German Grand Prix 2011: Lewis Hamilton Victorious as Red Bull Disappoint

Chris SiddellCorrespondent IIIJuly 24, 2011

Hamilton celebrates his victory
Hamilton celebrates his victoryClive Mason/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton crossed the line first at the Nurburgring to take victory in the 2011 German Grand Prix.

The former world champion put in a fantastic display to lead rivals Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber over the line.

A sprinkling of rain before the start of the race would have made some drivers a little apprehensive off the line, but not Hamilton.

The Brit, who put in a faultless lap to qualify in second-place behind the Red Bull of Mark Webber, cleared the Australian off the line and led the race into the first corner.

Alonso also got the jump on a Red Bull, passing Sebastian Vettel at the first corner before a mistake later in the first lap let the German back into third-place.

The first few laps of the race saw the two world champions battle it out for third-place as Hamilton and Webber drove clear. Two-time champion Alonso eventually eased his Ferrari past an out of sorts Vettel, who seemed to struggle with the pace set by the leading trio.

The German showed yet again he is only human, spinning his Red Bull car and losing more time to Alonso. That happened just before Nick Heidfeld crashed out in the chicane whilst attempting to overtake Sebastien Buemi.

The recovery of Heidfeld’s car seemed to distract Hamilton as he ran wide allowing Webber to get past, only for the McLaren driver to regain his position at the front of the race a few seconds later.

Hamilton leads Alonso
Hamilton leads AlonsoJulian Finney/Getty Images

After the first round of pit stops, Webber came out on top after a fast stop along with a very quick out lap meaning he jumped ahead of Lewis Hamilton as he stopped two laps later.

With Alonso joining the two leaders, the trio pulled a long way clear of Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel who soon found themselves over 20 seconds off the pace. 

The main focus of the race turned to a busy midfield, where Nico Rosberg and Jensen Button were making good progress as the leaders cruised around the circuit giving each other a little breathing space before the three came in on successive laps to change tires. 

It was here that Hamilton stole the lead back from Webber, getting out of the pits just in front of the Australian, only for Alonso to do the same and come out of the pits ahead a lap later. 

Hamilton, aggressive as ever, was not happy with that and pulled off an astonishing pass around the outside of turn two to regain the lead from Alonso as his teammate Button was forced to retire from the race with a hydraulics problem.

The second round of pit stops was a disaster for Webber who saw himself fall from first to third place in the race.

Hamilton again established some breathing space between himself and Alonso, and likewise Alonso to Webber, as the lead trio completed a long stint between their second and third pit stops without any danger of fourth-place Massa catching.

Vettel will be dissapointed with the result today
Vettel will be dissapointed with the result todayMark Thompson/Getty Images

Vettel, in an unfamiliar fifth-place, pushed the fourth-place Massa but other than a brief moment when he set a fastest lap, the young German never really threatened the Brazilian Massa on the track.

The last hurdle for the riders was a third and final pit stop, with all of the top five needing to change into the compulsory medium compound before the end of the race.

Hamilton was first to flinch as he pitted from the lead, and he was closely followed by Fernando Alonso who was not able to gain on Hamilton through the pit stop and returned to the track in second-place.

A desperate Webber tried his luck and stayed out for a little longer on soft tires, but the gamble did not pay off as the Australian was not able to make a gain and instead cemented a third-place finish. 

Although finishing on the podium, the result will be disappointing for Webber as he fails to take advantage of another pole position.

There was some good news for the Red Bull team at the finish as a superb pit stop allowed Sebastian Vettel to leapfrog Felipe Massa with only one lap to go and finish in fourth.

The pair pitted together and it was Red Bull who were able to get their driver out first to take some consolation on a otherwise disappointing day, showing how important a successful pit crew can be. 

It will be Lewis Hamilton though that will be celebrating tonight as he drove his way to victory over the Red Bull and Ferrari teams to show there is still some fight left in McLaren this season.