McLaren's Lewis Hamilton takes his second win of the season in the German Grand Prix after an enthralling battle with Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.
NUERBURGRING, GERMANY (JULY 24, 2011) FOM - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton produced a monumental drive on Sunday (July 24) to take his second win of the season in the German Formula One Grand Prix after an enthralling battle with Ferrari's second-placed Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.
The only disappointment for the local supporters was Red Bull's titleholder and championship leader Sebastian Vettel struggling in his home race to finish fourth as rain just about held off.
Vettel's run of 11 successive podium finishes ended but the 24-year-old saw his overall lead trimmed by just three points over team mate Webber to 77 with nine races left Pole sitter Webber, who finally led a lap for the first time this year, had watched Vettel win six of the previous nine races while finishing in the top two each time.
This time, both Red Bulls were outshone by the flying Briton who started on the front row and seized the lead into the first corner.
Hamilton leapfrogged Spaniard Alonso into third in the standings. Vettel has 216 points, Webber 139, Hamilton 134 and double world champion Alonso 130.
Hamilton, who said he had no chance of pole before seizing second on the grid, made a great start while Alonso also got past Vettel only to soon lose the initiative.
As the front five predictably pulled away from the pack, Alonso -- who won last time in Britain for Ferrari's first victory of the season -- retook the struggling Vettel in style at turn one of the ninth lap.
Further drama ensued when Webber, who was only the third man since 1995 to win here from pole two years ago, edged ahead of Hamilton only for the pumped-up Briton to immediately retake the lead with a courageous move down the straight.
Despite rain in the air, the teams began on dry tyres and by the time they first pitted the risk of a traditional downpour in the Eifel mountains looked to have receded.
Red Bull performed their usual heroics in the pits to get Webber back out in front of Hamilton but by the second round of pit stops Alonso found himself ahead before an outrageous pass by the McLaren sent the Briton clear.
A third pit stop had Hamilton just coming out in front and he surged towards the chequered flag for his 16th career win.
"When we don't see results like this I think it slowly builds-up so when you finally do hit the sweet spot and get it I think that it is just ever so more... it is just ever better, couldn't feel any better. I think we really never expected to come here this weekend and be so fast," Hamilton said.
Alonso then stopped his car on track after running out of fuel on the slowing down lap and hitched a lift on Webber's Red Bull back to the pits.
"For us it was a fantastic race, a fantastic Sunday again. We struggled a little bit in qualifying, been fourth yesterday, but today again the car showed a great pace a great degradation in tyres so we can keep the pace of the leaders," Alonso told media after the race.
Webber was less satisfied with his performance but said he has done all he could on the day.
"Yeah we were not quick enough today. I think I did everything I could, I was happy how I drove. These guys just had that little extra margin when they needed to do it so especially the back part of the stint, little bit more range that made us a little bit exposed on strategy," the Australian said.
His team-mate Vettel, starting off the front row for the first time this year, slipped behind Ferrari's resurgent Felipe Massa only to retake fourth late on when both pitted at the same time in dramatic fashion and Ferrari reacted more slowly.
Lower down the field, McLaren's Jenson Button retired with a hydraulics problem when in sixth place.
Michael Schumacher's miserable time continued as he spun on a corner under no pressure to leave Mercedes fans shaking their heads although he recovered to finish eighth.
Germany's Nick Heidfeld crashed out in the Renault after a collision with Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi, who had started from the back of the grid after being banished for a fuel irregularity.
Provisional result of the Formula One German Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring:
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:37:30.334
2. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari+00:03.980
3. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull 00:09.788
4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany)RedBull 00:47.921
5. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 00:52.252
6. Adrian Sutil (Germany)Force India 01:26.208
7. Nico Rosberg (Germany)Mercedes 1 lap
8. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1 lap
9. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap
10. Vitaly Petrov (Russia)Renault1 lap
11. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap
12. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1 lap
13. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India - Mercedes 1 lap
14. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - Cosworth1 lap
15. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1 lap
16. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Renault2 laps
17. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth 3 laps
18. Jerome d'Ambrosio (Belgium) Virgin - Cosworth 3 laps
19. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) HRT - Cosworth 3 laps
20. Karun Chandhok (India)Lotus - Renault4 laps
r. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) HRT - Cosworth23 laps
r. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 25 laps
r. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth 44 laps
r. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) Renault 51 laps
(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)
Driver and constructor standings after the Formula One German Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring
1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 216
2. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 139
3. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 134
4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 130
5. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 109
6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 62
7. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes GP46
8. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) Team Lotus34
9. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Team Lotus 32
10. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes GP 32
11. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber27
12. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India18
13. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso 9
14. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 8
15. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso 8
16. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams 4
17. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India2
18. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) Sauber0
19. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Team Lotus0
20. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) HRT 0
21. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 0
22. Jerome d'Ambrosio (Belgium) Virgin 0
23. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Team Lotus 0
24. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin0
25. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 0
26. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) HRT 0
27. Karun Chandhok (India) Team Lotus 0
1. RedBull - Renault 355
2. McLaren - Mercedes 243
5. Renault 66
6. Sauber - Ferrari35
7. Force India - Mercedes 20
8. Toro Rosso - Ferrari17
9. Williams - Cosworth 4
10. Virgin - Cosworth0
10. HRT - Cosworth 0
10. Team Lotus - Renault 0