Rosberg’s Lead Extends With Germany Win
But safety concerns are raised.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win at home. It’s a very special day,” said Nico Rosberg, who maintained the lead throughout the German Grand Prix on Sunday and became the first German to stand at the top of the podium in Hockenheimring since Michael Schumacher’s victory in 2006.
While Rosberg started from pole position, fellow teammate, Lewis Hamilton, suffered a major setback during qualifying when he crashed and ended on the 16th spot on the grid, was moved up one spot due to Esteban Gutierrez’s penalty, but was pushed down another five places because the gearbox from his car was damaged during the accident and had to be replaced. Impressively, he zoomed past the other cars on the field, scraping Jenson Button on lap 30 at the hairpin and damaging his left front wing, yet still managed to finish third.
“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,” Hamilton said. Mercedes was denied another one-two win as Hamilton’s super-soft tires wore quickly, not providing enough grip for him to overtake Valtterri Bottas in the closing laps.
Bottas’ second place rounds up the number of Williams’ F1 podium finishes to 300.
The race was filled with plenty of scrapes and fantastic crashes. Felipe Massa’s wretched luck this season continues as he somersaulted out of the race after Kevin Magnussen bumped him at the first bend. Massa walked away from the crash surprisingly unhurt, but obviously frustrated. Massa lamented after that the younger drivers are too aggressive. “Most of the time, these young drivers, they want the win the race at the first corner,” he said.
Sauber’s Adrian Sutil spun on lap 48 and stalled, but the race director decided not to bring out the safety car, much to Rosberg’s relief as it would have pulled him back into the field. However, safety marshals had to run across the track to push the Sauber while other cars raced past, raising questions about the FIA’s decision. Hamilton said that as he drove past the stalled Sauber, he recalled a video footage of the 1977 South African Grand Prix tragedy when the driver, Tom Pryce, hit a marshal, Frederick Jansen van Vuuren, and both died. Hamilton said, “I was really concerned for the marshals, really concerned. You come around that corner at serious speed, and then there are marshals standing not far from where you are driving past. For me that is the closest it has been for a long, long time.”
Fernando Alonso also voiced a similar concern even though a safety car would have held him back, but felt that would have been the best thing to do for the sake of safety.
images: formula1.com, foxsports.com.au