Rosberg’s nightmare getaway
After a near perfect Saturday, Nico Rosberg endured nothing short of a nightmare Sunday, with his problems beginning from the word go as he bogged down off the line and dropped from first to fourth. Just listen to how he has to back out of the throttle as, much to his surprise, he experiences sudden wheelspin in third gear, allowing team mate Lewis Hamilton and both Red Bull’s to sneak by at the first corner. But as bad as his start was, it could have been even worse for Rosberg, as this onboard shows. Firstly he comes perilously close to going too wide through Turn 5 whilst trying to pass Daniel Ricciardo, and having run over the exit kerb and lost momentum, he’s then attacked on the outside at Turn 6 by Sebastian Vettel’s hard-charging Ferrari. The Mercedes man hangs on, but as far as first laps go, this definitely wasn’t what Rosberg had in mind for his home race…
Patience pays off for Nasr
When you’re down the far end of the grid, it doesn’t always pay to go hell for leather into the first corner, as Sauber’s Felipe Nasr proved at Hockenheim. As you can see from the video above, the Brazilian got a reasonable jump off the line from 21st, but with cars squabbling ahead of him he opted to lift off several times approaching Turn 1. That initial caution would pay off mightily however, thanks in no small part to Nasr’s more aggressive team mate Marcus Ericsson running wide and delaying Haas’ Romain Grosjean. Momentum on his side, Nasr then picked off the Manors of Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto on exit to seal a remarkable five-place swing through one corner - not too shabby.
Ricciardo fights back to see off Rosberg
When Nico Rosberg ducked back underneath Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull with a text book switchback manoeuvre coming out of the hairpin on the second lap, the recovering Mercedes driver must have thought third place was his. But as the duo edged towards Turn 7 the Australian was still glued to his side and showing no signs of backing down. And having held his nerve around the rapid right hander and then again through Turn 8, Ricciardo got his nose back ahead for good entering Turn 9. A truly superb slice of wheel-to-wheel racing - and not the last Rosberg would have with a Red Bull that afternoon…
Magnussen takes Massa by surprise
Sometimes an opportunity to pass falls right into your lap – and that’s just what happened to Renault’s Kevin Magnussen in the early stages of Sunday’s race in Germany. The Dane had just witnessed Carlos Sainz battle his Toro Rosso past Felipe Massa’s Williams at Turn 6, but seemed initially to be too far away to capitalise himself. That all changed however as the Brazilian attempted to fight back around the outside of Sainz at Turn 8 and was forced wide. Suddenly the door was flung wide open – and Magnussen didn’t hesitate to walk straight through it. Opportunism at its best.
Angry Alonso picks off Perez
Judging by his radio messages, it’s fair to say that Fernando Alonso wasn’t altogether happy with his pit strategy in Germany. The Spaniard pitted for the first time on lap 14 – a whole six laps later than Sergio Perez, whose Force India was one of several cars to undercut the McLaren driver, who returned to the track in P13. Within a few laps Alonso found a way past the Mexican at the hairpin, but a subsequent exchange over team radio (which you can hear in the video above) revealed just how annoyed the double world champion was about having to overtake Perez in the first place…
Rosberg pays the penalty - again
“Can you explain to them that I was full lock on the steering wheel and I couldn't steer more, and he moved in braking - that was the big problem, that's completely not allowed”. So went Nico Rosberg’s response to the news, issued by his engineer, that the stewards had deemed him worthy of a five-second penalty for forcing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen off-track as the duo disputed second place on lap 30. But speaking after the race Verstappen was having none of the Mercedes man’s excuses, saying bluntly: "I could still see his hands going straight, so l don't know if that is full lock…" Were the stewards right to penalise Rosberg, as they did for the similar incident with Lewis Hamilton in Austria? Watch the side-by-side video above and decide for yourself…
Hurry up and wait at Mercedes
When Nico Rosberg pitted for the final time on lap 44, his mechanics had an agonising wait before they were allowed to touch his car as the German served his five-second time penalty. As it turned out, a stopwatch glitch meant the Mercedes crew weren’t given the all clear to proceed with servicing Rosberg’s car until eight seconds had elapsed, at which point the men in black – including the mechanic wearing our helmet camera - sprang into action. A quick tyre change and a turn of front wing later and the home favourite was on his way – but by then his hopes of a podium had all but disappeared.
Perez leaves it late
Having earlier been passed by Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez got his own back later in the race by passing the Spaniard for tenth place with just two laps to run. In all fairness, Alonso’s supersoft tyres were in worse shape than the Mexican’s softs, as evidenced by his lock-up approaching Turn 6, and the McLaren driver was also in heavy fuel-saving mode. But even so, Alonso wasn’t about to roll over, battling Perez all the way to Turn 7 before finally relinquishing his grip on the final world championship point.