Race Report: Lewis hammers German GP

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Trailing by 19 points may not sound like a lot to Nico Rosberg but it sure isn’t good as Formula 1 heads in to its summer break. The lead was gained by a controlled, measured and dominant performance by his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, and Nico has no one to blame but himself for not making it a closer race. Lewis, on the other hand, has it all to be pleased with having converted a second place start in the last two grands prix to victory and a healthy points lead.

Mercedes will be pleased as well to have secured the victory but it may not be the 1, 2 they were hoping for on home turf in Germany at the Hockenheim circuit. Lewis’s victory here was made easier when his teammate, Rosberg, had a bad start and lost several places as well as garnered a 5s penalty for a passing attempt gone awry on Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

WinWin

A big win for Lewis Hamilton who heads into the summer break with the championship lead and momentum. He’s risen to the challenge and taken a firm grasp of the title as he and his dogs prepare for some time off prior to the Belgian Grand Prix.

A win for Red Bull who fended off the Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel and secured 2nd and 3rd in Germany. On differing strategies, Ricciardo looked terrific in Hockenheim while his teammate, Max Verstappen, was marking every move Rosebrg made in order to stay out front. Ricciardo was marking Hamilton. The strategy worked and the team gained enough points to move to second in the championship.

A win for Force India who have shaved even more points off of Williams F1 as both cars managed a top 10 finish bringing them to within 15 points of taking 4th place in the constructors’ title race.

A win for FOM broadcast who showed us more of the mid-field action and some of the best moves of the race. Recognizing that Lewis was on his own and the race wasn’t really action-packed out front, they focused on where the battles were and how good was it to see the Hass F1 team, Renault, McLaren and Force India battles? Good stuff.

I think Jenson Button in the points and the racy nature of the McLaren’s was a good thing. At the risk of sounding silly, I’m getting excited about McLaren’s slow rise up the field…and I’m a Ferrari fan for crying out loud.

A win to see Mick Schumacher at the race.

FailFail

Nico Rosberg’s poor start was the nail in his coffin for Germany and his subsequent dive in the inside of Max Verstappen may have been a serious out-braking move that he felt was a “good move” but the stewards saw it differently handing him a 5s penalty. Not sure why they chose to take that penalty during the last pit stop rather than have it added to his time post-race but that’s what they did and I’m not sure how much of a difference it really would have made.

The Red Bull points haul has now lifted the team ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ points and if Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne was near thrombosis prior to Germany, he most likely is ready to fire everyone again in Maranello…a move that perhaps was ill-advised the first time he did it. Rumors are swirling over James Allison’s departure earlier this week as to whether he jumped or was pushed due to the heavy hand of Marchionne but those are just rumors.

A fail for Williams F1 and Felipe Massa who retired with suspect car damage and this left the door open for Force India to claw within striking distance of overhauling them for 4th. Although Bottas did make a top 10 finish, it wasn’t the weekend they may have hoped for.

Also a fail, given Red Bull’s pace, for Toro Rosso and it’s hard to blame Daniil Kvyat for this one as Carlos Sainz struggled as well so one has to assume the car just wasn’t happy in this circuit with these tires.

WTHWTH

I’m not quite sure what white line rule we were using for the race but Max Verstappen passing Daniel Ricciardo going way outside on turn one, where the FIA said they were cracking down on the infraction, was a bit of a head scratcher.

I don’t doubt that Nico’s passing attempt on Max was ill-conceived but I’m wondering if a lack of steering wheel input is the only metric the stewards used as it would be difficult to apply steering input under braking and let’s face it, he braked very late indeed. I’ve seen folks complaining that when a driver tries a move, the stewards will penalize it. It is a fine line but was this way over the line? I’m reticent on handing out penalties for any pass that isn’t perfect but I think Nico’s blew this one.

With three Germans in the top 10 to start the race, it was nice to see the attendance increase on race day. I was getting worried on Friday and Saturday as the stands were sparse but perhaps those German fans are busy until Sundays.

Also, Hockenheim could use a re-paving and I am interested to see if it can pull off the race on an annual basis now.

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h30m44.200s
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 6.996s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 13.413s
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 15.845s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 32.570s
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 37.023s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m10.049s
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
9 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1 Lap
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1 Lap
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 2 Laps
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2 Laps
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault 2 Laps
20 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 2 Laps
Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari Retirement
Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes Retirement
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.

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Guy Fawkes
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Guy Fawkes

Considering Rosberg’s move on Verstappen looked like a carbon copy of his move on Hamilton at Austria I think the penalty was warranted. Rosberg was at least 30 feet past the apex before he made an attempt at any sort of steering input. I understand that under heavy braking the steering input is useless but shouldn’t he have enough car control to know that? It is exceedingly reckless driving to run anyone that deep into a corner. There’s “making a move” and “dangerous overtaking”.

Achim
Guest
Achim

I am surely not a Rosberg fan and I admit that it was a very optimistic move, but I would love to see the telemetry of his car. 1. Max moved (again) in the braking zone, so I wonder if Nico reduced brake pressure for a short time to make course correction himself to not crash into him, which prolonged his brake distance overall? Only the data would tell us. 2. I only know my driving from the playstation, but how many embarrassing low speed spins did I produced by turning in too early while still under heavy braking. So… Read more »

Bfklin
Guest
Bfklin

Not carbon copy in that more obvious to verstappen Nico not turning, but strange in that he made no attempt to turn. If it was due to how he took the corner, it looked like he was in a good position to take the turning line and had the faster car. If he was just trying to run Ver off, then badly executed. Looks worse when he claims wheel locked in turn. Unnecessary move to overtake though. Thought he had Ver on the inside. Thought it was interesting as well when he couldn’t make the lap time to best faster… Read more »

Bfklin
Guest
Bfklin

Also, Lewis and Ham have had very different starts, albeit with the same car. I wonder if their setup is really different, and if Rosberg depends on a lot of grip with way car weighted and balanced. He spun the tires at start, so engine delivering.

pmr
Guest
pmr

On his steering wheel you could see he was in first gear, so he was already at slow enough speed to turn in. He tried to pull the same move as in Austria. It’s just clumsy driving. If he would have taken the corner and pushed VES wide on exit, it wouldn’t have been a problem and the result would have been the same, he would have been ahead

Member
Mike

Yeah, this one is a clear case cut of squaring off a corner. No one can possibly tell me that Nico was going into that corner so hot (as opposed to all other corners) and that he had brake issues AGAIN and was forced to hold the car in a straight line. Even if we give Nico benefit of the doubt in Austria, here it is again. Its a squared-off corner driving the outside passing driver off the track and not in any parabolic line that would be acceptable. He literally held the wheel straight until he touched the outside… Read more »

Guy Fawkes
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Guy Fawkes

I meant that Rosberg’s move (as someone else put so well “squaring off the corner”) looked exactly like the move in Austria. Verstappen was in a different place than Hamilton and the corner geometry is different. It looks to me, and apparently to the stewards, that Rosberg was purposefully late braking and pushing Verstappen wide. And this is twice were Nico has come up with a lame excuse that totally doesn’t fit with what is clearly shown on the video.

Achim
Guest
Achim

So no one seems to take issue with Max moving under braking then. I cannot wait to see when he does it the first time with Lewis. I’m sure we will get another “it is a safety issue” debate then! ;-)

Samouri
Member
Samouri

With all of Nico’s so-called intellectual prowess, you would have thought that he wasn’t going to try the same stunt again, as he demonstrated at the Austrian Grand Prix.
He got off light with just a five second penalty, and 2 points on his license. I wonder did he receive a penalty on his license, because of his actions at the Austrian GP, and if not Why not?

Mat
Guest
Mat

I know you were being ironic samouri, but seriously, the notion that rosberg is some kind of intellectual superior on track is laughable! He seems to lack a rudimentary understanding of racing basics. I can’t remember him ever doing anything that demonstrates he is any more “cerebral” than any other driver.

Member
Dr T

Clearly Felipe Massa is the most cerebral of the current drivers – he used his head a few years back in Hungary (too soon?)

Mat
Guest
Mat

Will be interested to hear what mr charsley thinks about this one. To me it was essentially the same move as Austria. In both cases he approached the corner behind the opponent. If this move was ok, then it would be relatively easy for an evenly matched pursuing car to dive down the inside without even trying to make the apex, just leaving enough room to make the widest point of the curve before the white line and its ok if you have to be virtually stopped, because the whole way you are shadowing/blocking the car on the outside, leaving… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

I know what Paul thinks about it but I’ll let him explain on the podcast. And for you #TeamLH folks, I know it’s weird me praising Lewis and all. Sorry for breaking your stereotype of me. I apologize.

coolhand64
Guest
coolhand64

There’s hope for you yet!!!

pmr
Guest
pmr

“Not sure why they chose to take that penalty during the last pit stop rather than have it added to his time post-race but that’s what they did and I’m not sure how much of a difference it really would have made.”

They had to take it at the pit stop, only when he didn’t stop again it would have been added to his time.

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

Correct. Article 38.3 in the sporting regulations cover the various penalties, and states that the 5 and 10 second time penalties must be taken at the next pit stop. If the driver doesn’t stop any more before the race ends, then the time will be added to the total race time. So Mercedes didn’t have a choice, unless they were prepared to go to the end on those tyres. The extra three seconds the car was stationary before they started servicing it, however, was entirely on their heads :-)

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

At the risk of sounding silly, I’m getting excited about McLaren’s slow rise up the field…and I’m a Ferrari fan for crying out loud. If it sounds silly, than as do I, because I am also getting excited by the slow climb of Mclaren. It is good to see the team most Ferrari fans begrudgingly respect climbing out of its dormant state. Just a shame Ferrari is going the other way. I was hoping that Button may move up another spot and Alonso wouldn’t drop then they could of gone into the super break ahead of Toro Rosso for 6th,… Read more »

Samouri
Member
Samouri

You’re not silly at all. As a Mercedes fan, well to be honest a Hamilton fan. I surely would love to see McLaren with Alonso, and Lewis going at each other again.

Achim
Guest
Achim

Me too. After preseason testing I was afraid they would be dead last. But if they manage to beat Torro Rosso in the constructors at the end of the season, I will genuinely applaud them. Torro Rosso has a proven, solid engine but no development on it. If Honda manages to finally build an engine that is reliable and more or less on par with last years Ferrari power unit, it would be a huge step into the right direction given last years situation. Granted, it got a bit easier since Verstappen left TR and KVY does not perform well… Read more »

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

Just on the spectator numbers, it was great to see a lot of people in the stands today. Is concerning though, that like in Hungary, F1 has stands now which are covered in Rolex banners. F1 isn’t the only series to do this of course, NASCAR has engaged in the practice for a few years, as have various other series but it did show the fans aren’t exactly flocking to Hockenheim, even if it was a vast improvement on last year. I also read that Mercedes had done some major promotion for this years race, with discount tickets for Sunday… Read more »

Paul Riseborough
Guest
Paul Riseborough

Verstappen’s overtake on Ricciardo around the outside appears to have been achieved by going off the racetrack. Is that legal?

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

It wasn’t legal if you read the sporting regulations – there, the track limits are clearly defined, and you may not leave the track (put all four wheels outside the white line) without justifiable cause. And if you do, you can not gain a lasting advantage when you re-enter. So strictly going by the regulations, that pass was not ok. However… what has been the hot topic of discussion for the last couple of weeks, is how those regulations are to be enforced. The teams wanted a “wild weekend” at Hockenheim, where no track limits would be enforced at all.… Read more »

Member
Dr T

People seem to have overlooked that fact that James Allison’s wife has died recently and as I understand it he has children to care for too… I suspect it may have been a bit mutual…

meine
Member
meine

His youngest is 17, the rest study and don’t live home.

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

On the subject of the Rosberg/Verstappen incident, I too saw it as a carbon copy to the move Nico pulled in Austria. The one difference of course being that where Lewis turned in, Max didn’t, so there was no collision. But the intent seemed quite clear – drive straight on until you almost hit the outer edge of the track, then turn and make sure there’s no room between yourself and said outer edge. Nico was eager to point out that he had full steering lock on, so he couldn’t turn any more than he did. Which was correct –… Read more »

Achim
Guest
Achim

I disagree a bit, because Austria I think was quite different. In Austria it was Rosberg defending and attacking Hamilton was ahead when he turned (and Nico didn’t). Here in Hockenheim it was Rosberg attacking and was (if only slightly) ahead and Verstappen was insisting to go for a piece of road from behind that was always going to close. Had Verstappen not tried to defend in the braking zone, but tried to undercut in the corner to get a better drive out of it, he maybe would have got the position back, because Rosberg was too deep. Yes, a… Read more »

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

The two incidents are of course different in the sense that in Austria, Nico was defending while in Germany he was attacking. But in both instances he was on the inside, and once at the corner, his action (or rather lack thereof) was the same – he didn’t even attempt to turn in until he was almost at the edge of the track. In Germany, Max didn’t turn in, and Nico was penalized for running him off the track. I’d wager that had Max turned in like Lewis did in Austria, Nico’s penalty would have been the same as in… Read more »

Achim
Guest
Achim

Your are making some very valid points, but I’m still not fully convinced … :-) What is the difference then with “crowding a driver out”, like Kimi did in the very early stages in Hungary with Verstappen in turn 2. Kimi did take deliberately a very wide line through that turn, forcing Max on the outside to abort the overtaking attempt, because in Hungary, unlike Hockenheim, there is no runoff but directly gras. So it never got that far “to forcing a driver of a track”, because Max never tried to stay with Kimi. I’m pretty sure, that if in… Read more »

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

I didn’t expect you to be fully convinced – what’d be the fun in that? :-D Anyway, “crowding a driver out” is not an offense mentioned in the regulations ;-), but I think I know what you mean. I tried to find the Kimi move you referenced, but in Hungary he started P14 while Max was in the top 4, so they didn’t come in contact until the first round of pitstops. On lap 17, Max came out of the pits and Kimi overtook him into turn 1. Kimi then defended against Max’ attack on the outside of turn 2… Read more »

Achim
Guest
Achim

Exactly! Wouldn’t life be boring if we’d always agree! Ok, let’s agree that runoff areas should be better. :-) I for instance liked the curbs in Austria actually a lot. It did not took the drivers too long to figure out to only use the track. And why not put some sleeping policemen at that runoff in Hockenheim like in the runoff in turn 1 at Barcelona. So no driver actually wants to go there. And if you get pushed there, you can still complain over the radio. :-) Vettel/Massa: That’s why I thought they punished him for the wrong… Read more »

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

Those yellow “baguette” kerbs they used in Austria were actually screwed down, so they could easily be removed for bike races etc – problem solved! I would have had no problem at all if they’d used them in Germany too.

Bfklin
Guest
Bfklin

Ricciardo’s pass on Verstappen, he drove him off the track, albeit not a corner. I wonder how stewards decide racing versus obstruction / racing room?

Tadhg O'Donovan
Guest
Tadhg O'Donovan

Is it me or is anyone else thinking we won’t be seeing Kyviat after the break? Red Bull have broken him and spat him out the other side. Such a shame when you look at the change from the podium ‘banter’ with Seb earlier in the season to the app arena man at rock bottoms after Hockenheim. For his sake alone I hope he find an exit strategy.

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

Yeah, I’m wondering if we’ll see him. I’m wondering if that is why Buemi perhaps has been called up to do a tire test for them. Just in case have to put another driver in kvyat’s seat for the end of the season before Gasly takes over next season.