Red Bull runaway
Red Bull was utterly dominant in qualifying to a degree not seen before in 2010. Sebastian Vettel's astonishing sub-1m18secs effort was a colossal 1.2secs faster than the best non-RB6 driver, Fernando Alonso. But does that mean that it'll be a Red Bull walkover in the race? Well, probably. Don't expect Vettel and Mark Webber to storm away at over a second a lap, but Alonso's only hope of winning is probably to jump them both at the start. Then again, Red Bull hasn't managed to convert a single one of its five front-row lock-outs into a one-two this season, giving hope to the red corner.
You can guarantee that at a quiet moment during the race, FOM will roll out its excellent slow-motion comparison of the controversial front wings of Ferrari and Red Bull and the more conventional one on the McLaren. FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting could find nothing wrong with the designs at Hockenheim, although both the RB6 and the F10 remain under intense scrutiny. But if and when Red Bull win, expect some griping from the increasingly uncompetitive McLaren corner in particular. And keep an eye on autosport.com unless there are some eligibility issues arising post race.
Will team orders return?
Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa © Sutton
Alonso starts alongside team-mate Felipe Massa on the second row. So what are the odds of the Ferrari's being the "wrong" way round in the race. It's not impossible, especially if the Brazilian can repeat his first-corner heroics of two years ago.
Ferrari has shown beyond doubt that it sees Alonso as its title shot, with good reason. With a Red Bull whitewash in the offing, the extra three points on offer for getting the Spaniard ahead of Massa could be too tempting for Ferrari to resist. But how to switch them? If they are the wrong way round, don't be surprised to see Alonso given a longer first stint on the option tyres to leapfrog his team-mate "legally".
There's a simple formula for working out most of the 24 drivers' pit strategies. Work out when the first vaguely fast car will pit - usually lap 12-15 - then expect a mass stampede for the pits amid fear of losing out. At Hockenheim, Jenson Button and Vitaly Petrov capitalised on longer stints on the faster option rubber to make up positions.
With degradation on the super soft compound negligible, it would be logical for most to go to at the very least one-third distance before heading for pit-lane and probably further than that. But experience has shown us that the "one-in, all-in" philosophy is favoured in Formula 1. That might change tomorrow, and if it doesn't there could be a couple of beneficiaries - one of them surely in the number one McLaren.
The dirty side
Nico Hulkenberg, Williams, Hungarian GP © Sutton
If there's on track where you don't want to start on the off-line side of the grid, it's the Hungaroring. Anyone starting on the even-numbered rank, headed by Mark Webber, has reason to fear a poor getaway. Fernando Alonso, starting on the 'good' side, described the right-hand side of the Hungaroring grid as "maybe the worst on the calendar." Bad news for Webber, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg. Or perhaps not.
Nico Hulkenberg, who starts 10th, derided the dirty side theory on the grounds that in the support races like GP2 and GP3, the drivers on the right of the grid will put down rubber in the grid boxes. "It doesn't matter which side," said the German. Let's see who is right on Sunday afternoon.
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