F1 German GP Review: Alonso Dominates at Hockenheim

Fernando Alonso kept his cool to take his third win of the season and extend his championship lead over his rivals.

betfair 1Alonso led from the start of the race and was able to hold off the rest of the hunting pack in Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, who looked to be closing the gap towards the end of the race but was unable to catch and overtake the Ferrari.

It leaves Fernando with quite a commanding lead of 34 points with one race to go before the summer break.

Following the wet weather that dogged Saturday’s qualifying session; race day remained warm and dry.

The start of the race saw Felipe Massa losing his front wing, which left debris at the first corner. Remarkably it was only Lewis Hamilton who fell victim to the debris on the track and resulted in a rear puncture which left him having to crawl his car back to the garage, eventually retiring from the race.

In contrast Jenson Button had a much improved race to previous outings; he overtook Hulkenberg and Schumacher during the mid-section and passed Vettel after he came out on his final stop for second place.

It looked that the Englishman would close the gap and take the lead from Alonso, but following pressure from Vettel, the Spaniard began to extend his lead.

The most noticeable event of the race came two laps towards the end with Vettel’s overtake on Button at the parabolica.

Although it appeared to be a clean overtake, after the race McLaren complained to the stewards on Vettel’s manoeuvre on Button. They claimed he gained an unfair advantage by using the run-off section of the track to get ahead of Jenson, something the stewards had warned about before the race.

Indeed it was noticeable on the replay that no part of Red Bull was ahead of McLaren before Vettel left the track and in an interview after the race Jenson felt he left enough space to allow Vettel to stay on the track.

The footage was reviewed by the stewards after the race and rightly so. They adjudged Vettel had in fact made an illegal manoeuvre, he subsequently receive a 20 second penalty which demoted him to fifth place; unfortunately depriving Raikkonen of celebrating his consequent podium finish.

One thing McLaren can take from this weekend is that the car shows improvements in performance and pace in the dry, following the upgrades they have brought to Germany; although they still have some work to do with performance in wet conditions.

 

Next up is the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, 27-29 July.

 

Hockenheim – Final Top 10:

1) Alonso

2) Button

3) Raikkonen

4) Kobayashi

5) Vettel

6) Perez

7) Schumacher

8) Webber

9) Hulkenberg

10) Rosberg

 

Championship Standings:

1) Alonso [154]

2) Webber [120]

3) Vettel [110]

4) Raikkonen [98]

5) Hamilton [92]

6) Rosberg [76]

7) Button [68]

8) Grosjean [61]

9) Perez [47]

10) Kobayashi [33]