Skip to content

Rosberg rocks Hockenheim to win German GP for Mercedes

Jul 20, 2014, 9:39 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Germany Getty Images

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY – Nico Rosberg has capped off an incredible two-week period in his life by winning the German Grand Prix, becoming the first driver to win for Mercedes in Germany since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954.

However, the star of the race was undoubtedly Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton, who charged from 20th on the grid to finish the race in third place behind Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, thus minimizing the points advantage for Rosberg in the championship battle.

Bottas continued his streak of podiums in second place, and somehow managed to fend off Hamilton in the final few stages of the race. Sebastian Vettel finished an excellent fourth for Red Bull, with Fernando Alonso finishing as the lead Ferrari in fifth place.

The start saw Rosberg make a good getaway from pole position to stay ahead of Bottas, but the safety car was immediately deployed when Felipe Massa was rolled by McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen. Thankfully, the Brazilian landed the right way up and was able to walk away from the crash, whilst Magnussen was able to continue in the race. Daniel Ricciardo had lost ten positions as he tried to avoid the incident, and Hamilton made a fair start to pick up three places off the line.

The racing resumed on lap three once the wreckage had been cleared, and Rosberg set about opening up a gap to the rest of the field. Hamilton continued to charge through the field, making light work of Max Chilton and Pastor Maldonado. He soon found a way past Adrian Sutil, albeit with a gentle nudge on his sidepod at the hairpin, and was soon on the cusp of the top ten.

Ricciardo and Hamilton began to scythe through the order together, pulling off some great overtakes. Both passed Kimi Raikkonen in fashion to move into the top ten, but all the while, Rosberg was extending his lead at the front lap by lap. In the battle to make the podium, Sebastian Vettel tussled with Fernando Alonso through the traffic, producing some incredible wheel-to-wheel racing.

When Rosberg made his first stop, he came out still in the lead ahead of Hamilton, who was yet to pit after starting on the prime tire. Bottas ran third – net second – after changing to the prime tire. Four laps into his second stint, the Finn made light work of the Mercedes driver. Hamilton duly pitted when Vettel and Alonso began to close, and emerged from the pits in eighth place on another set of primes.

The Briton soon set about continuing his charge, passing Ricciardo for seventh, but was lucky to only lose a front endplate when he made contact with Jenson Button at the hairpin. Hamilton was a bit closer for his second attempt, and made light work of his former teammate to take sixth, before passing Hulkenberg for P5 one lap later.

In the battle ahead, Vettel and Alonso continued to scrap for position through the pit stops, with the Spaniard finally finding a way past the Red Bull after his second pit stop. Sebastian would not let the Ferrari go though, as he looked to secure just his third podium finish of the season.

Rosberg came in for his second stop on lap 42, and emerged in the lead ahead of Hamilton. The Briton pitted just one lap later, fitting the super-soft tires and coming back out in fifth place. Rosberg, on the prime tire, was seeing the advantage to his teammate gradually shrink as Hamilton continued to light up the timing screens with personal bests and fastest laps.

Daniil Kvyat’s race came to an early end after a fire broke out on his Toro Rosso. The Russian youngster had dropped down the order after being spun by Sergio Perez earlier on, and he was clearly frustrated to see his race go up in smoke with 20 laps remaining.

Hamilton put his super-softs to good use, catching Alonso and passing him for third place after Vettel pitted for primes to release him into fourth. Bottas was next up on his hit list, but he pitted for another set of options in anticipation of a safety car after Adrian Sutil spun his Sauber on the main straight. However, the marshals were able to recover it under double yellow flags.

Having pitted, Hamilton had to pass Alonso for a second time, and was catching at a considerable rate of knots. The Spaniard soon lost out to his former teammate once again, and took to the pits with ten laps to go for a set of super-soft tires. He came out in seventh place, and set about recovering some positions from the longer runners ahead. His battle with Daniel Ricciardo was particularly enthralling, but he could not quite find the pace to catch Vettel for fourth.

Hamilton found himself narrowly trailing Valtteri Bottas in the dying stages of the race, and despite the Finn’s tires being 40 laps old, he was still finding the pace to stay ahead. Ultimately, the Finn came home in second, securing his third consecutive podium finish. Hamilton’s tires had simply been pushed too much come the end, but in third place, he has limited the damage of Rosberg’s win.

With this victory, Rosberg has extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 14 points. In the last two weeks, he has got married, seen Germany win the FIFA World Cup, signed a new long-term contract with Mercedes, and now – for the first time – he has won the German Grand Prix.

Now, the focus for Rosberg will be to maintain his lead heading into the summer break, with next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix being the last until the end of August. At the halfway stage of the season though, he has an important lead over his teammate in the drivers’ championship.

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH LIVE: Malaysian GP qualifying at 5a ET on NBCSN and Live Extra

    Mar 28, 2015, 4:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

    Could a thunderstorm rain on Mercedes parade? Join us for qualifying from 5a ET today.

  2. Rosberg closes out Malaysian GP practice fastest

    Mar 28, 2015, 3:06 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    German driver edges out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in final practice at Sepang.

  3. WATCH LIVE: Malaysian GP FP3 at 2a ET on Live Extra

    Mar 28, 2015, 1:30 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    FP3 for the Malaysian Grand Prix rolls off at 2 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra.

  4. NHRA: Rain washes out Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying four 4-Wide Nationals

    Mar 27, 2015, 7:08 PM EDT

    nhra four-wide nationals

    Rain washed out Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying for this weekend’s 6th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.

  5. IndyCar: St. Pete practice two scrubbed due to rain, and other notes

    Mar 27, 2015, 6:03 PM EDT

    IndyCar Testing Getty Images

    No IndyCar second practice, and other notes from St. Petersburg.

  6. Pro Mazda: Michael Johnson hospitalized after practice accident

    Mar 27, 2015, 5:50 PM EDT

    Photo: Pro Mazda Photo: Pro Mazda

    Michael Johnson in ICU after practice accident at St. Petersburg.

  7. The Equalization Conundrum: Should F1 put sport to one side in favor of ‘the show’?

    Mar 27, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    Are Red Bull’s recent quibbles about Mercedes’ dominance well-reasoned, or is it simply a case of sour grapes?

  8. Marciello enjoys confident first outing for Sauber

    Mar 27, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    Raffaele Marciello AP

    Marciello becomes the first Italian driver in four years to take part in an F1 weekend session.

  9. Palmer to take part in Chinese Grand Prix practice

    Mar 27, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Jolyon Palmer AP

    2014 GP2 champion will take part in his first F1 grand prix weekend session in Shanghai.

  10. Power leads Penske 1-2-3 in IndyCar’s first practice at St. Petersburg (VIDEO)

    Mar 27, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    Will Power leads IndyCar’s opening practice session of 2015.

  11. Tost excited by prospect of Renault buying Toro Rosso

    Mar 27, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

    However, Renault could pull out of F1 altogether in the near future should it decide that its involvement is no longer viable.

  12. Vettel unsure where Ferrari stands compared to Mercedes

    Mar 27, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Sebastian Vettel AP

    Hot conditions make for difficult running during practice on Friday.

  13. Practice setbacks leave Hamilton “quite a bit off” in Malaysia (VIDEO)

    Mar 27, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Defending world champion sidelined by engine issues in FP1 on Friday.

  14. Alonso enjoys F1 return, but admits he is not 100% fit yet

    Mar 27, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    Spaniard completes 45 laps in Friday practice as he gets back behind the wheel of an F1 car for the first time in a month.

  15. Verizon IndyCar Series 2015 preseason content roundup

    Mar 27, 2015, 9:40 AM EDT

    Indypreseasonroundup AP

    Roundup of all the Verizon IndyCar Series preseason posts for the 2015 season, heading into this weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

  16. Speed, Duval back for Long Beach Formula E race

    Mar 27, 2015, 9:05 AM EDT

    SpeedP2Miami AP

    Scott Speed, Loic Duval set for further Formula E starts in Long Beach.

  17. Manor makes breakthrough with first 2015 on-track running in Malaysia

    Mar 27, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Manor 273 Getty Images

    Team should qualify for Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, thus completing its comeback.

  18. Hamilton prevented from using special Malaysian GP helmet

    Mar 27, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-AUS-F1 Getty Images

    British driver planned to use a blue helmet to pay homage to Mercedes title sponsor Petronas in Malaysia.