Race analysis - Hamilton takes command in Germany 25 Jul 2011
Lewis Hamiltons complete domination of Sundays Nurburgring race gave McLaren their first victory since Jenson Buttons Canadian win in June and left rivals Red Bull and Ferrari scratching their heads. Beating pole-sitter Mark Webber into the first corner was just the start of Hamiltons all-conquering performance, as he led Ferraris Fernando Alonso and Webber to the finish line. We take a team-by-team look at how the German race played out...
Lewis Hamilton, P1
Jenson Button, Retired Lap 35, power steering
Hamilton was in control of this one from the start, and even when he lost the lead to Webber on the 12th lap he immediately grabbed it back, and later retook it after losing it again during the first pit stops. The upgraded MP4-26 had pace and reliability, and from the 33rd lap onwards his triumph was never in doubt. It was a remarkable comeback by McLaren after the debacle of Silverstone. Button, meanwhile, lost out with excessive wheel spin at the start, lost ground behind Schumacher, Petrov and Sutil, and had to retire from sixth place with power steering gremlins.
Fernando Alonso, P2
Felipe Massa, P5
Alonso was delighted with second place, given Ferraris relative lack of pace in qualifying and the low ambient and track temperatures which dont suit the 150° Italia. He chased Hamilton and Webber early on after a brief fight with Vettel, then jumped Webber in the second stops, and firmly believes the second half of the championship fight will be much better for the Scuderia. Massa drove a great race after losing time boxed in behind Rosberg at the start, held off Vettel from Lap 18 to 59, and was ribbed of a deserved fourth place by a wheelnut from when he pitted for hard tyres on the penultimate lap.
Mark Webber, P3
Sebastan Vettel, P4
Red Bull got a nasty shock come the race, as both McLaren and Ferrari had the pace to beat them. Webber led twice, but lost out in the second stops just as he had benefited from the first, and had trouble keeping the two leaders in sight as he finished 5.8s behind Alonsos second-placed Ferrari. Vettel had an unusually lacklustre race, losing out in an early fight with Alonso, then half spinning in Turn 10 on the ninth lap. He couldnt get by Massa either, until their last stops. Both men simply had to accept that, this time around, their cars werent fast enough.
Adrian Sutil, P6
Paul di Resta, P13
Sutil drive a superb race, fully exploiting Force Indias clever two-stop strategy and never putting a wheel wrong even when he was under pressure. Di Resta was unlucky to be struck by Heidfeld on the opening lap, and was thereafter condemned to a recovery race instead of battling for points that the VJM04 was fast enough to merit.
Nico Rosberg, P7
Michael Schumacher, P8
Again, Mercedes race pace disappointed. Rosberg took fifth initially after a good start, but couldnt hold it, while Schumacher could have beaten him this time out but for the spin he had in Turn 10 on Lap 23.
Kamui Kobayashi, P9
Sergio Perez, P11
Yet again Kobayashi brought some points home for Sauber after a brilliant start and a strong opening lap. But he said the Mercedes were simply too fast in a straight line for him to challenge them, and that his C30 wasnt really very good round the Ring. Perez was angry with himself for a Lap Eight spin which ruined his chance of fighting for points.
Vitaly Petrov, P10
Nick Heidfeld, Retired Lap Nine, accident
Renault lost half their chance on the opening lap after Heidfeld spun having hit Di Resta. He was about to get a drive-through when he was himself taken out by Buemi at the chicane on the 10th lap. Petrov, however, fought valiantly to hold off Button for a long time, and took the final point, but Renault have now fallen 12 points behind Mercedes.
Jaime Alguersuari, P12
Sebastien Buemi, P15
Not much to report here, save that neither car had the pace to challenge for points, and that Buemi was given a five-place grid penalty for Budapest after his collision with Heidfeld.
Pastor Maldonado, P14
Rubens Barrichello, Retired Lap 16, engine oil leak
Another unhappy race for Williams saw Maldonado struggling with excessive tyre wear and Barrichello retiring early with an engine oil leak.
Heikki Kovalainen, P16
Karun Chandhok, P20
Kovalainen said that he had a lonely race to 16th, devoid of any real problems. Chandhok, however, had some lurid moments as he learned what happened when the Pirellis fell over the cliff and lost their edge. But he achieved team boss Tony Fernandes aim of getting both cars to the finish.
Timo Glock, P17
Jerome DAmbrosio, P18
Glock had a brake problem from the middle of the race onwards, which prevented him pushing hard thereafter, while DAmbrosio felt he was moving in the right direction again.
Daniel Ricciardo, P19
Tonio Liuzzi, Retired Lap 37, electronics
Liuzzi drove very strongly early on to push the Virgins until he became bothered by brake irregularities, seeing off an initially strong challenge from team mate Ricciardo. The Australian went on to finish 19th after the Italian had been struck down by an electronic problem.
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