Monday, 25 July 2011

German Grand Prix - 25 July 2011

Yesterday saw a very exciting (although unexpectedly dry) Grand Prix take place at the legendary Nurburgring circuit in Germany.

Several rare mistakes were made during the race, including spins for Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, and several drivers struggled to keep their cars on the tarmac at the treacherous first corner - a hair-pin which also features significant camber towards the inside.

It must be said that Hamilton drove a superb race, starting from second after an impressive display in qualifying, the McLaren man was leading by the first corner. A few laps later, Mark Webber passed Hamilton in the last corner, but Hamilton had regained the lead by the end of the start/finish straight.
Later, Webber again tried to pass Hamilton, this time on the outside of the second corner, but the Briton held his nerve (and the racing line) forcing the Australian wide and back into second place.
Amusingly, just a couple of laps later, Alonso - who had taken the lead due to a clever Ferrari pit strategy - was overtaken by Hamilton around the outside of turn two, just as Webber had attempted previously. The Australian could only watch as Hamilton showed how it was done.

A big deciding factor in the race appeared to be the weather. The cool conditions meant the Pirelli tyres didn't heat up as quickly as had been seen in previous races. This meant that the first driver to pit for tyres (in the case of the front runners - Mark Webber) lost time, and therefore could be leap-frogged by rivals.

The battle for fourth place was interesting, with Ferrari's Felipe Massa trying to keep Vettel - unusually in the thick of the action for once - at bay. Both drivers entered the penultimate lap having used only the option (soft) tyres, but were required to use both option and prime (harder) tyres during the race. Both drivers pitted at the last possible opportunity, but Vettel was able to jump his rival, with the Red Bull team having a significantly quicker pit stop.

After the race, the FIA decided that Sebastien Buemi, who had started the race in last due to a fuel discrepancy (click here for story) caused an accident with Renault's Nick Heidfeld, and will therefore receive a five place grid penalty for the next Grand Prix in Hungary.

Our Guest Predictor for this race, Matt from FinalSector, had the difficult job of following our last two Guests who both correctly predicted the podium! (Click here for our British Grand Prix results).

Cleverly, Matt's predictions matched the first four qualifying positions for the Grand Prix. This means that in order to continue the podium predicting streak, we would probably need a fairly unexciting race, but Matt assured us he would rather fail and have an exciting race than a procession!

Provisional Race Results:

1. Lewis Hamilton - McLaren - Matt's (FS) Prediction 2nd - F1RP Prediction 8th
2. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - FS 4th - F1RP 5th
3. Mark Webber - Red Bull - FS 1st - F1RP 2nd
4. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull - FS 3rd - F1RP 1st
5. Felipe Massa - Ferrari - FS 6th - F1RP 4th
6. Adrian Sutil - Force India - FS 14th - F1RP 16th
7. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - FS 9th - F1RP 6th
8. Michael Schumacher - Mercedes - FS 8th - F1RP 11th
9. Kamui Kobayashi - Sauber - FS 7th - F1RP 10th
10. Vitaly Petrov - Renault - FS 17th - F1RP 9th
11. Sergio Perez – Sauber – FS 10th – F1RP 13th
12. Jaime Alguersuari – Toro Rosso – FS 13th – F1RP 15th
13. Paul di Resta – Force India – FS 12th – F1RP 19th
14. Pastor Maldonado – Williams – FS 11th – F1RP 20th
15. Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso – FS 16th – F1RP 14th
16. Heikki Kovalainen – Team Lotus – FS 21st – F1RP 17th
17. Timo Glock – Virgin – FS 22nd – F1RP 18th
18. Jerome D’Ambrosio – FS 20th – F1RP 24th
19. Daniel Ricciardo – FS 23rd – F1RP 23rd
20. Karun Chandhok – FS 19th – F1RP 21st
DNF Vitantonio Liuzzi - FS 24th - F1RP 22nd
DNF Jenson Button - FS 5th - F1RP 3rd
DNF Rubens Barrichello - FS 15th - F1RP 12th
DNF Nick Heidfeld - FS 18th - F1RP 7th

Thanks go to Matt for participating this week.

Unusually both Matt and the Formula 1 Results Predictor struggled this week, with Matt picking up the only correct prediction - Schumacher's 8th place.
Both were close on quite a few, but the just the one on the nose!

We will be looking to improve on this result next week in Hungary!

The Top Driver for this race based on our predictions, was certainly Adrian Sutil who put in an excellent performance.

For more information on the race, visit

Visit Matt's website, and follow them on Twitter @FinalSector

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