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2002 German Grand Prix 
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Main German GP Page
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New Track, new challenge!

Even though the 'stadium' section has remained on the new Hockenheim track, the long straights have been gone and with them goes the low downforce configuration of the cars. The cars will run on the new track with medium downforce configurations and at least one team will not be benefiting from the change.
Last year both Williams lined up on the front row of the grid and by a big margin to Michael Schumacher in 3rd and while Juan Pablo Montoya retired from the race, his team-mate Ralf Schumacher won it. This year while Juan Pablo Montoya might again amaze us with his qualifying ability, Ferrari will be the team to beat with McLaren possibly closer to them than Williams.

Being a new track, some drivers learn the track quicker than others so expect to see a few embarrassed drivers especially in qualifying.

Tyres will play a major role here simply because the track is new and neither tyre supplier has any data. If one of the tyre suppliers gets it more right than the other, we could see some interesting results.

As there is only a week between the French and German Grand Prix, no major testing occurred and the teams will be introducing very few modifications to their cars. 

Ferrari: They faced tough competition at France but it was from McLaren. In fact Michael won in France just because Raikkonen ran wide while leading. Having said that, had Michael not made the mistake of crossing the white line and getting penalised, he would have been in front and by a margin so Ferrari are still the team to beat.
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 9.5/10

Drivers: Michael Schumacher is the 2002 World Champion and the pressure is off, well really there was no real pressure this season. In fact now that the Drivers Championship has been decided, expect Barrichello to give Michael a run but don't expect that here. Michael is one of the best at learning new tracks. He'll be the favourite to win. 

Rubens Barrichello must be wondering why his car fails at critical times while Michael's doesn't. That aside, expect Rubens to struggle on the new track but given the superb package he has, second place is likely.

Williams: Perhaps they have designed their car for Juan Pablo Montoya to do 1 lap. Seriously, when they said that their new package will be nicer to the tyres, the car appeared to use the tyres more. Don't expect much race improvement here.. 
Reliability  9.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10

Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya has won 6 Pole positions in a row but failed to convert any of them to a win. Perhaps he needs to start from second or just try to save his tyres. A top 6 finish is likely.

Ralf Schumacher must be rattled by the superb qualifying performance of Montoya but Montoya's race results must comfort him slightly. Unless Montoya runs into trouble Ralf will finish behind him particularly on a new track as Ralf will struggle.

McLaren: Who would have thought that Kimi Raikkonen 'almost' won the French Grand Prix. They are bouncing back and they are using the Michelin tyres much better than Williams and that is what is getting them closer to Ferrari. France was only the second race this season that both drivers finished in the points. If reliability holds, expect them to do that again.
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 8.5/10

Drivers: David Coulthard is being out-qualified and out-raced by Kimi Raikkonen. Whatever he says about his future at McLaren must be questioned as surely Ron Dennis won't be happy with his performance when compared to young Kimi. He needs to watch out. At Germany, expect Coulthard to finish around 4th behind Kimi.

Kimi Raikkonen almost won the French GP and will be determined to get his first win as soon as he can. He is a very quick learner and will surprise a few with his lap times compared to much more experienced drivers. If his car lasts a podium finish is possible and if he gets lucky he could win!

Renault: At France they were 4th, not better and not worse. That won't change in a week. Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 8.0/10

Drivers: Jenson Button is leaving Renault to BAR, the pressure is off and he will perform exceptionally for the rest of the season. At Hockenheim in particular he will get the better of Trulli. A top 6 finish if any of the top teams struggle.

Jarno Trulli retired from the French Grand Prix with an engine failure and while his qualifying performance at Magny-Cours wasn't very impressive, he seems to have bad luck in races with 7 retirements (out of 11 races) so far this season. Like Button he'll finish in the points if any of the top teams struggle.

Sauber: They are slipping back from Renault and the 2 Honda runners as well as Jaguar are catching them. They will be struggling for the remainder of the season and they'll be lucky to pick a point. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10

Drivers: Nick Heidfeld will be fighting with the drivers from Jordan and BAR for a top 10 finish. It will be very hard and very lucky to score points here. 

Felipe Massa will be another one of those drivers to impress in adapting to the track. He needs to cool down though and make less mistakes if he is to achieve a good result and stay in Formula 1.
A top 10 is possible.

Jordan: Had the unfortunate incident with Fisichella in practice at Magny Cours. That affected them badly and all the pressure fell on Sato to perform. Well he spun!.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 7.5/10

Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella should be fit to race at Hockenheim. He finished in 4th here last year in the Benetton but that was due to many of the top drivers retiring. That will be unlikely this time around and points finish will be unlikely too. A top 10 finish is possible.

Takuma Sato spinning at Magny-Cours won't help his chances of staying in Formula 1. In fact I'll be surprised if Eddie Jordan isn't talking with other drivers to replace him at the moment. He'll finish in the top 10 if the attrition rate is high. 

BAR: After scoring 5 points in one race, both drivers retire. In any case they struggled all weekend at Magny-Cours and don't expect them to shape much better here.
Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10

Drivers: Jacques Villeneuve retired with a blown engine at Magny-Cours gambling with an untested Honda unit. He must have been desperate. A top 10 is likely but points almost impossible.

Olivier Panis must be wondering were he'll be next year. It doesn't appear as if a deal has been done so the pressure is on and with an unreliable car, you can't look too good. A top 10 finish is possible.

Jaguar: Surprisingly they were reasonably fast at Magny-Cours. Irvine qualified in 8th and that is a lot different from 18th!. The new package could be a big step forward afterall!
Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 7.0/10

Drivers: Eddie Irvine did very well putting the Jaguar on the 4th row of the gird at Magny-Cours. He could qualify in the top 10 again here and if his car lasts he could challenge for points.

Pedro de la Rosa had another bad qualifying session at Magny-Cours but this time it wasn't his fault. However, he finished the race behind a Minardi and that isn't good. He is still under a lot of pressure. Top 10 possible. 

Minardi: The car is below average but Mark Webber is stunning. Finishing the Minardi in 8th at Magny-Cours is simply superb. The high attrition rate helped though and it is unlikely that we'll see a repeat here.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 6.0/10

Drivers: Mark Webber drove a stunning race at Magny-Cours and that will make him wanted by other teams even more. He'll extract the best he could out of the Minardi but unless a number of cars in front retire, he won't make the top 10.

Alex Yoong managed to qualify at Magny-Cours and that must have been a relief. He even finished in 10th in the race but he was 4 laps down! (his team-mate Webber finished 8th but was only a lap down!). He is more likely to qualify on this track that not but even if he does and manages to finish he'll be a few laps down.

Toyota: Another double retirement from Toyota. They have managed just 1 finish out of the last 5 attempts. They would want to do better at their 'home' Grand Prix (the team is based in Germany) but given the recent poor results, don't expect any nice surprises.
Reliability 5.0/10 - Speed 6.5/10

Drivers: Mika Salo even struggled in qualifying at Magny-Cours. It will be another hard race for him. If his car lasts he may be able to challenge for a top 10 finish.

Allan McNish cannot show if he is improving or not if his car isn't lasting!.
He desperately needs to perform well but it will be tough.

Arrows: After their financial problems in France, don't expect them to race here. A week is way too short in the financial world. Even if they do, the distractions they've had over the last few week will hurt them.
Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 7.0/10

Drivers: Heinz Harald Frentzen If he is allowed to race, he'll try his best as always and could make it into the top 10.

Enrique Bernoldi in the same situation as Frentzen but will find it harder as this is a new track. A top 10 finish is unlikely.

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Session 2002 2001
First Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
First Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Qualifying Results Report Notes Results
Warm-up Results Report Notes Results
Race Results Report Notes Results

What the teams and drivers said
Friday - Saturday - Sunday

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