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Heavy rain at Hockenheim practice sessions.

Free Practice Results
        FP1
FP2
1st
Button
Maldonado
2nd
Hamilton
Rosberg
3rd
Alonso
Vettel
4th
Schumacher
Perez
5th
Perez
Grosjean
6th
Hulkenberg
Hulkenberg
6th
Rosberg
Ricciardo
8th
Massa
Button
9th
Maldonado
Webber
10th
Grosjean
Raikkonen
11th
Kobayashi
Vergne
12th
Vettel
Massa
13th
Bottas
Kobayashi
14th
Ricciardo
Pic
15th
Raikkonen
Glock
16th
Bianchi
Senna
17th
Vergne
Kovalainen
18th
Petrov
di Resta
19th
Kovalainen
Hamilton
20th
Webber
Alonso
21nd
Pic
Petrov
22nd
Glock
Karthikeyan
23rd
de la Rosa
Schumacher
24th
Clos
de la Rossa

With rain interrupting both practise sessions they only provided limited information about driver potential this weekend. The drenched FP2 can largely be written off, the fastest time was 11 seconds slower than FP1 but the sections of clear running in FP1 has some interesting hints. Button topping the first session with Hamilton close behind is the major surprise. After their recent poor performance, the upgrade package brought to Hockenheim seems to have paid off. Hamilton still looks good for pole with Vettel off the pace during dry running. Button still has high odds after his poor performance but if the upgrades have restored his competitive edge substantial money could be made on a victory at 13/1 (14.00) from StanJames or a podium at 5/1 (6/00) from Ladbrokes. Alonso came 3rd, keeping up the pace of recent races. Pole is unlikely for the Spaniard but he will look to continue his challenges for victory. Red Bull came 12th and 20th but they are just hiding their pace and only FP3 will give information about their potential.

Schumacher timed 4th and Rosberg 7th suggesting they will challenge for a podium and certainly a top six position. Both have 3/2 (2.50) from Bet 365. Perez came 5th, looking very good for a high pay off bet on a podium since likely high tire degradation will work to his advantage, with odds of 32/1 (33.00) from Ladbrokes. Lotus have brought an experimental DRS system but never had much opportunity to test it in FP1. It is unknown if they will use it this race but if they do focus on Lotus for live betting: they usually do better in the race than qualifying and with an experimental system to boot they may pull some surprises if it works.

Odds above accurate at Friday 20th, 18.41 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © nic_r

The 10th Race of 2012, German Grand Prix at Hockenheim

Previous Winners
2011
Nurburgring
2010
Alonso
2009
Nurburgring
2008
Hamilton
2007
Nurburgring
2006
Schumacher
2005
Alonso
2004
Schumacher
2003
Montoya
2002
Schumacher

The German GP alternates each year between Hockenheim and Nurbergring. F1 last visited Hockenheim back in 2010, so there is much less data about past performances than usual. The 2010 race was dominated by Ferrari with Vettel 3rd and the McLarens after him. Alonso and Hamilton have won twice here but no other current driver than Schumucher has been victorious here.

Hockenheim is a high speed course so expect the Mercedes to be strong and Red Bull to be less competitive than usual. The sweeping section of track between turn three and turn four is especially hard upon tires, working to the advantage of Button and Perez who usually get more life out their tires than most drivers. This is the first race at Hockenheim since Pirelli became the tire manufacturer. The tire degradation might mean drivers will spend more time on the harder tire, to the disadvantage of Ferrari who cannot get the hard tire to work well.

Seven of the last eight races have been won from the front row of the grid. Whilst the tire situation might change this it probably is not worth gambling upon. Restricting bets on race winner to the drivers on pole and P2 is recommended. Wait until qualifying has taken place before making bets on victory unless you are confident about who will take P1 and P2 on the grid.

Hamilton looks best for pole position. Having set the fastest time in qualifying an equal number of times as Vettel this season, both look on equal form. However, the Red Bull is slightly hampered by the high speed nature of Hockemheim whilst Hamilton has a good record here. Hamilton has odds of 5/1 (6.00) from William Hill and Vettel has odds of 2/1 (3.00) from Ladbrokes. With double the odds of Vettel, Hamilton is by far better value for money.

For an outsider bet, Perez for a podium might pay off. Both Perez's podiums came at high speed circuits and Perez's speciality of looking after his tires will give him a major edge is tire degradation becomes an important factor. 32/1 (33.00) from Ladbrokes are excellent odds.

Odds above accurate at Friday 20th, 01.12 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © nic_r