Hamilton comes out on top in three-way battle

2011 German Grand Prix review

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Nurburgring, 2011

Lewis Hamilton claimed his second Grand Prix win of 2011 in an exhilarating race at the Nurburgring.

Hamilton fought throughout the race with Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber in a battle of wits in the pits and guts on the track.

Three-way battle

Webber bogged down at the start and Hamilton out-dragged him on the run to the first corner. Behind them Alonso dived to the inside and took Vettel for third place.

Vettel briefly took third after Alonso went off at turn two on the second lap. But a few laps later he surrendered the position and shortly after made a mistake of his own, spinning at high speed at the RTL Kurve.

Webber hunted down Hamilton and pounced as the McLaren driver ran wide at the chicane. But Hamilton fought back and squeezed down the inside of Webber going into turn one.

Red Bull strategy got Webber back into the lead – he arrived in the pits before Hamilton and despite being held up on his out lap, was quick enough on his next tour to get ahead.

Hamilton emerged from the pits with Alonso in his wheel tracks to find Webber in front of him, chasing Felipe Massa, who was yet to pit, into turn one.

The strategy that worked for Webber at the first round of pit stops failed the second time – Hamilton came out narrowly ahead of the Red Bull, edging Webber onto the kerbs at turn two to stay ahead.

But the next time by Alonso, who had been third, emerged from the pits ahead of both of them. Hamilton was close at hand and drew along the outside of the Ferrari at turn two.

This was the moment that decided the race. Alonso gave Hamilton more room than Webber had received, and the McLaren was through into the lead.

Last-lap pit stops

Hamilton made a rapid escape, pulling out more than a second on Alonso over the rest of the lap. Despite knowing he would need to make a final stop to switch to the much slower medium tyres, Hamilton drew away from his two pursuers.

The teams had been wary of switching to the harder tyres, but in the end it proved not quite as slow as they had expected. This time Hamilton was the first of the three to pit, and though Alonso stayed out hoping the McLaren would hit trouble, it proved to be in vain.

Vettel arrived in fourth after a troubled race, part of which was spent with the brake bias wound forward due to a problem with his car. He spent over half the race tracking Massa’s Ferrari, trying to find a way past.

The pair finally made their switch to medium tyres together on the final lap. A slow change by Massa’s crew handed Vettel fourth place.

Button retires

Their battle should have been joined by Jenson Button, who made a late first pit stop having been stuck behind Vitaly Petrov after the start. But he retired with an hydraulic problem shortly before half distance.

Adrian Sutil finished sixth after a great drive in his home race, the highest driver to finish using two pit stops. That elevated him on front of the two Mercedes drivers.

Michael Schumacher had been looking for a way past his team mate when he had a very similar spin to Vettel at the same corner. He finished 9.9 seconds behind Nico Rosberg.

Kamui Kobayashi rose to ninth from 17th on the grid and Vitaly Petrov claimed the final point after running a long first stint which saw him lose several places.

Just outside the points were Sergio Perez and Jaime Alguersuari. Paul di Resta finished less than half a second behind the Toro Rosso after being tipped into a spin by Nick Heidfeld on the first lap.

Heidfeld later retired after tangling with the other Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi, who squeezed him off on the approach to the chicane. Buemi picked up a puncture and finished 15th behind Pastor Maldonado.

Heikki Kovalainen with 16th, two laps in front of Karun Chandhok, the last runner who had a spin during the race.

In between them were the Virgins of Timo Glock and Jerome D’Ambrosio, and the sole HRT of Daniel Ricciardo. His team mate joined Rubens Barrichello in retirement earlier on.

Hamilton’s win has made little difference to Vettel’s points margin. Any of the top three finishers might hope this is a turning point in their seasons, but they’re going to have to do a lot more winning before Vettel has anything to worry about.

2011 German Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    133 comments on “Hamilton comes out on top in three-way battle”

    1. I think Vettel had already surrendered his position before spinning, am I wrong?

      1. If he surrendered he would not have pushed so hard to make mistake…

      2. your right, alonso got ahead down into turn 1 a lap or two before the error from vettel

      3. Indeed he did, sorry, have corrected it.

    2. I knew it. I knew Massa’s stop would have been disastrous. I knew Vettel would have passed Massa after the he was behind all the race because of the mechanics. It’s not the first time this year Massa’s stops go badly.

      1. It really seems like those are bound to happen for Massa, doesn’t it.

        1. ss bcoz ferrari concentrate only on one driver…not as mclaren or redbull the teams create way for their drivers to move forward…but ferrari uses massa as a prey for alonso almost in every race..

      2. Ferrari really need to get their pitstops sorted out…

        1. They’ve been brilliant with Alonso today, though.

        2. I don’t think Massa braking too early for the speed limit line helped either. Put more pressure on the pit crew as they saw Vettel a lot closer than they expected.

      3. I have to agree with you. Just one pit stop for Alonso was good today. the others were not good, Massa’s last one was disastrous.

      4. Two precious Alonso-points handed to Vettel.

        1. David BR makes a good point. Ferrari aren’t completely focused on Alonso, because Massa could be taking points away from Vettel to aid his team-mate.

      5. If Ferrari carry on like this there pit crew will be the joke of the paddock again like in the early 90s.

      6. El Sonso is drinving way better than Massa, no doubt about that, but one wonders how resources are allocated these days at Ferrari. Massa’s mechanics seem to wear left-hand gloves in both hands – they’ve done well when they screw just one of Massa’s stops up in a race.

        1. One of Massa’s earlier stops was 3.2 seconds, tying the best pit stop time of the race, they just seem to always choke on his car under pressure.

          Massa drove really well today, keeping Vettel behind and should have had 4th.

          If Ferrari could get their pit work more consistent they would have had 4th and could have had 1st as well.

    3. Small typo Keith,

      That elevated him on front of the two Mercedes drivers.

      should be “in front of…”

    4. Webber hunted down Hamilton and pounced as the McLaren driver ran wide at the chicane.

      i.e. the moment his engineer chose to have a radio chat, just as Webber was closing in on him! As Hamilton pointed out I think…

      1. But that message would have been delayed by much more than that, it would have been before that incident.

        1. Really? But why did Hamilton then ask his team not to talk to him while he’s racing? (!) At least that’s how it was reported on Brazilian TV.

          1. When we hear a radio message it is delayed quite a bit. It could be an exception and the message was aired live, but I think that is highly unlikely.

            In my opinion it is more likely the message was radioed even up to a lap before hand, and it was just coincidental timing to match up when Hamilton made the mistake.

    5. Force India showed that the pace in FPs was not gifted. Sutil had a wonderful drive.

      1. No mistake, great pace from older tyre, good strategy…all things gone well.:D

    6. Great 3-way battle. Now I wish this continues. of course there’s no place for Vettel, I hope!

      1. As long as Vettel is part of the three man battle, instead of him having a one man race. We saw a 3-way-battle in Valencia although Vettel always looked most likely to win.

    7. But a few laps later he surrendered the position with a mistake of his own, spinning at high speed at the RTL Kurve.

      Actually Alonso overtook him before he spun out.

    8. Vettel showed off his amazing overtaking ability in the pits.

      1. LOL! Yep, he’s pretty awesome at that :)

      2. +2 for cheek

      3. It was astonishing when Vettel nose-to-tail to Massa so close :P

        1. +4 couldn’t get by massa lol

          Red bull does everything for you
          When real drivers like hamilton and
          Alonso have do drive and overtake for the win

      4. Yes, another race win or lose on pit, and not on race. On the first pit, webber win the 1 place, on the second, he loose. No matter hard he push after that, he can’t win.

      5. +5, lawl

    9. Alonso overtook Vettel before Vettel spun off.

    10. Where are the hamilton haters today :-). care to congratulate him for a brilliant performance. His overtake on Alonso was awesome!

      1. Was a good performance and good overtake, however Alonso was a sitting duck on cold tires. Hamilton had so much better drive and was already ahead of Alonso at the point Alonso could have squeezed him off the track.

        Glad to see Ferrari doing well in cold conditions tho!

      2. If you’re a Hamilton fan, Why do you find Hamilton haters?

        1. Because you guys give him too much stick when things doesn’t go right for him. He’s shown that he is a top racer

          1. People who aren’t fans of him are congratulating him for Sunday’s drive. I congratulated him in another thread in fact.
            So we get it already, Hamilton is undoubtedly a great driver. Hamilton fans are great at being bad winners. And bad losers.

      3. Speaking as a Hamilton fan he had a great race and deserves the praise, but I would not celebrate too much yet as I think his pace was more down to him/the team calling the weather right….and we all know how successful you can be at that.

        Just my personal opinion of course, but I suspect that RB went for a wet set up, like Button and as it didn’t rain they were compromised – I think this is the problem Vettel had, cooling his brakes.

        Let’s see if next week in Hungary he can still be in front of Ferrari (who we know don’t like cold weather as trouble to warm up the tyres) and within touching distance of RBR.

        I do think the “myth” that Vettel cannot overtake is becoming less of a myth every race he is not on pole though.

        1. The cooler temperatures certainly helped; but the overtakes, defensive driving, tyre management, and outright speed were Lewis’s (as shown by Button’s performance, Button who was not on a wet set-up and mystified by the gap to Lewis.)

          I don’t think RBR were on a wet setup. First, we’d have heard that excuse. Second, why do they all look and sound worried: McLaren and Ferrari have caught them up; hence, Vettel’s mistakes.

          I have always said that Vettel can’t overtake. Compare him with Lewis! I have also said that he is an unknown, because his only benchmark is Webber, whom he has struggled to beat sometimes, especially last year; and we all know that Webber is not first rate.

          1. as good as the pass on fernando was, it really wasnt the mega pass it was being made to be. Ferrari take 4-5 laps to get its tyres going. so it was pretty expected. And fernando isnt the sort of driver that will just drive you clean off the road in those situations either. He plays the long game.

            Fair play to him for making it stick tho. great drive

            But I do feel he must remember the good days like today when he has his next bad day and comes out with comments that put members of his team down.

          2. Sorry, we don’t all know that “Webber is not first rate”.

            He has outperformed every teammate for many years – until Vettel who is undoubtedly the fastest driver in the field. Yes, faster even than Hamilton (read the WDC tables for the last 3 years), but apparently not very good at overtaking.

            But then, Hamilton has his problems with overtaking, too. Disastrous and dangerous at Monaco, he also ineptly shoved Webber off the track at Canada and gave him another tap at Germany to stop him going past. Perhaps it’s Hamilton who is not first rate?

            1. But Webber’s former teamates were not that impressive, were they? Coultard, Pizzonia…

            2. boris the one-eyed wallaby
              25th July 2011, 14:19

              antifia – Webbo also saw off both Quick Nick Heidfeld and Britney Rosberg and they’re a useful benchmark: Nick matched Kubica over a couple of seasons and Nico is consistently beating Micky Shoe.

              Perhaps Webber is the 2nd best driver of the last 10 years! (behind Vettel)

          3. A less partisan read of the race would perhaps recognise that everybody was having troubles overtaking yesterday (a worring sign concerning the direction Pireli is going). Button spent a third of the race before he could overtake a very slow Renault in front of him. Massa spent the same amount of time behind Rosberg. The three guys in front could not once overtake each other either (except for that move of LH in special circunstances). Looking at Vettel, he was in a situation that, for his detractors, it was like shooting fish in a barrel: If he went all guns blazing against Massa and broke a wing or something (something that he could expect Massa to accidentally inflict on him, given how welcome it would be for Alonso’s chances in the championship) they would be trashing him today. If, on the other hand, he did the smart thing under the circunstance, and minimized his losses, as he did, they can come and accuse him of not having race craft and all that. The guy gets once outside the podium (just) and he is rubish.

      4. I am a Ham hater but I love F1 and Ham drove brilliantly whole weekend. No doubt. Had the track temperature a bit more, this could have been different :)

        1. +1.

          Being a Ham fan, I still enjoy watching Alonso driving. We cannot let “the hate” eat our sense of sportsmanship.

          1. +2. I’m not a Hamilton fan (I’m a Vettel and Alonso fan), he is still great to watch.

      5. After some poor races and mistakes, a great race. Congrats to Hamilton, definitely.

      6. Where are the Hamilton haters today? Probably in the same place as Hamilton fans last weekend :)

    11. the renaults love flying around in the air dont they..

      1. They have launched into the air 3 times this year. For sure they made amazing launch control lol

        1. A Sheepish engineer to Boulier:

          “Err, Sorry sir, slight misunderstanding I think.”

      2. It was a bit of an ‘ouch’ moment!

      3. Apparently Renault Lotus gives you wings aswell?

    12. Amazing drive from Lewis. In the third best car (so 5th or 6th when we consider no: 2s), he managed to make some amazing* and crucial overtakes and defensive moves against inherently faster machinery, as well as look after his tyres throughout. Vettel wins are processions and boring: good driver; best car by a mile. Lewis wins are often sensational: best driver by a mile; good car.

      Whereas Vettel (who was hopeless today) and Alonso have no proper benchmark at their teams, and so it’s easy to shine there, Lewis has a previous champ in the other Mclaren; and in both qualifying and the race, Lewis outclassed him. Those crucial overtakes that only Lewis can do and his sheer outright speed put him above Jenson.

      *when was the last time a driver passed Alonso round the outside….? Was it Lewis at his first ever race? I haven’t seen that too often…

      1. McLaren were as good as the Red Bulls as they have been many times this season. Ferrari were fast but the amount of time it took to heat the tyres was a clear weakness and cost them the victory as it made Alonso a sitting duck for Hamilton.

        It is just unfortunate that Hamilton drove so poorly in the two races where they were better (Monaco and Canada) as well as not being able to get pass Vettel, who was struggling with KERS in Spain. He could be 50 pts nearer to Vettel than he currently is. He hammered Jenson today so fair play there.

        1. Hey Brum, it’s swings and roundabouts, if you take a long time getting heat in your tyres it usually means they are going to last a lot longer.But sure the top 3 all raced well and very competitive cars.

          1. Good point but when both Hamilton and Alonso were on their 2nd stint Hamilton was able to lap a second quicker and have a 3s lead by the time Alonso could get his tyres to speed. He enjoyed a similar advantage on the final stint and the difference between the two was 4s by race end (where Lewis posted the fastest lap).

            I’m not trying to discredit Hamilton but the notion that Ferrari was superior to McLaren is wrong. McLaren was as fast as Red Bull due to their ability to generate heat into their tyres quickest which was a great advantage at such a cold track but will hinder them at hotter tracks.

          2. They are mot as sticky but they still wear especially when sliding and lockup.

      2. Alonso was on ice cold tires. It would be a worthy overtake if they were in normal racing conditions.

        Ham also probably had the fastest race car here today.

        1. Alonso was not on ICE cold tyres. They were probably warmer than the track, having just had their warming blankets taken off. But the comparison between Alonso’s inability to defend against Hamilton compared with Hamilton’s successful defense against Webber is why people are talking about it. And the overhead shot showed that Hamilton was so much quicker at making the move than Webber was, giving Alonso no chance to defend. Therefore, I suspect most of the unbiased world saw it as a very worthy overtake, and one of the moves of the race.

          1. Speaking of defending ability, I would say Petrov is the Best position defender…:)

      3. How did you get 3rd best? The RBR wasn’t outstanding this weekend, I’d say it was pretty competitive between the top 3. Differences were mainly down to setup, high top-speed/downforce differences then overall performance differentials.

        Hamilton did a brilliant drive, but there’s no need to make it David vs Goliath. I think most people would agree that in raw pace Button has rarely matched Hamilton, and the Hamilton/Button combination is pretty similar to Vettel/Webber in terms of driver potentials.

      4. Fernando and Vettel have no benchmarks in their team? That’s a load of rubbish. Jenson is a circumstancial WDC, and I think Alonso or Vettel would ‘shine’ as much as Lewis is if they were paired up against Jenson.

        1. +1

          Alistair just keeps inventing excuses to put down Alonso and Vettel. I can’t wait to see what he has next.

          1. Nice!! :)

      5. I believe great drivers shine much more when they have proper benchmark. Not to mention Webber and Massa are good benchmarks.

        1. I think this weekend showed the RBs achilles heel, that is being fast through the corners but slow on the straights is not a good strategy unless you are in front. Webber has no-one but himself to blame for his starts but today we saw that Vettel can’t do any better with reasonably quick cars in front of him.

      6. I think

        Hamilton=Senna. Alonso=prost

        Vettel=schumacher. Webber=Mansell

        I’m still a fan of Alonso though senna is the best

        1. Hamilton=Senna?

          Thank God Senna is not alive to hear this rubbish. :(

        2. Hey, where is Piquet?

          1. In the crash barrie…. Oh, THAT Piquet.

      7. I don’t think McLaren were third best car in this race. They were on par with RedBulls and slightly faster than Ferrari on cold tyres. If they were the third fastest ideally he should have blown away everyone in all the races or atleast ended up in podiums. We should not get carried away. Excellent drive from Hamilton though. Way to go Lewis.

    13. ralph schumi
      24th July 2011, 19:02

      Vet FAILED to pass Massa, FAILED to pass Ham in the last race. He ended up having to pass them in the pits. How can Vet fans still argue that this boy can overtake? The only car je overtakes easily is Webbers, probably becausr RBR have places a button in his cockpit that boosts his car n retards marks car!!
      The top 3 in F1 right now r HAM,ALO,VET(only because vet can qualify better than webber for some reason but in race mode, mark can do more)

      My brothet , MSC needs to come join me in DTM

      1. The top 3 in F1 right now r HAM,ALO,VET(only because vet can qualify better than webber for some reason but in race mode, mark can do more)

        I wouldn’t say that part in bold (or that bit about “boosts” and “retards”. This is the first time in 15 races that Mark’s finished ahead.

        1. But the 2nd consecutive race he’s beaten him in qualfying. So whatever the reason, it looks like Webber’s back to fighting with Vettel on equal terms, which can only be ominous for Vettel and Red Bull with Alonso and Hamilton chasing hard and Button lurking to take important points too (unlike Massa, sadly).

          1. I’m guessing its the engine mapping and EBD restrictions that are helping Mark make a comeback. He didn’t gain the same amount of advantage that Seb gained from it.

            1. Brundle hinted at one factor that is helping MW these days…the Pirelli’s are getting more durable and when he (MB) mentioned that to MW prior to the race, MW said that for sure that is helping him…guess he struggled more with tires that fall off quickly and then are nowhere for him.

      2. Not sure when I’ve seen Vettel overtake Webber and never mind “easily”… often it’s because Vettel has qualified ahead of Webber that he doesn’t need to.

        Great race though, 3 drivers battling and no crashing, good stuff.

        1. I think you are right Kate from my memory it’s always before the first corner or not at all, no doubt someone will know different though.

      3. Mark do more on race mode? That doesn’t hold water, does it? Out of 10 races this year, Vettel outscored Mark in 9. Concerning the passes, well, nobody was passing anybody (except for that pass of LH on FA when the later’s tyres were still cold). Webber sat behind LH and then FA for the entire race and nobody comes up with this thing about him not being able to overtake.

        1. Perhaps because he has actually spent a lot of time at the rear end and the mid field earlier in his career and proved he can. Seriously, get a clue.

        2. and perhaps because he came from 18th. to the podium in China for those new to the sport or short of memory.

          1. You guys are going to milk that for all it is worth, aren’t you? What you seem to forget is that Vettel overtook all the slower cars in front of him this race (just like Webber did in China) and only got stuck behind a Ferrari – oh, wait, wasn’t it just like Webber? And Sally, the 10 out of 9 remain uncommented – add to that the fact that Seb also beat Mark in the previous 2 years and I don’t think it is those who say that Vettel is a better racer than Webber that are the clueless ones.

    14. We might have been robbed of a more exciting finish between HAM and ALO, if the Ferrari didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the podium Fernando may have been in ‘conserve fuel’ mode for the last 8 or so laps.

      OR, It’s just wishful thinking.

      1. Aonso said fuel did not compromise battle with Hamilton just not fast enough with medium tyre. However, yes, I guess he could be faster later part of last-soft stint as former ones. But he was barely faster than Hamilton at the moment. So it’s possible he was already suffered from low fuel.

        1. But it is also possible that he benefited earlier by being lighter.

        2. If what Alonso is saying is true he’s a bit of a dare devil, isn’t he?

      2. I was quite surprised their was no punishment for stopping on the circuit. I was sure that the rules were changed (or at least clarified) after Hamilton stopped (I think in Canada last year). I thought the drivers now had to make it back to the pits with the required fuel?

        Can anyone confirm if this is or is not the case?

        1. I was under the same impression, but given that up to now nobody from the organization, the teams and the media taked about it and Alonso is still 2nd, I believe we were both mistaken.

    15. The key was the re-pass. The McLaren is slow on full tanks and if Webber had got by early Hamilton would have lost a lot of time before his tires came in, maybe too much. The way Hamilton just drove down on the paint on the inside, it could have been a big wreck, but he isn’t taking no in these situations. The pass on Alonso was not academic. Hamilton looked took a very square corner taking the angle a car coming out of the pits could not. Also, he only won by a couple seconds, and when you look at the couple scruffy moments for Alonso in RTL Kurve, being squeaky clean also helped Hamilton win. Also, VMM, for a change, blazing pit stops. That won the race as much as Hamilton’s heroics.

      1. The pass on the inside by the pit wall was phenomenal, Webber seemed almost to wobble in surprise as he realized too late what was happening. The pass on Alonso managed to combine aggression and technical perfection, and again unexpected. And both were reminiscent of how he recovered his position against Button last year at the Istanbul GP, only this time virtually instantly.

      2. Younger Hamii
        25th July 2011, 0:25

        I’ve really hated your Anti-Hamilton Comments last year and this comment is another but i actually Agree with you,Lewis was a bit fortunate today,im not gonna go beyond that statement because im a Lewis and McLaren fan but the great start wasnt lucky,the overtakes werent lucky they were all down to Lewis’ Abilities and Aggressive,Passionate Race Craft that adds to his raw speed that creates a Conclusion that Lewis Hamilton deserved this Victory and was brilliant all round

    16. When Gilles drove like Lewis did today, the world adored him for it. Very few drivers have had the audacity to make that outside pass, or to keep pushing to set fastest lap at the end of a race that was already in the bag, or, in most cases, even be in that race against super-strong packages like Webber and Alonso. Given where McLaren have been, where Button was, and how strong RBR and Ferrari have come on, I thought third would be a strong result for him today. That was a remarkable drive in a nailbiter of a race.

      1. The Brazilian blogs I read today were just full of praise for Hamilton. Much more than here to be honest!

    17. Funny how all the people who were saying what a good idea it was to get Chandhok in the Lotus have all gone quiet…

      1. exactly, I couldn’t understand that people said last year that Chandok was a better driver than Senna. They were as far as I am concerned very evenly matched with Senna slightly better. I hope that Senna can impresses/proves me wrong next weekend.
        Chandhok also said that he had no or little problem with the car’s power steering, what is supposed to be Trulli’s excuse.

        1. “Chandhok also said that he had no or little problem with the car’s power steering”

          Well that reflects even worse on Chandhok unfortunately… he had no issues with the steering and still managed to finish a lap behind a guy in his second ever GP, driving an HRT…

      2. Once upon a time, there is great races cars, named Lotus, but now they are moving quibble

      3. A bit premature to really judge what Chandhok can or can’t deliver. Let’s be realistic.

    18. It was a very good race and a good drive by Hamilton but his pass on Alonso was not brilliant. The Ferrari just had cold tires, as we all know. Also I think the top 3 teams were all relatively equal today. Alonso and Hamilton drove well and Webber was decent. I don’t think anyone can say that Vettel and Alosno only look good beacuse they’ve got poor teammates. For a start Alsonso is a 2 time world champion, and Vettel is a world champion. Button is a very average driver who in 2009 was in comfortably the best car with an uncompetitive team-mate. In my opinion all the top 3 teams have a number 1 and a number 2. Also on a different note, Chandhok was woeful so now hopefully they will give Trulli his seat back.

      1. Hamilton had cold tires when he fended off Webber coming out of the pits. So if Hamilton’s pass was not skillful then Alonso’s defense was inadequate.

        1. +1 DaveW. You don’t just drive around the outside of Fernando Alonso without it taking a great deal of skill… cold tires on the Ferrari or not.

          1. Alonso made a mistake with Hamilton. Hamilton made no such mistake with Webber. No magical skill in that one really.

            1. Good drive from Lewis this weekend, he made the most of the conditions. Very well done.

              The pass on Alonso, well..in my opinion, we know the Ferrari needs a couple laps to get the tyres up to temp, so that was a factor. Hamilton and Webber were carrying so much more pace coming down the straight..that was the next factor..the third factor was that Alonso actually made a slight mistake coming out to turn 1. Good pass by Lewis.

              If the track was warmer yesterday, Alonso would have won.

              I guess Vettel drove a mature race today. Why throw points away when he could afford to stay where he was? I dont think Vettel’s been put in a position where he needs to pass to win yet, so I think it may be a little unfair to write him off just yet.

    19. where are all the people saying Button is better than Hammy now?

    20. FACT: Vettel is woeful in traffic.

      1. Whenever someone writes ‘fact’ in capital letters like that, what follows it is invariably an opinion being presented as a fact.

        1. Thanks for the lesson but i think its quite obvious that it was my opinion being presented in a way that will provoke debate.

          1. hence the word “FACT:” right? :D

            Vettel drove like a number two for sure… But then again, that’s all he has to do!

      2. FACT: He didn’t crash like a lot of people suspected he would.

        Seriously though I’m not a Vettel fan but I thought it was a good drive by him after a tough weekend. Got it home in a respectable fourth and didn’t lose too much of his WDC lead and more points for the constructors.

        1. This is true but did he show himself to be better than Webber in those circumstances? I don’t think so.

          1. Indeed, Webber had the better of him here. Shame about at least 8 of the other races this year..

            1. But as I pointed out earlier on this kind of track ie.not a go-kart track, the RB7 needs to be out in front to shine, once behind a top3 car it loses its advantages, Webber has not had the clear track advantage due to his poor starts and reliability problems, but has made some passes this year.

    21. Hamilton was superb today. Senna-esque performance with brave overtake moves, raw speed, that yellow helmet in a mclaren, it gave me goose bumps.

    22. Vettel drove today like a man who didn’t want to risk a dumb collision, OK he struggled for pace all weekend but really thats his worse race since Spa 2010.
      luckily he got out of jail only losing 3pts of his lead. Webber will be annoyed, he smashed Vettel all weekend yet only gained 3pts and i hope Vettel won’t be as bad in the future races so he should be better off next time.

      1. or he drove like a man who doesn’t have what it takes to make the pass even when its to his advantage. it was clear that he was faster than massa especially when he was setting fastest laps but just couldn’t go anywhere with his pace

        1. Massa was doing what was needed to keep Vettel from the front and certainly had the speed of the top 3 when he needed it. Hopefully we see more of that in the coming races.

          MVP for the race: Massa.

        2. I think it is the nature of the car, out front it makes up time through the twisties but loses on the straights, with a car in front it can’t gain time in the twisties but still loses on the straights.Webber has to go to starting school and Vettel has to get back on pole, although now he can afford not to.

    23. Great race some great move in the non DRS zone.The battle between the top was great to watch as they were fighting hard & no one was sure who will be in the lead.I think Ferrari may have made a error while Massa was leading after the top 3 second pit stop they could have left Massa for a lap or two more so that he could slow down the leader & help Alonso to attack who was in the tail of the leader.
      The biggest loser was Webber a bad error by the team by bringing him way too soon for his second stop as they could have stayed out as his lap time was good & again should have come early for the third stop.
      Hamilton fought hard & for the last two race we have seen the real Hamilton.He was aggressive,especially his pass on Webber & Alonso shows that.Last lap pit stop was fun.Karun was very disspointing,I hope he is not given any more chance by Lotus,his car is very well capable of going ahead of HRT & Virgin.
      Good race for Kobayashi & Sutil but Schumacher always have good race pace but then makes a silly mistake which make me think whether he is 7 times WC!

    24. I think Hungary is going to be very interesting. The Red Bull once again produces the most down force (like last year) and last year, their advantage at Hungary was astonishing. If Ferrari or Mclaren (with their apparent great low speed handling) can match Red Bull there, I think we can consider the championship still a contest.

      1. That’s true. On the other hand, if Vettel bags another 25 there, it really is all over.

    25. Interesting race and lots to see, and loved seeing Alonso jump on the Webber’s car at the end.. one thing for me this race highlighted to me was Vettel’s insufficiency as a complete ‘racer’, and while his ability does mean he can become a WDC – I don’t feel this means he is the ‘best racer’. He is definitely a brilliant ‘time trialer’ – virtually unbeatable in perfect conditions on an empty track.

      But when it comes to racecraft, dealing with traffic, trying to overtake a Massa (who I feel would been overtaken by Webber had the roles been reversed) it’s certainly a little less than shiny. To emphasise this, the pit-wall communique telling Vettel to not get too hot under the helmet behind Massa (I can’t imagine ever witnessing the same being told to Webber – a classy racer with overtaking credentials)….

      The fact that Vettel’s pass came in the pit stop just shows me that while he’s fast in a bubble/upfront etc, he’s not yet complete.

      I’d love to see a contact vs overtaking attempts ratio between the leading drivers actually…

      Gutted for Button…

      1. He probably lost an element of confidence when he took that half-spin. Not an excuse, but a reason.

    26. For whatever reasons the race turned like this (Hamilton skills, Alonso skills, Webber skills, Vettel skills…), I am just grateful to have the season the way it is now.

    27. lets not forget the transgressions from Alonso and Hamilton. I hope Coulthard also noticed and reported the vigorous shaking of a cable fence by Lewis.

      Excellent co commentator, bit of an old woman tho.

    28. Vettel has been excellent all year and at a time when he had few mechanical issues and the RB7 was the pick of the bunch.
      Lucky? No, skilful but… had his spin on the wet limits of the track been at a circuit with walls such as Monaco,Canada,Korea then his 4th place would have been a DNF. Now that was lucky!

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