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German GP 2008

JULY 20, 2008

Race Notes - Hamilton wins German GP

Nelson Piquet, Lewis Hamilton, German GP 2008
© The Cahier Archive

Lewis Hamilton won the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim today in his McLaren-Mercedes by 5.5 seconds over Nelson Piquet in his Renault and 9.3 seconds ahead of Felipe Massa in his Ferrari in third.

Nick Heidfeld in his BMW Sauber finished fourth, followed by Heikki Kovalainen in the second McLaren in fifth, Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari in sixth, Robert Kubica in the BMW Sauber in seventh and Sebastian Vettel in the Toro Rosso-Ferrari in the final points paying position.

Hamilton ran away from the rest of the field in the early stages of the race, but when the Safety Car came out in the middle of the race for a crash by Timo Glock, McLaren made the bold move to stick to its pit stop strategy and Hamilton did not come in while most of the field made their final stops. With 17 laps remaining Hamilton made his final stop and fought his way back from fifth place. Nelson Piquet was leading the race in the late stages on a one-stop strategy, and was clearly helped by the timing of the Glocks crash, but made the most of it to take his first podium.

At the start Hamilton leads the field from pole, Kovalainen pressuring Massa for second, Kubica getting past Raikkonen, Alonso and Trulli. Coulthard losing a number of spots.

On lap 3 Alonso attacks Trulli, but gets blocked, allowing Raikkonen to pass Alonso for sixth.

At lap 5, Hamilton stretches his lead over Massa to 4.1 seconds, followed by Kovalainen (7.5s), Kubica (10.3s), Trulli (11.9s), Raikkonen (12.5s), Alonso (13.1s), Vettel (14.2s), Webber (15.0s) and Timo Glock (16.4s) in tenth.

Coulthard battles to get past Jenson Button, and on lap 14 passes him for 13th place.

Hamilton continued to lap half a second faster than the rest of the field and by lap 16 had increased his lead to 10.4 seconds over Massa.

On lap 18 Nakajima spins, but continues.

On lap 18 Hamilton is the first to pit from the lead taking on a lot of fuel, along with Kubica from fourth place. Trull and Alonso pitting the next lap, Massa on lap 20, Kovalainen, Vettel, and Coulthard on lap 21, Raikkonen on lap 22, Webber and Bourdais on lap 23.

At lap 25 Hamilton leads Massa by 9.4 seconds, followed by Glock (13.1s), Kovalainen (17.0s), Heidfeld (18.0s), Kubica (23.3s), Raikkonen (26.7s), Trulli (30.4s), Vettel (33.9s) and Alonso (34.7s) in tenth place.

On lap 27 Heidfeld pits from 5th place, along with Button, followed by Rosberg on the next lap, and Glock having worked his way up to 3rd place on lap 29.

On lap 35 Nakajima runs off-track, but continues.

On lap 36 Timo Glock has a right rear suspension failure and spins on the final corner crashing hard backwards into the end of the pit wall and coming back across the track. The safety car is deployed and Glock is attended to by the safety crew and gets out of his wrecked Toyota looking shaken but alright.

Button and Piquet (on a one stop strategy) pit just before the safety car is deployed.

On lap 38 the pitland opens and Massa, Kubica, Trulli, Vettel, Alonso, Webber, Coulthard, Bourdais and Raikkonen all stop - leader Hamilton staying out.

Vettel forcing Alonso over while exiting the pitlane.

After the stop Webber's Red Bull is smoking.

At lap 40 while still under the Safety Car, Hamilton leads Heidfeld, Piquet, Massa, Kubica, Kovalainen, Trulli, Vettel, Alonso and Webber in tenth place.

On lap 41 Webber pulls off track and retires.

On lap 42 the race is restarted and Hamilton continues in the lead.

Kubica and Kovalainen battle for fifth place, the Finn getting by to take the position, while Raikkonen takes Alonso for ninth, and then Rosberg passes Alonso as well.

On lap 46 Raikkonen passes Vettel for 8th, and then quickly passes Trulli for 7th.

On lap 49 Barrichello and Coulthard make contact - Barrichello pitting for a new nose.

On lap 50 Hamilton pits from the lead for his final stop, rejoining behind his team mate Kovalainen in fifth place - handing the lead over to Heidfeld (who was expected to have to pit again). Hamilton pushing Kovalainen hard passes his team mate for fourth on lap 52.

On lap 53 Heidfeld pits from the lead, handing the lead over the Piquet on a one stop strategy.

At lap 55 Piquet leads Massa by 2.1 seconds, followed by Hamilton (2.8s), Heidfeld (6.7s), Kovalainen (8.5s), Kubica (11.7s), Raikkonen (12.2s), Trulli (16.9s), Vettel (18.3s) and Alonso (19.2s) in tenth place.

On lap 57 Hamilton passes Massa for second place - Massa tries to come back, but Hamilton forces him wide onto the kerbing. Hamilton then sets his sights on Piquet just over a second ahead.

On lap 59 Alonso spins and loses a place to Rosberg, but continues.

On lap 60 Hamilton passes Piquet and retakes the lead with seven laps to go. On the same lap Raikkonen passes Kubica for sixth place.

Heidfeld is pushing hard to catch Massa for third place

On lap 63 Trulli runs wide and Vettel takes eighth place.

The order remained the same to the line, Hamilton taking the victory.