Easy win for Rosberg in incident packed race

Nico Rosberg led the German Grand Prix from start to finish

Nico Rosberg led the German Grand Prix from start to finish

Nico Rosberg cruised to one of the most emphatic victories of his career, and one of the most historic too as he became the first German driver, in a German built car, powered by a German engine to win the German Grand Prix and with it extended his championship lead over title rival, and teammate, Lewis Hamilton who turned 20th on the grid into third place.

Valtteri Bottas took second place for Williams, his third podium finish in a row, after Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa crashed at the start in a collision that brought out the Safety Car.

It was a lonely afternoon for Rosberg who stormed off into the lead from the start and was never challenged on his way to his win number four of the season, and packed with other interesting milestones as he had never finished on the podium in any grand prix held in Germany. After leading every lap of the race he surpassed father Keke Rosberg’s career total of 516 laps led.

“Wahoo! Thank you guys,” whooped Rosberg over the radio as as he waved to his home crowd on. A a great week for the German who got married, watched his country win the World Cup, signed a new deal and won his ‘second’ home race.

Nico Rosberg celebrates

Nico Rosberg celebrates

“It’s fantastic, it’s an amazing feeling to win at home. It’s a very special day,” declared the race winner who bounced back from his DNF at Silverstone two weeks earlier.

Behind the relative calm at the very front, it was a true battlefield behind the eventual race winner as the focus was on Hamilton starting down in 20th on the grid, after his big shunt 24 hours earlier, during Qualifying.

But before that took centre stage, the drama started as the field hurtled into Turn 1, where the Williams of Felipe Massa and the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen touched which launched the Brazilian driver’s car into a barrel-roll before it came to a stop, prompting the Safety Car.

When the pack was unleashed again Rosberg up and bolted into the distance not to be seen again until he took the chequered flag on lap 67.
Bottas followed him home in second, over 20 seconds adrift, after fending off a concerted challenge from Hamilton who was charging on Supers-oft tyres at the end of the race. But the Williams driver did enough, long enough, to hang on to his third consecutive podium and which was also his team’s 300th podium.

The Finn said afterwards, “I feel really happy to be third time in a row on podium. It was not easy and required input from all the engineers. Thanks to all the fans. I saw many Finnish flags so thank you.”

Valtteri Bottas celebrates second place at Hockenheim

Valtteri Bottas celebrates second place at Hockenheim

Hamilton would probably bag the ‘man of the match’ award were there such a thing, but his run to third was hardly a foregone conclusion despite the fact that the Mercedes W05 is in another class. He had to muscle his way past the sport’s toughest characters.

At one stage second place looked possible, but a misunderstanding when overtaking former teammate Jenson Button, in the hairpin, caused the two to touch and bits of the Mercedes front wing disintegrated in the process.

It would prove to be a key moment as the damage no doubt hindered his progress, although he was extremely fast even with the crippled front wing. But that edge required went missing along with the edge of his front wing, and third was his reward for the hard graft.

He said afterwards, “I had great fun. I did as [well] as I could. It was hard to get through the pack safely and I had a little bit of a collision with Jenson. I thought he was going to open the door which he has done a couple of times lately but that was my bad judgement. It was hard to overtake so I’m glad to get some points today.”

The battle for fourth place was a fierce affair with Fernando Alonso again mixing it with Red Bull, again squaring up to Sebastian Vettel which the latter ending up ahead, claiming fourth place.

Daniil Kvyat jumps out of his burning Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat jumps out of his burning Toro Rosso

This time the Spaniard also had to contend with a spirited challenge from Daniel Ricciardo in a feisty duel towards the end. Alonso only just won that battle to cross the line fifth, with Ricciardo in his slipstream as they crossed the finish line to take sixth.

Next up were a quartet of Mercedes powered cars, enabling the German Manufacturer’s power units to dominate the top ten, with Nico Hulkenberg seventh in the Force India, leading home  the McLaren pair of Button and Magnussen in eighth and ninth respectively. Sergio Perez in the other Force India was tenth.

Another scary moment on the day happened when the Toro Rosso of Daniel Kvyat was engulfed by flames, the Russian managing to escape from the cockpit  just in time, ending another strong showing by the rookie.

German Grand Prix, Hockenheim – Sunday, 20 July 2014
Pos No Driver Team Laps Time Grid Pts
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 67 Winner 1 25
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 67 +20.7 secs 2 18
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 67 +22.5 secs 20 15
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 67 +44.0 secs 6 12
5 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 67 +52.4 secs 7 10
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 67 +52.5 secs 5 8
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 67 +64.1 secs 9 6
8 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 67 +84.7 secs 11 4
9 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 66 +1 Lap 4 2
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 66 +1 Lap 10 1
11 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari +1 Lap 12
12 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault +1 Lap 18
13 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault +1 Lap 13
14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1 Lap 16
15 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari +1 Lap 17
16 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault +2 Lap 19
17 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari +2 Lap 21
18 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault +2 Lap 22
Ret 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari +20 Laps 15
Ret 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault +23 Laps 8
Ret 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +41 Laps 14
Ret 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes + secs 3