After the disappointment of Silverstone, McLaren bounced back in perfect fashion at the Nurburgring after Lewis Hamilton saw off the challenge of Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber to secure victory in the German Grand Prix.
Having surprised many with second on the grid in qualifying, Hamilton came out on top of a see-saw battle with his Ferrari and Red Bull rivals to pick up his second victory of the season as the trio made the most of an uncharacteristic off day for points leader Sebastian Vettel – who failed to finish on the podium for the first time this season.
Hamilton led the race from the start when a better getaway saw him jump past Webber on the run into turn one, with the Red Bull appearing to bog down somewhat when the lights went out. Webber was able to hold second place while Alonso moved into third having challenged Vettel for position.
As Hamilton looked to break away from Webber behind, Alonso lost third to Vettel on the second lap when he ran wide exiting turn two and got sideways on the astroturf on the side of the circuit, which was holding water after rain earlier in the day.
Out front, Hamilton was unable to break away from Webber and behind, the battle for third continued until Alonso got ahead heading into turn one on the eighth lap. Just a lap later, Vettel's hopes of a home win all bit ended when the defending champion got caught out at turn ten after putting a wheel over the white line on the edge of the circuit and suffered a spin that cost him valuable time.
From that point onwards, the battle for victory would be one decided on strategy, with Red Bull the first team to call its driver in for the opening stop. Webber dived in from second place on the 14th lap and then managed to find enough pace to ensure that when Hamilton and Alonso pitted two laps later, it was the Australian who held the lead.
The trio ran together then until Webber pitted for his second stop on lap 30, which again was ahead of both Hamilton and Alonso. Hamilton rejoined just ahead of Webber and then forced the Red Bull driver wide through turn two to maintain his advantage.
Alonso dived in on the following lap and, somewhat astonishingly, rejoined ahead of both Hamilton and Webber in the lead. However, Hamilton was quick to make the most of the extra heat in his tyres as he drove round the outside of the Spaniard at turn two to take back the lead.
The Briton managed to build a slender lead over Alonso, who in turn was able to pull away slightly from Webber, as the top three attempted to go as long as possible before switching to the slower medium compound tyre.