It was a lights-to-flag victory for Fernando Alonso at Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix as he continued Ferrari’s resurgence in the past few races and score the maximum points once gain. Red Bull sorta remained in the hunt with Sebastian Vettel finishing in second position ahead of Jenson Button in third. But that is not a foregone conclusion as his late race overtaking move over Button is under investigation by the stewards for having done so outside the track!
Kimi Raikkonen was a fine fourth for Lotus ahead of the two Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez in fifth and sixth, Michael Schumacher in seventh, Mark Webber in eighth, Nico Hulkenberg ninth and Nico Rosberg in the last point scoring position in tenth.
Alonso controlled the race from the start and remained ahead all through except for the pit stops as Ferrari called the perfect two-stop strategy and chose the right set of tyres this time around for the second and third stints. The second Ferrari of Felipe Massa suffered a lost rear wing at the start and the debris from that ultimately ended Lewis Hamilton’s race causing a right rear puncture. It was a better result for the second McLaren of Jenson Button as he steadily moved up the order as the updates and the dry race worked well for McLaren.
The mid-section of the race saw lots of overtaking moves – some DRS aided and some based on pure speed & cornering – and it seemed that the Force Indias were always in the thick of it and being passed by others. Having started in fourth and ninth, they ended ninth and eleventh after three pit stops each, indicating tyre wear was a far greater issue for them. In comparison the Saubers had a storming race, finishing fifth and sixth from twelfth and seventeenth on the grid!
If the initial laps saw Alonso and Vettel being in contention for the win, the latter stages saw Button steadily claw his way back into contention and by the second set of pit stops managed to get ahead of Vettel in second place via the under-cut. However, as the tyres started fading away, Button lost his second place to Vettel on the penultimate lap – the move having made with the Red Bull having all four wheels outside the track meaning it was under investigation and there was a real likelihood of Vettel being penalised and handing second place to Button & moving Kimi Raikkonen to third.
Alonso now leads the drivers’ championship by 34 points ahead of Mark Webber with Sebastian Vettel in third place just two points behind. Constructors’ standings has Red Bull at the top with Ferrari in second and McLaren in third. The next race is the brilliantly named Magyar Nagydij i.e. the Hungarian Grand Prix in a week’s time and Alonso will want to consolidate his lead even further. But with McLaren’s updates working well in the dry, it might well be a three way tussle for the race. Roll on Hungaroring…