• German Grand Prix

Alonso secures controversial win

ESPNF1 Staff
July 25, 2010

Fernando Alonso led home team-mate Felipe Massa as Ferrari recorded a controversial 1-2 at the German Grand Prix.

Massa looked odds on to win the race but the Brazilian was ordered to move aside and let Alonso pass with 17 laps remaining, as the issue of team favouritism once again reared its ugly head.

"Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?" Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley told him over the radio.

In the aftermath of the incident, Ferrari was fined $100,000 for a breach of regulations and the case will now be referred to the FIA World Motorsport Council for further consideration.

It was Massa who took the lead as the start after sweeping past pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel. As Massa nailed Vettel down the outside into turn one, Alonso squeezed past on the other side and so the order was settled until the latter stages.

Lewis Hamilton was another driver to enjoy a great start, the McLaren man moving up to fourth from sixth on the grid as Mark Webber dropped back behind him.

Further back down the grid, Sebastien Buemi lost his rear wing in the battle for early position and Jarno Trulli retired with a gearbox problem. Both Force India drivers were also early losers, they stopped for new front wings and then had to return to the pits after it emerged they had been given each other's tyres.

At the front, Massa and Alonso hammered home their advantage, the duo pumping in fastest lap after fastest lap to extend their lead over Vettel. Finding a window of track space, Vettel was the first of the leaders to pit early on lap 13 for fresh rubber, Alonso, Webber, Hamilton and Massa following suit a lap later as Massa stayed out.

Soon after Alonso had the chance to pass without the help of his team, as the pair came up behind traffic and Massa struggled to get temperature into his hard tyres. Alonso made a move into the turn six hairpin but Massa did a very good job to hold him off. Moments later Alonso came over the radio saying, "this is ridiculous". After that Alonso dropped back only to mount another attack on Massa as the race wore on.

It soon became a two-horse race for victory, Vettel dropping behind the battling Ferraris. And it was Alonso who won the private team battle, securing his second victory of the season to spoil Massa's day a year on from his career-threatening accident at Hungary.

Sebastian Vettel maintained his championship challenge by finishing third ahead of the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. The British pair ran most of the race nose-to-tail but Button never got close enough, despite Hamilton being told to save fuel from very early in the race.

British Grand Prix winner Mark Webber was sixth after a bad start saw him passed by Hamilton on the first lap. Button then passed the Red Bull in the pit stops after the McLaren driver decided to stay out longer on the soft tyres than any of the front runners and briefly led the race. Webber was prevented from posing a fight back as he was ordered to back off due to excessive oil consumption.

The result means that Lewis Hamilton still leads the championship from team-mate Jenson Button, the Red Bull duo tied for third.

All the other cars finished a lap down with Robert Kubica in the Renault seventh ahead of the two Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher. The second Renault of Vitaly Petrov claimed the final point on offer in tenth.

Outside the top ten, Williams and Sauber scrapped over 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th after both teams failed to repeat their impressive performances from qualifying. As they crossed the line Kamui Kobayashi led the way with Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg behind. Pedro de la Rosa gave the Williams duo a fight at one stage, but eventually lost out when he broke his front wing trying to lap the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen.

Kovalainen ultimately parked his car as a result of the contact, joining fellow retirees Lucas di Grassi, Sakon Yamamoto, Jarno Trulli and Sebastien Buemi.