Germany's defending champion Sebastian Vettel said he will be extra motivated for his home Formula One grand prix this weekend, but so will his seething Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
The runaway championship leader lost out to Alonso in the last race in Great Britain, where third-placed Webber was ordered not to overtake Vettel in the closing stages to avoid a crash that would have cost team points. Webber, who gained his first Formula One win at the Nürburgring two years ago, was not best pleased by the Silverstone controversy, having ignored repeated calls to slow down.
The focus has been on the Australian's Red Bull future ever since, but Vettel, who leads his team-mate by 80 points with 10 races left, will be back in the limelight in front of his own fans.
"One of the objectives a Formula One driver sets himself, is to win his home race. You always give 100 per cent, but at a home race you're always more motivated, simply because you feel at home," Vettel said yesterday. "This year we're back at the Nürburgring, which is one of the better and more modern tracks."
The seven-times champion Michael Schumacher also talked of "extra motivation" for his home grand prix, where a section of the track is named after the veteran driver, but fans fear another poor result to wipe more shine off a glittering legacy.
Nevertheless, Schumacher is feeling upbeat as Mercedes gear up for their first German race in their current guise.
"We definitely want to show our home crowds our best level of performance possible," Schumacher said. "It will be the first time that I race through the corner which is named after me, and obviously I would like to believe that this is not only making me proud, but also even faster."
His old adversary Alonso of Spain is buoyed up after showing his customary fighting spirit to win at Silverstone and move third in the overall standings, leaving Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button trailing after a tricky home race for McLaren.
The British Grand Prix was dominated by a row over complicated engine regulations, which McLaren's drivers felt had hampered them, but a deal has been struck to return to pre-Silverstone set-ups.Reuse content