German Grand Prix 2012: Fernando Alonso clinches Hockenheim win

Fernando Alonso clinches third victory of season after winning German Grand Prix ahead of Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
fernando alonso
Fernando Alonso leads the drivers' championship by 34 points Photo: Ferrari

fernando alonso

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso stretched his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 34 points after holding off Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button to win the German Grand Prix.

The Spaniard is the first driver to win three races this season after leading from pole and maintaining his composure to clinch victory at Hockenheim.

“It was tough, definitely,” said Alonso. “I don’t think it was an easy race because maybe we were not the quickest on dry conditions. But we were quite competitive, enough to maintain the lead.

“Also there were some good calls by the team in terms of strategy in the first stop and then obviously in the second stop when Jenson pitted. We had to react, Sebastian and me.

“After that it was a long race, 27 laps to the end with Jenson putting a lot of pressure, but the car was feeling good, so it was enough to keep the lead into Turn Six. And then after that it is not possible to overtake in the last sector, so you try to control the tyres and, a little bit the race.”

fernando alonso

Ferrari’s Alonso managed to hold off defending world champion Vettel, who was demoted to fifth place after the race (Photo: Ferrari)

Defending world champion Vettel passed Button with two laps to go but was demoted to fifth place after being handed a 20-second penalty because race stewards decided the German “left the track and gained an advantage when he re-joined”.

Button said after the race: “I don’t think there’s anything I need to say. You can see the footage and see what you think yourself.”

Vettel, meanwhile, defended his actions but accepted the penalty. “I wasn’t sure where he was,” said the Red Bull driver. “I couldn’t see him in that moment, so decided to give enough space and went off line on the slippery paint and I was able to stay ahead and get past him.

“The only intention was not to crash and to give him enough room. I have respect for him and I didn’t want to squeeze him. It was good to be on the podium at the home race, but I have to respect the steward’s decision.”

fernando alonso

Vettel, Alonso and Button enjoy the post-race podium celebrations at Hockenheim (Photo: Ferrari)

Button was rarely more than a second behind leader Alonso but was unable to close the gap on the Ferrari driver.

“It was a close race and I couldn’t quite get Fernando at the end,” he said. “When you are in the middle of three you really have to fight and I was pushing a little bit more in the early part of the stint, whereas when you’re in front you can coast a bit in the bits where you don’t need to push.”

Lewis Hamilton’s race was severely hampered by a puncture early on and the McLaren driver eventually retired with gearbox damage.

German Grand Prix 2012: Race result

1 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:31:05.862

2 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren +00:06.949

3 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus – Renault 00:16.409

4 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber – Ferrari 00:21.925

5 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull – Renault 00:23.732 #

6 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber – Ferrari 00:27.896

7 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 00:28.970

8 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull – Renault 00:46.941

9 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India – Mercedes 00:48.162

10 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 00:48.889

11 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India – Mercedes 00:59.227

12 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 01:11.428

13 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso – Ferrari 01:16.829

14 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso – Ferrari 01:16.965

15 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams – Renault 1 lap

16 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham – Renault 1 lap

17 Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams – Renault 1 lap

18 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus – Renault 1 lap

19 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham – Renault 2 laps

20 Charles Pic (France) Marussia – Cosworth 2 laps

21 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT – Cosworth 3 laps

22 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia – Cosworth 3 laps

23 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT – Cosworth 3 laps

Ret. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 11 laps

# – denotes 20 second post-race penalty

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