Red Bull’s Mark Webber scored his first ever Grand Prix victory at the Nurburgring in the German Grand Prix in a race that was expected to be weather-effected but was dry throughout. Sebastian Vettel finished in 2nd place to hand Red Bull their second consecutive 1-2 finish. Felipe Massa scored Ferrari’s first podium place of this season in 3rd place.
Williams’ Nico Rosberg unobtrusively drove to the 4th place finish as Championship leader Jenson Button finished in 5th place ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello with the Renault of Fernando Alonso and McLaren of Heikki Kovalainen finishing in 7th and 8th place respectively. The race’s only two retirements were Sebastian Bourdais and Kimi Raikkonen – with hydraulic and mechanical failure.
The start was a crucial affair as the Brawn of Rubens Barrichello managed to come alongside pole-sitter Webber and that prompted a right-side lunge from Webber which was deemed to be ‘un-sportsman like behaviour’ by the FIA stewards and promptly handed him a drive-through penalty. By the end of the first lap, there were a couple of incidents – Webber & Barrichello’s moment & then Lewis Hamilton, using his KERS, streaked alongside the leaders at the start but ran wide at the first corner and as the rest of the field trooped past him, picked up a right rear puncture which effectively ruined his race. Both the Ferraris made a good start and were in the midst of it all but a mechanical failure put paid to Kimi Raikkonen’s race and he retired on lap 36.
But not before he sort-of ruined Adrian Sutil’s race (yet again!) Sutil was running in fourth place and as he emerged from his first pit-stop, Kimi tried to overtake on the outside and there was contact which saw the Force India’s front wing clipped off. Another pit-stop effectively ended Sutil and Force India’s quest for their maiden points. Last year at the Monaco Grand Prix, it was Kimi again who ended Sutil’s 5th place run as he lost control exiting the tunnel and careened into the Force India’s back. Heartbreak for Sutil!
With the threatening rain never materialising, it was a race of strategy and the Brawn GP team switched into a three-stop strategy in the latter part of the race as a tyre-graining problem affected their race somewhat. Red Bull however had the truer race pace and despite Webber’s penalty, they stuck to their strategy and emerged the biggest winners with a second consecutive 1-2. Fernando Alonso picked up the pace at the end of the race and clocked the fastest lap of the race.