14:00 All the cars get away from the grid cleanly as the drivers head off on a 3.2 mile warm-up lap. No-one has gambled on inters, which makes sense, although it is getting a bit greasy out there on track.

13:57 Despite the rain coming down it is still slick-tyre track conditions out there. For the moment at least...

13:54 The sprint from the grid to the first corner is slightly shorter this year which is good news for Mark Webber. But there is still the potential for plenty of thrills and spills once they get to the first corner, which is very wide but also a pretty sharp right hander. Turn two then sweeps to the left allowing drivers to fight back if they get hung to dry on the outside of turn one.

13:52 Red Bull boss Christian Horner says there will be more rain this afternoon but his team won't be relying on thr weather radar.

13:47 Williams says: "Rain now stopped and looks like it won't start before race"

13:45 It's more like drizzle than proper rain at the moment, but the umrellas are out over the drivers' cockpits to keep them nice and dry.

13:40 On the second from last row Daniel Ricciardo is talking to Red Bull's Helmut Marko and getting some advice ahead of his second grand prix of his career.

13:41 Track temperature is very low and Karun Chandhok just told the BBC that he would rather it was nice and warm for his first race of the season. He's starting from 20th after a difficult qualifying session yesterday and weekend-long struggles with teh Lotus brakes.

13:38 Last night the FIA found irregularities in Sebastien Buemi's fuel sample and he will start from the back of the grid as a result. Otherwise the grid is as it was after qualifying yesterday.

13:36 At the moment its dry, but rain is in the air and falling as I type. The drivers are going out on slick tyres for their installtion laps. We had a very exciting GP2 race this morning in wet/dry conditions so let's hope for more of the same this afternoon.

13:35 Today he'll have to fight off challenges from Lewis Hamilton, who joins him on the front row, and championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who is starting from third.

13:33 Mark Webber starts from pole fo the second race in a row and the first time this year. However, he has not led a single lap yet this year so he will be looking to put that right. Although he pointed out in Silverstone that there's only one lap of the race that matters when it comes to leading the race.

13:30 Welcome to live race commentary of the German Grand Prix. We'll be posting updates after every lap to keep you up to date with what promises to be a very exciting race.

Lap 1

Hamilton makes a great start and leads from Webber and Alonso. Vettel down to fourth.

Button is down to tenth after a bad start, Schumacher is looking racey ahead of him.

Lap 2

Hamilton leads by 1.2 seconds as he crosses the line ahead of Webber. Alonso and Vettel are in close pursuit but the Red Bull has slipped past the Ferrari at turn two and three.

Rosberg is up to fifth and lookingunder pressure from Massa in sixth.

Lap 3

Hamilton leads by 1.9 seconds on this lap. Alonso is sticking on the tail of Vettel and Massa is glued to the gearbox of Rosberg.

A replay of Webber's start shows that his revs dropped just as he was about to release the clutch. That would not have helped.

Lap 4

Vettel is the fastest man on the track at the moment but Hamilton is 2.5 seconds up the road and has Webber as a buffer.

Di Resta had a spin at the start and is now moving back through the field to 21st.

Massa is told that he must pass Rosberg if he wants to have a competitive race this afternoon.

Lap 5

Webber is now the fastest man on the track but is still 1.8 seconds off Hamilton. Vettel is 0.8 seconds off Webber.

Kobayashi had a remarkable start and is up to 11th. He's sitting pretty as he had two sets of fresh soft tyres for this race after being knocked out in Q1 yesterday.

Lap 6

Massa lunges past Rosberg at the final chicane but loses the position again on the exit. He's been reminded he needs to get past.

Alonso is now pressuring Vettel who is dropping off the back of Webber now. Webber is really in the groove and has the gap to Hamilton down to 1.2 seconds.

Lap 7

Webber is taking 0.3s out of Hamilton in the middle sector and is now within one second of the McLaren and can use his DRS.

Button is still in tenth and bottled up behind Petrov who is locking his rear wheels under braking.

Lap 8

Alonso passes Vettel into turn one. A great move up the inside and Vettel had no answer. So the Ferrari can now chase the top two, which are still split by a second.

Massa is still behind Rosberg and will be getting very frustrated.

Lap 9

Webber takes a tenth out of Hamilton on that last lap to close the gap to 0.9s. Alonso is 2.7s back and matching Webber's pace.

Perez has pitted. Not sure why yet. It seems very early for tyres, but a replay shows that he had a flat spot on his tyre.

Lap 10

Vettel has gone off the track on the last lap and now Rosberg is right on his tail. His Red Bull snapped from underneath him as he put some wheels in the wet astroturf on the entrance of the corner. He spun and will have flat spotted all his tyres.

Lap 11

Alonso is the fastest man on the track at the moment and closing on Webber. The gap is 1.7 seconds.

Heidfeld has crashed at the chicane. He tried to go around the outside of Buemi and got cut off. Buemi has a puncture too. It was a nasty accident at high-speed but neither is hurt. The Renault's race is over.

Lap 12

Massa passes Rosberg up the inside of turn one. The Ferrari very nearly understeered into the Mercedes after locking his right front but he made the move stick and Rosberg avoided any contact.

Webber is now very close to Hamilton.

Lap 13

And Webber gets past Hamilton into the last corner, but Hamilton fights back down the pit straight and retakes the lead. Great racing. Hamilton says stop talking to me on the radio, he was obviously put off into the final chicane which let Webber get the run on him into the final corner.

The top three are now nose to tail with Alonso making up a huge amount of time thanks to that battle.

Lap 14

Alonso attempts a move on Webber and forces the Red Bull to lock up. Webber just keeps it together after missing the apex and holds off the Ferrari.

Alonso says he'll need to pit soon, but the cars ahead of him also look on the ragged edge so we could well have a battle of the pit crews.

Lap 15

Webber pits for tyres. A clean stop and he's out on soft tyres. Meanwhile, Massa is all over the back of Vettel.

Webber comes out in traffic which won't help at all.

Button is all over the back of Petov for ninth, he is watching his race slip away with every lap he spends behind the Renault.

Lap 16

Alonso and Hamilton are very evenly matched but must pit soon to avoid Webber taking advantage of his new tyres once he is out of that traffic and in clear air.

Webber has just set the fastest first sector of the race. Time to prepare the tyres at McLaren and Ferrari surely.

Button still attacking Petrov but still going nowhere.

Massa passes Vettel and the Red Bull pits.

Lap 17

Hamilton and Alonso also in the pits and they come out behind a battle between Massa and Webber so the Red Bull is back in the lead of the battle between the top three. Massa has to pit still so he isn't really leading the race.

Lap 18

Massa pits and lets the top three continue their battle.

Alonso is pressuring Hamilton as Webber extends his lead at the front. Meanwhile Massa comes out of the pit ahead of Vettel who is now down to fifth once all the pit stops work out.

Lap 19

Webber goes a second clear with the fastest lap of the race. Hamilton is 0.7 second up on Alonso. Sutil is fourth but still needs to pit, as does Button who is now past Petrov.

Lap 20

Hamilton sets the fastest lap now and closes the gap by 0.2 seconds to 0.8 seconds. Alonso has dropped off slightly and is 1.2 off the McLaren.

Massa slips past Kobayashi, as does Vettel.

Meanwhile Webber has gone 0.5 seconds faster than Hamilton in the middle sector alone.

Lap 21

Webber leads by 1.1 seconds now as the battle for the lead waxes and wanes. Alonso is still 1.2 off Hamilton.

Massa gets past Petrov as he makes his way through the field and past the cars that haven't pitted yet.

Lap 22

Hamilton has lost another 0.2 seconds to Webber on that last lap. Alonso remains constant at 1.2 behind the McLaren.

Lap 23

Webber extends his lead to 1.4s over Hamilton on that last lap.

Meanwhile Schumacher is on the back of team-mate Rosberg as the pair pass Petrov in a private battle.

Lap 24

Barrichello is the second retirement of the day: "Rubens race over- called back to garage - oil leak - team still investigating," says Williams.

Schumacher has spun at turn nine and drops down to 11th. Schumacher made exactly the same mistake as Vettel by dipping his wheel in the wet astroturf on the outside of the corner entry at turn nine.

Lap 25

Button pits from fourth, he's on a two-stop strategy. He comes out ahead of Schumacher in eighth.

Hamilton is now maintaining the gap at the front but is still losing a lot of time to Webber in sector two.

Lap 26

On the plus side for McLaren, Hamilton is 0.2s faster in the first sector and 0.3s faster in the final sector.

Vettel is told there might be a problem with the rear brakes and is told to go forward with his brake balance.

Lap 27

Hamilton was marginally faster than Webber on that last lap and has the gap down to 1.3 seconds. Alonso is 1.4 seconds off Hamilton.

Lap 28

Hamilton has the gap down to a second now as he keeps the pressure on in sector one but Webber loses some of his middle-sector prowess.

Button is now closing on Sutil who is on the same strategy. The McLaren driver will be aiming to pip Massa, Rosberg and Vettel by making one less stop over the rest of the race, but he needs to pass the Force India to stand a chance.

Lap 29

Lotus' Mike Gascoyne has said rain is about 30-40 minutes away.

Meanwhile Alonso is told he can start to push and he does just that by taking 0.6s off Hamilton on that last lap. Hamilton has the gap to Webber down to 0.8 seconds.

Lap 30

Webber pits from the lead for another set of soft tyres. He will have to make one more stop as expected to make sure he takes on the medium tyres.

Lap 31

Chandhok spins at the high-speed Schumacher chicane.

Hamilton pits. A quick stop to get him out on softs and he's ahead of Webber.

Lap 32

Webber attacks Hamilton in turn two and gets hung out to dry meaning the McLaren takes the position.

Lap 33

Alonso pits for softs can he come out in the lead? Alonso comes out ahead of Hamilton but the McLaren drives around the outside of the Ferrari in turn two, fantastic stuff and he is now in the lead of the race.

Webber is now on the back of Alonso as Hamilton extends his lead over the course of the lap.

Lap 34

I should also mention that Button got past Sutil a couple of laps ago so now has a run at Rosberg and will hope to beat Vettel and Massa with his two-stop strategy.

Hamilton is pushing very hard as Webber loses the rear of his car under braking for the final chicane.

Button is already on the back of Rosberg and passes him into turn one as the Mercedes makes a mistake under braking.

Lap 35

Hamilton now leads by 2.4 seconds from Alonso and 4.0 seconds from Webber. What have Ferrari and Red Bull got in response?

Lap 36

Bad news at McLaren as Button is told to retire his car with a hydraulics problem. Very frustrating as he was on for a good race.

Lap 37

Hamilton is setting fastest lap after fastest lap and is now 3.1 seconds up on Alonso.

Rosberg pits for softs and will have to pit again as he takes on soft tyres.

Lap 38

Schumacher also pits for the second time, releasing Kobayashi ahead of him.

Lap 39

Alonso sets a personal best to get the gap to Hamilton down to 2.9 seconds, is this the start of a fightback from Ferrari.

Kobayashi is holding off Rosberg in a great battle for seventh place. They are on different strategies and both will pit once more.

Lap 40

Hamilton and Alonso set identical lap times on that last lap. It's so tight at the front.

Rosberg passes Kobayahsi into turn one, good driving.

Lap 41

Liuzzi is out of the race with a problem.

Vettel pits for softs and will have to pit once more.

Schumacher pulls a good passing move on Alguersuari into turn one. He's up to 11th.

Lap 42

Alonso has the gap down to 2.8 seconds now but they are still evenly matched.

Massa pits and just hold onto position ahead of Vettel. The Red Bull is attacking the Ferrari hard but at the moment Massa has all the answers.

Lap 43

Alonso has a bad lap and drops to 3.4 seconds off Hamilton. But he still has a 5.2 second cushion to Webber.

Vettel locked a tyre trying to find a way past Massa on that last lap into the chicane. He had to take to the escape road but no damage done. Vettel is also told that his brakes are now optimum.

Lap 44

Alonso gains a little time back to close the back to 3.2 seconds. This is now all about tyre preservation as the first person to put on the mediums will have less grip than an old set of softs. However, if the softs drop off the cliff it could be a different story.

Lap 45

Massa is feeling the pressure from Vettel and skips the second part of the final chicane.

Lap 46

The gap at the front is now 3.1 seconds so it looks like Hamilton has things under control. The only question is how much life he took out of his tyres earlier in the stint.

Schumacher and Petrov are fighting on track and after a battle into the final chicane, Schumacher passes Petrov into turn one to move up to ninth.

Lap 47

Hamilton is 2.7 seconds up on Alonso as they cross the line.

Petrov pits for a set of medium tyres, the first man to do so.

Lap 48

Vettel has just set the fastest lap but is still behind Massa. Alonso is closing the gap to Hamilton at the front.

Lap 49

Every lap Hamilton seems to either lose or gain 0.2 seconds to Alonso. They are coming through traffic of course. The gap is now 2.8 second.

Lap 50

Alonso is 2.4 seconds off Hamilton this time across the line but Webber is the fastest man of the top three cars.

Vettel is now piling on the pressure behind Massa, forcing the Ferrari to lock up into turn one. He still can't find a way past at the moment though.

Lap 51

2.0 seconds is the gap at the front now as Hamilton continues to lose time.

Lap 52

Hamilton pits for medium compound tyres after saying his softs were shot over the radio. This looks like it will play into Alonso's hands but Ferrari is also ready for a pit stop.

Lap 53

Alonso stays out after a middle sector that was 0.7s quicker than Hamilton on the mediums. Webber is also quick and this is all working against Hamilton.

But Hamilton fights back in the first sector of the next lap, it's all switching back again.

Lap 54

Alonso pits after a poor in lap with traffic. Will the Ferrari come out ahead? Webber is staying out...

Hamilton has done enough after all, he stays ahead as Alonso rejoins the race.

Webber has also just had a bad first sector, so it looks like he's also stayed out too long on these tyres.

Lap 55

Webber does not pit and completes another slow lap to lose more time to Hamilton. This has swung back into McLaren's hands, fascinating stuff and it's all down to the Pirelli tyres.

Meanwhile Vettel and Massa are still battling hard with the Ferrari leading the Red Bull by 0.4s. They both have to pit once more.

Lap 56

Webber stays out again, it's hard to see what he is gaining here. He needs the medium tyres to finish the race and is losing time to Hamilton and Alonso every lap he stays out on the softs.

Lap 57

Now Webber pits and Hamilton retakes his lead. Alonso holds second, 2.9s behind the lead McLaren.

Sutil is looking good for a sixth place finish. Schumacher pits from seventh.

Lap 58

Hamilton has just set the fastest first sector, proving that these medium tyres aren't too bad once they are up to temperature and on a low fuel load.

The most interesting battle is now between Massa and Vettel they both need to pit once more with two laps remaining.

Lap 59

Vettel was told to do the opposite of Massa but the message didn't get through and the two of them will pit at the end of the penultimate lap.

Lap 60

Thank you for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed the race and make sure you keep checking ESPNF1 this afternoon for all the news and reaction following another fantastic grand prix.

Hamilton wins at the Nurburgring, 3.9 seconds ahead of Alonso. Webber comes through for third. A brilliant race.

Vettel takes fourth ahead of Massa and Sutil comes through for sixth on a two-stop strategy.

Hamilton sounds ecstatic over the team radio and thanks his team for pushing. It was a close race at the end but McLaren appeared to measure the life of the soft tyres just about right.

Alonso has stopped on track and Webber has stopped to pick him up. Ferrari confirmed on the radio that Alonso's car ran out of fuel.

Hamilton starts his final lap.

Massa and Vettel pit. Ferrari have a slow stop and Red Bull get Vettel ahead.