Hamilton wins German GP!

Sun, 20 July 2008, 04:04

Lewis Hamilton proved absolutely dominant during the German GP in Hockenheim and was never under any threat. Nelson Piquet finished a magnificent second and savoured the first podium for Renault this year. Felipe Massa was there but drove an anonymous race, ending up in 3rd place.

The track is dry at the start of this German GP, but rain is possible in the next 67 laps. Most drivers are starting on the medium compound of Bridgestone. The McLarens, Ferraris and Alonso on the other hand are starting on the hard compound.

Lewis Hamilton is off like a bullet and is 1.8 seconds ahead of Massa after one lap. Kovalainen meanwhile held on to his third place, despite challenging Massa for second. Behind them however, a close battle is fought out between several drivers, and it is Kubica that makes best use of it as he moves up 3 places to 4th.

One lap later, Alonso falls down another place as Raikkonen profits from a failed attempt to pass Trulli. The Italian is clearly holding up Raikkonen and Alonso, even though he is on the softer option tyre.

After 5 laps, Massa is down 4seconds on Hamilton. Trulli is 11 seconds behind the leader and has Raikkonen closely behind him. In 8h place is still Vettel, ahead of Webber. Bourdais is in 12th and also gained 3 places in the first lap.

Behind Button a similar thing happened as with Trulli as Coulthard and Rosberg got blocked behind Trulli. 12 laps in the race, Coulthard finally gets past the Briton.

In the 18th lap, Hamilton is the first to enter the pitlan and gets scrubbed hard tyres. Kubica is also in but only just enters the pitlane as Hamilton is already leaving again. Both complete their stops in 9 seconds.

One lap later, Trulli and Alonso are in, both being fitted with the option tyres. Same goes for Massa a further lap later. That puts Kovalainen in the lead, 13 seconds ahead of his teammate. The finn pits in lap 22 and stays on the harder tyre, rejoning in 8th place, ahead of Nick Heidfeld.

The stops have shaken up the challengers for points, as behind Hamilton and Massa, Glock is now third as he didn’t stop yet. Kovalainen is 4th, ahead of Heidfeld who also didn’t stop yet. Kubica is 6th, Raikkonen 7th. Trulli is 8th, just ahead of Vettel and Alonso who has fallen back to 10th place due to a very unfortunate pistop.

Only in lap 30 Glock makes his first stop but isn’t going to the end. He rejoins the track just ahead of Vettel but is then passed in the hairpin. Alonso is unable to profit and does appear to have trouble to find traction out of the slower corners. In fact he is unable to follow Vettel and Glock.

Lap 36 marks a big accident for Timo Glock. After an apparently broke, right rear suspension, he hits the pitwall after going slightly wide in the final corner. Timo is obviously shaken up and is helped out of the car by the medical team. It looks like he is dizzy and has hurt his back.

The safety car then brings everybody together and almost everbody enters the pitlane as soon as they are allowed to. In the pitlane, Vettel is very aggressive when exiting and pushes Alonso over the white line at the pitlane exit. The Spaniard is obviously not happy with that move.

Mark Webber’s engine is meanwhile letting go, although he continues to run. He is spraying smoke al around the track but ends up in the grass 2 laps later, just then the safety car leaves the track.

With 26 laps to go, Hamilton is in he lead, ahead of Heidfeld, Piquet, Massa, Kubica, Kovalainen, Trulli, Vettel and Alonso, just behind the German. Raikkonen is just behind them.

Alonso then loses 2 places after being blocked on the inside of the hairpin with Vettel.

Raikkonen is apparently going much faster on the softer compound and he also passes Trulli easily and quickly finds himself on the tail of Robert Kubica, who on his behalf was passed by Kovalainen.

18 laps from the end, Coulthard gets touched by Barrichello, the latter breaking his front wing and entering the pitlane for his final pitstop. He eventually abandons the race. At the same time Hamilton also pits and rejoins the track just behind his teamate, in place 5.

3 laps later Kovalainen brakes a bit too late, allowing Hamilton to pass. It remains to be seen if this was not an order by the team as it certainly looked dubious.

As Heidfeld enters in that same lap, Piquet is in the lead for the first time in his F1 career.

13 laps from the end, Hamilton has moved up through the field and is just behind Massa. 11 laps from the end, Hamilton passes Massa also very aggressively. 2 laps later Hamilton passes Piquet in the same manner and frankly not acceptable. He deliberately goes wide on the exit of the hairpin to not allow a re-pass.

In the end, Hamilton was just dominant all weekend and no one could really do anything about it. He is not the only leader in the championship. Piquet gets Renault’s first podium of the season thanks to a great pitstop strategy and some luck with the safety car.

German GP, race
1 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:31:20.847
2 N. Piquet Renault + 5.586
3 F. Massa Ferrari + 9.339
4 N. Heidfeld BMW + 9.825
5 H. Kovalainen McLaren + 12.411
6 K. Raikkonen Ferrari + 14.483
7 R. Kubica BMW + 22.603
8 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso + 33.282
9 J. Trulli Toyota + 37.199
10 N. Rosberg Williams + 37.658
11 F. Alonso Renault + 38.625
12 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso + 39.111
13 D. Coulthard Red Bull + 54.971
14 G. Fisichella Force India F1 + 59.093
15 K. Nakajima Williams + 1:00.003
16 A. Sutil Force India F1 + 1:09.488
17 J. Button Honda + 1 lap

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