Although it wasn’t the result I wanted in the end, my weekend in Silverstone was really encouraging in a lot of ways. As a team we made all the right calls in a difficult qualifying session and the balance of the car felt very strong until unfortunately I was forced to retire. It was a real shame, but with the new regulations we are always going to be pushing the boundaries and I know how hard the team is pushing to give us the best car out there every weekend. I lost a lot of points and the Championship battle is very close, but I’m feeling good. From the test last week we’re straight into the next race and another chance to regain the momentum, which is of course my target. Hockenheim is a crucial race for all of us. It’s the home Grand Prix for Mercedes-Benz and a second home race for me after Monaco, so I’m really focused on getting a top result this weekend. It’s actually the circuit I’ve won the most races at during my career through all the junior categories, so I know it suits my driving style. Of course, I would love to add Formula One to that list sometime soon! I’ve always had good support from the German spectators. They’re really enthusiastic and it’s almost like a tradition to take the family on a camping weekend for the Grand Prix so I’m looking forward to gunning for a good result in front of the crowds.
Hockenheim: In the Cockpit with Nico
I’ve always enjoyed racing at Hockenheim. Even since the section through the forest was removed, it’s still been a really great track layout and has produced some great racing. There’s always a lot of action and also a few incidents – especially down at the hairpin after the long straight, which is ideal for overtaking – so it’s exciting for the fans. If you look back to Austria, which is quite a similar layout, our car was strong through the high-speed first sector there, so hopefully it will be the same again here.
Then, of course, there’s the legendary stadium section – the old part of the circuit – where you come flying in at high speed over the kerb at Turn 12, run wide over the artificial grass and you’re hard into a really tight, twisty sequence of corners. The Sachs Kurve (Turn 13) in particular is really unusual in that it’s steeply banked. It’s so easy to lock up a front wheel trough there but also really nice to drive as you can really carry the speed through the corner. The great thing about this section is that the crowds are right on top of you. It’s so enclosed and you can really feel the atmosphere all around you.