The character of Hockenheim was irreversibly changed when the track was redesigned in 2002. Gone are the flat-out blasts through the forest that characterised the old track, replaced by a tamer and more benign track that is two kilometres shorter. However, the new Hermann Tilke-designed circuit at least produces some good racing, with turns 6 and 8 producing the best of the action. The most interesting section of the lap is in the Stadium towards the end of the lap. The corners are cambered, making them deceptively fast, and the atmosphere is electric on race day when the grandstands are full. After all, the Germans love their patriotic flags and air horns! This race takes on extra significance for Williams in 2014 because it's the home event of our engine partner Mercedes-Benz. A good result would be even more rewarding for everyone in the team.
Rob Smedley: "We haven't been to Hockenheim for two years as a team because you alternate the tracks in Germany but I think that it can be a good track for us. It's like Silverstone in the way that it's quite an efficient track. There's good power sensitivity with the long straights which will be good for us. In terms of tyres, we will use both soft and super-soft. It's often cold and rainy as it was during qualifying last time we went there in 2012, alternatively, it can be really hot and that can affect the rear tyres, meaning you must keep both temperatures and graining under control. That is our key focus going into the race weekend, and we hope to come out with more good points."
Valtteri Bottas: "Hockenheim is a great race, the fans are very passionate and a lot of people come to watch. Overtaking is possible so good racing is expected. I think it should be a circuit that suits our car; the old circuit would have been perfect. I hope we can continue the good form we have had in the last three races and I am looking forward to a good weekend and some more points."
Felipe Massa: "Germany is a good track as you can overtake easier than some places as the straight is long and you can use the DRS to get past. The track demands good downforce, especially the last sector so we have been working to improve that. We have been building on what is a good car, so I am confident that we can continue the moment and have a good performance."