FERRARI REIGNS SUPREME IN THE GERMAN FOREST

22 Jul

The Michael Report- FORMULA 1 GROßER PREIS SANTANDER VON DEUTSCHLAND 2012

As we approach the halfway point in the 2012 season Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is looking in very good shape following the tenth race at the Hockenheimring today. It was an exciting, but tense race as three contenders scrapped with each other in the battle to take the chequered flag, in which Alonso would ultimately emerge as the victor. He drove excellently, managing his tyres very effectively indeed, and pulled off at the start of the race as if he were Sebastian Vettel; Jenson Button started well and immediately overtook Pastor Maldonado, and then Nico Hulkenberg in the first few laps.

However, Felipe Massa’s front wing flew off and almost into the grandstands as the red lights went out, causing debris to litter the track, and unfortunately, Lewis Hamilton caught a rear tyre puncture which forced him to take a very premature pit stop, his chances of victory certainly quashed, as he was left straggling at the back.

It was a very controversial race for Red Bull. Mark Webber already faced a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change, and both cars nearly faced a pit stop start as their engine mapping came under scrutiny by the race stewards. Eventually facing no further action, Sebastian Vettel followed Alonso, but just didn’t have the pace to challenge Alonso to the lead, and some very controversial driving saw the German go off the circuit several times- at the Hockenheimring, many drivers found that they picked UP speed by going OFF the circuit, which is a severe downside to the circuit.
Eventually, Alonso, Vettel and Button were in contention for the chequered flag, as Button had incredible pace. Lewis Hamilton may have been lapped, but his car- at one point- was the fastest car on the track, and he managed to un-lap himself, keeping Vettel and Alonso at bay, allowing Button to catch right up; Hamilton did eventually retire, however, on his hundredth GP. Button reached second following a WORLD RECORD pit stop of 2.31 seconds- I think McLaren have hopefully recovered from their earlier garage woes- and held on until the penultimate lap, when Vettel overtook Button by going completely off the circuit in an unsportsmanlike manoeuvre, and the stewards are investigating the incident. As it stands, Alonso, master of the tyres and race, won the race and receives 25 points, Vettel has been demoted to fifth place (10 points) following a 20 second penalty for his atrocious manoeuvre, so Button has now been awarded second place and won a desperately needed 18 points.

Lotus had a mixed weekend- Kimi Raikkönen finished fourth and won 12 points but Romain Grosjean can simply forget the German Grand Prix as he finished 18th; Sauber had an exceptional pace in the dry Perez finished sixth, and Kobayashi finished fourth, and earned 20 points for their team. Michael Schumacher finished seventh for Mercedes (6 points); Webber finished eighth (4 points); Rosberg soared from 21st to ninth to receive 2 points and Nico Hulkenberg finished in tenth to receive the final point.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS UPDATE

Alonso’s 25 points have seen his position at the top of the Driver’s Championships soar even higher, extending to 154 points, which is 34 points clear of Mark Webber on 120 points; Sebastian Vettel’s penalty has cost him 8 points overall, meaning he is now third in the Championships with 116 points. Hamilton’s retirement has meant that Kimi Raikkönen has overtaken him into fourth place with 95 points ahead of Hamilton’s 92 points. A gap of 16 points separates fifth and sixth- Nico Rosberg has 76 points; Jenson Button has gained 18 well deserved points to claim back seventh from Romain Grosjean, who has 61 points compared with Jenson’s 68 points.

Concerning Constructors, Red Bull stand atop of the Championships with 230 points, leaving a significant gap between second placed Ferrari with 177 points; McLaren have gained one place into third with 160 points, marginally ahead of Lotus who have 159 points; Mercedes remain fifth with 105 points and Sauber are pulling away from the midfield with 78 points, and as usual, Caterham, Marussia and HRT are yet to score.

Next weeks Hungarian GP will only be covered by the Michael Report due to the editor spending Sunday travelling down to London for the olympics, but full service will resume after the 4 week summer holiday at Spa-Francorchamps (2nd September).

To see cars built by the next generation of F1 engineers go to https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.449468705074189.101040.432841420070251&type=3

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