Alonso leads German GP from start to finish
Fernando Alonso has won the German GP after leading every single lap of the race. The Spaniard start from pole, and while being under threat, he was never passed. Sebastian Vettel finished in second place while Jenson Button is third. Their result though is still under investigation, as Vettel's passing move was a little dubious.
After a partially wet Friday and Saturday, race day is entirely dry with temperatures as high as 21°C ambient.
As the lights went out, Alonso left unthreatened, with Vettel immediately getting into a fight with Schumacher who started from third. Schumacher attempted a pass at the hairpin, but after that failed he had to drop back a little bit. Button also made a good start and came up very close behind Hulkenberg.
Massa and Grosjean returned to the pits after the first lap for a new front wing while Bruno Senna ended up standing still a lot longer with more issues.
On the third lap, Hamilton misses turn 1 and noticed two turns later he is suffering a flat right rear tyre. He returns to the pits and departs again with a new set of harder tyres, despite saying on the radio that he should retire.
By lap 5 Vettel has shaken off SChumacher and is 0.8s behind Alonso. The two are setting fastest laps one after the other, but it appears that Vettel can still go a little bit faster.
On lap 7 Massa sets the fastest lap, benefiting from the clear track ahead. He is running down in 21st, 7 seconds behind Karthikeyan.
In lap 8, Button finally passes Hulkenberg and moves up to 4th through the hairpin. 2 laps earlier Raikkonen also moved up a place to 8th after passing Di Resta following a 4-corner fight in sector 2.
Button moves on to 3rd in lap 11 as he passes Schumacher into the hairpin. The McLaren driver is clearly a lot faster and may now be looking to close the gap to the leading duo.
In lap 12 Raikkonen is the first to make a regular stop. He got a new set of option tyres fitted, just like the tyres he completed his first stint on. One lap later Webber and Hulkenberg also stop, but both of them change from options to primes. Rosberg stops as well and gets new options.
Webber gets caught out by the pitstops though as he rejoins the track behind Petrov and is stuck there for several laps.
In lap 15 Schumacher pits and rejoins the track behind Hulkenberg. The German manages to get past into turn 6 while Kimi Raikkonen again makes perfect use of that and passes the Force India at the same moment. The Finn is driving a remarkable race but is still only 8th.
On lap 18, only Alonso, Vettel, Button and Kobayashi and Ricciardo have not pitted yet. At the end of that lap though, Alonso is the first to blink, changing from options to primes. Button pits one lap later.
Pérez meanwhile, having pitted a single lap before Alosn ois posting the fastest lap of the race while running on the harder prime tyres.
Vettel then pits on lap 20 and rejoins right behind Kobayashi. He can however pass easily through the hairpin after deploying DRS. A few seconds later Raikkonen gets past Schumacher and moves up into 5th.
After completing 23 laps, the positions are ALO, VET, BUT, KOB, RAI, SCH, HUL, PER, WEB, MAL, DIR, ROS, VER.
Since his pitstop, Pérez is moving up with a blistering pace, recovering from his 5-place grid penalty he was given for blocking during qualifying. Maldonado on the other hand is moving backwards since his stop. The Venezuelan is 12th after starting from 5th.
At the front, Vettel is slowly catching Alonso again after having lost some time before the pitstops. The German is reducing the gap with 2 to 4 tenths a lap. Button is also marginally reducing the gap to the guys in front while Raikkonen in 4th is falling behind.
On lap 33 Hamilton pits and joins the track just behind Vettel, and 2 laps later he even passes Vettel. The German is not at all pleased with that, but Hamilton of course has every right to unlap himself when he is faster. It also means that the Red Bull driver lost a second to Alonso, something which he can only easily re-gain if Hamilton also passes Alonso.
On lap 41, Button pits from P3. One lap later both Alonso and Vettel make their pitstop, and it is Button who gains a place initially. Vettel attempted to pass the McLaren in the hairpin but failed to do so. One lap later Vettel goes very wide through turn 1 and loses several tenths, only marginally keeping him within a second from Button.
On lap 44, Alonso is still leading of course, but his advantage on Button is only 1.2s while the McLaren driver had 1.3 seconds in hand over Vettel.
13 laps later, and with just 10 left to go, Alonso is still ahead. Button is extremely close but has yet to make a passing attempt. Vettel is always around 2 seconds behind Button.
On lap 58 Lewis Hamilton rolls into the pitlane and abandons the race. He had very little chance of getting points here since his flat rear puncture early on in the race.
By lap 64, Alonso has broken loose of the DRS challenge and has steadily increased his advantage over Button to 1.5 seconds. Vettel on the other hand is getting closer to Button. With 3 laps left the gap is down to 0.808s. Raikkonen meanwhile is 4th, Kobayashi 5th followed by Pérez, Schumacher, Webber, Hulkenberg and Rosberg.
On lap 66 Vettel finally makes his move and passes Button through the outside of the hairpin, using a lot of the run-off area on the exit of the turn. McLaren immediately triggered a question about the legality of that move after which the FIA announced an investigation.
Alonso however led from start to finish and wins the German GP at Hockenheim.
* Sebastian Vettel was given a 20-second penalty after the race for gaining an advantage by going off track (he passed Jenson Button 2 laps from the end by using the run-off zone on the exit of the hairpin).
|2||3||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||67||+6.9 secs||6||18|
|3||9||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||67||+16.4 secs||10||15|
|4||14||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||67||+21.9 secs||12||12|
|5||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||67||+3.7(+20) secs*||2||10|
|6||15||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||67||+27.8 secs||17||8|
|7||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG||67||+28.9 secs||3||6|
|8||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||67||+46.9 secs||8||4|
|9||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||67||+48.1 secs||4||2|
|10||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||67||+48.8 secs||21||1|
|11||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||67||+59.2 secs||9|
|12||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||67||+71.4 secs||13|
|13||16||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||67||+76.8 secs||11|
|14||17||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||67||+76.9 secs||15|
|15||18||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||66||+1 Lap||5|
|16||21||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||66||+1 Lap||18|
|17||19||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||66||+1 Lap||14|
|18||10||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||66||+1 Lap||19|
|19||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||65||+2 Laps||16|
|20||25||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||65||+2 Laps||20|
|21||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||64||+3 Laps||23|
|22||24||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||64||+3 Laps||22|
|23||23||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||64||+3 Laps||24|
|Ret||4||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||56||+11 Laps||7|