Wunderbar 2011 German Grand Prix
Wonderful result for McLaren as Lewis Hamilton takes the German Grand Prix at the iconic Nurburgring, against the form card for the 9 earlier rounds. The first half of the race was superbly entertaining as Hamilton duelled (or trio’d ?) with Red Bull’s pole sitter Mark Webber and Ferrari pilot Fernando Alonso. This was a three-way race without Sebastian Vettel. Despite home turf, the championship leader had a terrible weekend and could not keep up with the leaders; demonstrating perhaps that Vettel’s mental game has been his strength as the performance improvement for McLaren from the colder circuit can’t explain the young German’s poor showing this weekend. Meanwhile Jensen Button had struggled to keep up with his McLaren team-mate but was coming back well when hydraulics pulled him out of the race on lap 36.
Real nip-and-tuck stuff from the leading trio in the first half before Hamilton pipped Alonso for the lead after pitting on lap 33, thereafter a procession with Lewis managing to eke out a lead. The last 9 laps generated a flurry of tyre changes to meet the rules with McLaren making the right choice and coming back to win, despite Red Bull and Ferrari looking clever. Hamilton’s second victory of the season was signalled by a confident yet measured qualifying; not the least bit fazed by Webber’s pole or Vettel sitting behind him on the grid. A good race for the fans although it is not completely clear whether it was mechanical/performance or his mindset which let down Red Bull’s Vettel. The team have the Constructors’ trophy wrapped up, and Vettel has an 87 point lead in the Drivers’ Championship, so beating the magical combination is still a major long-shot for McLaren/Hamilton and Ferrari/Alonso but it should be gripping stuff for the remainder of the season.
- Hamilton Races to Second Victory of the Year at Nurburgring (formulaone.blogs.nytimes.com)
- German Grand Prix 2011: championship leader Sebastian Vettel warns Red Bull they must refocus (telegraph.co.uk)
- McLaren back in fight – Hamilton (news.bbc.co.uk)