Lewis Hamilton prevailed in a frenetic three-way fight for victory in the German Grand Prix, as world championship leader Sebastian Vettel could only finish fifth on the road at the Nurburgring.

Although the predicted rain held off for the duration of the 60 laps, Hamilton made the most of the unusually cool conditions to get the best from his McLaren, denying Mark Webber victory from pole position for the fifth time in as many races. The Briton was engaged in battle with the Australian and Silverstone victor Fernando Alonso almost throughout the race, with positions changing both on track and in pit-lane.

It was the timing of the final stop, which saw all three drivers taking on the harder of Pirelli's two chosen compounds late in the race, which cemented the podium positions, with Hamilton stopping first and then doing enough on track to ensure that his rivals faded into the distance.

Alonso too got the better of Webber, who perhaps left his final stop until it was too late and also suffered a slight delay while his tyres were fitted, as the chasing pack did their best to limit the damage to Vettel's championship lead.

The German could only manage fifth place - breaking his nine-race streak of top two finishes to open the season - after struggling with brake problems, an early spin and then an obdurate Felipe Massa. Only when both pitted on the 58th lap, could Vettel leap-frog the Brazilian as RBR turned him around faster than Ferrari could manage.

Behind Massa, Adrian Sutil took sixth for Force India, with fellow Germans Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher claiming seventh and eighth for 'national team' Mercedes. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) and Vitaly Petrov (Renault) completed the scorers, while Jenson Button was again forced to retire.

Full report and result to follow....

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