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.


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


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
Flexible wings row set to hit Formula 1
Previous article

Flexible wings row set to hit Formula 1

Next article

Horner: Ferrari move clear team orders

Horner: Ferrari move clear team orders
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023