Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

And the most disappointed German driver is... // Four drivers have very mixed results so far in 2016

Published by Anna Duxbury

Although still the most represented nationality on the grid, it is hard not to notice that things aren’t going terribly well for the Germans at the moment.

They might inhabit two of the most sought after race seats on the grid and have a combined twenty two and a half years of F1 experience but the drivers seem to be competing to have the most dissatisfying season.

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg

After an impressive run of wins at the beginning of 2016 it seemed Rosberg would waltz away with the title without the slightest bit of competition. However Hamilton’s return to form coupled with a bit of a wobble from Rosberg in recent races has resulted in his lead being demolished.

It appears that desperation is creeping in as the Mercedes pair increasingly clash, caused by Rosberg attempting to prove that he is just as hard a racer as his teammate.

It looks like the title is just out of Rosberg’s reach once again and that 2016 will be just as demoralising a year as the last two for the German.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

2015 must have been like something out of a fairytale for Sebastian Vettel. Resplendent in red and away from the safety blanket of Red Bull he had crafted a team around himself and begun to recover his lost form. 2014 became a half forgotten nightmare for both him and the team as they once again climbed on to the top step of the podium.

However fast forward to 2016 and the Ferrari revival seems to have stalled. No wins, no glory, not even the main challenger to Mercedes. After an unlucky start to the season Vettel is behind the Red Bull of his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo and is struggling to consistently out-score his elderly teammate.

Nico Hülkenberg

Nico Hülkenberg

After five years in the sport Hülkenberg is in danger of becoming a part of the midfield furniture. He’s good - Force India must be content to have had him for such a long time - and has been mentioned in rumours for countless seats although he always was second choice.

He’s solid, reliable, just not that spectacular.

It seems inconceivable that he has not yet managed to score his first podium in Formula One but it's an undeniable fact. Pérez’s run of impressive results is only serving to further tarnish Hülkenberg’s reputation and with each influx of new Max Verstappens and Carlos Sainzs his chances of a move to a big team seem more and more slim.

Pascal Wehrlein

Pascal Wehrlein

A points finish in Austria means that the Manor driver probably isn’t the most disappointed German on the grid. He came into the sport as a much anticipated champion in the making, a Mercedes prodigy given a year’s apprenticeship at a bottom team. However he has on occasion been out-qualified by his somewhat less highly regarded teammate whose main role was to bolster Manor’s finances (Sorry Rio!).

With a new teammate who carries expectations as heavy as his own the second half of Wehrlein’s season may be tougher than the first. And with half the grid prepared to join the scrum for a Mercedes drive when one becomes available the prospect of jumping into a Mercedes anytime soon is looking distant.

Overall, although it’s a tough choice, it’s hard not to conclude that Vettel is having the toughest start to 2016. With four world titles under his belt he has high expectations for himself and this freshly revived Ferrari. Fourth in the championship is not good enough for either of them and if things don’t improve soon more heads are going to roll than just James Allison. But the most disappointed Germans of them all might be the fans, if the Nürburgring can’t pull itself together and guarantee a German GP in 2017.