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First German GP for Mercedes

2014-07-20 17:53

SPECIAL DAY: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg has won the 2014 German GP. A special race in his home country. Image: AFP/Christof Stache

HOCKENHEIM, Germany - Germany Nico Rosberg capped a memorable eight days for himself and his country by winning his home grand prix for Mercedes on Sunday (July 20) and stretching his overall lead in the F1 championship to 14 points.

First there was Germany's World Cup triumph in Brazil last weekend, then his wedding in Monaco followed by the signing of a fresh contract with Mercedes - and finally a win in front of his fellow-countrymen.

Lewis Hamilton, his team mate and only real title rival, finished a fighting third after starting 20th but charging through the field.


Finland's Valtteri Bottas took second for Williams, his third podium finish in a row but a hefty 20.7sec behind Rosberg after Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa crashed at the start in a collision that brought out the pace car.

Rosberg was the first to win for a works Mercedes team in Germany since Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 and the first German home winner for a German team since the championship started in 1950.

Rosberg said: "It's fantastic. It's an amazing feeling to win here at home. A special day for me." He now has 190 points to Hamilton's 176 with Australian Daniel Ricciardo on 106.

The German's fourth victory of the season had looked inevitable from the moment a brake disc failed on Hamilton's car during qualifying on Saturday, sending the Briton spinning hard into a track barrier. Between them, the Mercedes drivers have won nine of 10 races so far in 2014 and in normal circumstances would have been celebrating another 1-2 finish on an overcast afternoon that only turned to rain after the finish.

The 50 000 spectators, a disappointing attendance in a season dominated by Mercedes, were treated instead to the sight of Hamilton on a charge to limit the damage and a series of other thrilling duels further down the field.


Mercedes had warned the fans to buckle up for the ride and Hamilton delivered with a swashbuckling drive that saw him go three abreast at times, picking off a Ferrari and a Red Bull in one swoop. He was 10th after 10 of the 67 laps and up to second after 16, banging wheels and bodywork along the way but escaping with only a damaged front wing when he clipped former team mate Jenson Button's McLaren.

He could not get past Valtteri Bottas, with the Finn becoming the first Williams driver since Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya in 2003 to rack up three consecutive podiums, but enjoyed it anyway.

Hamilton said on the podium: "I had great fun. I did as good as I could. It was hard to get through the pack safely and I had a little bit of a collision with Jenson. I thought he was going to open the door, which he has done a couple of times lately, but that was my bad judgement.

"It was hard to overtake so I'm glad to get some points today."

Germany's four-times F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, 2013's winner at the Nurburgring, was fourth for Red Bull ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Ricciardo was sixth for Red Bull ahead of Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and then Button.

Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen, who tangled with Massa at the start when they lined up third and fourth, recovered to take ninth, and Mexican Sergio Perez made it a double scoring finish for Force India.

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