The 2014 German Grand Prix offered once again an interesting race, with plenty great duels and contacts throughout the entire race. Following the pole position won on Saturday, Nico Rosberg was one of the few drivers that wasn’t involved in any “combat”, the German proving why he was considered favorite to win the race, doing that with a 20-second lead.
However, the second position was extremely disputed especially in the last laps, after Lewis Hamilton’s spectacular comeback. The Brit was involved in a pretty rough crash during qualifying on Saturday and his gearbox had to be replaced, which meant he was forced to start the race from the last position on the grid. Despite starting 20th, he had a great start and after only 10 laps he was already in the points. Hamilton’s pit stop strategy was also chosen almost perfectly, allowing him to avoid several direct challenges, so he was able to easily get pass Daniel Ricciardo or Fernando Alonso.
Towards the end of the race, Hamilton got right behind Valtteri Bottas, who was in second but drove slower in order to preserve tires and avoid a third pit stop. However, once Williams told Bottas that his tires should have no problems holding up to finish, he successfully defended his position. Despite running on supersoft tires, Hamilton wasn’t able to overtake Bottas, who was faster on the straights, and also decided not to risk, because a third place was a great result following the awful qualifying session on Saturday. After the German race, Rosberg consolidates his lead, which is now 14 points, while Bottas scored his third consecutive podium, which is not bad at all for the Finn.
Vettel ahead of Alonso
Despite no drama at the top, Red Bull and Ferrari offered an interesting dispute through their four drivers. It all started with a three-way fight between Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, the latter two managing to get pass the Finn and then fight for the 4th place. The two switched places several times, passed Nico Hulkenberg together, but the one to win this fight was the Red Bull driver, taking advantage of Alonso pit strategy that was a little different and involved a late last stop.
Daniel Ricciardo finished behind the two, followed by Hulkenberg, while McLaren scored points with both of its drivers, with Jensen Button finishing 8th and Kevin Magnussen 9th at the end of a race that wasn’t without incidents for the British fans, because Button and Hamilton’s car touched at one point, without any serious damage to either ones.
Massa gets upside down
The most dramatic moment of the race took place right in the first corner, when Magnussen, who started 4th, tried to get in front of Felipe Massa, who was in third. The Brazilian tried to close him down, but their cars touched and Massa’s Williams spectacularly rolled a few times and stopped on the side of the track. Ricciardo was caught by surprise and had to do a wide maneuver to avoid Massa’s rolling car, enough for him to lose a few places. While Massa was ok after the crash, he was forced to retire from the race. Magnussen was able to continue, but had some problems at one of its front tires and lost several places, forcing him to struggle to get into points.
The last available point was won by Sergio Perez, who finished 10th after staring in the same position. Despite trying a different strategy and starting with soft tires (only Grosjean and Hamilton did that), Kimi Raikkonen wasn’t able to score any points for Ferrari, finishing only 11th, ahead of Pastor Maldonado (Lotus), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) and Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez. Four drivers didn’t finish the race. Besides Massa, who retired after the crash, Grosjean was out after a problem with the engine on lap 26, Daniil Kyvat’s Toro Rosso caught fire on lap 44, while Adrian Sutil apparently had a problem with his car and spun on the 47th lap.
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||6||+44.014|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||5||+52.549|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||9||+1:04.178|
|9||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren-Mercedes||4||+1 lap|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||10||+1 lap|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||12||+1 lap|
|12||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus-Renault||18||+1 lap|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Renault||13||+1 lap|
|14||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber-Ferrari||16||+1 lap|
|15||Jules Bianchi||Marussia-Ferrari||17||+1 lap|
|16||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham-Renault||19||+2 laps|
|17||Max Chilton||Marussia-Ferrari||21||+2 laps|
|18||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham-Renault||PL||+2 laps|
|19||Adrian Sutil||Sauber-Ferrari||15||Ret. lap 47|
|20||Daniil Kyvat||STR-Renault||8||Ret. lap 44|
|21||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||14||Ret. lap 26|
|22||Felipe Massa||Williams-Mercedes||3||Ret. lap 0|
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