Hamilton takes superb victory in Germany

Lewis Hamilton took one of his greatest wins in the German Grand Prix today. Lewis drove his heart out all race long to beat Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber to the top step of the podium. Sebastian Vettel had a dire race, struggling to 4th on the final lap. Adrian Sutil silently took an excellent 6th, while Kamui Kobayashi made a brilliant comeback from 18th. Here is what happened:

Webber continued his streak of bad starts, allowing Hamilton to leap into the lead at the first corner. Fernando Alonso pushed Vettel aside to move into 3rd.

Hamilton takes the lead while the Red Bulls fall back

Hamilton takes the lead while the Red Bulls fall back

Nick Heidfeld and Paul di Resta came together, sending both cars to the back of the grid. They remained ahead of Karun Chandhok, who pitted for a new nosecone after a few laps.

Slipping wide at Turn 3 cost Alonso 3rd place to Vettel. The other Ferrari, back in 6th, was stuck behind Nico Rosberg, and was being urged to pass the Mercedes to avoid “ruining” his race. Even with DRS, Massa failed to pass.

His teammate, without DRS, barged his way past Vettel at Turn 1, giving Alonso back 3rd position.

On Lap 10, the world champion shocked viewers around the world, by succumbing to pressure and spinning at Turn 10. He kept 4th, but was now under pressure by Rosberg and Massa.

This 3-way battle allowed Massa to get closer to Rosberg, and the Ferrari driver pushed his way into 5th. Further back, Sebastien Buemi accidentaly pushed Nick Heidfeld off the track, launching the Renault into the air and into the gravel trap.

Heidfeld is launched into the air after colliding with Buemi

Heidfeld is launched into the air after colliding with Buemi

The focus soon switched to the frontrunners, as the top 3 drivers began to close up to each other. Lewis made a mistake exiting the Veedol chicane, allowing Webber to slide past into the lead. Hamilton wasn’t having any of it though, using a wider line onto the pit straight, and shoving his McLaren along the pit wall to retake the lead.

Webber pitted from 2nd on Lap 16, followed by Hamilton and Alonso a lap later. However, as the three drivers came together at Turn 1, Felipe Massa – who was yet to stop – was in the middle of the battle. Pushing Webber wide, he took the lead, but Mark was still past Hamilton.

After Felipe pitted, Webber took control of the race. Michael Schumacher emulated Vettel by spinning off at Turn 10. Jenson Button finally stopped on Lap 25, indicating a 2-stop strategy.

Webber surprised many by stopping earlier than expected on Lap 31. With traffic and a poor out lap, Hamilton retook the lead after stopping a lap later. Mark tried a move around the outside of Turn 2, but Lewis pushed him onto the grass to retain the lead.

In a complete contrast to the regular undercut, Alonso pitted on Lap 33, and managed to move into the lead. However, his lead didn;t last long – Hamilton did what Webber couldn’t, and sailed around the outside of the Ferrari to retake the lead again.

Vettel jumps Massa on the final lap - albeit in the pits

Vettel jumps Massa on the final lap - albeit in the pits

In the battle for 6th, Nico Rosberg did very well to hold off a faster Button on both the back and main straights. However, running wide at Turn 1 handed Jenson the position. It was short-lived though, as a hydraulic failure caused the McLaren to retire.

Sebastian Vettel began to pick up the pace, and tried a move on Massa at the Veedol chicane. It failed to materialise, as Sebastian locked up and went straight on at the chicane.

Hamilton celebrates a fantastic win

Hamilton celebrates a fantastic win

Into the final 10 laps, the battle for the top 5 positions were decided by the final set of pit stops. The medium tyres were delayed for as long as possible, but with the rain holding off, using the slower tyre was inevitable.

Hamilton was the first to react, diving into the pits on Lap 52. Alonso followed him in a lap later, but failed to pass the McLaren. Oddly enough, even though Lewis was faster on the primes, Mark decided to stay out for several laps, to try a different strategy.

If failed to work, as the Red Bull emerged in 3rd again, well behind Alonso in 2nd. Meanwhile, the battle for 4th was decided on the final lap. Both Massa and Vettel pitted on Lap 59, but a slow stop by Ferrari allowed Sebastian to take 4th position.

Alonso hitches a lift from Webber back to parc ferme

Alonso hitches a lift from Webber back to parc ferme

A last-gasp battle for the lead was short-lived, allowing Hamilton to cross the line to take one of the finest wins of his career. After a stunning lap on Saturday, he was on the pace every single lap, and pushed the Red Bulls past their limit. Fernando Alonso was also impressive, but the drama didn’t end after the chequered flag for him. After running low on fuel, the Spaniard stopped as a precautionary measure – and Webber gave him a lift back to the pits on the Red Bull sidepod!

Adrian Sutil was the unsung hero of the race, quietly moving up the field to take a well-deserved 6th place. Rosberg and Schumacher were behind the Force India, while Kamui Kobayashi recovered well to take points after qualifying 18th.

Update: Sebastien Buemi has received a 5-place grid penalty for Hungary, after the stewards concluded he was at fault for the collision with Nick Heidfeld. More to follow.


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