As I already wrote, Fernando Alonso won the German Grand Prix after Jenson Button was unable to keep up the charge, eventually losing out to Sebastian Vettel in what was since deemed an illegal move.
The race started well enough with the cars basically in grid order for the first couple laps. First corner drama was courtesy of Felipe Massa, running into the back of a car in front. Massa’s entire front wing went flying and left significant carbon shards strewn across the front corner. Some commentators were surprised that a safety car was not deployed and Hamilton paid the penalty of a flat tire. His race was completely ruined and he said as much in a broadcasted radio message: “we should retire” which he eventually did, only some 60 laps later.
Other first lap calamities saw Grosjean also require a front wing and Bruno Senna also pitted with smoke emerging from the floor.
Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg provided the best racing early in the race in a battle for forth. The two went side by side through the flat-out turn 7, and around the entire dog leg before Raikkonen got the better of Hulkenberg at the next righthander.
As the race carried on, Jenson Button worked his way through the field and it became clear that the main protagonists from Monaco last year would come together come the flag. Michael Schumacher went backwards from his great grid position, eventually finishing seventh, behind both Saubers.
Speaking of Sauber, a fantastic race for both drivers and the team with Kobayashi in fifth and Perez just behind in sixth. Both drivers had a great mid race scrap with the Force India drivers, going back and forth throughout the middle stint.
One of the more spectacular events of the race came when Hamilton made attempts to un lap himself as opposed to letting his teammate proceed by him. Having managed to get by Vettel (much to his indignation) Hamilton kept Alonso’s mirrors full, hoping to slow the Spaniard. It didn’t work.
Come the end of the race, it was clear that the only contenders were, in position order, Alonso, Button and Vettel. With 15 laps to go, it seemed that Button would take the fight to Alonso. Unfortunately, he was never close enough to even make a move. Alonso did a masterful job of managing a gap that ranged between .6 and 1.5 seconds. In the process of trying to get after Alonso, Button overworked his Pirellis and became vulnerable to Vettel who made his move at turn six, the hairpin.
Vettel went the long way around, but made no attempt at staying within the track boundaries. Instead, he got on the power earlier and used the paved runoff area to the outside and was able to pass Button. The stewards took offense and penalized Vettel by adding 20 seconds to his time, dropping him into fifth.
Lots of interesting things and a very interesting race to mark the halfway point of the season. Some articles to expect over the coming week then before you know it, Hungary next week.
- The Return of McLaren?
- Red Bull Traction control