Despite Red Bull’s best attempts at bending the rules and running an illegal engine map, it was another victory for Fernando Alonso at last weekend’s German Grand Prix.
The Formula 1 circus was at Hockenheim for the 10th round of the World Championship. McLaren were on hand with a number of visible changes to the MP4-27, including completely redesigned side pods. During a rain soaked qualifying, the McLarens struggled for grip, but the changes were evident on race day, with a resurgence from Jenson Button.
Lewis Hamilton didn’t fare so well, after a flat tire in lap 2, ultimately ended his race. But this came after Hamilton attempted to unlap himself by overtaking Sebastian Vettel, who was racing Alonso for the lead. At the time Button was struggling to keep up in 3rd, but Hamilton’s strategy worked brilliantly and gave his teammate the advantage, slowing Vettel’s pace.
The incident has been up for debate, but ultimately Hamilton was doing his job, racing. The grey area is whether he should’ve been able to use his DRS to overtake Vettel, since he was a lap down. It was a smart strategy, from a team perspective and ultimately aided Button towards a podium finish. Vettel and Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner were quick to slam Hamilton in the media, following the race. It’s all part of a bigger trend we’ve seen lately with Vettel and his unwillingness to accept his circumstances and Red Bull’s pace. His frustration came to a head in the final laps of Sunday’s race, as he overtook Button off the track, to finish 2nd overall.
Following the race, television viewers were treated to some behind the scenes footage, where Button informed Vettel the race stewards were reviewing the pass. Vettel was quick to deny any wrongdoing, claiming he couldn’t see Button and was leaving him room. Anyone who saw the race on TV, was calling bullshit on Vettel. Following the trophy presentation, F1 veteran Nikki Lauda was on hand for driver interviews. You could cut the awkwardness with a knife as Vettel lied to his home fans, claiming Button had “not said” anything to him, about the controversial pass. Button thanked the fans and neglected to comment, a smart move. Ultimately Vettel was given a drive through penalty, which became a 20 second penalty since the race had ended. This put him back in 5th place to end the weekend. With Alonso 1st, Button would be 2nd and Kimi Raikkonen taking over 3rd.
I’ll end things with this great picture. With the drivers constantly having to put on a show for the press and sponsors, it’s nice to see them acting normal once in a while. What’s up with Alonso and Hamilton though? They’re like best friends lately.
The Grand Prix of Hungary is this weekend, stay tuned.
Photos courtesy of F1 Fanatic.