The German Grand Prix at Hockenheim saw McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton score his second successive victory – this time in a dry race but with a feisty drive nonetheless. A brief safety car period in the middle stints caused a few hiccups for him, when his over 15 seconds lead to Ferrari’s Felipe Massa all but evaporated and McLaren’s decision of not to call him in for refuelling when the pitlane opened saw him relinquish the lead when he eventually stopped a few laps later. But he more than made up for it with few smart overtaking manoeuvres over Massa first and Piquet later. Of course, he moved over his teammate Heikki Kovalainen but whether that was an overtaking move or a team order can’t be said for sure! The hero of the day however was Renault’s Nelson Piquet, who scored his first-ever podium finish in 2nd place. Starting from 17th on the grid, a one-stop strategy saw him leapfrog the others after the safety car period and he was leading the race after Hamilton had pitted. Hamilton eventually overtook him but second place was still a sweet gain. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was third in an average drive where he just didn’t have the pace to stop Hamilton’s overtaking moves nor challenge for second place.
Fourth place went to BMW’s Nick Heidfeld for whom it was a good result after starting 12th. Heikki Kovalainen finished fifth and compatriot Kimi Raikkonen could only manage 6th place in what was a rather forgetful weekend for him. Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel were the last point-takers. There were only three non-finishers – Honda’s Rubens Barichello was involved in a skirmish with the Red Bull of David Coulthard and lost his nosecone in the process; Mark Webber suffered a failed engine and Toyota’s Timo Glock had an accident as the accelerated out of a corner and the rear suspension gave way, thus prompting a Safety Car period which nearly cost Hamilton the victory.
The Championship lead is now outrightly held by Hamilton with 58 points with Massa on 54. Kimi could muster only 3 points and he’s on 51 whereas Kubica adds just 2 points to his tally of 46. The next race is the Hungarian Grand Prix in two weeks time and if Kimi doesn’t want Massa and of course Hamilton to runaway with the lead, nothing less than a victory would do. Maybe with an added DNF for Hamilton & Massa