Following Lewis Hamilton’s triumphant win on home soil at the British Grand Prix two weeks ago, Nico Rosberg has matched his team-mate by winning his own home race.
After suffering his first retirement of the year Rosberg came back with a bang, dominating the field in Germany with a lights to flag victory. He was 20 seconds clear of nearest rival Valtteri Bottas who had to hold off a charging Hamilton in the closing stages of the race. Hamilton had started from 20th after brake failure in qualifying and a gearbox change saw him starting way out of position. He fought his way through the field but was unable to pass the Williams driver. For Bottas it was his third podium in a row since his first in Formula One which came at the Austrian Grand Prix. There was further cause for celebration for Williams with it also being their 300th in Formula One.
A safety car was deployed after a first corner collision between Felipe Massa and Kevin Magnussen which resulted in the Brazilian’s car flipping. He emerged from the car by himself and was thankfully uninjured but it was disappointment for the second race in the row, failing to complete even a lap. Magnussen was able to continue and fought back to finish in ninth place, salvaging two points after starting in fourth. The accident was deemed to be a racing incident and no further action was taken. There was some close racing throughout the race, particularly in the opening stint when the likes of Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel going wheel-to-wheel. Having spent a lot of time fighting with Vettel in Silverstone it was the four time world champion’s team-mate who Alonso found himself up against in the latter stages of the race. Alonso eventually came out on top although crossed the line with the time showing 0.0s. It was another disappointing afternoon for Alonso’s team-mate Raikkonen who lost part of his front wing after contact with Vettel. He finished down in eleventh and again without points.
Both Force India drivers finished in the points, with Nico Hulkenberg seventh and Sergio Perez in tenth. They sandwiched the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Magnussen, the former of whom had to make a late stop but did so without losing a position. Button also had some drama during the race when he made contact with Hamilton – who held his hands up – when the pair fought for position. In terms of retirements there were four in the race. Massa was obviously the first with his race ending after just a corner. Romain Grosjean came to a halt at the side of the track after reporting “problems with the power” while Daniil Kvyat’s race came to a smoky end after his car caught fire. Adrian Sutil was the fourth and final retirement, spinning on the exit of the final corner and stalling his car in the middle of the track. No safety car was deployed and marshals were forced to run across a live track to try and move the car out of the way.
Rosberg had a fairly anonymous afternoon but it was a solid race to see him go 14 points clear of Hamilton in the championship. In the constructors championship Williams moved another step up the order, overtaking Ferrari to slot into third place. It’s a quick turnaround for teams following this race as the action continues in Hungary in just a week’s time.