Date:Sunday July 24 2011
The cars lined up on the grid for the final preparations on a cold Nurburgring track with rain in the air making all the teams and drivers nervous.
Red Bull's Mark Webber was of course on pole after his superb lap on Saturday while McLaren's Lewis Hamilton lined up alongside him after surprising everyone with the performance of his McLaren Mercedes.
F1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel lined up alongside Ferrari's Fernando Alonso on the second row of the grid.
When the lights went out both Red Bull's lost a place on the start line with Hamilton taking the lead by the first turn, however a mistake from Fernando Alonso on lap two handed third position back to Vettel.
Over the next six laps Alonso and Vettel battled and on lap eight under breaking into the first turn Alonso re-took the place back from the championship leader.
The German in his home Grand Prix was obviously feeling the pressure as a lap later he put a wheel on the damp astroturf and lost a lot of time as he spun off.
Further down the field Felipe Massa who had a great start but was blocked off by Vettel and got caught on the outside of turn one was stuck behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in sixth, while Jenson Button was struggling in tenth behind the Renault of Petrov.
Heidfeld and Buemi collided on lap ten battling for twenty-second spot and just as Heidfeld was handed a drive thru penalty for an incident with di Resta on the opening lap, the Renault slid into the gravel not to return.
Back at the front of the race the action was really heating up with Webber getting past Hamilton on the final series of corners but the sheer pace of the McLaren enabled Hamilton to pull of a gutsy move down the pit straight to regain the lead.
As Hamilton and Webber duelled for the lead Fernando Alonso caught up to the back of Webber's car to join the party.
On lap 15 Webber pitted from second, switching for a new set of softs.
A lap later Massa and Webber overtook Vettel for sixth and the German headed for the pitlane. Just a few hundred yards in front and Hamilton and Alonso exited the pit-lane still in first and second, but as they headed to the first corner Massa and Webber overtook them with all four cars heading for the first corner closer than they were when they initially started the race!
On lap 17 Massa pitted from first handing the lead over to Webber, with Hamilton second and Alonso third.
With the race settling down at the front with Webber, Hamilton and Alonso separated by less than two seconds, Petrov, Massa and Vettel battled for sixth.
The Renault driver tried to hold onto the position, but over the course of lap 22 and 23 not only did Massa and Vettel get past, but so did both Mercedes with Rosberg and Schumacher making it look easy to knock the Russian driver down to ninth.
However a lap later Schumacher made the same mistake that Vettel made earlier in the race and the former seven time F1 World champion lost several positions while getting his car back onto the race track.
On lap 31 Mark Webber pitted from the lead and with a routine stop he easily got back out ahead of Felipe Massa's Ferrari who was fourth.
Just half a second separated Hamilton and Alonso coming to the end of lap 31 and Hamilton dived into the pit-lane handing the lead over to Alonso, but crucially got ahead of Webber going into the opening series of corners on lap 32.
At the start of lap 33 Alonso pitted from the lead and with a quick stop appeared to keep the position ahead of Hamilton, however where Webber couldn't get past Hamilton on the previous lap, Hamilton could hold the outside line of turn two and regained the lead.
Over the next three laps Hamilton set fastest lap after fastest lap to pull out a three second lead over Alonso's Ferrari, with third placed Mark Webber drifting a further three seconds behind Alonso.
However with the leaders again staying on the soft Pirelli compound they would all need to pit one final time before the end of the race.
On lap 36 Jenson Button retired with a hydraulics problem ending a frustrating weekend for the 2009 F1 champion.
Out of sync with the front three Massa and Vettel both pitted and continued to battle for fourth position on lap 43.
With 15 laps remaining thanks to the cold weather in Germany the teams began to analyse when to switch over to the medium compound tyre.
Formula One regulations insist that you use both compounds at least once during a race, but with the data estimates suggesting that the medium tyre would be around 1.5seconds per lap slower than the soft tyres Hamilton was instructed to look after his current set of softs, as they wanted to stay out on track for as long as possible. Ferrari of course relayed that information to second placed Alonso.
BBC commentators Martin Brundle and David Coulthard suggested that if the drivers can make their softs last, then could we see last lap stops for the medium tyre? With the laps ticking down the drama certainly didn't appear to be over.
On lap 52 Lewis Hamilton was the first to blink as he made his final pit-stop and changed to the medium compound tyres, if the Pirelli data was correct this pit-stop could cost the British driver the race victory.
Ferrari's mechanics came out for Alonso's pit-stop a lap later but Alonso drove past the pit-lane and the mechanics headed back to the garage.
A lap later with just seven laps to go Alonso did head for the pits and Webber took the lead of the race.
As Alonso exited the pit-lane after a clean stop Hamilton got past Alonso for second place down the start finish straight.
Webber continued to stay out in the Red Bull and with six laps remaining he was 13 seconds ahead of Hamilton and 15 seconds ahead of Alonso, the Australian continued to push to try and pull out a bigger lead on his soft tyres, but it didn't work and when Webber pitted with four laps to go he fell down to third.
Massa and Vettel continued to battle for fourth position as they had done for the majority of the race, but with Vettel not wanting to risk losing any points in the championship hunt the German continued to struggle to get passed the Brazilian on the track, so it was down to the final pit-stop with a head-to-head showdown between the Ferrari and the Red Bull pit crews on the final lap of the race.
Vettel's pit-stop was 1.8seconds faster than Massa's so the championship leader gained fourth position in the pit-lane.
Hamilton cruised across the line moments later to win the race, Alonso finished second, Webber third.
As the McLaren driver began his celebrations Alonso was forced to pull over out on track and in a move that brought back memories of Mansell and Senna, Alonso jumped onto the side of Mark Webber's car to catch a lift back to the pit lane for the podium celebrations!
Date:Sunday July 24 2011
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Lotus commit to long-term engine deal with Renault (Thursday February 20 2014)
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Video: Mercedes mock new F1 rules (Monday February 17 2014)
Schumacher's healing process progresses (Friday February 14 2014)
Kimi & Fernando the right choice for Ferrari (Thursday February 13 2014)
Hill backing for double points (Wednesday February 12 2014)
Renault make breakthrough with Lotus (Tuesday February 11 2014)
Mercedes play down early advantage (Monday February 10 2014)
F1 wants qualifying changes (Friday February 7 2014)
F1 Points in discussion (Friday February 7 2014)
Will Formula One be too slow in 2014? (Thursday February 6 2014)
GP2's Russian Time team principal dies (Thursday February 6 2014)
Ferrari announce testing trio (Wednesday February 5 2014)
F1 team principals are a thing of the past (Tuesday February 4 2014)
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2013 F1 Driver Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2013 F1 Constructor Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
Brawn retires from Formula One (Monday February 3 2014)
Schumacher 'in the process' of coming out of coma (Friday January 31 2014)
Boullier named McLaren Racing Director (Thursday January 30 2014)
McLaren duo killed (Thursday January 30 2014)
Video: Red Bull stutter in Jerez (Wednesday January 29 2014)
Video: F1 teams reveal 2014 challengers (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Video: 'Year of change' for Mclaren (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Alonso and Kimi target the title (Monday January 27 2014)
Final chance for Caterham (Saturday January 25 2014)
Boullier to leave Lotus for McLaren? (Friday January 24 2014)
Paul Di Resta makes Mercedes switch (Friday January 24 2014)
Pic & van der Garde in the cold (Thursday January 23 2014)
Caterham announce Kobayashi & Ericsson (Wednesday January 22 2014)
NASCAR boss makes F1 move (Tuesday January 21 2014)
Schumacher remains in coma (Monday January 20 2014)
Ron Dennis back in control at McLaren (Friday January 17 2014)
Pirelli confirmed until 2016 (Friday January 17 2014)
Ecclestone steps down (Thursday January 16 2014)
Lotus deal with Quantum dead (Thursday January 16 2014)
Ecclestone in the news in Germany (Thursday January 16 2014)
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Changes afoot at Williams (Tuesday January 14 2014)
John Button dies (Monday January 13 2014)
Video: Tribute to Ayrton Senna (Monday January 13 2014)
Chilton holds on to Marussia seat (Monday January 13 2014)
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Kobayashi to return to F1? (Friday January 10 2014)
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Sutil looking forward to Sauber challenge (Wednesday January 8 2014)
Lotus to miss first F1 test (Tuesday January 7 2014)
Fans hold vigil for Schumacher (Monday January 6 2014)
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Schumacher's condition shows 'slight improvement' (Tuesday December 31 2013)
Schumacher remains in coma overnight (Monday December 30 2013)
Schumacher in critical condition (Sunday December 29 2013)
Ferrari calls for F1 team summit (Friday December 27 2013)
Alonso makes his number selection (Thursday December 26 2013)
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Sauber confirm Gutierrez for 2014 (Tuesday December 24 2013)
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Hulkenberg was offered Force India return in March (Thursday December 19 2013)
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Perez backing for double points plan (Saturday December 14 2013)
FIA approve F1 strategy group proposals (Friday December 13 2013)
Perez makes move to Force India (Thursday December 12 2013)
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