Rosberg extends F1 points lead with German GP win
07/20/2014 11:41 AM
07/20/2014 12:07 PM
Hockenheim, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg widened his lead in the Formula One world championship point standings by winning Sunday's German Grand Prix.
Rosberg, a 29-year-old German, won on his home soil for the first time with a superb performance. He started on the pole and led all 67 laps around the Hockenheimring circuit. Rosberg claimed his fourth win of the season and the seventh of his F1 career.
Two weeks ago, Rosberg suffered his first retirement of the season in the British Grand Prix due to a faulty gearbox. Since then, he got married to his long-time girlfriend Vivian Sibold and signed a new multi-year contract extension with Mercedes before winning the German GP pole and race. Germany also won the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final last week.
Rosberg became the first German to win at Hockenheim since Michael Schumacher's victory here in 2006. Last year, Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won his home race in Germany, which was held at the Nurburgring.
"It's fantastic," Rosberg said. "It's an amazing feeling to win here at home. A very, very special day for me."
Rosberg now holds a 14-point advantage over teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton, who finished third. Hamilton started 20th after crashing in the second round of Saturday's qualifying session and then receiving a five- spot grid penalty for an unapproved gearbox change.
Shortly before the halfway point, Hamilton made contact with McLaren's Jenson Button while the two were battling for position. Hamilton sustained slight damage to his left-front-wing endplate. Button suffered some damage to his front wing as well. Both drivers had adjustments made to their cars on the following round of pit stops.
"I had great fun," Hamilton said. "I did as good as I could today. It was very hard to get through the pack safely, and I had a little bit of a collision with Jenson. I honestly thought he was opening the door to let me pass. He's done that in past races, so my bad on judgement there. It was very hard to overtake at the end. But that's OK. I'm just glad to get some points today."
Valtteri Bottas from Williams made his third straight podium appearance with a second-place run. Bottas crossed the finish line 20.7 second behind Rosberg.
"I feel really happy again being on the podium," Bottas said. "These guys [Mercedes drivers Rosberg and Hamilton] were too quick today but really happy that we managed to at least get one of them behind. It was not easy."
Bottas' teammate, Felipe Massa, was involved in a frightening crash on the opening lap. Heading into the first corner, Massa made contact with McLaren's Kevin Magnussen, causing the Williams driver to flip upside down and slide off course before he rolled back over. He was not injured during the accident.
"The most important thing is that I'm fine," Massa said. "I'm very frustrated for another problem like that. Another race just throwing away a lot of points, so I'm really disappointed."
Vettel, the four-time and defending F1 world champion, finished fourth, followed by Fernando Alonso from Ferrari. Vettel's teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, placed sixth.
Force India's Nico Hulkenberg took the seventh spot, while Button and Magnussen were eighth and ninth, respectively. Hulkenberg's teammate, Sergio Perez, completed the top-10.
F1 is back on track next Sunday with the Hungarian Grand Prix.
"I look forward to the next race in Hungary, with the car that we have at the moment," Rosberg said. "I'm very thankful to Mercedes for the car that they have built us. It's really a pleasure. Hungary will be good."
Hamilton has won the Hungarian GP the past two years.
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