McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton overtook an ill-timed safety car period by passing his main rivals on the track to post a brilliant victory in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, only two weeks after shining in the wet in the British GP at Silverstone.
That same safety car period, provoked by a heavy crash by Timo Glock on the pit straight, played well into the hands of Renault rookie Nelson Piquet, who benefited from a one-stop strategy to score his maiden Formula 1 podium finish. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was third.
The McLaren pit strategy was useless – only succeeding in putting Hamilton behind with awful timing.
The McLaren man returned in sixth as Piquet jumped to the lead when Heidfeld also had to pit under green. Driving brilliantly, though, Hamilton began disposing of the competition, first with ease – teammate Heikki Kovalainen – then with determined moves on Massa, on lap 55, and Piquet two laps later, both at the hairpin at the end of the main straight.
Then, finally, it was smooth sailing for another masterful win by Hamilton, who now leads the championship with no company at 58 points. Massa is second with 54, while Raikkonen’s sixth-place result boosted the Finn to 51. Kubica earned two points from seventh and now tallies 48.
Hamilton’s pass on Massa was an exercise in skill and bravery. His pass on Piquet was as impressive; but, not as challenging. It was definitely a higher priority for Piquet to get that Renault through to a podium finish.
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