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2018-07-22 12:10

Michelle Foster

Image: AFP

After a brief break, Formula 1 returns with the German Grand Prix, where Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton will again lock horns in the title race.

For Vettel, it is a home Grand Prix and he wants revenge after 2016’s lacklustre outing. Hamilton wants revenge for Silverstone.

Last time at Silverstone, Hamilton’s home race, the Mercedes driver was tagged and spun by Kimi Räikkönen, falling from third to 18th.

He put in a storming drive to recover to second, but lost points to Vettel, who briefly battled the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas for the win. Räikkönen was third, while Bottas’ tyres dropped him to fourth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

It was a thrilling race with safety cars, big crashes, a great battle for the remaining points with seven drivers fighting for five positions, and controversy at the end as Hamilton, who has subsequently retracted his statement, accused Ferrari of using “interesting tactics”.

Here’s hoping for a repeat today because the last time Formula 1 raced at the Hockenheimring, Germany’s sole remaining F1 track failed to set the stage alight.

Hamilton won after an early pass on Nico Rosberg. Red Bull’s 2-3 was decided by strategy, Rosberg’s fourth by the stewards, and Vettel and Ferrari’s floundering form continued, leaving him wanting more, and better, this afternoon.

Mercedes won the last two editions of the German GP, but this year’s campaign has thrown the form book out of the window.

Ferrari may have the best engine this year, if you listen to Red Bull, and Mercedes may be “vulnerable”, again, if you listen to Red Bull. This has put Ferrari into the lead in both championships, with Vettel eight points ahead of Hamilton and Ferrari 20 points up on Mercedes in the Constructors’ race.

Red Bull are there and thereabout. With three wins, they are equal with Ferrari and Mercedes. The difference is both Red Bull drivers have won, while only Vettel has won for Ferrari and Hamilton for Mercedes.

The Milton Keynes squad will be looking forward to the German GP after a double podium in 2016. Well, Max Verstappen will.

His team mate Ricciardo will most likely take engine penalties because in “Hockenheim, you can overtake, so we will probably install the new engine there”, the Aussie revealed.

With Ricciardo showing overtaking prowess this season, he could be a main highlight this afternoon.

With a midfield billed as “tighter and tighter”, that could be where the best battles unfold this weekend.

Renault wants to maintain their advantage in the B-championship. Haas will look to stay out of the barriers and McLaren wants a qualifying improvement.

A layout from the classics, a controversy hangover and a championship battle in which both want revenge. F1 has handed Hockenheim all the ingredients, so now it needs to deliver.

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