It’s not the ideal news to get during your summer break, but Rio Haryanto has had to accept a demotion to reserve driver at the Manor Racing team. The squad confirmed they were terminating their contract with the Indonesian driver after his sponsors failed to come through with the funds required to keep his seat. In an effort not to destroy the racer’s dreams, Manor offered him a reserve driver role, which he has accepted.
Daniel Ricciardo might have had a good week out on track, finishing the German Grand Prix on the podium, but on the rankings table, things haven't gone so well. The Australian has lost his lead and dropped way back. On the flip side, Nico Rosberg didn't have the best weekend for his home race, but has inherited the lead of the rankings chart just in time for the summer break!
The race at Hockenheim began with Nico Rosberg on pole position but the German didn’t put on a good show for his fans at the start, getting swamped off the grid and dropping back to fourth. He later took the fight to the Red Bulls that had gotten ahead of him, participating in a close tussle with Max Verstappen that resulted in the Red Bull running off track. Rosberg was handed a five second penalty for that one, and ended up finishing in fourth place.
Nico Rosberg secured pole position for the German Grand Prix, pipping Lewis Hamilton to the post on the final flying laps. Rosberg was under pressure, as he had been forced to give up his first timed lap in Q3 due to an electronic problem, the Mercedes crew hurriedly giving the car the once over in the garage. Nico scooped provisional pole on his second attempt, and although Lewis crossed the line after his teammate, he didn’t quite have enough to snatch the position back.
Mercedes were on another level in both practice sessions ahead of the German Grand Prix, with Nico Rosberg leading Lewis Hamilton in the morning and the afternoon. Sebastian Vettel was third fastest but couldn’t keep up with the leading pair.
After an ever-increasing clamp down on what is and isn’t allowed to be said to drivers over the radio from the pit wall, the German Grand Prix looks set to be a free-for-all in terms of radio traffic. The Strategy Group have met in Geneva and agreed to relieve the pressure on the pit wall allowing them to say whatever they like.
The summer break is just around the corner but before we get there we've got one more event to bring this bumper section of calendar to a conclusion. With five races in six weeks, it's no surprise that everyone in F1 is tired and could do with a rest, but there's no chance of that this weekend with the challenge of Hockenheim rearing up ahead of them. There was no German Grand Prix last year, so it's a chance for the German fans to get up close and personal with F1 2016.
James Allison, technical director at Ferrari, has left the team with immediate effect, after three years spent in the red shirts. Allison joined midway through 2013 after a successful period with Lotus Renault, and helped the Scuderia regain the ability to win races, but recent results have not been as good as anticipated. He had signed a contract extension until 2018 but has now split from the squad.
Back to back racing is starting to tell on our boys in the overalls, they're all going a little bit crazy if the post-race videos are anything to go by. This week there are points for sharing insight into the madness, as well as for doing a mediocre job answering F1's quiz questions, and for posting some amusing if confusing skits.
Far from the washout of qualifying, the Hungaroring was basking in soaring temperatures on race day. Nico Rosberg lost out from pole position off the start line, with Hamilton moving into first and Ricciardo briefly getting into second before dropping back again. Jenson Button suffered some kind of brake failure, lost all his pace, was told to retire the car and then instructed to stay out.
We were anticipating something good after a mixed up qualifying due to rain. However, the clouds stayed away today leaving us with a more traditional Hungarian Grand Prix. There were some strategy calls to watch out for, and plenty of tense fighting, but overtaking is notoriously difficult so the results were more down to luck and keeping your head down than anything else.
Qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix suffered a delayed start due to a sudden and unexpected downpour. When the action did get underway, there was five minutes of running before the session was red flagged as it was just too wet. After another delay, there were three more red flags, due to Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Massa and Rio Haryanto all spinning out.
If you were hoping for a straight forward qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, then you would have been disappointed with what was delivered. The heavens opened and rain poured down to mix up the order and bring out multiple red flags during the first session. If you were looking for something chaotic and unpredictable, then what unfolded during the three knockout sessions would have been right up your street.
Nico Rosberg's future was never really in doubt, but Mercedes have made it official and given the German driver and current championship leader a two year contract extension. The deal will see him remain at the team until the end of 2018, bringing him level with teammate Lewis Hamilton's contract which was confirmed last year.
Lewis Hamilton was the fastest driver on track for the first practice session on Friday in Hungary, but the second session caught him out. The day started on intermediate tyres, after overnight rain, but the track soon dried out to give Hamilton the lead from teammate Rosberg. Sauber were running a new front wing, whilst Friday drivers Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon were back in the Haas and Renault respectively.
In the midst of this bumper section of the 2016 calendar, it feels odd to have had a two-week gap to play with ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. However, the sport is back this weekend and all the drivers are ready to get stuck in to make the most of the two races they have left before the summer break. It's all to play for at the top of the table, and there's some great scraps happening in the middle of the field as well. How will it all play out in Hungary?
The Sauber team have been looking for solid long-term investment for several years now and they’ve finally found a solution that will help them keep the Swiss team on the grid for the foreseeable future. The Sauber Group has been fully acquired by Longbow Finance S.A. with the name Sauber expected to stay, Peter Sauber himself set to retire, but Monisha Kaltenborn to continue on in her role as chief executive officer and team principal.
This week, esteemed Formula One journalist Joe Saward wrote a post evaluating whether the technology giant Apple could be interested in purchasing a stake in F1, or perhaps picking up some very handy streaming rights. The idea seems unlikely on the surface, but when first mooted it also seemed preposterous that Apple would buy Beats Electronics and look how that turned out.
The British Grand Prix was a great weekend of action, and although we are in the midst of an insanely busy period of F1 racing, it feels odd not to be prepping to see what the next installment brings this weekend. Instead, we'll focus on some of the great and the good from around the web, starting with a little bit of the technical side of things.
Mid-season testing has been completed at the Silverstone circuit following the British Grand Prix this past weekend, with McLaren leading the first day. Alonso was one of two drivers to complete over 100 laps, the other being Esteban Ocon in the Mercedes. There was one odd red flag moment in the morning when high winds knocked a piece of wood loose from the starting gantry, which fell onto the track, but thankfully no cars were near the incident.