F1 2013

Countdown – 2013 German Grand Prix

  • ALONSO – Ferrari strategy a ‘gamble’ 
  • BUTTON – Could start on soft tyres
  • HAMILTON – ‘Beware of Red Bull’
  • ROSBERG – 11th ‘difficult to digest’

Fernando Alonso has allayed expectation that Ferrari’s decision to run only on the medium compound Pirelli tyres in yesterday’s qualifying session for the German Grand Prix will result in any significant performance advantage at the start of the race.

“It is not clear which strategy is best.” said the Spaniard ahead of the race.

“But, whatever the strategy, if you are fast you will be on the podium, and if you are not, you won’t be. We are quite happy with the car coming back to a good level of competitiveness [during the race] and we feel a little bit more optimistic.”

Jenson Button has also sounded a note of caution to McLaren fans after he dragged the troublesome MP4/28 into Q3. After electing not to run to save tyres for the race, the Briton said it was not a given that he would be starting on the medium compound tyres like the Ferrari’s ahead of him:

“We will look at the benefits of both tyres tomorrow.” claimed the 2009 World Champion post-qualifying.

“Normally when you don’t run in Q3 everyone things you’re going to put the prime tyre on, but that’s not necessarily the case. With an option tyre if you do three less laps it can make a big difference in the race if you start on a new one. So we’ve got a lot of things to weigh-up this evening and decide.”

After his last-ditch effort to net pole position at the Nurburgring, Lewis Hamilton has conceded he has not got the job done just yet; with two Red Bull’s starting alongside and behind him, he says he’ll be hard-pressed to maintain his advantage.

“I anticipate they will both be strong. Of course it will help if we can get into Turn One in the lead and try to hold them behind. We have degradation issues but I don’t think it’s impossible.”

Nico Rosberg was denied the chance to fight it out with Hamilton for pole position after a mistake by his team in Q2 left him in the garage when the chequered flag came out, and stranded down in 11th. Despite the ability to choose his tyre compound for the race, the German was not impressed by Mercedes’ mishap.

“For sure the team underestimated so it didn’t really work out.” said an ashen-faced Rosberg.

“It’s a big disappointment because I didn’t see that coming. I thought it would be easy to be on the front-row so it is tough to digest.”

The 2013 German Grand Prix will start at at 13:00GMT, and will be shown live on SkySportsF1HD, with live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live. BBC One will carry highlights after the Murray – Djokovic Wimbledon Men’s Final, scheduled for 18:00GMT.

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