Race Review - German Grand Prix
Welcome to the PureF1.com race review for the German Grand Prix.
VitalF1.com and PureF1.com will be linking up throughout the season to bring you comprehensive coverage of this seasons Formula One World Championship.
With the latest news coming from VitalF1 and race analysis from PureF1, we will have every angle covered.A Hockenheim round up
What a great German Grand Prix it was, in this weeks column I will express my feelings and opinion on the controversial race.
There is no doubt that the standard of Grand Prix’s this season has been high, so its no surprise that the German GP looked slightly mediocre compared to some that we have seen. However, it had all the ingredients for a great race. It had a mixed up grid, controversy before it had even started with the Red Bull engine map saga, some top drivers in fast cars, a close field and the rain on Friday and Saturday. The race too was made up of some crucial ingredients. We saw great overtakes, controversial overtakes, contact between cars, some great drivers through the field (Button, Raikkonen, Kobayashi, Perez) and a close fight till the end. What more could we ask for?
I wanted to start off with some of the “drives through the field”. One that impressed me was Jenson Button. After starting from 6th position, he smoothly carved his way past Pastor Maldonado on lap 1 and disposed of Nico Hulkenberg shortly afterwards. This was crucial for his race as the Mclaren looked to have the pace early on. Next up came Schumacher and a lovely out braking manoeuvre into turn 6 got the job done, onwards to the leaders. I was extremely surprised to see that after 1 lap of undercutting Vettel for his 2nd stop, Jenson managed to come out ahead of Sebastian. Then there was the obvious controversial overtake which I will come to later. Other drivers to impress were Kobayashi and Perez. Perez particularly as he made his way up from 17th on the grid. The Sauber cars were on it. They were overtaking left, right and centre. Both drivers held a competitive pace throughout the race, which helped them leap frog Hulkenberg, Di Resta and Maldonado when they struggled. Raikkonen also had a good race. The Lotus could have been challenging for a podium, had it not been for a lowly qualifying. He definitely extracted everything from the car.
Another key talking point before the race was the fact that Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen were both starting their 100th GP. It was a tad disappointing for me that TV, Media and Social Networks really only looked at Hamilton’s career instead of Heikki’s. They are both great drivers and it seems like yesterday when they debuted in Melbourne, 2007. I find that it is also great to see some amazing drivers hit that 100 mark, and have the longevity in the sport. We see so many drivers in the current F1 guise who dont even make it to 50 or 100 (Alguersuari, Buemi etc). Yes, Formula 1 needs new drivers but to see so many racers passing that 100 mark is great to see. Hamilton obviously did not have a race to remember, the puncture was very unfortunate. However, looking at their FP3 pace I think Lewis could of been up there fighting with Jenson and Vettel, had he got past the slower cars in front. Heikki had his usual quiet race for Caterham. He was beaten by Petrov but had a few troubled moments which left him further down than you would expect. Hopefully Caterhams new relocation to Leafield can bring the team closer or move them into the midfield soon or in 2013.
The Hockenheim track is one of my favourites. The old and new track compared are both very different, but I think the old track did suit the older generation of cars. The long straights, tight and slow chicanes and the thrill and danger surrounding it were very interesting and made for some good races. However the new track has a good mix of turns, enabling more overtaking and also making the race more reliable. Gone are the days of only 8 or 7 cars finishing the race. Yes, the new Hockenheim may not have the charm but it still has the ingredients for some good races. I enjoy it so much that I have even reverted to the old F1 2010 Xbox game to try it out.
Moving swiftly on to the controversial overtake where Vettel passed Button by going off track. Yes, it was inevitable that Sebastian would pass him sooner rather than later, but it was still done in the wrong way. Jenson did not have the grip off the corner, but as they exited they were equally in front. Jenson would of given him more room had he thought that Vettel wouldn’t back out, but the German did not. Sebastian gained a clear advantage by carrying more speed out of the corner and using that run off to propel him forward. He was outside of the white lines, all 4 wheels. Was a 20 second penalty fair? I think so. 20 seconds is given as the amount of time it takes for a drive through. In real terms, a drive through at Hockenheim takes 10-12 seconds so it was a tad harsh, but none the less in my opinion deserved.
Looking at the winner, it was just another controlled race by Fernando. I don’t get why he is always telling the team that the car needs pace, as it obviously has some. At this stage, you would be silly not to bet on Alonso for the title. We are half way through the season, but he is already showing his dominance by becoming the first driver to win 3 races in 2012. Lets just hope it becomes a closer fight.
Author: Rick McCabe
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