Compare all the drivers’ performances below and vote for who you think was the best driver of the German Grand Prix weekend.
Sebastian Vettel – Reckoned he might have been able to beat Alonso to pole position had he copied the Ferrari driver’s tactics of pitting for a fresh set of wet tyres. Fended off Schumacher at the start and closed on Alonso, but was unable to pass. Being unlapped by Hamilton didn’t help his cause, nor did losing out in a battle for position with the other McLaren. Re-passed Button on the penultimate lap but went off the track to do it and was penalised after the race, dropping him to fifth.
Mark Webber – Qualified third but a gearbox change penalty relegated him to eighth. The Red Bull’s poor straight-line speed hampered his efforts to make up places. He passed Maldonado but was beaten on strategy by both Saubers, leaving him back where he started at the end of the race.
Jenson Button – A badly-needed return to form, bolstered by McLaren’s extensive upgrade package. Out-qualified Hamilton on merit for the first time this year, then passed Hulkenberg and Schumacher in the opening stages to join the battle for the lead. A record-breaking McLaren pit stop and a fast out lap got him ahead of Vettel, after which he caught but was unable to pass Alonso. His tyres went off in the final laps, leaving him vulnerable to Vettel. But of course, he got the place back on appeal.
Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton said his puncture on lap two was “cruel luck” and it’s hard to argue with that, although he wasn’t the only driver to suffer one. That destroyed his race and Hamilton’s head seemed to drop – he suggested to the team they should call it quits. But he pressed on and despite deteriorating handling due to damage he lapped quicker than the leaders after his second pit stop and even unlapped himself from Vettel. Despite the Red Bull driver’s protestations, this was entirely legal, though it proved to be in vain as he eventually retired with 11 laps to go. “With the damage to the rear, I think we were lucky to get that far, to be honest.”
Fernando Alonso – Wet qualifying produced yet more mastery from Alonso who captured pole position for the second race in a row. Arguably his best lap came in Q2 when he secured a place in the final ten despite begin badly held up by Massa. He sussed out the advantage of switching to fresh wet tyres halfway through Q3 as the rubber began to wear on the rapidly-drying track. From pole he clung on to the lead of the race and although his pursuers got close, they never quite forced him into defending his position.
Felipe Massa – Went off during Q2 and failed to progress to the final ten for the seventh time this year. His race was spoiled at the first corner where he damaged his front wing. Without a safety car to aid his progress, an unlapped 12th was the best he could realistically have managed from there.
Michael Schumacher – Did well to qualify fourth having only just made it into Q2. He started third partly thanks to Webber’s penalty. Made a solid effort at passing Vettel on the first lap but had to drop back and couldn’t keep Button behind. Passed Hulkenberg after his first pit stop but then fell victim to Raikkonen. Mercedes had to run a three-stop strategy which dropped him to seventh, and despite setting the race’s fastest lap he was unable to catch and re-pass the Saubers.
Nico Rosberg – As at Silverstone, couldn’t make it into Q3 in the wet session. A gearbox penalty on top of that meant he started on the 11th row. Ran a three-stop strategy and passed Di Resta for the final place in the points.
Kimi Raikkonen – Like Alonso, Raikkonen also switched tyres during Q3 in search of more grip, but he couldn’t find any. That left him tenth on the grid but he made progress early on, passing Di Resta in his first stint, then Hulkenberg and Schumacher. His pace dropped after that in his second stint on soft tyres. He looked quicker at the beginning of his final stint on mediums but wasn’t able to get on terms with the leading trio. Vettel’s penalty promoted him to third despite Raikkonen not having run higher than fourth all race.
Romain Grosjean – Wrestled with his car during qualifying, ending up a poor 15th which became 19th after a gearbox change penalty. Clipped the wing-less Massa on the first lap which damaged his car and forced an early pit stop. Never looked like making his way back into the race from there, his grim weekend was compounded when he ploughed through the gravel at turn 12.
Paul di Resta – Joined his team mate in the top ten in qualifying. Briefly troubled Raikkonen at the start to run eighth, which was as high up the order as he got. Ran a two-stop strategy to his team mate’s three and this might have cost him a point – he lost out to the three-stopping Rosberg who’d started 12 places behind him.
Nico Hulkenberg – Demonstrated his flair for wet qualifying sessions again, taking fourth on the grid (after Webber’s penalty) despite a frightening high-speed spin into the gravel caused by aquaplaning. He was always going to struggle to race that far up the field in the Force India, and was mugged by Schumacher and Raikkonen together at one point. Nor could he keep the two-stopping Saubers behind, leaving him ninth at the flag.
Kamui Kobayashi – Was passed by his team mate early on but claimed the place back as he was able to run longer in his first stint. That paid off after his second stint, during which he impressively passes Webber’s Red Bull. Fifth at the flag, Vettel’s penalty promoted him to a career-best fourth.
Sergio Perez – Should have reached Q3 but went off at the hairpin in the Motodrom when he was on course for a top ten time. A penalty for holding up Alonso and Raikkonen – somewhat harsh given the conditions and the fact that both made it through to Q3 – sent him back even further. But he came storming back in the race, picking off a string of cars in the opening laps. He would surely have progressed further but damage forced an early first pit stop which compromised his strategy. Nonetheless, sixth was quite a recovery from 17th on the grid.
Daniel Ricciardo – After 67 laps of racing the Toro Rosso drivers came out of the final corner nose-to-tail, Ricciardo ahead by just 0.136s. He’d run a two-stopper to his team mate’s three and his medium tyres were suffering after 29 laps on them. Ricciardo started 11th but was passed by both Saubers on lap five and by Rosberg the lap after that.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Narrowly eliminated in Q1 by Schumacher, he reeled in his team mate in the final laps thanks to his fresher tyres but ran out of time to find a way past. Had he not made his first pit stop early due to a puncture he might well have finished ahead.
Pastor Maldonado – An anonymous weekend for Maldonado, though that was perhaps an improvement following his recent troubles. Did his usual solid job in qualifying and started fifth, but struggled with a damaged car after his first pit stop and quickly dropped out of the top ten.
Bruno Senna – Had to change his front wing following the first lap altercation, which left him last for 17 laps. Spent the final laps trying, unsuccessfully, to pass Petrov’s Caterham. However he did finish in front of Grosjean, having been 12 seconds behind him following their enforced early pit stops.
Heikki Kovalainen – Ran into trouble halfway through the race when his lap times began to climb as he reported a problem with the front of the car. He pitted for a new nose in an attempt to cure the problem, which left him 19th at the end.
Vitaly Petrov – Held off the recovering Senna for 16th place. Earlier in the race he accidentally let Hamilton pass him while being lapped by Alonso, but that became irrelevant when Hamilton retired anyway.
Pedro de la Rosa – Passed Glock for 21st place in the final laps as the Marussia hit trouble: “I had a lot of fun in today?óÔé¼Ôäós race. Everything went well, we maintained a good rhythm and the tyres held out without any problems, but above all I?óÔé¼Ôäóm happy about the fight I put up on the track.”
Narain Karthikeyan – Was closer to de la Rosa than usual in qualifying and finished a third of a second behind Glock, who in turn was just five seconds behind the other HRT.
Timo Glock – Suffered a series of problems with his car during the race: “Since lap ten the balance of the car did not feel right and it became very difficult to drive. We struggled for top speed on the straights and then towards the end of the race there was a problem with the differential and the last few laps were so tough.”
Charles Pic – Led the HRTs home while Glock struggled and was 12 seconds behind the delayed Kovalainen at the end.
Qualifying and race results summary
|Started||Gap to team mate||Laps leading team mate||Pitted||Finished||Gap to team mate|
|Kimi Raikkonen||10th||-0.845s||66/66||2||3rd||Not on same lap|
|Romain Grosjean||19th||+0.845s||0/66||3||18th||Not on same lap|
|Paul di Resta||9th||+1.388s||10/67||2||11th||+11.065s|
|Heikki Kovalainen||16th||-0.911s||31/65||4||19th||Not on same lap|
|Vitaly Petrov||18th||+0.911s||34/65||3||16th||Not on same lap|
|Pedro de la Rosa||23rd||-0.318s||61/64||2||21st||-5.483s|
|Timo Glock||22nd||+0.071s||0/64||2||22nd||Not on same lap|
|Charles Pic||20th||-0.071s||64/64||2||20th||Not on same lap|
Review the race data
- 2012 German Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops
- 2012 German Grand Prix fastest laps
- 2012 German Grand Prix lap charts
Vote for your driver of the weekend
Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?
Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.
2012 German Grand Prix
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Images ?é?® Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Sauber F1 Team