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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Rosberg & Hamilton hope to gain advantage (Thursday September 18 2014)
FIA clarify new radio rules (Wednesday September 17 2014)
Lotus finances improving (Wednesday September 17 2014)
Williams want to become title contenders (Tuesday September 16 2014)
Prodromou completes McLaren switch (Tuesday September 16 2014)
Radio ban not clear says Mercedes (Monday September 15 2014)
Pirelli select tyres for Japan and Russia (Monday September 15 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 14 (Monday September 15 2014)
Who will win the Singapore Grand Prix? (Monday September 15 2014)
F1 radio clamp down (Friday September 12 2014)
Mercedes not opposed to relaxing F1 engine freeze (Friday September 12 2014)
Massa needed podium finish (Thursday September 11 2014)
Motorsport Council discuss draft 2015 calendar (Thursday September 11 2014)
Button enjoyed Perez battle (Thursday September 11 2014)
Schumacher returns home (Wednesday September 10 2014)
Di Montezemolo steps down (Wednesday September 10 2014)
Di Montezemolo criticised by Fiat boss (Tuesday September 9 2014)
Albers quits Caterham (Tuesday September 9 2014)
Williams maximise performance (Monday September 8 2014)
Hamilton deserved victory says Rosberg (Monday September 8 2014)
Blog: Italian GP Report (Monday September 8 2014)
2014 - Italy - Race (Sunday September 7 2014)
Blog: Monza Qualifying (Saturday September 6 2014)
2014 - Italy - Qualifying (Saturday September 6 2014)
2014 - Italy - FP3 (Saturday September 6 2014)
Blog: How F1 speeds are changing throughout 2014 (Saturday September 6 2014)
2014 - Italy - FP2 (Friday September 5 2014)
2014 - Italy - FP1 (Friday September 5 2014)
Speculation bores Vettel (Friday September 5 2014)
Could Mercedes drop Rosberg or Hamilton (Friday September 5 2014)
Hass seal Ferrari deal (Thursday September 4 2014)
Renault join calls for engine freeze lift (Wednesday September 3 2014)
Ferrari frustration for Fernando (Wednesday September 3 2014)
Hamilton will not give up (Tuesday September 2 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 13 (Tuesday September 2 2014)
Who will win the Italian Grand Prix? (Tuesday September 2 2014)
Rosberg finally takes responsibility (Monday September 1 2014)
Ferrari boss attempts to buy time (Monday September 1 2014)
Williams must improve (Friday August 29 2014)
Promotion for Rocky at Red Bull Racing (Friday August 29 2014)
Ferrari call for engine freeze to be lifted (Thursday August 28 2014)
If I have to retire so be it says Button (Thursday August 28 2014)
Ricciardo is a championship contender (Wednesday August 27 2014)
McLaren end 25 year association with Whitmarsh (Wednesday August 27 2014)
Rosberg doesn't deserve title says Button (Tuesday August 26 2014)
Rosberg refuses to comment (Tuesday August 26 2014)
Blog: Belgian GP Report (Tuesday August 26 2014)
Crash was deliberate claims Hamilton (Monday August 25 2014)
Finger of blame pointed at Rosberg (Monday August 25 2014)
2014 - Belgium - Race (Sunday August 24 2014)
Blog: Spa Qualifying (Sunday August 24 2014)
2014 - Belgium - Qualifying (Saturday August 23 2014)
2014 - Belgium - FP3 (Saturday August 23 2014)
2014 - Belgium - FP2 (Friday August 22 2014)
2014 - Belgium - FP1 (Friday August 22 2014)
Chilton to race in Spa (Friday August 22 2014)
Russia is ready (Thursday August 21 2014)
Force India boss slams double points plan (Thursday August 21 2014)
Kobayashi dropped by Caterham (Thursday August 21 2014)
Ferrari lucky to have 2 great champions (Wednesday August 20 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 12 (Tuesday August 19 2014)
Introducing Max Verstappen (Tuesday August 19 2014)
Vergne to leave Toro Rosso at end-of-season (Tuesday August 19 2014)
2014 Ferrari doesn't suit Kimi (Tuesday August 19 2014)
Who will win the Belgian Grand Prix? (Monday August 18 2014)
New Ground For Mercedes (Monday August 18 2014)
Lowe rejects Newey claim (Friday August 15 2014)
Damage limitation for Red Bull in Spa & Monza (Thursday August 14 2014)
Sauber paying the price for 2013 ambitions (Wednesday August 13 2014)
Kimi targets race wins in 2015 (Tuesday August 12 2014)
Grosjean uncertain over future (Monday August 11 2014)
Williams target best-of-the-rest title (Friday August 8 2014)
Blog: Time for Bernie to go (Thursday August 7 2014)
Nico didn't get close enough - Wolff (Wednesday August 6 2014)
£60million payment ends Ecclestone's bribery trial (Wednesday August 6 2014)
Mercedes team orders were strange says Horner (Tuesday August 5 2014)
New deal for Australia (Monday August 4 2014)
Luck will turn for Vettel (Monday August 4 2014)
Newey critical of 'GP1' era (Friday August 1 2014)
McLaren made catastrophic error (Friday August 1 2014)
Ferrari confirm Marmorini departure (Friday August 1 2014)
Second felt like a victory for Alonso (Thursday July 31 2014)
Ericsson and Perez ok after crashes (Wednesday July 30 2014)
Vettel rumours are bull**** says Lauda (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Blog: Hungarian GP Report (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Mercedes will learn from team-orders row (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Lauda backing for Hamilton (Monday July 28 2014)
Ricciardo takes second victory of the season (Monday July 28 2014)
2014 - Hungary - Race (Sunday July 27 2014)
Blog: Hungaroing Qualifying (Sunday July 27 2014)
2014 - Hungary - Qualifying (Saturday July 26 2014)
2014 - Hungary - FP3 (Saturday July 26 2014)
2014 - Hungary - FP2 (Friday July 25 2014)
Formula One to visit Azerbaijan in 2016 (Friday July 25 2014)
2014 - Hungary - FP1 (Friday July 25 2014)
Vettel would consider leaving Red Bull (Friday July 25 2014)
Hamilton keen on new Mercedes deal (Friday July 25 2014)
Could F1 pull Russian Grand Prix? (Thursday July 24 2014)
F1 return to Mexico confirmed (Thursday July 24 2014)
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