The Red Bulls are dangerous, naughty Rosberg and Hamilton starts his summer break on top.
Germany the land that has brought us some outstanding drivers the likes of Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Wolfgang von Trips. Wolfgang was the first German driver to win a Grand Prix in 1961 unfortunately his promising career was cut short by a fatal crash in Italy later that year.
Last year Germany missed out on hosting a Grand Prix for the first time since 1960 due to an issue with the owners of the Nurburgring. This must have been devastating for the German fans that are just as committed as those at Silverstone. Put it this way, imagine if there was no British Grand Prix!
Qualifying brought us the usual front row starting grid;
P1 Rosberg, P2 Hamilton, P3 Ricciardo, P4 Verstappen
Kvyat clearly isn’t happy with his Toro Rosso and stated the only good thing going for him is that he has nothing to lose.
Sadly Germany may potentially be the last time we see Haryanto in the Manor due to funding issues he may not see the season through. He does now have a summer break to see if he could rustle up some money, crowdfunding maybe?
We come to race day where Niki Lauda states “ Red Bull is dangerous” he couldn’t be more correct when the lights are out and the Red Bulls come flying past Rosberg. Hamilton manages to get a good start and manages to get safely to P1. Rosberg on the other hand is pounded by both Red Bulls after a bad start and drops to P4.
Poor Rosberg still on the first lap is being attacked by both Ferrari’s, while the Mclaren of Alonso and Button are clawing back up the grid.
Rosberg and Ricciardo are head to head real aggression shown by both drivers but both stay in position.
Massa and Palmer have a little bump but no damage…yet.
After Lap 1 Hamilton leads, followed by Verstappen, Ricciardo and Rosberg.
Lap 6 and those McLaren’s are doing well, Alonso takes Massa for P10.
A part of someones wing is missing my Lap7 evidently this is a Manor as it has it written on it! Haryanto unfortunately left this behind.
Kvyat is struggling with his tyres and needs to pits and does. This is closely followed by Verstappen who does not pit but advises his team his tyres are struggling too.
A double drop for Massa on Lap 9 when Sainz swoons past him followed by Magnussen. Massa has now lost 3 places could he have damage from that contact with Palmer?
Massa and Sainz then both pit, Williams who are always fast at pit stops manage to get Massa out in front of Sainz in the pits! One place back for Massa, thanks to the pit crew.
Hamilton has now a 3.8 second lead.
Lap 12 and Rosberg still in P4 pits there is a slight delay in the stop with his rear left tyre. Verstappen pits but due to Rosberg’s issue gets out quicker.
Ricciardo in the pits at lap 13, both Red Bulls are still ahead of Rosberg. Hamilton flying now with a 12 second lead.
Vettel in Ferrari pits on Lap 14 the Ferrari’s have aggression but can’t seem to catch those Mercedes or Red Bulls. It is then announced via Hamilton’s team radio it’s Hammertime! Pick up that pace make a bigger gap he has to pit soon.
Lap 15 and our leader pits along with Raikkonen who is having a quiet race so far.
Positions by lap 15, P1 Hamilton, P2 Verstappen, P3 Ricciardo, P4 Rosberg.
Massa stuck in P14 is struggling by lap 21. On lap 22 he is passed by Sainz and Grosjean. Massa now in P16 not a good day.
Lap 23 a confident Alonso takes Gutierrez for P10, Perez then takes the same move a lap later. Rosberg is picking up the pace at the same time and closing that gap between him and Ricciardo in P3.
Palmer in P22 pits for a new nose on Lap 27, looks like that small collision with Massa did cause some damage.
At this point in the race you can evidently see Verstappen, Ricciardo and Rosberg are close together. Could we see some front runner action?
Lap 28 and Massa takes a long pit stop the team are checking the car he obviously has some kind of damage. Rosberg and Verstappen both pit. Verstappen re-joins in P5 with Rosberg behind him who is told by his team to push hard. We then see Austria all over again but this time Rosberg isn’t ramming his fellow team mate off the track it’s Verstappen! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL-eZdIAFjM Verstappen manages to stay on track unsurprisingly Rosberg is under investigation for this incident.
Hamilton is told by his team to pick up the pace.
Lap 33 the inevitable happens a 5 second penalty for Rosberg he will either take this during his next pit stop or this will be added to his race time either way this is not good.
Ricciardo pits from P2 and returns in P4, a Lap later on lap 34 Hamilton pits.
P1 Hamilton, P2 Rosberg (5 second penalty to take), P3 Verstappen, P4 Ricciardo and Vettel catching up in P5.
Massa must have had more damage then we though sadly retires his car on Lap 38.
Team orders come into play on Lap 40 as Verstappen allows Ricciardo to pass by. Ricciardo’s car is much faster.
Rosberg on Lap 41 can now see both Red Bulls in his rear view mirror a fear for most drivers.
Verstappen is complaining about his tyres on Lap 42 he has lots of understeer.
Rosberg pits on Lap 45 to take his 5 second penalty which seems a lot longer than 5 seconds. It is later concluded that Mercedes made an error with their stop watch and Rosberg suffered a 8 second penalty!
A cocky Vettel starts giving his own team their orders his tyres are fine he is staying out. Is this evidence that life isn’t blissful at Ferrari?
Verstappen pits on Lap 46 he manages to sort his tyres out quite a challenging day for the young driver.
Alonso locks up and loses a little time in P9 but he is still in the points!
Lap 47 and Ricciardo pits re-joins in P2, Vettel decides its time for him to pit too and re-joins in P6. Hamilton pits again a lap later with no change in position he is untouchable.
Both McLaren’s in the points Button in P9 and Alonso in P10, it’s not easy as they are both struggling but both former world champions will push to the end.
Nasr retires in the pit lane on Lap 61.
Bottas in P8, his tyres are knackered! He has done 27 laps on them and he is slipping everywhere, what has happened to Williams’s strategy they are normally so good? Button is catching Bottas as he gradually loses time.
Alonso is struggling in P10 and is being hounded by Perez; Alonso shows sheer desperation to hold his place and even enables DRS next to a Red Bull who is lapping him!
By Lap 66 Bottas has “hit the cliff” his tyres are ruined and Button takes him.
Lap 67 last lap, Hamilton has this in the bag.
An easy race for Hamilton as he wins, Ricciardo in P2 and Verstappen P3.
Hamilton’s sixth win in 2016 and his fourth consecutive win. July has been Hamilton’s lucky month. Hamilton is now leading the championship by 19 points.
A good result for Mclaren too this race Button finishes in P8, Alonso was showing promise but finished in P12. The team are making progress.
And if anybody can explain why Ricciardo drank champagne out of his boot on the podium I would be grateful, what was that about? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9gEVoqabFg
Claire’s Rating Round up
Claire’s Driver of the day
Hamilton he has this race by the first corner, no challenge from anybody and he just flew!
Claire’s unlucky driver of the day
Massa a small bump from newbie Palmer cost him the race. Williams lost the plot with their strategy. Lets add Bottas here too, why on earth did they leave him out so long without a pit he had no chance!
Claire’s worst driver of the day
Again Rosberg that move he pulled was not good and to do this twice in one season is unbelievable can he not see how wrong it was? Not only over aggressive but very dangerous too. Lucky for him Verstappen has the skill to keep on track.
We now have a summer break, our next race in Belgium in 3 and half weeks. A circuit which is long but always gives the fans good viewing! See you then!