Alonso dominates Germanyposted in F122 | 07 | 2012
FERRARI'S FERNANDO ALONSO dominated the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim to clinch his third win of the year. While the victory extended his lead in the Formula One World Championship, Bathgate's Paul di Resta narrowly missed out on points.
Starting from pole position, Alonso fended off the initial assault by Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull and though he never established a major lead, the Ferrari ace managed to control the race.
Vettel, overtaken by Jenson Button's McLaren during the final round of pitstops, controversially overtook the Englishman on the penultimate lap to retake second.
The German though ran wide as he completed the move, putting all four wheels of his Red Bull off the track. Stewards investigated the incident after the race and handed Vettel a 20-second 'drive through' penalty.
The additional time dropped the Red Bull driver to fifth, promoting Button to second, and the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen to the final place on the podim.
Afterwards Alonso admitted he believed he won the race despite not having the fastest car.
"It was tough, definitely," the double world champ, who heads to Hungary for the next race in seven days with a 34-point lead over Mark Webber in the championship, said.
"It was not an easy race; maybe we were not the quickest in the dry. But we were quite competitive, enough to keep the lead. There were also some good calls by the team in terms of strategy. When Jenson pitted we had to react.
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"After that I knew it was a long race, 27 laps to the end with Jenson putting on a lot of pressure. The car was feeling good on traction and top speed so it was enough to keep the lead into Turn 6. After that you can't pass so it was about controlling the tyres."
And, rather naturally, both Button and Vettel had differing interpretations of the over-taking manoeuvre.
"There's nothing to say really," Button stated frankly. "The TV camera says it all. I'd rather talk about the race."
Defending world champ Vettel, meanwhile, said he had gone wide because he wanted to avoid contact with the Brit, claiming he did not know where the McLaren driver was.
"It was a difficult one, I didn't know if he was on the inside or not," Vettel said. "The last thing you want is contact. I can't see him from the side of the car so I tried to give enough room and went wide.
"We were all struggling with our tyres and I think that was the case for Jenson and that's why I passed him.
"I was thinking he was still there and I didn't want to close the door too early. I wanted to leave some space.
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"The last thing you want at the end is to crash. So I decided to go off the circuit to make it safe. He had no traction but even on the slippery paint I was able to pass."
Behind the original top three podium finishers, who were covered by almost seven-seconds, Raikkonen finished a lone fourth — before bring promoted to third — with the Sauber duo of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez filling fifth and sixth.
Seven-times world champ Michael Schumacher, who started third, brought his Mercedes GP car home in seventh, just ahead of the Red Bull of Silverstone winner Webber.
The top 10 was rounded off by Nico Hulkenberg's Sahara Force India and the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. Di Resta finished 11th.
It was a disappointing day for Lewis Hamilton. Contesting his 100th grand prix, the McLaren driver was forced to pit on the second lap when his car suffered a rear-left puncture. He eventually retired, a lap down, with only a handful of laps remaining.
German Grand Prix, Result (Revised):
1. Alonso, Ferrari 1h31:05.862;
2. Button, McLaren-Mercedes +6.949;
3. Raikkonen, Lotus-Renault +16.409;
4. Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari +21.925;
5. Vettel, Red Bull +23.732;
6. Perez, Sauber-Ferrari +27.896;
7. Schumacher, Mercedes +28.960;
8. Webber, Red Bull-Renault +46.900;
9. Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes +48.162;
10. Rosberg, Mercedes +48.889;
11. Di Resta, Force India-Mercedes +59.227;
12. Ricciardo, Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1:11.428;
13. Massa, Ferrari +1:16.829;
14. Vergne, Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1:16.965;
15. Maldonado, Williams-Renault +1 lap;
16. Petrov, Caterham-Renault +1 lap;
17. Senna, Williams-Renault +1 lap;
18. Grosjean, Lotus-Renault +1 lap;
19. Kovalainen, Caterham-Renault +2 laps;
20. Pic, Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps;
21. De la Rosa, HRT-Cosworth +3 laps;
22. Glock, Marussia-Cosworth +3 laps;
23. Karthikeyan, HRT-Cosworth +3 laps.
Fastest lap: Schumacher, 1:18.275
World Championship Standings:
1. Alonso 154
2. Webber 120
3. Vettel 118
4. Raikkonen 95
5. Hamilton 92
6. Rosberg 76
7. Button 65
8. Grosjean 61
9. Perez 47
10. Kobayashi 31
11. Maldonado 29
12. Schumacher 29
13. Di Resta 27
14. Massa 23
15. Hulkenberg 19
16. Senna 18
17. Vergne 4
18. Ricciardo 2
1. Red Bull-Renault 238
2. Ferrari 177
3. McLaren-Mercedes 157
4. Lotus-Renault 156
5. Mercedes 105
6. Sauber-Ferrari 78
7. Williams-Renault 47
8. Force India-Mercedes 46
9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
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