F1 2012 German Grand Prix: Hamilton and Button to challenge at Hockenheim

McLaren F1 driver Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the 2012 Grand Prix of Germany at a wet Hockenheim [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

McLaren F1 driver Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the 2012 Grand Prix of Germany at a wet Hockenheim [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

HOCH ZWEI

LEWIS Hamilton's team boss feels both McLaren drivers can challenge for decent points in today's 2012 Grand Prix of Germany, despite poor qualifying results in the rain at Hockenheim.

The 2012 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim

* Race distance: 67 laps (190.414 miles/306.458km)

* Start time: 14:00 (local)/13:00 GMT

* Circuit length: 2.842 miles/4.574km

* 2010 winner: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 67 laps in 1hr27m38.864s (209.788km/h)

* 2010 pole: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 1m13.791s (223.149km/h)

* Lap record: Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren Mercedes MP4-19) 1m13.780s (223.182km/h)

Jenson Button qualified seventh at Hockenheim yesterday (Saturday), with Hertfordshire-born Hamilton eighth.

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes pair will both start the race – Hamilton’s 100th F1 grand prix – from one place further up the grid, in sixth and seventh respectively, due to Mark Webber’s five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh admitted they weren’t competitive in the rain during qualifying in Germany but expects a better performance in the grand prix itself, with conditions dry at the Hockenheim circuit today (Sunday).

Whitmarsh said after qualifying: “The bad news is that we weren’t quick enough in Q3’s wet conditions; but the good news is that the dry pace of our car appears to be very good.

Lewis Hamilton driving in the wet during qualifying for the 2012 Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheim [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]Lewis Hamilton driving in the wet during qualifying for the 2012 Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheim [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

“It’s looking dry for tomorrow [Sunday], it’s going to be a long race and we have two great racing drivers, so we’re optimistic of getting a decent result.”

He added: “Jenson and Lewis struggled in the wet, despite being very quick in the dry.

“Naturally, I’d rather start a few rows further forward, but as has been shown many times this year, you can win from further back.

“Fortunately, with our car looking more competitive in the dry, I’m confident that both drivers will do a good job tomorrow.”

Jenson Button in the pits during qualifying for the 2012 Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheim [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]Jenson Button in the pits during qualifying for the 2012 Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheim [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

Button said: “We’ve got to sort out these issues with the tyre temperatures because it’s hurting us both – and that makes it a very difficult day in the office for us.”

The 2012 German Grand Prix starts at 1pm on Sunday.

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