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Race analysis - Hamilton takes command in Germany 21 Jul 2008

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008 arrive in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday, 20 July 2008 Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates with Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren and the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday, 20 July 2008 Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday, 20 July 2008 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing retired from the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday, 20 July 2008 Timo Glock (GER) Toyota TF108.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday, 20 July 2008

Lewis Hamilton’s complete domination of Sunday’s Hockenheim race gave McLaren their first victory in Germany since 1998 and left championship rivals Ferrari scratching their heads. And for the first time this season Renault left a Grand Prix with something to celebrate, courtesy of rookie driver Nelson Piquet’s second-place finish. We take a team-by-team look at how the Hockenheim race played out...

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 16.039s, P1
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 16.495s, P5

Hamilton was simply irresistible, both in the early stages and then when he fought back from his safety-car hiatus. Nobody could stand in his way and he won virtually as he pleased. Kovalainen, however, had an unhappy time and just couldn’t get his tyres working properly when it mattered.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 16.502s, P3
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 16.342s, P6

Ferrari had a bruising day but nevertheless came away with third and sixth place for Massa and Raikkonen. Initially Massa could not hold Hamilton’s pace, but in the middle of the race there wasn’t much to choose between them. Later, however, his Ferrari lost grip and suffered a brake problem, so he counted himself lucky to earn six points. Raikkonen was very unhappy with his car’s grip throughout, and finished glumly with only three points.

Renault
Nelson Piquet, 1m 16.910s, P2
Fernando Alonso, 1m 17.115s, P11

Prior to the race Alonso suggested it was about time that Piquet started earning points for Renault, and the young Brazilian proved the French team’s sole scorer as the Spaniard spun away his chances. A single-stop strategy lifted Piquet from a lowly initial placing to the lead thanks to the deployment of the safety car after Timo Glock’s shunt in the Toyota, and he hung on to second place once the irresistible Hamilton had retaken the initiative. Interestingly, Piquet also had a faster lap than Alonso this time.

BMW Sauber
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 15.987s, P4
Robert Kubica, 1m 16.610s, P7

Heidfeld was very happy when a long opening stint left him in a position to lead as others refuelled again when the safety car came out. Subsequently he dropped to fourth after refuelling again, but was quite satisfied after that, having started 12th. By contrast Kubica was very unhappy that his initial McLaren and Ferrari-matching pace gradually disappeared, leaving him powerless to fend off Raikkonen.

Toro Rosso
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 16.772s, P8
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 16.969s, P12

Vettel was always a strong contender for the final point after a feisty performance that left both Jarno Trulli and Alonso in his wheel tracks. Bourdais got left behind initially, but was coming back at Alonso by the end.

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, 1m 17.023s, P9
Timo Glock, 1m 16.712s, retired lap 35, accident

Trulli ran strongly up until his second pit stop, whereupon his Toyota’s balance steadily deteriorated and he slipped out of the points. Glock ran as high as third thanks to a long first stint, but then his right rear suspension broke and pitched him backwards into the pit wall on the 35th lap, bringing out the safety car. It was a big hit, but the young German was unharmed beyond a nasty bruising.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 17.380s, P10
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 17.691s, P14

Not a happy race for Williams, although Rosberg said he quite enjoyed his run to 10th and was in the hunt for eighth as he hounded Trulli in Vettel’s wake. Nakajima spun twice, and never looked impressive.

Red Bull
David Coulthard, 1m 16.994s, P13
Mark Webber, 1m 17.206s, retired lap 41, debris damage

Coulthard made a terrible start and lost five places, got trapped behind Honda’s Jenson Button for a long time, and later collided with Rubens Barrichello and spun. Webber was a lower points contender but sustained debris damage in Glock’s accident which split an oil cooler, prompting his retirement.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 17.889s, P15
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 18.208s, P16

Sutil spun but still managed to catch and pass Fisichella, who pitted at the wrong time and was given a 25-second penalty to his race time which dropped him from 14th to 16th.

Honda
Jenson Button, 1m 17.636s, P17
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 17.986s, retired lap 51, accident damage

Button struggled with a dire lack of grip on the hard Bridgestone tyre, and was never competitive, while Barrichello’s similarly unhappy race ultimately came to an end with significant damage to the Honda’s bargeboards following its collision with Coulthard and a stop for a replacement nose and front wing.