2016 German Grand Prix Race Review

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On Saturday, we saw Nico Rosberg taking Pole Position for the German Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo.

The start of the German GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The start of the German GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The German Grand Prix is underway! Lewis Hamilton gets a great start as does Fernando Alonso. Daniel Ricciardo also gets a good start and is now in third place. But Rosberg tries to repass Ricciardo into Turn 2 and he cannot regain the position back.

Lewis Hamilton leading the early stages of the German GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton leading the early stages of the German GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

A few corners later, Sebastian Vettel tries to pass Rosberg for position on the track and is squeezed by Nico. On Lap 2, Hamilton leads Verstappen by 1.5 seconds as Ricciardo and Rosberg are battling for third place with some great wheel to wheel racing.

By Lap 6, Fernando Alonso is keeping Felipe Massa behind him for tenth place as both of the Ferrari drivers battle each other for fifth and sixth places. Hamilton still leads the race by Lap 13 by 12.6 seconds as Rosberg passing Alonso for seventh place. But Raikkonen informs his team via the radio that the rear tyres on his Ferrari are graining.

Max Verstappen running in second place on Lap 15. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Max Verstappen running in second place on Lap 15. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

As Hamilton pits for new tyres at the end of Lap 14, he still maintains his lead by 6 seconds over Verstappen. Jenson Button is now in tenth place and is fighting Esteban Gutierrez for track position. But in a few corners, Button passes Gutierrez with a great move and is now in ninth place.

The incident between Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen on Lap 30. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The incident between Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen on Lap 30. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

At half the race distance, Hamilton still lead the field.  Rosberg will no doubt leave Germany feeling hard done by after he recovered from a poor start and a slow first pit stop to overtake Max Verstappen for second place on Lap 30. However, it was that passing move that led to the five-second penalty at his final stop and ultimately dropped him back behind Verstappen where he had to settle for fourth.

The overtaking move was a controversial one. Rosberg threw his car up the inside of the Red Bull at Turn 6 and deep into the corner, forcing Verstappen wide and off the track on the exit. When watching the onboard footage clearly showed that Rosberg did not apply full steering lock until Verstappen was running out of space at the edge of the track, and it was this for which Rosberg was penalised.

Lewis Hamilton leading the race in its final stages. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton leading the race in its final stages. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 45 and Hamilton still leads the race ahead of Ricciardo by 11 seconds. The battle for thirteenth place between Gutierrez and Magnussen is still ongoing as is the battle for second and third places between the two Red Bull drivers.  Two laps from the finish, Alonso and Perez were battling each other for the final point of the race.

Lewis Hamilton wins the German GP ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in second place and Max Verstappen in third place.

Lewis Hamilton wins the German GP ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in second place and Max Verstappen in third place.

But Hamilton leads Ricciardo on the final lap of the race by 1.9 seconds and wins the German GP which is his sixth win of the 2016 season and extends his lead in the championship to 19 points.

Ricciardo is a credible second 6.9 seconds behind Hamilton, Verstappen finished in third place 13.4 seconds behind Hamilton, Rosberg was a credible fourth 15.8 seconds behind Hamilton and Vettel finished fifth 32.5 seconds behind Hamilton.

Raikkonen was sixth 37 seconds behind Hamilton, Hulkenberg was a brilliant seventh 1.10 seconds behind Hamilton, Button was eighth 1 lap behind Hamilton, Bottas was ninth 1 lap behind Hamilton and Perez was tenth 1 lap behind Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton still leads the Driver’s Championship with 217 points, Nico Rosberg is in second place with 198 points, Daniel Ricciardo is in third place with 133 points, Kimi Raikkonen is in fourth place with 122 points, Sebastian Vettel is in fifth place with 120 points, Max Verstappen is in sixth place with 115 points, Valtteri Bottas is in seventh place with 58 points, Sergio Perez is in eighth place with 48 points, Felipe Massa is in ninth place with 38 points and Nico Hulkenberg is in tenth place with 33 points

Mercedes still lead the Constructors Championship with 415 points, Red Bull is in second place with 256 points, Ferrari is in third place with 242 points, Williams is in fourth place with 96 points, Force India is in fifth place with 81 points, Toro Rosso is in sixth place with 45 points, McLaren is in seventh place with 42 points, Haas is in eighth place with 28 points, Renault is in ninth place with 6 points and Manor are tenth with 1 point.

Conclusion

With Button having a solid drive to eighth place and gaining good solid points for the team, it was a shame to see Alonso finishing in twelfth. But it was the best that Jenson could do with the strategy he was on even though he would have wanted more from the weekend after the last two races haven’t been too kind for him but never the less, he managed to pick up much needed points for the Constructors.

I feel that McLaren have had an average weekend and have shown that despite their best efforts that the McLaren team have a lot of work to do in order to try and extract performance from their car but they are making small gains that are paying off for them in the last few races and they need to use this as inspiration for Belgium in a few weeks time.

Perez had a battle to finish in tenth place. He battled with Bottas and Alonso for most of the race and he deserved to get a point for his efforts today and it will help his confidence for the next few races as a result.

Bottas did an okay job to get ninth place and had a great battle to get there after battling with Button for most of the race. This point for himself and Williams are vital and only shows just much of a driver Bottas is despite not having the car underneath him to challenge for a better result this weekend.

Hulkenberg battled his way through to get seventh place.  He battled his way through the field and created some great overtaking moves to get there. Hulkenberg may not have had the weekend that he wanted with Force India this weekend but he did the best that he could do and picked up some more points for the team and also started his season well.

Raikkonen had a bit of an action packed yet defensive race to finish sixth, but he scored more points for the Ferrari team who seem to be extracting a little bit more pace and performance out of their package. But there is still a lot of work to be done but the fact that Raikkonen scored points again shows that he can deliver on the track.

Vettel did a good job to get fifth place and deserves a mention. He drove a solid race  despite winning the battle with Raikkonen and he did a great job to secure some much needed points for his team after a good performance this weekend and it is clear that the car was working well for them as a result. This will only help him prepare for the rest of the 2016 season.

Rosberg had a credible race to finish in fourth. It is a result that Rosberg needed after a tough few races and he should be happy; especially gaining the position during the race. But in a race where many expected him to finish and to maintain the momentum he has so far, he has managed to gain some points for the team and put himself in good stead for the rest of the 2016 season.

Verstappen deserves a mention. He drove a solid race to third place and battled his way through to get these points. Just a fantastic weekend for him and the Red Bull team and showing that he is a potential talent of the future if the call for a better seat was available to him.

Ricciardo drove a solid race to finish second today and has to be my driver of the race. He may not have had the race he wanted; and didn’t have a chance to try and get past but he did a great job to secure a podium today. And once again, luck helped him achieve this but he was in the position to make hey. But what a fantastic job from him all weekend and this will only give him a slight satisfaction heading into the next race in Belgium.

All that is left to say about this race is that Hamilton deserved to win at Germany and he needed to in order to show that he cannot be discounted as a driver.  His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race. Mercedes has built on the results that they have gained so far since pre-season testing and have shown that they are still the best team on the grid at the moment. All credit to Lewis for doing a superb job this weekend and winning his sixth race of the season and ijcreasing the championship lead as well.

With the Belgian GP in a few weeks time, if this season will be Rosberg’s at last or can Hamilton, Ricciardo or Vettel challenge him for wins along the way. But what is for certain is that Formula One is building up rather nicely.

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