German Grand Prix Results – Ferrari
German GP – Another podium for Fernando
Nurburgring, 24 July – A Ferrari once again made it to the podium in today’s German Grand Prix, as Fernando Alonso finished second behind the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton. The two Red Bulls finished third and fourth with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, ahead of Felipe Massa, fifth in the other 150º Italia.
Valuable points for Scuderia Ferrari, as the team heads for the eleventh round, this coming weekend in Budapest, the Hungarian Grand Prix.
German GP – A podium and plenty of points in Germany
Nurburg, 24 July – Scuderia Ferrari took its fifth podium of the season, all of them courtesy of Fernando Alonso, after the Spaniard finished second in the German Grand Prix. Felipe Massa added to the team’s impressive points haul by bringing the other 150º Italia home in fifth place, having been a protagonist in some of the most exciting battles in what was an action packed afternoon. Joining Fernando on the podium was winner Lewis Hamilton for McLaren and third placed Mark Webber for Red Bull Racing.
While there had been plenty of light rain in the morning, the track was actually completely dry as the 24 cars formed up on the grid. However, just a few seconds later, it began to rain very slightly, although not enough for any other tyre choice but slicks. When the lights went out, Lewis got the jump on pole man Webber, as Fernando, from fourth on the grid, got the better of Vettel but then had to fight him off for a few corners, while Rosberg managed to pass Felipe, relegating the Brazilian to sixth. On lap 2 Fernando was very close to Webber but ran wide and Vettel got past again. One lap later and the Spaniard was sitting on the German’s tail and Felipe was right behind Rosberg’s gearbox.
At the start of lap 8 Fernando again got past Vettel, while lower down the order there was another good battle as Button tried to get his McLaren past ninth placed Petrov in the Renault. On lap 10, the Rosberg-Massa duo had closed right up to Vettel who lost time with a spin when he appeared to lose grip on a white line. Lap 11 and Heidfeld retired after crashing into Buemi as they battled for 15th spot and finally, going down the main straight to start lap 12, Felipe managed to muscle his way past Rosberg, the two of them touching wheels at Turn 1. By now, Webber had closed up to the race leader and actually got past the McLaren briefly as the two men raced wheel to wheel, but the Englishman managed to keep the lead. This scrap had allowed Fernando to close up to the Red Bull and he even got alongside the Australian briefly, before Webber was the first of the lead group to pit for tyres on lap 14. Rosberg came in on the same lap. Felipe was now less than half a second behind third placed Vettel.
Lap 16 and Hamilton and Fernando pitted together, while Felipe had got ahead of Webber going into Turn 1 as Vettel dived for the pits so that the Brazilian was leading on lap 17 when he headed for pit lane for his own tyre change. The run of pit stops at the front meant that Webber was now leading Hamilton by 0.6s, with Fernando just 0.3 behind this duo and Felipe was eighth ahead of Hamilton, although the cars in between them and the lead trio had yet to pit. Felipe and Vettel then dispensed with Kobayashi’s Sauber to move up to seventh and eighth, but found themselves stuck behind Petrov’s Renault. Felipe passed the Russian on lap 22 and Vettel took a bit longer to manage the same move. Sutil pitted from fourth on this lap which promoted Felipe to fifth behind Button.
Lap 24 saw Schumacher spin in his efforts to catch team-mate Rosberg and Felipe was up to fourth behind the other 150º Italia, albeit over 20 seconds behind, after Button finally pitted for fresh tyres. Meanwhile, it was still very close at the front with only 2.6 seconds separating Fernando from leader Webber, with Hamilton exactly a second behind the Red Bull on lap 27. But a couple of laps on and Fernando stepped up the pace so he was only 0.7 behind Hamilton, having set the fastest race lap up to that point.
Webber was the first of the lead trio to make a second tyre change on lap 30, which meant Hamilton now led from Fernando, although Webber came out of pit lane in third, ahead of Felipe. One lap later and it was the McLaren man’s turn to pit and this time he managed to come out wheel to wheel with Webber, just forcing the Red Bull wide to go second behind Fernando. It was exciting stuff as the Ferrari emerged from pit lane to slot in ahead of leader Hamilton, but with the momentum of running on track, the McLaren retook the lead, leaving the Spaniard just ahead of third placed Webber. Button seemed to have been involved in plenty of action and he finally made it into the top six by getting past Rosberg on lap 35, to sit behind Vettel who was 2.4 seconds off Felipe. But the Englishman’s race ended one lap later with an hydraulic problem.
Vettel made his second trip down pit lane on lap 40 and Felipe followed him next time round and immediately found the German on his tail, pushing hard on tyres that were more up to temperature. But Felipe fought him off and gradually pulled out a small gap once again, especially as the German overshot and missed the chicane and had to lift off. But the battle intensified and a couple of laps later it was Felipe’s turn to run slightly wide, allowing the Red Bull to close up. On lap 47, after the gap had grown slightly, Vettel set a race fastest lap so the gap came down again this time to 0.9. On lap 50, with just ten laps remaining the gap was only half a second, with Felipe locking up his front wheels under braking in his efforts to stay in fourth place.
Lap 51 and Fernando inherited the lead as Hamilton made a third stop for fresh rubber, and as soon as the Englishman had left pit lane, the Ferrari mechanics took up position in pit lane to do the same for Fernando, but the Spaniard drove by and the tyres went back in their blankets. He now had a 4.0 lead over Webber, with Hamilton back in third, but a poor second sector on that lap, meant the Spaniard would really have to produce a quick lap if he wanted to pit and maintain the lead. Would it be enough, as he came in on lap 53? Sadly the answer was no, as he emerged from pit lane just behind Hamilton. 23 seconds further back, Felipe’s mirrors were full of Vettel’s Red Bull. Webber, who only changed tyres twice was now leading, but he had to make a third stop on lap 56, which put Hamilton and Fernando back to first and second. The top three would remain in this order to the flag, but the fight over fourth place kept the excitement going right to the flag. On the very last lap, Felipe and Vettel both had to pit, because so far they had only run the Option tyre and the rules state a driver must use both Option and Prime in a race. Unfortunately, the Red Bull crew was fractionally quicker getting their man away, so in the end Felipe had to settle for fifth place. It had been a fantastic race, with action throughout the field and now the teams must pack up quickly for the 1154 kilometre trip to Budapest, where the cars are back on track this Friday for the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.