For one reason or another, things have never quite fallen right for driver’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel at the German Grand Prix, with the native son yet to finish better than runner-up in five attempts.
His most recent second place – achieved on this year’s hosting Nurburgring circuit as opposed to the Hockenheim circuit used in alternate years, was even downgraded to a fifth after the German employed an illegal overtaking manoeuvre.
This year the three-time defending champion must face down the threat of a highly dangerous Mercedes challenge, with both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg among the leading fancies for the next race of the campaign.
It’s 15/8 that one or other Mercedes takes the chequered flag at the Nurburgring.
Mercedes have continued the theme of last season in terms of fast qualifying; leading the pole position count this term by five poles to Red Bull’s three and thanks to Rosberg they’ve now won two of the last three races too.
Seeming to have solved some of their early season issues over tyre degradation, they can also be expected to make inroads into Red Bull’s lead in the constructor’s championship, for which they are currently 6/1 second favourites.
Hamilton has – for all he has yet to win this season – been more consistent than his team-mate, with only Vettel boasting more podiums than the Englishman and he could be the Red Bull man’s biggest threat in Germany.
But for ill luck, his podium count and potentially his race-win count could have been swelled by one in the British Grand Prix won eventually by Rosberg, after an early tyre burst put Hamilton from first place down to last early on at Silverstone.
Also in the Stevenage-born wheel warrior’s favour is a previous winning run around the notoriously technical Nurburgring circuit, having scored here as recently as 2011. With a driver of Hamilton’s quality it seems destined only to be a matter of time before he takes his first chequered flag of the season and at a track which Vettel has previously struggled, now could be that time.