Formula 1

Hamilton Wins German GP

The Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has won the German Grand Prix today at the Hockenheim ring, ahead of the sports summer break.

Hamilton, who is now 19 points ahead of his team mate Nico Rosberg in the drivers’ championship, took the lead going into the first corner. From there he drove a near faultless race to extend his lead in the championship. Though Mercedes didn’t have it all their own way, with Hamilton’s team mate Rosberg struggling home to 4th today. Rosberg lost out at the start to Hamilton and both the Red Bulls, and was 4th going into the first corner. From there his race seemed to stall. He tried a rather aggressive overtaking move on Max Verstappen into the hairpin of turn 3, driving him wide and off the circuit. The stewards took a dim view on the move and awarded him a five second time penalty, that became an eight second penalty when Mercedes stopwatch failed on them during the stop.

Rosberg seemed rather despondent with is 4th place as he talked to the media after the race. “It was a really tough one today. It just completely went wrong at the start with a lot of wheel spin. I thought it was a good battle [with Verstappen]. I was very surprised I got penalised, I didn’t expect that at all.”

Rather than Rosberg being his closest challenger today, Hamilton’s rivals were the Red Bull duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen, who were able to continue their recent run of good form with a 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Initially Verstappen made the better start to overtake Ricciardo into turn 1 for 2nd place. However, when Red Bull split their strategies the momentum swung in Ricciardo’s favour. He was able to leapfrog Verstappen in the stops and retain 2nd position, with the young Dutchman having to settle for 3rd behind his team mate. Courtesy of their double-podium finish, Red Bull have now overtaken Ferrari in the constructors’ championship after another mediocre race for the Ferrari team.

The team could only manage 5th and 6th with their drivers today, with Sebastian Vettel finishing ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Ferrari seems to be suffering in recent races from a lack of race pace as well as a possible lack of leadership. There have been whisperings from as far back as Canada as to who is running the team right now behind the scenes. Vettel or team boss Maurizio Arrivabene? And in a particularly telling moment midway through the race, Vettel overruled a direct order from the team’s pitwall to stop for new tyres and carried on for a further three laps.

Meanwhile it was a good race for the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg. The driver managed the best finish for Force India round the Hockenheim ring with a 7th place. The result, along with Sergio Perez’s 10th place finish today, means the gap to their rivals Williams is now just 15 points in the constructors. Williams were only able to get one driver to score points today. With Valtteri Bottas finishing 9th behind the McLaren of Jenson Button, who managed to secure 8th place in an improving McLaren Honda. Critically Button’s points mean McLaren now move ahead of Toro Rosso in the constructors, up to 6th place, after they failed to score any points with their drivers today.

It was however a bad day if your name was Felipe, as both Felipe’s were the only retirements from the race. Felipe Massa retired his Williams early on in the race following a clash with the Renault of Jolyon Palmer into turn 1. While Felipe Nasr pulled his Sauber over towards the end of the race with a technical issue.

Overall the race was interesting if you weren’t watching the first couple of cars. The battles in the midfield were the highlights of the race today. With some opportunistic moves from the likes of Kevin Magnussen in the Renault and Fernando Alonso in the McLaren. There were a lot of battles that needed to be settled going into summer break, which were settled. We’ve seen Red Bull move ahead of Ferrari, and McLaren leapfrog Toro Rosso. While Force India move closer to William again. What seemed to upset a lot of people was the inconstancy of the penalties awarded this weekend by the FIA this weekend. One person particularly annoyed was out DTM correspondent Mathew Hull. On the whole he thought the race was “pretty boring. But I’m more angry than bored at the moment.” I’m inclined to agree with him. The punishments of the FIA seem to be sporadic at best this weekend in particular. At its worst it’s been nothing short of a bit of a disaster. Hopefully the FIA will use this summer break to read up on their rules and come back with some consistency for the remainder of the season.

I’ll leave you now with my highlight of the weekend. Which goes to Daniel Ricciardo doing a shoey on the podium celebrating his 2nd place and 100th Grand Prix start. All I can say is this. Dan, I salute you, never change Honey Badger!

As previously mentioned it’s summer break, with no F1 action till the Belgium Grand Prix in Spa on the 28th of August. Till then however we will have a mid-season team by team report for you to read very soon.

2016 German Grand Prix Result
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 67 Laps
2. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull
3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
5. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari,
6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
7. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India,
8. Jenson Button, McLaren, + 1 lap
9. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, + 1 lap
10. Sergio Perez, Force India, + 1 lap
11. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, + 1 lap
12. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, + 1 lap
13. Romain Grosjean, Haas, + 1 lap
14. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, + 1 lap
15. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, + 1 lap
16. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, + 2 laps
17. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, + 2 laps
18. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, + 2 laps
19. Rio Haryanto, Manor, + 2 laps
20. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, DNF
21. Felipe Massa, Williams, DNF

Feature Image Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Press Release

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