And so ends another grand prix weekend. Just like that, we’re already halfway through the 2014 Formula 1 season, and we’re still no closer to knowing who will be crowned world champion at the end of the season.
Today, Nico Rosberg capped off a near-perfect two week period by winning his home grand prix in Germany, but the real star of the race was Lewis Hamilton. His charge from 20th to third was a joy to watch, but going by his reaction on the podium and in the post-race press conference, you would have been forgiven for thinking he’d crashed out. Clearly, losing more ground to Nico has perturbed him.
Here’s the final round-up from the paddock at the Hockenheimring.
- Nico Rosberg was the man to clinch victory in the German Grand Prix today, but it was a very entertaining and interesting race away from the front. Bottas, Hamilton, Alonso, Ricciardo and Vettel all gave us some great action on track.
NEWS FROM THE PADDOCK
- Lotus has confirmed that Pastor Maldonado will remain at Enstone for 2015.
- Kevin Magnussen explains what life is like as a rookie in F1 to NBCSN.
- Ahead of the race, Hamilton took a five place grid drop after Mercedes changed the gearbox on his car.
- Here’s the starting grid for the race.
- Toto Wolff explains to NBCSN how he is keeping a level playing field at Mercedes.
- Watch Felipe Massa’s scary first-lap roll, which thankfully he walked away from.
- Lewis was on fire today, charging from 20th to third.
- Nico Rosberg thanked the German fans for their support en route to his first home race win.
- Valtteri Bottas was in supreme form once again, securing his third straight podium finish.
- Hamilton feels that he did as good as he could in Germany.
- Daniil Kvyat had a race to forget, with it finishing in firey fashion.
- Fernando Alonso believes that the German GP was his best race of the year.
- Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has heaped praise on his drivers following the race.
THOUGHTS FROM THE TRACK
It’s quite hard to believe that we’re now closer to the end of the season than we are to the beginning. Ten races down, nine to go, and just 250 points left on offer (and yes, that does include Abu Double – I mean, Abu Dhabi).
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are set to continuing tussling at the top of the standings until the end of the year, and the internal battle at Mercedes is certainly an interesting one. Both drivers have the bit between their teeth, but Rosberg has the slender points advantage. Lewis called his crash in Q1 a “gift” for Nico, and maybe he was right; maybe it did gift him the win.
However, Lewis shouldn’t been disheartened by his performance today. He was in supreme form, and it is probably one of his best ever drives. His overtaking moves reeked of desperation – ‘you will move or we will crash’ – but it was still mightily impressive. Damage well limited.
Mercedes’ strategy in the final stages of the race with Lewis was interesting. The decision to go option-option and pit three times instead of going with one prime third stint at the end was a surprise, but it did have the effect of piling the pressure on the leaders. Come the end of the race though, he didn’t have enough life left in the Pirellis; Bottas had done 40 laps on his tires, and was fine. Anticipating the safety car in that fashion – which Lewis of course lamented not doing in Monaco – backfired.
But then again, it should have been a safety car. Had it come out, Lewis could have won the race; it would have essentially been a 15 lap race to the flag against Nico. Adrian Sutil’s Sauber was in a dangerous position, and seeing the marshals running across the track to recover it was bizarre. Of course, the cynics will cry conspiracy and note that a German driver was leading the German GP at the time. (For the record, the driver steward was Danish this weekend).
We were also treated to another fine Red Bull versus Alonso battle. Fernando went into battle with both Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo; it was a masterclass of wheel-to-wheel racing. Sheer joy for the F1 fan.
And to finish, a big well done to Valtteri Bottas for another fine performance. There is no doubt that we’re watching a future grand prix winner, if not a future world champion.