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Alonso extends lead with German win

Fernando Alonso wins for the third time in F1 2012 after a dominant drive at Hockenheim
Having secured pole position in the rain at Hockenheim, Fernando Alonso showed he could be just as quick in the dry to secure his third win of the season in the German Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was able to keep his place at the head of the field when the lights went out with a perfect start, and quickly set about established an advantage out front, although he was never able to pull out too much of a lead over the chasing pack behind.

Having managed to see off the challenge of Michael Schumacher through the early laps, Sebastian Vettel cemented his place as Alonso's closest challenger through the first part of the race as the leading pair gradually eased away from the battle behind.

Schumacher himself would keep third for the opening ten laps before losing out to a charging Jenson Button at the hairpin on lap eleven, two laps after the McLaren man had made a similar move for fourth on the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.

Through the opening stint, Alonso maintained his advantage over defending champion Vettel, but when the pair swapped to the medium Pirelli tyres, Vettel was able to close the gap to put the Spaniard under increasing pressure.

Button however was also bringing himself into contention for victory, with his chances aided by team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who was running well down the order having been forced to pit with a puncture caused by debris from the front wing of Felipe Massa after the Ferrari man was involved in a clash at the start.

Despite running a lap down, Hamilton was lapping quicker than Alonso and Vettel who were ahead on track and unlapped himself from Vettel which allowed Button to close on the Red Bull driver.

Button then pitted first for the second and final time and when Vettel dived in a lap later, he resumed just as Button came round turn one. Carrying more speed, Button was able to sweep ahead into second place and did his best to chase Alonso down before starting to suffer with his tyres in the closing laps.

That allowed Vettel to challenge on the penultimate lap having activated his DRS on the run to the hairpin, with the German trying to go round the outside on the right-hander. Putting four-wheels off the track to complete the move, Vettel moved back into second in a move that left Button far from impressed. Alonso however was too far up the road for Vettel to challenge, with the points leader securing his third victory of 2012 to strengthen his advantage at the head of the title race.

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Silent observer - Unregistered

July 22, 2012 5:56 PM

There's something else I've noticed over the years. Ferrari bring their top drivers in, after they have spent years learning their racecraft and going through the mill, gaining tough experience elsewhere, like Vettel is doing now. Alonso is so experienced and does not crack under pressure. When the gap comes down to one second or something, he just controls the race and opens a small gap again, like 2 seconds, just to make himself comfortable. It's a subtle skill. Unless his tyres have gone off completely and it's out of his hands. Young drivers should watch his races and learn a thing or two.


July 22, 2012 4:37 PM

Now over a race win clear of Vettel in Ferrari's LEGO race car. Close to the end McLaren told JB that he was in prime position to challenge for the win, Alonso and Stella had a chat and Fernando put in three laps in the 1min 19s range (compared to Buttons late 1min 20 early 21s, the job was done, watching Fernando this year has been magic, and he appears to be getting even better, the Ferrari may have been the third or even possibly fourth quickest car today.

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