Mercedes aiming for strong performance during home GP at Hockenheim
By Berthold Bouman
Mercedes is eying a strong performance during their home Grand Prix at the German Hockenheimring this weekend. “As the Mercedes-Benz works team, the weekend is always a special one for our team,“ Team Principal Ross Brawn said.
The Silver Arrows team is working hard on a more consistent performance, and Brawn commented, “Our performance has been up and down recently, ranging from podiums to lower points finishes, and we need to work hard to improve our level of consistency and ability to challenge at the front of the field.”
Seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher is looking forward to his home Grand Prix, “People often ask me whether there is any such thing as a home advantage in such an international sport as ours and my answer is: perhaps not a home advantage, but certainly a home-race feeling. As a German driver, you naturally have a different sense of excitement when you arrive at the German Grand Prix and know that all the spectators in the grandstands are supporting you!”
About the prospects for the German fans he declared, “Hopefully we will see a lot of Mercedes colleagues in the grandstands, and we want to do particularly well for them. We have set ourselves the clear target of giving everybody a reason to celebrate next weekend.”
For Nico Rosberg, Hockenheim is a special place, “I was born in Wiesbaden, near Hockenheim, and I have really good memories of the previous Hockenheim races. Before my Formula One career, I won quite often at this circuit, and I will never forget my father’s last DTM race in 1995. I joined him on the roof of his car driving through the Motodrom — and that was the moment when I thought to myself “How cool is that?!” and decided to become a racing driver like him.”
Just like Schumacher, Rosberg also wants a good result in front of a home crown and added, “I think our car should suit this track much better than Silverstone. Hockenheim has long straights and short corners, which will be good for the Silver Arrow.”
Mercedes Motorsport Director Norbert Haug agrees with Rosberg and thinks the F1 W03 will perform better at Hockenheim, “Hockenheim sets quite a different challenge to Silverstone. The circuit has just two very high-speed corners and the majority are medium-speed.”
He further describes the technical challenges of Hockenheim, “Good braking stability and excellent traction are required in the Spitzkehre at the far end of the circuit, which then leads into the spectacular sequence in front of the Mercedes Grandstand.”
And he added, “Following its introduction last year, DRS is being used at this circuit for the first time and it can be deployed for over half the lap in qualifying. What’s more, it is certain to further increase the number of overtaking moves in the race, which will be good for the fans and help make the race even more exciting.”
Mercedes is currently fifth in the Constructors’ Championship with 98 points, 44 points behind the number five, McLaren. Rosberg is sixth in the Drivers’ Championship with 75 points, while Schumacher is on a disappointing 12th position with 23 points.
111 Reason to be in Hockenheim this year
And an important figure for Mercedes-Benz this year! Nico’s win in China was his 111th race in Formula One, it was Mercedes’ 111th win in an official Grand Prix and it happened… in the year we celebrate 111 years of Mercedes motorsport! Come and celebrate this with us at the 2012 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim – the Silver Arrows’ home race!