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
2015 - Russian GP - FP2 (Friday October 9 2015)
2015 - Russian GP - FP1 (Friday October 9 2015)
Blog: Sochi Preview (Thursday October 8 2015)
Ecclestone expects F1 to be sold (Wednesday October 7 2015)
Can Mercedes wrap up constructors title in Russia? (Tuesday October 6 2015)
Blog: How reliability reduces F1ís records (Monday October 5 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 15 (Monday October 5 2015)
Who will win in Russia? (Monday October 5 2015)
F1 teams pushing to dump Pirelli for Michelin? (Friday October 2 2015)
Dennis hits out at McLaren Honda critics (Friday October 2 2015)
Manor secure Mercedes power for 2016 (Thursday October 1 2015)
Button to stay at McLaren in 2016 (Thursday October 1 2015)
Grosjean to join Haas in 2016 (Thursday October 1 2015)
Letter of intent signed for Lotus buy-out (Tuesday September 29 2015)
Where were Mercedes in Japan? (Monday September 28 2015)
Blog: Japanese GP Report (Sunday September 27 2015)
2015 - Japan GP - Race (Sunday September 27 2015)
Blog: Suzuka Qualifying (Saturday September 26 2015)
2015 - Japan GP - Qualifying (Saturday September 26 2015)
2015 - Japan GP- FP3 (Saturday September 26 2015)
2015 - Japan GP - FP2 (Friday September 25 2015)
2015 - Japan GP - FP1 (Friday September 25 2015)
Perez to stay with Force India (Thursday September 24 2015)
Blog: Suzuka Preview (Thursday September 24 2015)
McLaren ready for financial shortfall (Wednesday September 23 2015)
Button expected to announce retirement (Wednesday September 23 2015)
It's Ferrari or Bust for Red Bull Racing (Wednesday September 23 2015)
Maldonado to stay, Grosjean to leave? (Tuesday September 22 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 14 (Monday September 21 2015)
Who will win in Japan? (Monday September 21 2015)
Blog: Singapore GP Report (Monday September 21 2015)
2015 - Singapore GP - Race (Sunday September 20 2015)
Blog: Singapore Qualifying (Sunday September 20 2015)
2015 - Singapore GP - Qualifying (Sunday September 20 2015)
2015- Singapore GP - FP3 (Sunday September 20 2015)
2015 - Singapore - FP2 (Friday September 18 2015)
2015 - Singapore GP - FP1 (Friday September 18 2015)
Rosberg will keep believing (Friday September 18 2015)
Merhi & Rossi to share Manor Marussia seat (Thursday September 17 2015)
Another new deal for Melbourne (Thursday September 17 2015)
It's over says Renault (Thursday September 17 2015)
Blog: Singapore Preview (Wednesday September 16 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 13 (Wednesday September 16 2015)
Who will win in Singpore? (Wednesday September 16 2015)
Williams may not take Mercedes upgrade (Tuesday September 15 2015)
Lotus to drop into administration on Friday? (Monday September 14 2015)
Big hopes for Ferrari in 2016 (Friday September 11 2015)
Button's wait nearly over? (Thursday September 10 2015)
Webber slams pay drivers (Wednesday September 9 2015)
Mercedes board reject supplying Red Bull engines (Tuesday September 8 2015)
Blog: Italian GP Report (Tuesday September 8 2015)
Disqualifying Merc would have been the easy call (Monday September 7 2015)
Mercedes cleared - Italian GP result stands (Sunday September 6 2015)
Mercedes under investigation following Italian GP (Sunday September 6 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - Race (Sunday September 6 2015)
Blog: Monza Qualifying (Sunday September 6 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying (Saturday September 5 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday September 5 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday September 4 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday September 4 2015)
Mercedes split on Red Bull deal (Friday September 4 2015)
Rosberg targets Monza pole (Thursday September 3 2015)
Formula One is on the edge (Thursday September 3 2015)
Will Maldonado join Hulkenberg at Force India? (Thursday September 3 2015)
Renault to rescue Lotus team? (Thursday September 3 2015)
Blog: Monza Preview (Wednesday September 2 2015)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 12 (Tuesday September 1 2015)
Who will win the Italian Grand Prix? (Tuesday September 1 2015)
McLaren drivers getting frustrated? (Friday August 28 2015)
Ferrari do not want fight with Pirelli (Thursday August 27 2015)
Hamilton delight at qualifying form (Wednesday August 26 2015)
Vettel launches foul-mouthed attack on Pirelli (Wednesday August 26 2015)
Former British F1 driver Wilson killed in crash (Tuesday August 25 2015)
Blog: Belgian GP Report (Monday August 24 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP- Race (Sunday August 23 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP - Qualifying (Sunday August 23 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP - FP3 (Sunday August 23 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP - FP2 (Friday August 21 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP - FP1 (Friday August 21 2015)
Ten drivers in contention for Haas 2016 seats (Friday August 21 2015)
Mercedes to take the fight to their rivals (Thursday August 20 2015)
Raikkonen retains seat at Ferrari (Thursday August 20 2015)
Blog: Spa Preview (Wednesday August 19 2015)
Who will win the Belgium Grand Prix? (Tuesday August 18 2015)
Blog: Why Honda might still get it right (Monday August 17 2015)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 11 (Monday August 17 2015)
Stevens pleased with Manor season (Friday August 14 2015)
Toro Rosso takeover talks over (Thursday August 13 2015)
Lack of simulator running will hurt Sauber (Wednesday August 12 2015)
Lotus expect great things from Maldonado (Tuesday August 11 2015)
Toro Rosso should push on (Monday August 10 2015)
Money means nothing to Ricciardo (Friday August 7 2015)
Honda to spend tokens (Thursday August 6 2015)
Force India investigate failures (Wednesday August 5 2015)
McLaren oppose testing plans (Tuesday August 4 2015)
Ferrari speculation affecting Bottas (Monday August 3 2015)
Does Ferrari's Raikkonen option expire today? (Friday July 31 2015)
Double podium for Red Bull Racing (Thursday July 30 2015)
Vettel dedicates victory to Bianchi (Wednesday July 29 2015)
Vital talking point: Hungary - Merc stalling? (Tuesday July 28 2015)
|7.||Push The Button||465|