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GP Week : Issue 92
Team-By-Team: British Grand Fourth and fifth may have kept Hamiton and Button in the lead of the drivers' championship in Germany, but the 26- second deficit to Fernando Alonso at the finish will be a major worry to the Woking management with eight races to go this season. At the start Hamilton lept two place to fourth, before pitting early around the same time as his rivals to secure the place at the finish. Button took a different approach and went until lap 22 on the super-softs before pitting, enabling him to leapfrog Webber and secure fifth. Third was the maximum Vettel could achieve in his home race in Sunday after admitting his RB6 was a tenth per lap slower than the Ferraris on race pace. He was surprised to suffer a poor start after getting bogged down off the line, and lost two places to drop from pole to third where he stayed until the flag. Team-mate Webber had to contend with an oil consumption problem in the latter half of the race which hampered any possibility of getting passed Button, before coming home in sixth. Robert Kubica had to be happy with being 'best of the rest' yet again in Germany, as he secured seventh place and six more world championship points to continue to close in on Nico Rosberg in the drivers' championship. The Renault was no match for the Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren in front, and he finished almost 38 seconds adrift of Webber in sixth and a full lap down on the winner. Meanwhile, team-mate Petrov recorded his second points finish of the year to strengthen his hopes of staying at Renault next year. Failure to get a new aerodynamic package working correctly spelled disaster for Mercedes GP in their home race, as Rosberg and Schumacher struggled to score points with a hugely underwhelming display. The writing was on the wall for the Brackley-based team from qualifying when they qualified only ninth and 11th although they managed to regain some ground on Sunday. Schumacher picked up three places off the start, but lost one place during the pitstop when Rosberg came through, before taking eighth and ninth three seconds apart at the flag. Two poor starts by Barrichello and Hulkenberg put paid to their chances of scoring points on Sunday, after putting themselves in the perfect positions to do so with top ten qualifying positions on Saturday. Both drivers lost three places when the lights went out, with Barrichello dropping from 8th and Hulkenberg dropping from 10th, and up against quicker cars they were unable to muscle they way back into the top ten. Barrichello lost a further place to Renault's Vitaly Petrov during the pitstop phase before beating his team-mate across the line in 12th and 13th places. Ferrari should have left Germany celebrating a return to form with a solid 1-2 in Hockenheim, but instead the story will be of a controversial team order when Felipe Massa was told to hand the lead and victory to team-mate Fernando Alonso. The blatant disregard for the sport's fans and rulebook was thankfully picked up by the stewards and the team was fined $100,000, but more importantly, will be called before the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) to answer more questions. After a peerless drive from third on the grid, Massa should have won but the record books will show Alonso as P1. 36