Key Points From The German Grand Prix

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In a week where the Formula One world learned the sad news that the famous Nurburgring was facing potential closure, the sport headed just a few miles down the road to Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix.


Following on from Mark Webber's brilliant Silverstone victory two weeks ago, the stage was set for another twist in what is proving to be an unforgettable season.


Treacherous conditions all but nullified Friday practice and Saturday qualifying, and though Fernando Alonso pulled off an incredible set of laps in the wet on Saturday, dry forecasts for Sunday offered hope of a more tame race.


Below are just a few points from Sunday's race.



Mr Consistency Fernando Alonso Threatening To Make A Break For The Title


On Friday he appeared subdued, on Saturday he was inspired and on Sunday he was imperious. This was pretty much the weekend of Fernando Alonso, as described in superlative-laced rhetoric.


The Spaniard's incredible laps in a wet qualifying session just underlined the type of mood he is in at the moment.


On raceday Sky F1's Martin Brundle warned that Alonso was looking as calm and assured as he ever had been behind the wheel, and when your offering such high praise for a double world champion, that can only spell danger for the rest of the field.


From the start he drove what was a text-book performance in controlled racing, and while he looked to be under threat at times from both Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, Alonso absorbed it as best he could and found another gear to ensure that the gap was never less than 0.6sec.


His consistency has yet again proved fruitful in what was his 22nd race finishing in a points scoring position, and during a season in which the top order changes shape regularly, if he continues this incredible run of form he could run away with the drivers' title.



Hamilton Shows He Is Still Has A Fiesty Side


I've given Lewis Hamilton some stick this season. Some of it warranted, some perhaps a little unjust.


If there is one thing we know about Lewis Hamilton though, is that he loves a fight. He will go for a gap if he thinks there is a half decent chance of making it, and in truth that's what we love about him.


However, throughout parts of this season, the former world champion hasn't shown that. Some suggestions point to his partying lifestyle, others to his indecision over signing a new deal with McLaren as his current contract draws to its end.


Whatever the reason, on Sunday we saw the feisty side of Hamilton that has been sorely missed.


Starting in a disappointing eighth position on the grid, Hamilton's race was almost immediately compromised after receiving a puncture. Despite initially appearing defeatist over the team radio, the Brit quickly changed his tune, and his desire to unlap himself not only threw a huge spanner in the works of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull, but showed that he was a wounded animal whose pride was damaged along with his rear left tyre.


Hamilton's attitude was exactly what was needed if he is to claw his way back into title contention, and while luck may not be on his side, he will not go down without a fight.



Button's Result Staves Off Season Threat & Could Give McLaren A Headache


Heading into the weekend Jenson Button had it all to do.


His season was unravelling before his eyes after a string of underwhelming performances made his opening weekend victory in Australia seem like a lifetime ago.


Heading into the weekend, no longer was talk about his ability to mount a title assault, but more about where his season lay.


As the race calendar hit its mid-way point, a bad result for Button and a good one for Lewis Hamilton would surely have made Martin Whitmarsh make that time honoured decision to back one driver over the other for the remainder of the year.


However, disaster for Lewis and subsequent elation for Jenson staved off any lingering threats and dragged the 2009 world champion up to seventh in the drivers' standings, but importantly just 24 points off of his team-mate.



Sebastian Vettel Develops A Case Of The 'Schumacher's' Following Post-Race Penalty


The fall-out of the German Grand Prix started to resemble a childish spat of 'he said, she said' as Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel entered into a war of words in post-race interviews.


While Vettel was rightly reprimanded for his illegal overtaking of Jenson Button on the penultimate lap of the race, his manner afterwards appeared to hark back to Michael Schumacher's somewhat unedifying demeanour of the 1990s.


The double world champions' tall tail to Niki Lauda on the podium regarding the incident, his comments afterwards that "Clearly it’s not an advantage if you try to accelerate on the paint rather than the circuit," followed by a snipe at Lewis Hamilton tarnished a strong performance.


Over the past two years we have been treated to a beaming smile from the German as he swept aside all-comers, but yesterday we saw a different side to him.


Some will like to see that side, and if he is to claw back an increasingly distant Fernando Alonso, he's going to have to show it more often.



Nurburgring May Face Closure, But We Still Have Hockenheim


Earlier this week, the Formula One world heard of the terrible news that the legendary Nurburgring could face closure after insurmountable debts cast a dark shadow over its future.


The circuit is one of the most celebrated in the whole of motorsport, and as a fan I'd hate to see it disappear. This year marks the 85th year since it opened, and it would be a crying shame if it no longer featured on the F1 calendar.


While it remains as part of a two-year alternation with Hockenheim as the host of the annual German Grand Prix, the sport would be slightly hollow without it.


However, as Hockenheim proved this weekend, it does not spell the end for racing in Germany. The 'ring fully played its part in a weekend of tight racing, and sets the championship up beautifully for the next round in Hungary.


Read more blogs and articles by Simon Knights here. Follow Simon Knights on Twitter @SimonKnights