McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has claimed his second victory of the 2011 season and the 16th of his career at the German Grand Prix, taking his first-ever points finish at the legendary Nurburgring after a thrilling 60-lap race that featured several intense battles for the lead. Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was second, ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber – who started from pole – in third.
The top three all stopped three times in total and used the same strategy of three initial stints on the soft tyre and the final stint on the P Zero White medium tyre. With the soft tyres expected to be more than a second a lap quicker than the medium tyres in the cool temperatures of 13 degrees centigrade, and a constant threat of rain, the drivers tried to stay out for as long as possible on the P Zero Yellow tyre, putting the emphasis on tactics.
“The whole race hinged on tyre strategy – Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented – as we saw Hamilton, Alonso and Webber all try to use pit stops to their advantage. Although some people were thinking that there would be a big time gap between the soft and the medium tyre, Lewis Hamilton was able to win the race in style after being the first of the front runners to change onto the P Zero White tyre. We saw a wide spread of strategies once more, with two drivers even delaying their final pit stop until the very last lap. Because of the cool temperatures and smooth surfaces we saw the tyres lasting for a very long time here, which makes an interesting contrast to the early part of the year when some people said that our tyres weren’t lasting long enough!”.