2019 German GP Preview
Ladies and gentlemen, the 2019 Formula One campaign has arrived in Germany. With so much uncertainty surrounding the future of the German Grand Prix race, motorsport fans should take the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in this year’s event. After all, there is no telling whether the Hockenheimring will host another Grand Prix in the future or not…
But enough about the politics, let’s focus on the race. We are now 10 races into the 2019 Formula One campaign and five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has a commanding lead at the top of the drivers’ standings. He is 39 points clear of closest rival Valtteri Bottas and his Mercedes teammate will be starting to feel the pressure as we approach the mid-point of the 2019 season.
Incredibly, Hamilton and Bottas have BOTH finished on the podium in nine of the 10 Grand Prix races so far this year – a statistic that shows just how dominant Mercedes have been. At the time of writing, the German team are 164 points ahead of nearest rivals Ferrari and the Constructors’ Championship crown looks set to stay with Mercedes for another year.
Seeing Mercedes at the top of the standings will surprise nobody and Hamilton’s status as the 2019 German Grand Prix favourite won’t raise many eyebrows. William Hill are offering 4/6 on the British driver to claim his eighth victory of 2019 and maximum points here will move him one step closer to a sixth world title. Without a doubt, Hamilton sets the standard for his peers.
After finishing back in fifth position at the Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton bounced back in supreme fashion, recording a dominant British Grand Prix success at a jubilant Silverstone. He finished 25 seconds clear of the chasing pack and Hamilton will be looking to cement his status as the dominant driver in the sport with another important victory this weekend.
Getting off to a fast start in the practice sessions on Friday is key here – the Hockenheimring isn’t the easiest circuit to master but Hamilton knows the track well. If the British driver is at his brilliant best, Hamilton could secure pole position and the writing will be on the wall for his rivals. Sporting Life are offering 15/13 for Hamilton to start in P1 on the grid.
Bottas finds himself 39 points behind Hamilton in the World Championship race but he has a 38-point lead of his own over third placed Max Verstappen. Like Hamilton, Bottas has nine podium finishes to his name so far in 2019 and the Finland driver will be hoping to claim his third victory of the season this weekend. Write Bottas off at your peril…
Punters may be tempted by the 5/2 with Betfred for Bottas to emerge victorious on Sunday afternoon. Bottas won two of the first four races of the season but he has struggled to fend off Hamilton in recent races – the British driver has been a class above. If Hamilton takes his foot off the gas, Bottas will be there to profit and he represents decent value in the betting.
Charles Leclerc has really started to find his feet at Ferrari in recent months. He has finished above teammate Sebastian Vettel in each of the previous three Grand Prix races and pipping his Ferrari rival to a higher finish in Vettel’s home event would rub salt in the wounds. There is no doubting Leclerc’s talent and he could feature prominently on Sunday afternoon.
888sport are going 9/1 for Leclerc to emerge victorious at Hockenheimring this weekend – a price worth considering given his continued improvement. Looking at the long term future, he looks destined to win the Formula One world title at some stage in his career but he has time on his side. At 21 years old, Leclerc is still learning the ropes.
Vettel himself is another driver in the mix to win this weekend’s German Grand Prix. With the home crowd cheering his every move, Vettel will have that added pressure to deliver a famous Grand Prix success. Ferrari are yet to win a race this season and Vettel would love nothing more than to cement his status as the team’s number one driver with a home win.
The four-time Formula One world champion knows that Ferrari cannot compete with the mighty Mercedes on a race-by-race basis but the motorsport giants are always capable of winning a big Grand Prix event. Vettel is valued at 11/1 with Betway for this weekend’s race and plenty of punters will be backing a romantic home triumph for the German.
Looking away from the outright race markets, the podium finish market is always popular on race day. Currently third in the world title race, Verstappen has what it takes to finish in the top three this weekend and the Red Bull driver is arguably the top young talent in Formula One. He looks destined to win the world title at some point in the coming years…
Boyle Sports customers can back Verstappen at 4/5 to finish on the podium this weekend. He finished on the podium at the 2016 German Grand Prix and it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Verstappen celebrating on Sunday afternoon. Take that price for the Dutchman to pip one of the Ferrari drivers to that final podium place.
The German Grand Prix is always an exciting spectacle and it will be sad to see the race drop off the Formula One calendar if a deal cannot be agreed. However, we should be focused on the 2019 race for the time being and Valtteri Bottas looks primed to claim only his third win of the 2019 Formula One season.
As per usual, this looks like a straight race between the two Mercedes drivers but Bottas can get the better of Hamilton this weekend. Meanwhile, Verstappen could produce another big performance to steal the third and final podium position.
RACE WINNER: Valtteri Bottas (5/2 with Betfred)
PODIUM FINISH: Max Verstappen (4/5 with Boyle Sports)
About German GP
The first German Grand Prix took place in 1926 but it has not been an easy ride in Formula One for the event. Initially banned from taking part in international events in the post-war period, the German Grand Prix did not grace the World Championship calendar until 1951.
On four separate occasions between 1954 and 1974, the German Grand Prix was designated as the European Grand Prix – a kick in the teeth for German motorsport fans. However, the German Grand Prix has been a regular feature since 1976, with a separate European Grand Prix race also held in the country until 2007.
With so much controversy and history surrounding the German Grand Prix, it is always one of the year’s biggest draws for Formula One fans. The 2019 race should bring plenty of thrills and spills – and punters will be looking forward to watching the best drivers in the business do battle at the Hockenheimring.
Rudolf Caracciola is the most successful driver in German Grand Prix history with six wins in the 1920s and 1930s. In more modern times, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton – the two best Formula One drivers of all-time – have won four German Grand Prix races apiece and the latter will be looking to notch his fifth victory in 2019.
Hamilton has won two of the previous three Grand Prix races at the Hockenheimring and he looks set to lead Mercedes to a home success this year. Teammate Valtteri Bottas has yet to win the German Grand Prix and plenty of punters will fancy the Mercedes men to record yet another 1-2 this season.
As with most Formula One Grand Prix races, Ferrari have the most wins (22) in Germany’s showpiece event. Their last success in the German Grand Prix came back in 2012 when the legendary Fernando Alonso was driving for the team but current star Sebastian Vettel would love nothing more than to win at his home Grand Prix event.
Kimi Raikkonen holds the record for the quickest lap time during a German Grand Prix, with a blistering time of 1:13:780 at the 2004 event. With car technologies improving and helping drivers to record faster times in the present day, it is quite impressive that Raikkonen’s lap from 15 years ago remains the quickest to date at the Hockenheimring.
Looking specifically at qualifying, Sebastian Vettel set a new record for the fastest lap at the 2018 event. The German was fired up and ready to perform in front of his adoring fans and he didn’t disappoint, storming to pole position with a 1:11:212 lap. On that day, four drivers broke the 1:12:000 barrier – race conditions were absolutely perfect.
Unfortunately for Vettel, he was forced to retire on lap 51 of last year’s Grand Prix and the Ferrari driver will be hoping for better luck this year. Punters will be keen to back Vettel in the German Grand Prix odds this weekend, especially taking his 2018 speed into account. It could be a thrilling race if everything goes to plan.
Three different venues have hosted the German Grand Prix over the years. In more recent times, it has been the Hockenheimring and the Nurburgring but AVUS has historically been used to host the race. With Nurburgring pulling out of the contract in 2015, Hockenheimring has been the sole German Grand Prix venue over the last few years.
2014 was a good year for German motorsport fans. Nico Rosberg became the first German driver to win the German Grand Prix in a German car for 75 years – a real milestone for fans across the country. Unfortunately for Rosberg, he fell short in his pursuit of the Formula One world title on that occasion but he only had to wait two more years for his maiden crown.
The Hockenheimring tends to favour drivers starting from pole position. In the race’s long history, the polesitter has always finished on the podium OR has failed to finish the race, with Keke Rosberg (1986) and Nico Rosberg (2016) the only German Grand Prix exceptions.
The future of the German Grand Prix looks very bleak indeed. A one-year deal was agreed to keep the Hockenheimring race on the Formula One calendar in 2019 but reports claim that the German event is in direct competition with Mexico and Spain for the final slot in 2020 and beyond.
Older F1 followers will be hoping that the German Grand Prix organisers can strike a deal to keep the event on the calendar but money talks and it looks like the Hockenheimring race is struggling for finances. An exciting race in 2019 could be enough to tempt Formula One bosses to agree to a lower contract but turning down lucrative offers from Mexico and Spain will be very difficult.