Brawn start favourites
Just as Sebastien Vettel spoiled the hopes of the Jenson Button fans at Silverstone, I suspect Nurburgring's medium speed corners may better suit the Brawn chassis than Red Bull, writes Steve Slater on the German GP.india Updated: Jul 10, 2009 00:06 IST
After a British Grand Prix which was overshadowed by politics off the track, I was looking forward to Formula One getting back to business as usual at the German Grand Prix this weekend. But unfortunately, the issue has been re-ignited.
Despite all of this, I think the atmosphere in Nurburgring, the venue of the race, is terrific. Even a week before the race the camper vans containing vast quantities of pilsner beer and wurst sausages have been arriving in the campsites in the woods around the track. This is the start of the holiday season in Germany and it could be that their vacation may start on a high note with a German race winner.
Just as British fans, hoping for a Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button victory, packed the grandstands at Silverstone, the thought of a likely 'home hero' race winner in Sebastien Vettel might make the Nurburgring race a sell-out for the first time in recent years.
Not since Michael Schumacher bowed out in 2006 with his fifth victory at the Nurburgring, has there been German challenger for the top spot here.
Nick Heidfeld came close, finishing second at Nurburgring in 2005. This year he has been hobbled by his ill-handling BMW and paddock rumours have already hinted that he might be eying a switch from the team next year.
However just as Sebastien Vettel spoiled the hopes of the Jenson Button fans at Silverstone, I suspect Nurburgring's medium speed corners may better suit the Brawn chassis than Red Bull.
A week ago at a media event in Mumbai, I got into some hot water for suggesting that Sutil isn't aggressive enough in the Force India car. However I'll stick to my guns.
Adrian Sutil is in my opinion one of the good guys in the Formula One paddock. Both he and Giancarlo Fisichella are a joy to watch on the track: fast, fluid, accurate. But are they race winners? Perhaps Force India need their current skill-set more than a brutal aggression at the moment. However, when attacking style is needed it will interesting to see whether either Force India driver will deliver. If they do, I'll be the first to salute it!
(Steve Slater is a renowned F1 commentator with ESPN STAR Sports)