Sunday, 20 July 2014

Rosberg takes victory on home soil as Hamilton comes through the field

(Mercedes AMG F1 Team)

Nico Rosberg took a commanding victory in-front of his home crowd to extend his lead in the championship to 14 point's over Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg finished the race just ahead of Williams Martini Racing's Valtteri Bottas who secured his third consecutive podium finish with an excellent drive to finish the race in second place. Lewis Hamilton put in a fantastic drive to make his way through the field from 20th on the grid to finish the race on the podium in third place. Speaking about his race win Rosberg said:

'Wow, what a great day after so many great events for me this week! I came here hoping for a win and it worked out perfectly. My Silver Arrow was so dominant, thanks to the team for this fantastic car. Before the race I was worried that without the FRIC system the gap in the race would be smaller. But we were again the quickest out there. I did a two stop strategy, which was difficult to manage at the end of the stints as the tyres were almost gone. I’m so happy for Mercedes; it was the first win for many many years in Germany. Thanks for the support here at Hockenheim, the fans were amazing to me. Also at the start I saw a Mexican wave, which was great. Now I look forward to Hungary.'
Lewis Hamilton had this to say:

'First of all, congratulations to Nico on winning his home race; it’s a special feeling and I am very proud that we could put both cars on the podium for Mercedes-Benz in Germany and represent for all the Mercedes employees and fans here this weekend. From a personal point of view, I can’t be too ecstatic about the race because it has been a tough weekend for me and I’ve ultimately lost more points to Nico in the championship battle. But I’m grateful that I could limit the damage with a podium finish. When you are sitting on the grid basically in last place, with no other cars in your mirrors, it’s very hard to imagine that you could be standing up there two hours later. I’m so grateful to the team for this car, I really take my hat off to them for building a machine that can put in that kind of performance. To be honest, it was a pretty straightforward race for me, although I had some trouble following what was going on and where I was running at times. I had a nice battle with Kimi early on, when I was lucky not to damage the front wing, then the incident with Jenson was just unfortunate. He has been such a gentleman this year and not given me too much trouble getting past but it was just a misunderstanding today.

I wasn’t close enough to try and pass but I was on the inside line in the corner. It looked like he had gone wide, then he cut back across the corner and perhaps he didn’t see me there. I lost quite a bit of downforce with the damage and it made it very hard to look after the front left tyre. I had a lot of understeer and the tyre was degrading fast, which is the reason why we converted from a two-stop strategy to three. Then the team called me in early on the first set of option tyres because we expected a Safety Car to come out – and I was surprised that there wasn’t one, to be honest I caught Valtteri pretty fast in the final laps but he just had too much straightline speed to get past. I’m doing absolutely everything I can to get back on level terms with Nico in the title battle: I can’t focus more or work harder than I am doing right now. This championship is proving a big challenge for me but that’s how I love it – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.'
Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff stated:

'It feels like a 1-2 today because considering where Lewis was coming from in P20, it was a magical drive. He had a misunderstanding with Jenson that could have cost us the race. Personally I know he is a very competitive guy and he will never be satisfied with third but it felt like a very good performance from our side, with so much going on out on track and the need to convert his pit strategy. For Nico, he was controlling the race from the beginning to the end. He knew that the task was to pull a gap and then bring the car home and that’s exactly what he did. It was a brilliant performance from him. It was an amazing race and a credit to Germany; it’s clear to see the sport is very much alive and well. 

Finally, I wish to make two special mentions for this victory: first of all, I offer this win to all of our colleagues at Mercedes-Benz who have given us so much support and dedication to reach this level of performance. We are proud to wear the three-pointed star and to represent the best car company in the world. But our thoughts on every race weekend are also with Michael Schumacher, who did so much for our sport in Germany and won so many times here in Hockenheim. He is fighting as only Michael can and we send all our wishes of strength and support to him and his family.'

Paddy Lowe, Mercedes Non Executive Director (Technical) commented:

'It was an afternoon we knew was going to be challenging from the outset. Not only to get Lewis from the back to the front but, as always, to get two cars home with a lot of systems to manage and a long race with the threat of rain. Nico drove a faultless race with two stops as we had planned. Lewis’ race was a bit more eventful with fantastic overtaking and some great driving. He lost a lot of downforce from the damage to the front wing, so we decided to convert to a three stop strategy in order to give us an opportunity to adjust it and reclaim the aero balance we were missing. We took a gamble on the Safety Car that didn’t pay off but did affect our strategy slightly. In the end we were thwarted by the speed of the Williams down the straight, our lap time was faster but we couldn’t overtake in the end. Congratulations to Williams on P2 and it was great to see three Mercedes-Benz powered cars on the podium here in Germany.'

It was a very disappointing race for Felipe Massa in the second Williams as for the second race in a row he was forced to retire following a first corner incident with McLaren's Kevin Magnussen. Massa's car ended upside down but then ended right side up. Fortunately the Brazilian walked away unharmed and will head to the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend with the aim to secure his first podium of the season.

As a result of Bottas' podium Williams Martini Racing have jumped Ferrari into third place in the Constructors championship on 121 points.

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel finished the race in fourth place for Infiniti Red Bull Racing. The German finished the race just ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who had a fantastic battle with Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull. Speaking after the race Vettel said:

'It was fun with Fernando today – we started maybe where we left off in Silverstone! It was quite entertaining the first half of the race and at one point it was quite tight with both the Ferraris, but we managed to stay ahead. The second stop was a bit too close and Fernando was able to pass without too many difficulties, which put us on the back foot, but we decided to be a bit more aggressive towards the end and make sure we got the undercut and then we could put some gap between us, which was crucial for us as we were quite tight in terms of fuel towards the end of the race. I think that was the best we could get today. Daniel just missed passing Fernando at the end unfortunately.'

Ricciardo continued his good run and extended his position in third place in the champion finishing in 6th place. The Australian had this to say after the race:

'That was awesome fun, one of my most enjoyable races I’ve had. I mean, not on the first lap, obviously, that was just the wrong place at the wrong time. I wasn’t as worse off as Massa and hopefully he is okay. I was on the outside and the collision happened, I had to avoid it and went pretty far down the field, I don't know exactly how far back. From then on I just got on to the radio and said let's make an amazing recovery and make ourselves proud today. And I think we did that, we fought hard and we didn't leave anything on the table. These are the moments and battles that I personally thrive off and enjoy. Fernando is known to be a tough racer and I thought who better to have a good fight with. I was on the Primes and he was on fresher Options and I gave it the best fight I could and, well.., nearly!'

Infiniti Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner said:

'Fourth and sixth were the absolute maximum we could achieve out of today, especially after the first corner when Daniel did an amazing job to avoid the accident. There was some great racing with Sebastian and Fernando early in the race and he was really our main competitor today. Our strategy worked out that we were able to beat him in the end reasonably comfortably with Sebastian and Daniel came close as well after recovering extremely well and fighting hard with some more great racing towards the end. It was an exciting Grand Prix – there’s still a big gap to Mercedes but we’re working hard to try and close it down.'

Nico Hulkenberg did a fantastic job to recover from a problem with the car to continue his points scoring run finishing the race in 7th place for the Sahara Force India F1 Team. Following the race the German had this to say:

'It was a difficult race and different to what we expected, mainly due to the lower temperatures with the track being 20 degrees cooler than on Friday. We were expecting a lot of rear degradation, but after a couple of laps it became clear the fronts were the limiting tyres, and that changed the game. It was a pretty challenging afternoon and, considering how the car felt, I think we got the maximum from the race. I also had to overcome some engine issues in the middle of the race because there were some hesitations and it was not driving smoothly. It was a good recovery by the team to solve the issue. It was important to score more points and from that point of view I’m feeling satisfied.'

Jenson Button did a great job for McLaren to finish the race in 8th place following contact with Mercedes Lewis Hamilton. The 2009 world champion finished the race just ahead of team mate Kevin Magnussen who finished the race in 9th place despite the first corner incident with Felipe Massa.

Sahara Force India's Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten. Following the race the Mexican said:

'I was hoping for more at the start of the race, but I couldn't make my tyres last as we usually do and I therefore struggled with the balance for most of the day. It was a very strange race; the track changed a lot compared to Friday and it was the front tyres that were suffering from degradation and not the rears. Together with the much lower temperatures, it made the car very difficult to drive. These things considered, to come away with a point was a good result in the end, but we we'll need to achieve more at the races coming up to keep fighting in the championship.'

Sahara Force India deputy team principal Robert Fernley said:

'We were expecting to be stronger in the race today, but the drop in temperatures didn’t help us and both drivers struggled to show the pace we had seen during our long runs on Friday. Sergio did not feel comfortable and it became clear early on that he would need to stop three times. With Nico we managed a two-stop race and he brought the car home in seventh place. Considering the challenges we faced today, we can’t be disappointed to come away with seven points. It keeps us in fifth place in the standings and demonstrates once again that we can score good points even on days when both drivers are struggling with the balance. We now look forward to Budapest where more warm weather is forecast next weekend.'

It was another disappointing race for Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who for the second race in a row failed to score point's as his difficult season continues. The Finn will be hoping to bounce back next time out at the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend.

Pastor Maldonado was left disappointed for the Lotus F1 Team as the Venezuelan just missed out on scoring his first point's for the Enstone based outfit as he finished the race in 12th place. Romain Grosjean had a disappointing race as he was forced to retire as a result of a power unit failure.

Jean Eric Vergne finished the race in 13th place for Toro Rosso while his team mate Daniil Kvyat failed to finish the race following a car fire. Esteban Gutierrez who had a grid penalty at the start of the race finished the race in 14th place. Jules Bianchi had a great race for the Marussia F1 Team as the Frenchman finished the race in 15th place. Following the Race Gutierrez said:

'The whole team did a good job over the weekend. From Friday on we developed the car as best we could. However, 14th position is not satisfying. I was fighting the entire race from the beginning to the end, trying to gain positions and keeping cars behind me. At the moment we are missing the pace to be able to fight with the others in front of us. There was not much that we could do. We need to keep working and focusing on our performance so we can be more competitive in the next races.'

Kamui Kobayshi finished the race in 16th place for the Caterham F1 Team finishing the race just ahead of Max Chilton while Marcus Ericsson rounded out the classification.

Adrian Sutil was forced to retire from the race and said afterwards:

'It was an exciting race with good battles. I had a lot of fun and it was the first time I could keep up with some other drivers. It is positive as our car was more competitive this weekend. Suddenly, after my last pit stop, I lost power and when I entered the Motodrom I thought the engine would switch off. In the last corner I had a similar problem,then I spun and this time the engine did switch off. It is certainly'

Drivers Championship Standings

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG F1 Team 190 Points 
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG F1 Team 176
3 Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing  106
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 97
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing 91
6 Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing 82
7 Nico Hulkenberg Sahara Force India F1 Team 69
8 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 59
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes 37
10 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing 30
11 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team 29
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 19
13 Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 9
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team 8
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 6
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia F1 Team 2

Constructors Championship Standings

1 Mercedes AMG F1 Team 366 Points
2 Infiniti Red Bull Racing 188
3 Williams Martini Racing 121
4 Ferrari 116
5 Sahara Force India F1 Team 98
6 McLaren Mercedes 96
7 Toro Rosso 15
8 Lotus F1 Team 8
9 Marussia F1 Team 2

© Ben Johnston 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment