The FIA’s mobile circus went to Germany this week with talk of Nazis, scandal, and of course a breakaway series in the works. Since we don’t really care about any of those things, we will focus on the grand prix that took place instead. Besides, if we wanted to talk about wannabe politicians and failed statesman, we could watch Fox News coverage of the Republican party.
As we discussed in the preview, the race was pivotal for the championship and a moment when we could see teams stop work on their 2009 challengers that have become only pretenders in the light of Brawn GP and Red Bull Racing. All of these to be decided while poor Mark Webber wondered what he has since the first time he had stepped in the cockpit of an F1 car, when will I win? Well he did well in taking pole position with Lewis Hamilton and that other guy who drives for McLaren shed some of their quali blues by actually making it to Q3. Ferrari was run of the mill for their efforts in making it into the top 10 and a shocking effort by Adrian Sutil that saw the Force India Mercedes qualifying 8th. Would this mean an exciting race where new people may crack the podium? Would Webber finally find his first victory? Only half of these questions would answered heading into Sunday’s GP.
Mark Webber was able to claim an impressive first win in an otherwise boring German Grand Prix. Webber who received a first lap penalty after sliding across the track and throwing a nasty block attempt on Rubens Barrichello. None the less, there was no stopping the Australian in his quest for a maiden victory. On the same first lap, Lewis Hamilton looked as though he may make his first podium of the season, until he made some contact and lost a tire. He would then be a non factor for the rest of the race as he has for most of the season. Felipe Massa would hold the only hope for Ferrari, as Kimi Raikkonen had another chance run in with Adrian Sutil and would eventually retire to engine failure. Massa who drove brilliantly all day was able to bring the Ferrari home in third position. Sebastian Vettel would be the other driver on the podium as he would give Red Bull another 1/2 and another round in the books where the RBR boys are gaining on the Brawns. Speaking of the Brawns, they would end up finishing 5th and 6th. Two things came from this finish, both of which we knew heading into this weekend. 1) The Brawns are slow in cool conditions and have serious issues with grip, and 2) If one thing goes wrong, Rubens Barrichello will cry a river that rivals the mighty Mississippi. Rubens has blamed the Brawn team for making him lose on purpose. While the team did have a couple pit blunders that cost him, that is not the reason. The team’s car has been off the pace the last couple of races and just does not perform as well as the RBR team in the cool. Fernando Alonso’s Renault ran very well all day and at the end of the race he was able to bring in the Brawns and nearly passed them both on the last lap.
All in all the race was a little boring and uneventful. However, it was great to see Mark Webber take his first win and the championship lead of Jenson Button’s shrink slightly. I again apologize for calling the track Hockenheim as opposed to Nurburgring once again during the preview. Below are the final results and we now move on to the real snoozer on the calendar with the Hungarian Grand Prix.
1. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1h36:43.310
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) + 9.252
3. Massa Ferrari (B) + 15.906
4. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 21.099
5. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) + 23.609
6. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) + 24.468
7. Alonso Renault (B) + 24.888
8. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 58.692
9. Glock Toyota (B) + 1:01.457
10. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 1:01.925
11. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) + 1:02.327
12. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) + 1:02.876
13. Piquet Renault (B) + 1:08.328
14. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 1:09.555
15. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) + 1:11.941
16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 1:30.225
17. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1:30.970
18. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 1 lap