Alonso leads Ferrari 1-2 in Germany

Fernando Alonso led Felipe Massa in a Ferrari one-two at Hockenheim as the Italian team revitalised its season - but the win came amid controversy as Massa backed off to allow Alonso to pass him

Alonso leads Ferrari 1-2 in Germany

Poleman Sebastian Vettel was only third for Red Bull on home ground, ahead of the McLarens and Mark Webber.

Massa had gained the lead at the first corner, after both Ferraris made better starts than Vettel. The German focused on squeezing Alonso towards the pit wall, allowing Massa to sweep around the outside of both, with Vettel pushed back to third.

The trio ran in close company at first, before the Ferraris started dropping Vettel following the pitstops.

Alonso immediately seemed quicker on the harder tyres, closing right onto Massa's tail and drawing alongside on the backstraight as they lapped Bruno Senna and Timo Glock on lap 20.

But then Massa lifted his pace and started pulling away, setting several new fastest laps and opening up a 3.4-second lead.

It did not last though, as Alonso responded with some fastest laps of his own, getting the gap back down to under a second. On lap 47, Massa's engineer Rob Smedley told his driver that "Fernando is faster than you" and asked him to confirm he 'understood'. Next time around, Massa lifted off after the hairpin and Alonso accelerated past on the straight to take the race lead, denying Massa victory on the first anniversary of the horrific Hungaroring crash that ended his 2009 season.

Vettel occasionally trimmed the Ferraris' advantage, and a late push got him onto Massa's tail, but he was unable to pass.

The McLarens were never fast enough to fight for the podium and finished fourth and fifth, enough to keep them in the points lead. Lewis Hamilton managed to pass Webber on the first lap, with Button doing likewise by running through to lap 21 before his tyre stop. Webber then had to drop back from the McLarens to nurse his engine amid worryingly high oil consumption.

A lap down, Robert Kubica (Renault) beat the two Mercedes to seventh, with Nico Rosberg getting ahead of Michael Schumacher during the pit sequence after a good start from the elder German had earlier swapped their positions.

Renault got both cars in the points as Vitaly Petrov took 10th, while both Williams lost ground on the first lap and could not recover into the points, despite Nico Hulkenberg waiting until lap 34 before pitting.

Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa also tried a bold strategy, running the first 51 laps on one set of hard tyres before changing to softs, but his plan for a late charge was stymied when he hit Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus, breaking his front wing and taking the Finn out of the 'new teams' class' lead, as he had been just ahead of Timo Glock's Virgin up to then.

Other teams in trouble were Toro Rosso and Force India, who both saw both their cars damaged in first-lap incidents - in Toro Rosso's case after Jaime Alguersuari crashed into the back of Sebastien Buemi at the hairpin.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS

The German Grand Prix
Hockenheim, Germany;
67 laps; 306.458km;
Weather: Sunny.

Classified:

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Alonso        Ferrari                    1h28:38.866
 2.  Massa         Ferrari                    +     4.196
 3.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +     5.121
 4.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    26.896
 5.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    29.482
 6.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    43.606
 7.  Kubica        Renault                    +     1 lap
 8.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +     1 lap
 9.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +     1 lap
10.  Petrov        Renault                    +     1 lap
11.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
12.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +     1 lap
13.  Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +     1 lap
14.  De la Rosa    Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
15.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
16.  Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes       +    2 laps
17.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +    2 laps
18.  Glock         Virgin-Cosworth            +    3 laps
19.  Senna         HRT-Cosworth               +    4 laps

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:15.824

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth               58
Di Grassi     Virgin-Cosworth              51
Yamamoto      HRT-Cosworth                 20
Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth               4
Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari           2


World Championship standings, round 11:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Hamilton     157        1.  McLaren-Mercedes          300
 2.  Button       143        2.  Red Bull-Renault          272
 3.  Webber       136        3.  Ferrari                   208
 4.  Vettel       136        4.  Mercedes                  132
 5.  Alonso       123        5.  Renault                    96
 6.  Rosberg       94        6.  Force India-Mercedes       47
 7.  Kubica        89        7.  Williams-Cosworth          31
 8.  Massa         85        8.  Sauber-Ferrari             15
 9.  Schumacher    38        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         10
10.  Sutil         35       
11.  Barrichello   29       
12.  Kobayashi     15       
13.  Liuzzi        12       
14.  Petrov         7       
15.  Buemi          7       
16.  Alguersuari    3       
17.  Hulkenberg     2       
       
All timing unofficial
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