The 2013 German GP preview: Everything you need to know about this weekend's race!

Who will triumph at the Nurburgring as the title battle hots up?

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 04/07/13 11:52am

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F1 touches down in Germany for round nine this weekend

F1 touches down in Germany for round nine this weekend

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

With exploding tyres still very much on the forefront of everyone's minds, Formula 1 heads to the historic Nurburgring in the heart of the Eifel mountains for the German GP.

As part of its race-share agreement with Hockenheim, the famous old venue returns for the first time since 2011 and coincides with what is undoubtedly home favourites Mercedes' first realistic chance to claim a first home win as a team owner in nearly half a century.

So read on as Sky Sports Online provides your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about this weekend's event...

The 2013 German GP in a nutshell

Track: Nurburgring. Permanent track.

Race start time: 1pm UK time Sunday (2pm local).

Laps: 60.

Track length: 5.148km.

Tyre allocation: Soft (yellow) and medium (white).

DRS Zones: Two - Pit-straight and between turns 12 and 13, with separate detection points.

Driver steward: Emanuele Pirro.

Lap record: Michael Schumacher - 1:29.468 (Ferrari; 2004).

2011 pole: Mark Webber - 1:30.079 (Red Bull).

Sky Sports F1's schedule

Tuesday 2nd July
8pm - Classic F1 - 1993 German GP Highlights.
9pm - Classic F1 - 2000 German GP.

Wednesday 3rd July
7pm - F1 Midweek Report.
8pm - Classic F1 - 2005 German GP.
10pm - Classic F1 - 2009 German GP.

Thursday 4th July
2pm - Drivers' Press Conference - Live!
7:45pm - Gear up for Germany.
8pm - Classic F1 - Germany 2011.
10pm - German GP 2012 Highlights.

Friday 5th July
8:45am - German GP Practice One - Live!
11am - GP2 Practice - Live!
12:45pm - German GP Practice Two - Live!
2:50pm - GP2 Qualifying - Live!
4:15pm - Team Principals' Press Conference.
5pm - The F1 Show - Live!
6pm - Classic F1 - 1993 German GP Highlights.
8pm - The F1 Show replay.
9pm - German GP Practice One replay.
11:15pm - German GP Practice Two replay.

Saturday 6th July
8:45am - GP3 Qualifying - Live!
9:45am - German GP Practice Three - Live!
12pm - German GP Qualifying - Live!
2:35pm - GP2 Feature Race - Live!
4:15pm - GP3 Race One - Live!
5:15pm - Classic F1 - 2005 German GP.
7:15pm - German GP Qualifying replay.

Sunday 7th July
8:20am - GP3 Race Two - Live!
9:30am - GP2 Sprint Race - Live!
11:30am - The 2013 German GP - Live!
4pm - Architects of F1 - Gordon Murray.

Form guide

With the Nurburgring race only a biennial event these days, only three active drivers have actually won at the medium-speed circuit - Fernando Alonso (twice), Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton.

Webber's 2009 win represented his maiden one in F1 and the Red Bull driver took pole on F1's last visit to the Eifel mountains in 2011, although Lewis Hamilton would go on to take the win for McLaren.

Interestingly, even when taking the German GP as a whole into account, no one outside of the aforementioned trio from the current grid has ever won at Hockenheim either - with Alonso also boasting two victories there, and Hamilton one.

That statistic obviously means that Germany's Sebastian Vettel has, quite astonishingly, never won on home soil - the triple World Champion's best result in five attempts a second-place to team-mate Webber in that 2009 race.

2011 Nurburgring result: 1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren); 2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 3. Mark Webbber (Red Bull); 4. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull); 5. Felipe Massa (Ferrari); 6. Adrian Sutil (Force India); 7. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 8. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes); 9. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber); 10. Vitaly Petrov (Renault).

Last five winners at the Nurburgring (includes European GP 2005-2007): 2011: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren); 2009: Mark Webber (Red Bull); 2007: Fernando Alonso (McLaren); 2006: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari); 2005: Fernando Alonso (Renault).

Tyre allocation

Pirelli will take the yellow-marked soft tyres and white-marked mediums to Germany this weekend, with both compounds set to feature revised rear Kevlar belts. The tyres will understandably be the centre of attention following the spate of failures at Silverstone and the Italian firm say these choices were made as "the tarmac roughness is very low, so plenty of mechanical grip from the tyres is required".

The main demands placed on the tyres this weekend will come from the high-speed directional changes of the Michael Schumacher S, the RTL Kurve and the Warsteiner Kurve. Once again GP2 and GP3 are on the support card, meaning they will help clean up the circuit and lay down more Pirelli rubber.

Nurburgring odds

After taking a dominant pole at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton is favourite with Sky Bet to once again be the top qualifier this weekend. However, the online bookmaker is backing home favourite Vettel to take victory on Sunday.

Here are some further selected Sky Bet odds for the weekend:
Pole position - Mark Webber (14/1).
Race Winner - Kimi Raikkonen (10/1).
Winning team - Ferrari (7/2).
Podium finish - Paul Di Resta (16/1).
First Retirement - Romain Grosjean (11/1).
Number of first-lap retirements - Exactly Three (14/1).
Race Winning Margin - Under six seconds (Evens).
Hat-trick (Pole, win, fastest lap) - Sebastian Vettel (20/1).

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