- Mercedes kicked off the weekend celebrating its 125 years in motorsport by fully unveiling its revised car livery for the weekend. Both Mercedes W10s will run retro white fronts of the car – complete with retro logos – before it blends into the current car design across the middle of the chassis, with the rear remaining unchanged. The ‘scraped’ look was unveiled ahead of initial weekend scrutineering on Thursday.

- The team also has retro fitting in its garage for the weekend, as well as some special artwork featuring on its motorhome.

Lewis Hamilton heads into the German Grand Prix weekend sitting 39 points clear in the drivers’ championship, forging such a buffer after seven wins in 11 races. He acknowledged this year had been an “outlier” in his own form, but stressed he is continuing to take the title fight one race at a time.

- Teammate Valtteri Bottas looked good for the win at Silverstone two weeks ago before a mid-race Safety Car, but the Finn is refusing to get frustrated by any bad luck. “For sure there have been races where I could have had slightly better luck on my side. Sometimes it’s against me, sometimes it’s there for you. I think eventually things evens out.”

- Mercedes has also brought an updated aero package to Hockenheim as it looks to turn the screw on its title rivals. However, hot conditions experienced by the paddock on Thursday amid the ongoing European heatwave have naturally led to concerns Mercedes’ cooling issues that hurt the team in Austria could return.

- Home favourite Sebastian Vettel faced a number of questions about his recent slump upon returning to Hockenheim, the site of the mistake that arguably turned the tide in the 2016 title race. “I always put myself under pressure so I can’t be happy if things go wrong but I think some of the things were bigger than others,” Vettel said. He also knocked back a question asking if he felt any burden to end Ferrari’s title drought, instead calling it a “privilege” to be tasked with the challenge.

Charles Leclerc said his aggressive on-track approach seen during his wheel-to-wheel fight with Max Verstappen at Silverstone would only continue, having shifted his approach post-Austria. “I’ve adapted to this in the last race and my target is to stay on this level of aggressiveness for the rest of the season.”

- Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen remain in hot water with team boss Gunther Steiner after they clashed at Silverstone, causing both cars to retire from the race. Steiner said he was still not over it, and wanted further talks with the pair later in the weekend to avoid a repeat. Magnussen and Grosjean both stressed there were no issues and no need to dwell on the matter. Grosjean said the pair talked on the phone after Silverstone and had breakfast together on Thursday at Hockenheim.

- Grosjean will continue to run the Australia-spec setup on his Haas car after failing to get any race data on Sunday at Silverstone. Magnussen confirmed he will run two different specs in practice, including a number of updates that gave the Dane quiet confidence.

- Racing Point has also brought a sizeable update package to Hockenheim as it bids to move up the pecking order. Lance Stroll said it would be “a bit of a mystery” as to how it would fare, but that he was “excited” by what it could bring.

- Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg said on Thursday that he thought extending his stay with the team into 2020 looked “quite likely” as silly season begins to ramp up. Hulkenberg had been linked with a Red Bull move earlier in the year, but the rumours have since died down.

- Across the Renault garage, Daniel Ricciardo spoke of his new-found respect for motorbike racers after taking part in a friendly test run with some 100 CC bikes alongside Sete Gibernau through Alpine Stars. “Everyone said that race car drivers are brave and crazy, but two-wheel guys are on a completely other level. They are on another level.”

- We were informed shortly before Ricciardo’s media session that he could not address any questions regarding the recent legal case opened up over his move to Renault.

- The start lights had to be repaired rapidly on Thursday afternoon after a coach crashed into then while driving on the track. The repairs were completed by early evening, ensuring there will be no delays as a result tomorrow.

- The major track update at Hockenheim for this year is the removal of the third DRS zone on the main straight. The other two DRS zones – Turn 1-2 and Turn 4-6 – will remain unchanged. There are no other notable circuit changes ahead of this year’s race.

- On-track running will begin at Hockenheim at 11am local time on Friday with FP1 (10am BST), with temperatures set to reach a peak of 39ºC through the day. Rain is still forecast on Saturday and Sunday.



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