"Euripides: Chance fights ever on the side of the prudent."
We're at Hockenheim, which alternates with the Nurburgring as the German Grand Prix venue. However, the latter circuit might end up going bust and Hockenheim may end up as the sole German racetrack in F1.
The tyres this weekend are soft and medium.
P1 was a mostly soggy affair, which didn't yield too much info of use. However, there is some suggestion that Lotus might have a Mercedes-style double DRS which could give them an edge in qualifying, as well as increasing (possibly) their ease of overtaking in the race. Alguesuari reckoned the Mercedes, especially Schumacher looked pretty good on both tyres. The order was: Button, Hamilton, Alonso, Schumacher, Perez, Hulkenberg, Rosberg, Massa, Maldonado, Grosjean.
P2 was even wetter, so the times are probably of even less value, but here we are: Maldonado was fastest followed by Rosberg, Vettel, Perez and Grosjean. The 6-10 slots were filled by Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Button, Webber and Raikkonen.
Lotus confirmed they had a swanky new aerodynamic device, possibly like the Mercedes super-DRS but said they wouldn't be using it in the race. However, it may make an appearance at Hungary, next weekend:
We also learnt that the McLaren drivers weren't singing in the rain, which could prove of value if the qualifying forecast is wet:
P3 was mostly dry, thankfully. Alonso, Hamilton, Perez, Raikkonen, Webber, Vettel, Maldonado, Massa, Kobayashi, Senna. Button was dead last.
Webber and Rosberg both have five place grid penalties for gearbox changes, and Pic has a 10 place penalty for changing an engine. Pretty high record of gearbox changes this year.
It seems that qualifying is likely to be affected, at least partly, by rain. This shouldn't bother Red Bull, Ferrari or Sauber but McLaren may be adversely affected.
Given that, I feel more comfortable betting against drivers than for them (rain means that calling a pole-sitter is even harder than usual). Sadly the 1.23 to lay Grosjean to reach Q3 (he is, in my view, likely to be just on the cusp) has disappeared and 1.4 is not generous enough.
After some agonising I've decided to back (half-stakes each) Webber at 9.2 and Alonso at 6.2 for fastest qualifying time (hedges set up at 2.5 and 2 respectively). As usual in this case this counts as a single tip. My reasoning is thus: both were fast and very tightly matched at Silverstone qualifying (also wet) last weekend. They're also both likely to be competitive if it's bone dry. And, Alonso was very close to getting pole in 2010.
Should be an exciting qualifying session. Let's hope it's profitable too.