Grand Prix of Germany – Race

F1

It looks like VET is opening a lead at the top of the points table – he’s 8 points ahead of HAM, who seems to be facing a run of problems recently. Ferrari is 20 points ahead of Mercedes, with Red Bull a further 68 points back but well clear of the rest of the constructors.

Ferrari announced yesterday: “Sergio Marchionne has left his role as Fiat and Ferrari CEO with immediate effect, as unexpected complications from shoulder surgery have left him unable to return to work.” [autosport]

Provisional grid: VET, BOT, RAI, VER, MAG, GRO, HUL, SAI, LEC, PER, ALO, SIR, ERI, HAM, RIC*, OCO, GAS, HAR, STR, VAN
*RIC has penalties for engine changes, dropping him to P20

Since Qualifying, Toro Rosso have replaced some engine components in GAS’ car which means he’ll start P20. [FIA]

Cars are heading to the grid
Grid: VET, BOT, RAI, VER, MAG, GRO, HUL, SAI, LEC, PER, ALO, SIR, ERI, HAM, OCO, HAR, STR, VAN, RIC, GAS
Air temperature 26°C; track 43°C; there’s a lot of talk of rain (about mid-race) and even maybe thunderstorms

VET leads everyone away on the formation lap
HAM starting on soft tyres
Radio for SAI warning him that clouds are developing

01/67: Good start from BOT but VET keeps P1 into Turn 1
VER attacking RAI for P3
HAM around the outside of SIR for P13 … then OCO for P12

02: VET, BOT, RAI, VER, MAG, HUL, GRO, PER, SAI, LEC, ALO, HAM, OCO, SIR, ERI, STR, HAR, GAS, RIC, VAN
Radio from RAI – “some rain on my visor”

03: DRS enabled
VET fastest lap 1:17.942
HAM inside ALO to take P11

04: VET f/lap 1:17.909
HAM outbreaks LEC for P10

05/67: VET, BOT, RAI, VER, MAG, HUL, GRO, PER, SAI, HAM, LEC, ALO, OCO, ERI, SIR, RIC, STR, HAR, VAN, GAS
VET f/lap 1:17.777

06: HAM inside SAI for P9

07: Radio from GRO complaining about lack of rear grip
PER attacks GRO; GRO runs wide; PER takes P7

08: HAM takes P8 from GRO

09: Another easy pass for HAM as he takes P7 from PER
RIC is up to P14 but struggling on medium tyres

10/67: VET, BOT, RAI, VER, MAG, HUL, HAM, PER, GRO, SAI, LEC, ALO, RIC, OCO, ERI, SIR, STR, HAR, VAN, GAS

12: HAM past HUL for P6

13: SAI looking for a way round GRO

14: HAM takes P5 from MAG

15/67: VET, BOT, RAI, VER, HAM, MAG, HUL, PER, GRO, SAI, LEC, ALO, RIC, OCO, ERI, SIR, STR, HAR, VAN, GAS
RAI pits; soft tyres; rejoins P4, just ahead of HAM
ALO locks up, runs wide

16: VET about 3.5sec ahead of BOT

17: RAI f/lap 1:17.581
RIC takes P12 from ALO but the McLaren driver fights back

18: RAI f/lap 1:17.379

19: HUL pits

20/67: VET, BOT, VER, RAI, HAM, MAG, PER, GRO, SAI, RIC, LEC, ALO, OCO, ERI, HUL, SIR, STR, HAR, GAS, VAN

21: MAG, SAI and LEC all pit

22: GRO pits

23: PER pits; slow to change the front right
STR was bit of a mobile chicane

25/67: VET, BOT, VER, RAI, HAM, RIC, ALO, MAG, HUL, ERI
VET lock up

26: VET pits; softs replace ultras; rejoins P4 between RAI and HAM
RAI f/lap 1:17.286

29: BOT pits from P1; softs go on; rejoins P6
RIC has parked his Red Bull on the grass

30/67: VER pits; softs go on; rejoins P5

31: RAI f/lap 1:17.152
BOT f/lap 1:16.956
SIR pits; long stop from Williams – problem with the right rear

32: HUL takes P7 from ALO
ALO’s tyres virtually down to the canvas

33: ALO pits

Half distance

35/67: RAI, VET, HAM, BOT, VER, MAG, HUL, GRO, PER, SAI, LEC, ERI, GAS, OCO, ALO, HAR, STR, SIR, VAN; retirement: RIC

36: RAI laps GAS but GAS moves back onto the racing line, delaying VET

37: VET locks up

38: Radio from VET – “don’t you see the tyre temperatures?” (I think he wants them to tell RAI to let him pass)

39: RAI lets VET take P1

40/67: VET, RAI, HAM, BOT, VER, MAG, HUL, GRO, PER, SAI, LEC, GAS, OCO, ALO, ERI, HAR, STR, SIR, VAN

41: Radio for RAI and ALO warning them that rain is expected in the next few minutes

42: HAM pits from P3; ultrasofts go on; rejoins P5
Replay of radio from HAM saying he thought his (soft) tyres would only last one more lap

44: HAM lapping back markers (again) and still sets fastest sector time
Rain falling in Turn 5 (the hairpin)

45/67: LEC pits; intermediate tyres go on
ALO pits for inters too, as does GAS

46: Rain falling harder in T5 but other parts of the circuit are still dry
Piece of front wing on the track – it’s red – Ferrari?

47: VER pits; inters; rejoins P5
Replay shows VET’s front wing losing a section on the kerbs

48: LEC pits again; inters replaced with ultras
GAS across the gravel – why is he on full wets? Crazy!

49: GAS pits for dry tyres
VER pits; ultras replace the inters

50/67: VET, RAI, BOT, HAM, VER, MAG, HUL, GRO, PER, SAI, OCO, ERI, STR, HAR, SIR, VAN, LEC, ALO, GAS
LEC spins – a complete 360°
Radio from HAM reporting it’s still raining in places; told it’ll only last 3 minutes
HUL and GRO pass MAG

51: VET runs wide

52: VET off, across the gravel, into the tyre wall
Safety Car deployed

53[SC]: BOT pits but the team weren’t ready
HAM started into the pit lane but cut across the grass and back onto the main straight

54[SC]: RAI pits; ultras going on
SIR off; smoke but apparently it smells like brakes

55[SC]: Lapped cars may now overtake
Replay of radio for HAM telling him to pit (“box, box”) then no, then yes – no wonder he cut the grass

56[SC]: GRO and MAG pit, stacking at the Haas box
Radio from HAM reporting “still spits of rain in places”

57[SC]: order is HAM, BOT, RAI, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, ERI, HAR, GRO, SAI, MAG, VAN, LEC, ALO, GAS
retirements: STR, VET, SIR, RIC
SC in at the end of this lap
HAM backs everyone up

58 = 10 laps left: BOT attacking HAM!
HAM stays ahead
ALO and GAS pass LEC

59: HAM f/lap 1:16.596
SAI under investigation for overtaking behind the SC

60/67: HAM, BOT, RAI, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, ERI, HAR, GRO, SAI, MAG, VAN, ALO, GAS, LEC
HAM f/lap 1:15.745

61: Confirmation that Mercedes told BOT to “hold position” behind HAM

62: GRO takes P9 from HAR
10-sec penalty for SAI for overtaking under the SC

63: ERI harrying OCO for P7

64: HAM f/lap 1:15.708
GRO past ERI for P8

65/67: HAM, BOT, RAI, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, GRO, ERI, SAI*, HAR, MAG, VAN, ALO, GAS, LEC
Radio for BOT – “rain will be heavier, coming from Turn 2 and T6”

67/67: HAM f/lap 1:15.545
ALO pits
GRO steals P6 from PER

HAM takes the chequered flag – his 44th victory in car #44

Provisional result: HAM, BOT, RAI, VER, HUL, GRO, PER, OCO, ERI, HAR; MAG, SAI*, VAN, GAS, LEC
DNF: ALO, STR, VET, SIR, RIC
*SAI’s 10-sec penalty drops him one place to P13

Interviews:
HAM: “It’s obviously very very difficult from that position (to win) and highly unlikely but I did believe”; “When it rained, I knew I’d have a good position, but the other guys had the fresher tyres on”
BOT: “We had a bit of a battle lap one after the safety car, I didn’t get past and I got told to minimise the risk but I understand.”
RAI: “I had a problem with one of the lappers, the Sauber. It was a tricky race but we try next time.”

It’s pouring down as the top 3 head to the podium

Toto Wolff: “All the bad luck we had came back to us in tremendous good luck.”
VER: “Luckily, the (tyre) mistake didn’t make a difference. Everybody should have come in after the safety car for new tyres. I wish the rain had come down a little later.”
RIC: “I felt it breaking for turn six, once I accelerated I expected something and it was under-powered. It didn’t sound healthy.”

So this result puts HAM 17 points ahead of VET, and Mercedes 8 ahead of Ferrari.