The theme of Sunday’s German Grand Prix was uncertainty but it was Lewis Hamilton who came out on top, as we now head into the second half of the season.

The British driver had been apprehensive about his performance with McLaren before the weekend but managed to put in a technically brilliant lap to start second on the grid behind Mark Webber yet, crucially, ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

…took the lead before battling with Webber…

The race was shrouded with concerns over the weather, which was cold and full of rain. The microclimate over the Nürburgring affected tyre choices and caused drivers, engineers and strategists to trawl frantically over their weather data in order to try to gain an advantage.

Hamilton got off to a brilliant start and took the lead before battling with Webber and Alonso through aggressive overtakes, tyre wear and pit strategy. No race this season has been so close, with all three drivers and the top three teams battling it out.

They were widely regarded as being 1.5 seconds slower per lap…

The crucial stage of the race centered on the timing of a compulsory final pit-stop, which required the use of the hard compound tyre. They were widely regarded as being 1.5 seconds slower per lap and so the teams were apprehensive about this interchange.

McLaren broke first. No-one knew how this decision would turn out until Hamilton began executing fast laps and the doubts over the tyre were gone. Alonso pitted soon after and Webber followed but by that stage it was too late and Hamilton was out in the lead, which he protected until the chequered flag.

…an uncharacteristic spin and a third position saved only by…

Vettel’s dominance in the first half of the season gave few hints to his performance at his home Grand Prix which featured a slow start, little pace, an uncharacteristic spin and a third position saved only by the speed of his Red Bull pit crew in comparison to those at Ferrari.

Jenson Button’s race was also calamitous. His McLaren suffered hydraulic failure and was forced to retire because of a rare unreliability problem.

…Lewis Hamilton was back to a form that has been lacking… 

While all uncertainties surrounding the German Grand Prix have now passed, it has posed several interesting questions for the remainder of the season. Mark Webber showed some dominance over his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel, McLaren and Ferrari both demonstrated competitive pace and Lewis Hamilton was back to a form that has been lacking recently.

Overall, the German Grand Prix has given hope that the championship still has life in it, ironically by showing the fallibility of its golden boy.


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