F1 2014: German Grand Prix

Result: Nico Rosberg logs in his fourth win of the season to win ahead of Bottas and Hamilton, takes 14 point lead.

 

The sheer dominance of the Mercedes engines came to the fore again as Lewis Hamilton drove the race of the day to pass the field (as if stationary) to go from 20th to 3rd by the end of an action-packed German Grand Prix. Yes, it was home-boy Nico Rosberg who won his first-ever German GP, even passing his father Keke Rosberg’s point-tally so early into his career, but Hamilton produced a drive of stunning aggression and control.

Rosberg started on pole, and drove a comfortable race to do what was expected of him after he was denied a chance to go head-to-head with his teammate again. Hamilton was already having a disastrous weekend after a crash that demoted him to 15th on the grid, and a gearbox change further gave him a 5-place penalty. Finishing on the podium after a Saturday like that must have been the best possible result his engineers could have hoped for, and the Brit obliged by putting in his usual dose of daredevilry. He wove through a competitive field that included Raikkonen, Alonso, Vettel and Button—and even had to switch strategies (2-stop to 3-stop) after losing part of his front wing while trying to overtake Button. This overworked his tyres and he decided to switch to supersofts, putting him on collision course with the field ahead of him. One can only imagine if he had stuck to his 2-stop strategy—he could have very well been challenging Rosberg for the lead.

By lap 61, Bottas was within his sights, but he could not quite pass the stubborn young star—who got his third straight podium and second runner-up spot. Defending Champion Vettel finished fourth ahead of Alonso after a healthy scrap, but it was yet another Mercedes win in a season that has fast established a change of guard of four consecutive Red Bull seasons. For certain, there will be a new drivers Champion this season—and though Hamilton is a former World Champion, it is Rosberg in the drivers seat to win his first World Championship after switching on the pressure mid-season after the Brit reeled off 4 consecutive wins after Melbourne.
All seems to be going right for Germany in World Sports lately. A football World Cup win and now Rosberg’s dominance—close on the heels of Vettel’s superhuman four seasons—only reiterates that after Spain, they could be the new sporting superpower. This is a happy world Michael Schumacher seems to have woken up to.

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