Lewis Hamilton is all set to win a second Grand Prix in a row having secured pole position for the Formula 1 Grosser Preis Santander Von Deutschland yesterday. His McLaren team have been dominant in all official sessions ahead of the race, and look favourite to take victory today around the 4.574km Hockenheim circuit.
Crucially, Hamilton lines up ahead of his main Championship contenders with Felipe Massa second and Kimi Raikkonen stuck behind Kovalainen, Trulli and Alonso, back in sixth.
The start of the race is dry, however there is the possibility of brief showers during the race. There are fairly strong winds crossing the circuit and they could cause problems for some of the drivers.
Everyone gets away smoothly on the formation lap. Most drivers have opted to start the race on the harder tyre compound. Rosberg, Button, Kubica, Webber, Vettel, Coulthard and Glock are all on the softer compound.
Lap 1 Everyone appears to get through the first corner without any problems, although some people run wide onto the run-off strip. Kubica has passed Trulli and Raikkonen the Ferrari driver is down in P7. The top three are Hamilton, Massa, Kovalainen. Alonso tries to overtake Trulli at the hairpin but can t make the move stick. This allows Kubica to overtake to take P4.
Coulthard is the biggest loser on the first lap down to P15 from a P10 start. Barrichello overtakes Nakajima into the Stadium for P16.
Lap 2 Hamilton s lead at the front is now two and a half seconds.
Lap 3 Coulthard makes up one place to P13 by overtaking Rosberg. Alonso tries to overtake Trulli again but fails and loses momentum. This allows Raikkonen to overtake for P6.
Lap 4 Hamilton is flying at the front. His lead over Massa is now over three seconds. Raikkonen is closing in on Trulli in P5 however the Finn has Alonso, Vettel and Webber all close behind.
Lap 8 Button is having to defend hard from David Coulthard. Button is currently running in P13. Hamilton s lead at the front is now six seconds.
Lap 13 Coulthard passes Button for P13. Button is now having to defend hard from Nico Rosberg. Hamilton s lead over Massa has now extended to nine seconds. The top six are currently Hamilton, Massa, Kovalainen, Kubica, Trulli, Raikkonen.
Lap 16 Sutil passes his team-mate for P19. Raikkonen appears to be struggling he is falling away from Trulli and still has Alonso hot on his heels.
Lap 18 Hamilton pits from the lead. Kubica also pits. Hamilton stays on the harder tyre. He comes ahead of Trulli who quickly passes him. Kubica takes on another set of soft tyres. Hamilton tries to fight back, but is unable to overtake.
Lap 19 Trulli and Alonso both pit. Both take on another set of soft tyres.
Lap 20 Massa pits from the lead. Massa takes on a set of soft tyres. It s a quick stop 7.8 seconds. He rejoins just in front of Webber.
Lap 21 Kovalainen pits and takes on a set of hard tyres. Vettel also pits as does Coulthard. Nick Heidfeld attacks Kovalainen but is unable to make the pass stick.
Lap 22 Raikkonen pits from P3. It s an 8 second stop and he puts on a set of soft tyres. He rejoins just ahead of Trulli.
Lap 23 Webber and Bourdais both pit.
Lap 30 – Barrichello and Piquet are the only drivers who have not made their first pit stops yet.
Lap 31 Barrichello pits. Barrichello rejoins just in front of his team-mate. The two Hondas are now tussling for track position.
Lap 32 The best battle at the moment is for P7 Vettel, Glock and Alonso are all fighting hard.
Lap 34 Nakajima has another moment as he runs wide and over a run-off strip before rejoining the track safely.
Lap 35 Glock suffers a suspension failure coming out of the corner before the start-finish straight. He flies across the track and smacks the concrete barrier of the pit wall on the opposite side of the track, strewing debris all over the track. Glock looks to be OK. The Safety Car is deployed.
Lap 36 Button pits it is believed he has managed to make it in just before the Safety Car was deployed so will receive no penalty.
Lap 37 The pit lane opens. Kubica is told over the team radio that all the teams are getting ready to pit.
Lap 38 Massa, Kubica, Trulli, Vettel, Alonso, Webber, Coulthard, Bourdais, Rosberg and Fisichella all pit. Raikkonen has to queue behind his team-mate. Webber s engine is smoking and looks a little sick as he exits the pits. He pulls away from the racing line. Hamilton is one of the notable cars not to pit. Alonso went over the white line as he exited the pits the Spaniard may get a penalty for this although Alonso complains over his team radio that he was pushed over the line by Vettel.
Lap 39 Race Control states lapped cars are now allowed to overtake. Webber is still limping around the track with smoke coming out from the rear of his Red Bull.
Lap 40 Webber has stopped on track with what appears to be engine failure. The Safety Car is coming in at the end of the lap.
Lap 41 The Safety Car is in and the race restarts! Alonso and Vettel are tussling for position at the first corner. Raikkonen takes Rosberg for P10. Vettel is having to defend hard from Alonso.
Lap 43 Kovalainen and Kubica are fighting over P5. Kovalainen makes a beautiful pass to overtake the Polish driver. Alonso and Vettel are still fighting. Alonso tries to overtake Vettel but loses momentum allowing the Ferrari to close right up. At the next corner, Raikkonen overtakes Alonso. Rosberg now haves a go and also overtakes Alonso. In the space of three corners, Alonso has now lost two places.
Lap 44 Raikkonen is all over the back of Vettel. On the run down to the Hairpin, Raikkonen goes around the outside and his superior straight line speed allows him to pass for P8.
Lap 45 Hamilton is now just under four seconds ahead of Heidfeld. Raikkonen is all over the back of Trulli. Again, the Ferrari s superior straight line speed allows Raikkonen an easy pass on the Toyota driver to take P7. Alonso is now inching closer to Rosberg. Clouds are gathering overhead will the race remain dry?
Lap 48 Raikkonen is now closing in on Kubica in P6.
Lap 49 Coulthard attempts to pass Barrichello. The two clash. Barrichello loses his front wing. The pair spin and rejoin. Barrichello pit for a new nose and tyres.
Lap 50 – Hamilton pits. Massa goes through to take the lead. Hamilton joins just behind Kovalainen in P5. Hamilton will have to pass Massa on the track if he wants to take the win.
Lap 51 Kovalainen lets his team-mate past.
Lap 52 Heidfeld is leading the race and has just put in the quickest lap of the race. Piquet is in second, 13 seconds behind Heidfeld. It is believed that Heidfeld needs to stop again but Piquet doesn t. The damage done to Barrichello s car when he hit Coulthard was terminal Barrichello is now out of the race.
Lap 53 Heidfeld pits from the lead. Heidfeld rejoins behind Hamilton but in front of Kovalainen. Piquet is now leading the race by just under two seconds from Ferrari s Felipe Massa.
Lap 54 Hamilton is closing in on Massa. The gap between Piquet and Massa is staying constant.
Lap 55 Hamilton is all over the back of Massa. Hamilton is lapping more quickly than the Ferrari. The two men currently share top spot in the drivers championship.
Lap 56 Hamilton takes the place from Massa the hairpin. The two cars touch lightly. Massa tries to fight back but goes wide over the dirt and loses valuable time. Raikkonen is chasing Kubica hard for P6.
Lap 57 Piquet s lead over Hamilton is just over one second and the McLaren is closing fast. Alonso spins at the hairpin and loses P10 to Rosberg.
Lap 59 – Heidfeld is now all over the back of Massa and is challenging the Ferrari for the final podium position. Hamilton has caught Piquet and passes him for the lead. Raikkonen has a go at Kubica and passes him for P6.
Lap 62 Trulli makes a mistake which allows Vettel through.
Final Lap: Hamilton takes victory, five seconds clear of Nelson Piquet. Massa takes the final podium position. Then it s Heidfeld, Kovalainen, Raikkonen, Kubica and Vettel.
It s the fourth victory of the season for Hamilton and his eighth career win, and the first win at Hockenheim for McLaren in a decade.