German GP 2012
JULY 22, 2012
Race Notes - Fernando Alonso cruises to German GP win
Fernando Alonso won the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in his Ferrari, over Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull-Renault by 3.7 seconds, and Jenson Button in the McLaren-Mercedes 6.9 seconds behind the winner.
Alonso won his third victory of the 2012 season and 30th career victory, and stretches his lead in the World Championship by 34 points over Mark Webber, with Vettel in third, and Kimi Raikkonen jumping ahead of Lewis Hamilton in fourth and fifth. The win marks Alonso's 22nd consecutive points paying race. Red Bull now leads Ferrari by 61 points in the Constructors Championship, McLaren retakes third over Lotus.
Fourth place went to Raikkonen (16.4s) in the Lotus-Renault, followed by Kamui Kobayashi (21.9s) in the Sauber-Ferrari in fifth, his team mate Sergio Perez (27.8s) in sixth, Michael Schumacher (28.9s) in the Mercedes GP was seventh, Webber (47.9s) in the second Red Bull was eighth, Nico Hulkenberg (48.1s) in the Force India-Mercedes was ninth, and Nico Rosberg (48.8s) in the Mercedes finished in the final points paying position.
Before the start Alonso sits on pole, and the last five German Grand Prix have been won from the front row. Alonso and Vettel on the front row, Germans Schumacher and Hulkenberg on the second, Maldonado and Button on row three, Hamilton and Webber on row four and Di Resta and Raikkonen on row five.
Only Kobayashi in 12th, Rosberg, Vergne, Glock and Pic are starting on the medium tyre compound, everyone else starts on soft tyres.
At the start Alonso takes the lead ahead of Vettel. On the run to the first corner there is minor contact down the field, Felipe Massa's front wing main plane is broken off. Small bits of debris cover the track on the racing line leading up to the first corner. Schumacher and Vettel battle at the hairpin but Vettel keeps second.
Romain Grosjean touches Massa, who is limping to the pits.
At the end of the first lap Alonso leads by 1.3 seconds over Vettel, Schumacher, Hulkenberg, Button, Button, Maldonado, Webber, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Di Resta. Massa pits for a new front wing. Grosjean and Bruno Senna pit. Grosjean needs a front wing replaced as well
On lap 2 Hamilton slows with a left-rear tyre puncture and has to limp around to the pits.
On lap 4 Vettel closes back up to 0.6 seconds behind Alonso. Hamilton rejoins in 22nd.
Di Resta and Raikkonen battle for eighth place, Raikkonen taking the position.
On lap 5 Massa, in 21st, sets fastest lap at 1m22.4s.
On lap 6 Kobayashi and Perez pass Daniel Ricciardo for 10th and 11th.
On lap 7 Jean-Eric Vergne pits. Perez passes Kobayashi for 10th place.
On lap 8 Button passes Hulkenberg at the hairpin for fourth place. Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m22.3s.
On lap 9 Perez takes ninth place from Paul di Resta in the DRS zone.
At lap 10 Alonso leads Vettel by 1.3 seconds followed by Schumacher (6.6s), Button (7.1s), Hulkenberg (9.5s), Pastor Maldonado (10.2s), Webber (10.9s), Raikkonen (11.5s), Perez (14.1s) and Kobayashi (17.1s) in tenth place - Massa runs in 20th, Hamilton 22nd.
On lap 11 Di Resta pits and changes to medium tyres. Button passes Schumacher in the hairpin to take over third place.
On lap 12 Raikkonen pits from ninth place and stays on soft tyres.
On lap 13 Alonso sets fastest lap but is then bested by Di Resta. Hulkenberg, Webber and Rosberg pit. Webber and Hulkenberg change to mediums, while Rosberg switches to mediums. Maldonado and Heikki Kovalainen pit the next lap. Maldonado switches to mediums Raikkonen sets fastest lap at 1m21.9s.
On lap 15 Schumacher pits and stays on soft tyres. Petrov also pits.
On lap 16 Schumacher passes Hulkenberg for seventh place, Raikkonen follows him through and passes Hulkenberg as well.
On lap 18 Kovalainen passes Charles Pic for 16th. Perez pits from fourth place changing to medium tyres.
On lap 19 Alonso pits from the lead and changes to medium tyres. Button pits from third the next lap switching to medium tyres. Perez sets fastest lap at 1m20.7s, Ricciardo pits as well.
On lap 20 Webber passes Maldonado at the hairpin. Vettel pits from the lead, rejoining in third behind Kobayashi, yet to pit, and passes the Japanese driver right away.
On lap 21 Raikkonen passes Schumacher to take fifth place.
At lap 21 Alonso leads Vettel by 3.3 seconds, followed by Kobayashi (5.1s) who is yet to pit, Button (6.7s), Raikkonen (12.9s), Schumacher (18.9s), Hulkenberg (15.9s), Perez (16.4s), Webber (19.0s) and Maldonado (21.8s) in tenth place - Rosberg in 12th, Massa in in 15th and Hamilton in 19th.
On lap 22 Kobayashi pits from third place, the last man to make his first stop. McLaren is looking to run Hamilton on one further stop.
On lap 25 Massa is the first driver to make his second stop. Kobayashi battles Di Resta for ninth place and takes to position. Perez pressuring Hulkenberg for sixth.
On lap 27 Senna pits. Button sets fastest lap at 1m20.7s. Vettel closing the lead on Alonso in front.
On lap 28 Vergne pits and stays on medium tyres. Vettel closes to under a second behind Alonso.
At lap 30 Alonso leads Vettel by 0.6 seconds, followed by Button (4.0s), Raikkonen (14.0s), Schumacher (18.1s), Perez (23.6s), Hulkenberg (25.1s), Webber (25.8s), Kobayashi (26.7s) and Rosberg (31.9s) in tenth place.
On lap 31 Perez makes the pass on Hulkenberg for sixth place.
On lap 32 Hulkenberg pits switching to soft tyres. Vergne runs wide and kicks up the grass, Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen pit as well for medium compound tyres.
On lap 33 Button sets fastest lap at 1m20.3s. Kobayashi passes Webber for seventh place. Rosberg pits and stays on soft tyres. Vitaly Petrov also pits.
On lap 35 Hamilton on fresh tyres passes Vettel and unlaps himself, setting the fastest lap at m120.0s. Hamilton closes on Alonso in the lead.
On lap 37 Red Bull informs Vettel that his KERS isn't working at high output levels. Schumacher pits from fifth for another set of medium tyres, rejoining in eighth. Hulkenberg passes Maldonado for tenth place.
On lap 39 Raikkonen pits from fourth place, switching to medium tyres. Maldonado and Ricciardo pit as well.
On lap 40 Di Resta pits from tenth place. Button pits from third on another set of medium tyres. Raikkonen sets fastest lap at 1m19.7s. Perez and Webber also pit staying on medium tyres.
On the next lap leader Alonso and second placed Vettel both pit. Alonso stays in the lead, Button passes Vettel as the German rejoins the track. The two battle, but Button keeps the position and starts to pull away.
At lap 42 Alonso leads Button by 1.6 seconds, followed by Vettel (2.4s), Kobayashi (10.9s), Raikkonen (16.4), Schumacher (21.6s), Hulkenberg (29.0s), Perez (30.0s), Rosberg (33.3s) and Webber (37.4s) in tenth place.
On lap 43 Vettel makes a mistake and runs wide at the first corner but continues.
On lap 44 Kobayashi and Grosjean both pit. Kobayashi switches to soft tyres and rejoins in sixth.
On lap 45 Kobayashi and Hulkenberg battle over sixth place. Kobayashi sets fastest lap at 1m19.5s. Button closes to under one second behind Alonso in the lead and is now within the DRS zone.
On lap 47 Hulkenberg pits from seventh switching back to medium tyres. Button continues to follow closely behind Alonso by 0.7 seconds.
On lap 48 Massa and Hamilton both pit for soft tyres. Kobayashi sets another fastest lap at 1m19.2s.
On lap 49 Grosjean runs off track but continues in 20th place.
At lap 50 Alonso, seemly controlling the pace, leads Button by 0.9 seconds, followed by Vettel (3.0s), Raikkonen (16.3s), Schumacher (23.5s), Kobayashi (27.7s), Perez (32.6s), Rosberg (39.5s), Webber (42.8s) and Hulkenberg (48.5s) in tenth place - Massa in 14th, Hamilton in 16th.
On lap 51 Rosberg pits for the third time, having a slow stop, staying on soft tyres.
On lap 52 Petrov pits.
On lap 53 Schumacher pits from fifth switching to soft tyres and rejoins in seventh.
On lap 54 Vettel runs wide on the last corner on two consecutive laps, falling further behind Button.
On lap 55 Schumacher sets fastest lap at 1m19.0s. Button closes back to 0.6 seconds behind Alonso - McLaren informs Button that there is traffic ahead and that he needs to look for chances to pass the leader with his DRS.
On lap 57 Rosberg passes Hulkenberg for ninth place.
On lap 58 Hamilton pits and retires.
On lap 59 Maldonado pits switching to medium tyres. Alonso sets his personal best lap and pulls out to a 0.9s lead over Button. McLaren urging Button that he can still win the race.
At lap 60 Alonso leads Button by 1.3 seconds, followed by Vettel (2.7s), Raikkonen (14.6s), Kobayashi (21.7s), Perez (29.9s), Schumacher (32.6s), Webber (45.4s), Hulkenberg (47.0s) and Rosberg (52.4s) in tenth place.
On lap 61 Vettel closes to 1.1 seconds behind Button in second place.
On lap 64 Vettel continues to edge closer to Button.
On lap 66 Vettel makes a run and passes Button out of the hairpin to take second place. Button complains that Vettel passed him while all four tyres were off the circuit on the exit of the hairpin and the stewards announce that they will investigate the pass after the race.
At the chequered flag Alonso takes the win from Vettel and Button.