Alonso and Ricciardo are fighting tooth and nail (aka racing) for fifth position while Bottas is being told not to race Hamilton too hard for second in order to conserve his tyres.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand his engineer, however tyre management, fuel management and fake DRS passing is not that thrilling to me. It also does not help that the cars resemble something my cat coughed up and they sound like my riding mower. Give us real racing please and not the gimmicky sideshow which now passes for F1.
Jackal

The German Grand Prix was a small improvement, the people giving it a good rating must not have seen the real F1 racing of old when racing drivers were on the limit all through the race not just a few laps then coast.

I’ll hold on a few months more in hope that F1 will improve then if not Sky Sports is cancelled. I think Mr Ecclestone has gone too far in controlling the racing an ruined it in the process… sad but true.
@Spin

No safety car?

One point on which many were united was the surprising sight of a stationary car being left unattended in the middle of the track with no Safety Car being deployed. To many, the safety of the marshals who ran across the track to recover it was needlessly risked:

I have to say the when Sutil went off and stopped in the middle of the track off the last bend I thought there should have been a safety car bearing in mind when one was deployed for a bit of damaged barrier at the British Grand Prix.
Simon Parker

Who knows that Charlie Whiting was thinking, it was ludicrous – I’ve never seen anything like it. If it rains we have an Safety Car out for ten laps, or a bit of debris on track, even when off-line we sometimes get a Safety Car. It was madness.

I just had the horrible image of a poor .arshal falling over, injuring him or herself, and attempting to hobble on only for a car to come swooping around the corner. There’s a reason the usual response to this circumstance is to call out the Safety Car. My word!

What I’m even more surprised about is the lack of coverage of this by media and fan outlets. Sure, all’s well that ends well but it was a poor call that could have, and in the past has, resulted in serious injury or death to a marshal.
@Pastaman

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2014 German Grand Prix

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16 comments on Hockenheim continues 2014’s run of top races

  1. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 24th July 2014, 16:49

    For a season with a very predictable (and to some boring) drivers and constructors championship, 2014 is proving to be fantastic in terms of on track racing. Hope this continues.

  2. lockup (@lockup) said on 24th July 2014, 18:46

    It would have been a LOT more exciting with a safety car for Sutil. Hard not to wonder if the threat to the German driver’s lead was a factor.

    • Chris Cartile (@cartwheel) said on 24th July 2014, 19:42

      Threat to Nico’s lead? I’m not sure there was one. He had so much performance in reserve that even with a safety car, a spin-out, maybe a quick kiss from the new wife and a bratwust in the pits he would still have won that race. Hamilton was his only challenger and he spent his tires and fuel on the climb to third- Nico had enough of both in reserve that not even Hamilton would have challenged had the field been bunched up.

      • eric morman said on 25th July 2014, 2:26

        wrong,
        when Sutil stalled Ham dived into the pits and put on new S Soft tires,
        Nico had done 12laps on his Soft tires,
        if the safety car had come out Nico would have been passed in sec’s by Ham,
        with no Safety car Ham lost 20 odd sec’s to Bottas,
        hence he used the tires up chasing him down, when he did catch up to Bottas he was unable to pass due to his front left tire was falling to bits and finishing 3rd was at least his best recovery.

  3. Chris Cartile (@cartwheel) said on 24th July 2014, 19:37

    Imagine what this year would be like without Merc… It would be an absolutely epic year to see so many capable of winning a GP on any given weekend go for it. Merc is the only blemish on what has been an entertaining season so far- but of course you can’t fault them for being so good…

    • Charles said on 25th July 2014, 3:43

      good point

    • Clive Allen (@clive-allen) said on 25th July 2014, 13:00

      I really don’t understand this constant gripe against Mercedes that we’re seeing this year. After four years of boring predictability with Red Bull and Vettel the automatic choice for race winner, you’d think people would be glad of the change. So one marque has managed to produce a better car than anyone else? Get used to it, people – it’s the normal state of affairs for F1. Rarely is there a genuine tussle for the constructors’ championship. The last time that happened was probably Alonso’s two championships with Renault when it seemed unlikely that anyone could challenge Schumacher in the Ferrari. Brawn ran it a bit close, although the second half of the season had some mild interest in seeing whether Red Bull could overtake Brawn’s early lead. And before that? Long years of domination by one of Ferrari, Williams or McLaren.

      Give the moaning a break, for pete’s sake, and be grateful that Mercedes has given us a refreshing year without the over-rated Vettel winning everything in sight – Rosberg and Hamilton are allowed to race, at least.

      • Sven (@crammond) said on 25th July 2014, 13:39

        Well, at least the last years did not have a car putting drivers ahead that didn´t belong there, but (as Webber´s results showed) there were 2-3 different cars with roughly the same level of performance, only a driver standing out.
        However, Merc will be a well deserved Constructors-champion, and for the drivers, well… we´ll just ignore them.
        And I don´t see any moaning in

        Imagine what this year would be like without Merc…

        , as it does not say this year is bad. It just would be even better without the Mercs.

        • Clive Allen (@clive-allen) said on 25th July 2014, 15:42

          Interesting take on it, Sven. I would answer that Red Bull’s dominance did not provide us with a champion who was truly better than the rest – Ricciardo’s performance this year must put at least a question mark over Vettel’s real abilities, surely. And who were the only drivers to put up a fight with the Red Bulls in that time? Alonso and Hamilton, of course – both in cars that were not the best. So Hamilton is only reaping the reward for years of struggle.

          Without the Mercs, this year would be unusual for F1 and the champion would be the driver in the most reliable car. The result would be a year like 1982 and I can still remember how people moaned about Keke Rosberg being champ when he hadn’t won as many GPs as others had.

          • Sven (@crammond) said on 25th July 2014, 17:21

            1982 had Gilles Villeneuve dying and Didier Pironi in a career-ending crash. Pironi raced only the first 11 out of 16 races and still was only 5 points behind Rosberg at the end, so that was different.

            Wether this year´s Ricciardo-Vettel-duell speaks of Vettels weakness or Ricciardo´s strength, I don´t know. Probably a bit of both, as Vettel seems rather unhappy with the balance of this years car. However, I´m absolutely not sure wether the Red-Bulls of the recent years were the best cars, certainly it wasn´t good enough to put the slower driver onto second place, as this years Merc is. And I don´t think Webber was that weak a driver, though it has been very different regulations and times when he was on par with Rosberg as a teammate.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th July 2014, 17:55

        Rosberg and Hamilton are allowed to race, at least.

        Webber being inferior =/= not allowed to race.

        Interesting take on it, Sven. I would answer that Red Bull’s dominance did not provide us with a champion who was truly better than the rest – Ricciardo’s performance this year must put at least a question mark over Vettel’s real abilities, surely.

        Why stop there? If RB didn’t provide a champion better than the rest, then equally one could say Merc’s drivers aren’t better than Alonso, Raikkonen, Vettel, Hulkenberg or Ricciardo? In addition, Alonso was beaten by a certain rookie when he was double defending champion too.

        Without the Mercs, this year would be unusual for F1 and the champion would be the driver in the most reliable car.

        Are people not saying that now with Rosberg’s lead?

  4. Matt Clark (@mattc888) said on 24th July 2014, 21:53

    I’m sure I’ve seen it linked before, but can’t find it in the menus now, but is there a page where we can see all the F1 Fanatic rated races in order from highest to lowest score?

  5. HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th July 2014, 0:34

    “NO SAFETY CAR” apparently no-one defended this decision, I must be getting Alzheimers.

    • BrawnGP said on 26th July 2014, 9:51

      @hohum I didnt notice any good comments defending the lack of safety car when writing the article. Sorry if I missed yours.

  6. Charles said on 25th July 2014, 3:42

    Really didn’t think this race was hot/ exciting… not sure what was exciting about it. Canada is still the best of the year, so far. Lets see where it ranks after the season.

  7. tmax (@tmax) said on 25th July 2014, 4:25

    @Spin my thoughts too are pretty much the same. I am holding on to my cable subscription only for F1. Otherwise I am pretty much in the “CordCutters” boat.

    I did miss a live race this year and I was pretty much happy following it through Twitter & Formula 1 App. More over F1Fanatic.co.uk provides a great account after the race with the various articles. Needless to say @KeithCollantine provides a superb Race Report after the race. I love reading that. Sometimes I felt the race report was more exciting than the race itself. Thank You Keith.

    Pleasantly surprised to see my comment referred in the article !!!!.

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