Seven races with seven winners. That's how the 2012 Formula One World Championship started out. But eventually something had to give. And give it did, when Fernando Alonso edged out the competition to score his second grand prix victory this season. Mark Webber followed with a second win of his own the following race. But would this race at Hockenheim prove one driver as the clear frontrunner in this year's championship? Would it catapult one of the others into the running? Or would it elevate a new grand prix winner this season? Keep reading to find out.


Saturday's qualifying session already gave us a glimpse at the answer when Alonso landed his Ferrari on pole for the second race in a row. Alongside him lined up one Sebastian Vettel, adamantly trying (in relative futility) to defend his world titles. Michael Schumacher showed he still has some fight in him by qualifying in third position again, with Nico Hulkenberg landing his Force India in fourth, making a heavily German front-of-grid for the home crowd at Hockenheim. Williams' Pastor Maldonado took fifth ahead of the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Mark Webber had qualified third but was relegated to eighth due to an unscheduled gearbox change, with Paul di Resta and Kimi Raikkonen landing in ninth and tenth positions.

A technical investigation was launched prior to the start of the race into the engine mapping on the Red Bull cars, but the defending champions were acquitted and faced no punitive measures as the engine management systems were deemed technically legal.

The leaders moved smoothly off the line at the race start with little drama, but further behind some minor collisions relieved Massa and Grosjean of their front wings, forcing both into the pits for fresh nosecones. Senna pitted as well, as did Hamilton due to a punctured rear-left tire. The issue would dog the McLaren driver for the remainder of the race.




In an otherwise rather uneventful opening to the race, Perez took ninth place from di Resta, while further up front Button had worked his way up the field to take third place.

In the first round of pit stops, Schumacher re-emerged in eighth place behind Hulkenberg, only to pass him in a gutsy move around the outside of the corner, enabling Raikkonen to pass as well.

Following the first round of pit stops, Alonso retained his lead ahead of a defiant Vettel. Having started the race in sixth, Button admirably held on to third place ahead of Raikkonen in fourth. Hamilton picked his way through the front-runners, but in an odd turn of events, he was a full lap behind, thanks to that earlier puncture.



The second round of pit stops saw Alonso, Vettel and Button re-emerge in the same positions until Jenson overtook Sebastian for second place. In the ensuing pursuit, Vettel ran wide several times, but finally managed to regain his position from the McLaren on the penultimate lap.

Button's wingman Hamilton, however, fared even worse, finally retiring from sixteenth place (for which he would have scored no points anyway) before the finish line.



And that was it: Alonso took his third race win this season to elevate himself as the clear frontrunner, now holding 154 points to Webber's 120 and Vettel's 110. Vettel in turn took second place, followed by Button in third. Raikkonen, Kobayashi, Perez, Schumacher, Webber, Hulkenberg and Rosberg divided up the remaining points. Join us again next week for the results from the Hungarian Grand Prix before the summer break leaves us without F1 racing until September.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      MotionDesigner
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good race especially by Button who finally came back to form. What's fair is fair, and the rules are the rules. I agree with the time penalty handed to Vettel, ultimately placing him at 5 and bumping Button up to 2nd. You simply can't go outside of the track to pass someone, regardless if you were going faster. Otherwise what's the point of the race if people are just going to cut corners?
        Carbon Fibre
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        I agreed since the second I saw it. If I was Vettel I would of never gotten past, and If I did, I would of let him go as is the ethical gentlemen's way and to prevent any further damage to the penalty as is now. He should of known better, or perhaps he did but was arrogant.
          MotionDesigner
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Carbon Fibre
          Arrogant is an understatement. Vettel has increasingly shown his penchant of being a very spoiled brat that is quick to point his finger at someone when things don't go his way.
        samagon0
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        agree entirely, too often Vettel lets all 4 tires get off the track, he did it multiple times in this race (and has done it in other races too), and yeah, it might be more slippery, but it also allows the corners to be taken at a higher speed. I'm glad he finally got dinged for it, and I hope to see him coloring inside the lines as he is supposed to.
      Pdexter
      • 2 Years Ago
      Kimi is now 4th on points. Not bad for a guy who has been out for 2 years. Alonso is just amazing at the moment, i don't believe you van win modern F1 with bad car, but Alonso is making that difference at the moment.
      JDam4131
      • 2 Years Ago
      a great race this weekend..all be it weird..it was interestingly...good. I'm just glad McLaren seems to back on pace, Lewis needs to come out charging in Hungary and fight all the way to the end of the season if he wants to take the wdc this year.
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good GP, it sucks to see Grosjean, Hamilton and Massa get banged up on the opening lap. Grosjean has shown real potential, Massa was finally getting back in the groove and Mclaren looks like their upgrades paid off. At least Button finally got out of his funk. It was good to see him get P2 back on the obvious illegal pass by Vettel. Even though Hamilton's own race was a wash, I loved when he passed up Vettel and help his teammate out. Vettel was pissed. lol
        Mondrell
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        Vettel was also demoted to fifth since the stewards handed him a post-race drive-through (+ 20s to his race time) for leaving the track when he passed Button.
          120Y
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mondrell
          @Bryan In some cases, the stewards may allow such overtakes depending on the shape of the turn, especially if it appears the overtaker had gotten ahead before all his wheels left the track.
          Bryan South
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mondrell
          I believe he mentioned that. One wonders why Vettel didn't realize his mistake and let button back though. If he wasn't sure of his mistake the guys on the wall should have been. 3rd is a bit better than 5th.
          msspamrefuge
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mondrell
          "I believe he mentioned that." I wasn't paying attention to where my reply was going. . .it was meant more as an amendment for AB.
      Mondrell
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another terrible finish for Felipe, though considering that fellow first lap casualties Grosjean and Hamilton fared worse, it looks as if he tried to salvage the race. Too bad that another Alonso win will all but crush that sentiment in Italy. On another note, it is just me, or is it getting really painful to watch MGP repeat the cycle of good qualifying, not so good race? They bought home points, but despite having clean-sheeted much of the car compared to other factory teams, tyre degradation apparently remains their Achilles' heel.
      StephenT
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good to see Ferrari win again. Alonso is just a great driver that gets everything out of the car he's in. I don't really care for this new podium interview thing. I have great respect for the former champions but I would have rather heard Vettel grilled a little harder on that pass to see what he had to say.
        MotionDesigner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @StephenT
        I completely agree about the new "podium interview" format. It just seems so gimmicky and even awkward.
          StephenT
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MotionDesigner
          The drivers are up there goofing around with each other. You're right it does seem gimmicky and very awkward.
      AnthonyP
      • 2 Years Ago
      For the record, Alonso has 3 wins this season and Vettel has 2....
      Redline
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ferrari should drop Massa and sign Kimi. I like Massa, but he just hasn't been the same since he got the spring against the head.
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