The 2012 German Grand Prix was the tenth race of the 2012 Formula One Season which took place on July 22 2012. It was the 59th running of the German Grand Prix as a round of the Formula One World Championship.
In line with the FIA's intention to alternate the event, the 2012 race was held at the Hockenheimring, having been held at the Nürburgring circuit in 2011. It was the 33rd time the race had been held at Hockenheim, and the 8th staging on the current layout of the circuit.
The race was won by polesitter Fernando Alonso, ahead of Red Bull-Renault's Sebastian Vettel. McLaren-Mercedes driver Jenson Button completed the podium after a strong drive from sixth on the grid. Vettel's result however, was overshadowed by a illegal overtake claim made by McLaren as a result of Vettel's overtake of Jenson Button on lap 66. The decision was to give Vettel a twenty-second penalty, which pushed the German down to fifth place, promoting Button back up to second, and giving Kimi Räikkönen a third place finish.
As for other German interest, Michael Schumacher finished a strong seventh. Nico Hülkenberg, finished ninth, a disappointing result from fourth on the grid. Schumacher's team mate, Nico Rosberg, took the final point and meant that four Germans scored points. The final German on the grid, Timo Glock, came in 22nd.
The Drag Reduction System is being used for the first time on the Hockenheimring. The DRS detection zone is at turn 4, with the activation zone located 260 metres later. This allows the cars to speed down the Parabolika into the Hairpin.
No grid penalties were issued after the British Grand Prix for the German Grand Prix. However, both Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg will receive five-place grid penalties for gearbox changes. Grosjean's gearbox was changed after his team noticed a terminal issue with it. Mark Webber's gearbox was changed on Friday night, and as a result, he will also drop five places.
In the Drivers' Championship, Fernando Alonso's lead was reduced to just thirteen points after Mark Webber won in Britain with Alonso in second. Sebastian Vettel moved up to third, ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
As for the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull-Renault had increased their lead to 64 points. Second was now Ferrari, after their strongest showing since the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix. Lotus-Renault stayed in third place, with McLaren-Mercedes falling to fourth place.
The full entry list for the 2012 German Grand Prix is shown below:
Jenson Button set the fasstest time in a McLaren 1–2 in Free Practice 1. The session was plagued by rain, and as a results time were not ideal. Button set his time of 1:16.695 just 25 minutes into the session.
Many drivers lost control of their car or went off track in the damp conditions, including Heikki Kovalainen, Pastor Maldonado, one of the Sauber drivers, Jean-Éric Vergne, Lewis Hamilton and British GP winner Mark Webber. Then, near the end of the session, Bottas lost the rear end at turn 13 and hit the barriers.
It started out wet, and only Bruno Senna ventured out in the fifteen minutes, but he came straight back in. At about fifteen minutes in, Jean-Éric Vergne headed out, on the full wet tyre. Not too much happened in the session, as the track dryed out. Nico Rosberg showed that the track was suitable for intermediates, but with 25 minutes left, the rain began again. Pastor Maldonado set the quickest time before the track became too wet.
There was action, with Vergne, Sergio Pérez and Sebastian Vettel losing control early on, and Lewis Hamilton went wide at the hairpin later on. With ten minutes to go, Daniel Ricciardo went off at turn 13, but only beached into the gravel and his car suffered no damage. Then, with five minutes left, Michael Schumacher had a big accident at turn 12, seriously damaging the rear end of the car and lightly damaging the front left. The session was red flagged until the end of the session.
Maldonado's time survived as the quickest of the session, the Williams driver showing his pace is still there, despite the controversy following his recent collisions and crashes. Second was Nico Rosberg, less than a tenth of a second down.
Twenty minutes into the session, the engine in Charles Pic's car was changed, due to an air leak. Within twenty minutes, the new engine was in place.
At the end of the session, it started raining heavily, effectively ending the 60 minute session a few minutes early.
A dry session started with all the cars trying to get out early to set a timed lap before any rain came along (which it did after the session ended). When the session ended, Kimi Räikkönen came out on top, ahead of Sergio Pérez and Nico Rosberg. Michael Schumacher nearly exited qualifying early, but set a time 0.055 seconds ahead of the unlucky Jean-Éric Vergne. Also out (in order) was Heikki Kovalainen, Vitaly Petrov, Charles Pic, Timo Glock, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan was last.
The rain really started to come down as Q2 started, and most of the best laps were set early on in the session, as the last five or so minutes required the full wet tyre, unlike the first ten minutes. Lewis Hamilton was 0.645 seconds quicker than second-placed Michael Schumacher. Daniel Ricciardo qualified strongly, for 11th. Also out (in order) was Sergio Pérez, Kamui Kobayashi, Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, Bruno Senna and Nico Rosberg was 17th. After the session, it emerged that Pérez had blocked both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen.
In another wet session, Fernando Alonso took pole position for the second race running, 0.405 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Mark Webber was third on the grid, 0.875 seconds down on Alonso. Michael Schumacher qualified fourth, over 1.8 seconds slower than Alonso.
Fifth-placed Nico Hülkenberg was over 2.8 seconds off Alonso's time. Early in the session, the German had a moment and aquaplaned off into gravel, but he managed to get back to the track.
Sixth was Pastor Maldonado, whose time of more than 3.3 seconds worse than Alonso's. Behind him was Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, the McLaren drivers only a few tenths of a second behind Maldonado. Ninth was Paul di Resta, well over 4 seconds down on Alonso. Kimi Räikkönen was tenth and over five seconds in arrears.
Championship leader Fernando Alonso's pole position put him in a prime position to extend his championship lead. Mark Webber's gearbox change penalty, which placed him eighth, made an increase in Alonso's lead more likely.
|Paul di Resta||10|
|Pedro de la Rosa||24|
* Mark Webber was demoted five places from 3rd to 8th because of a gearbox change.
‡ Romain Grosjean was demoted five places from 15th to what became 19th because of a gearbox change.
§ Nico Rosberg was demoted five place from 17th to what became 21st because of a gearbox change.
Fernando Alonso started very well, and held onto first place from pole, with Sebastian Vettel holding onto second place. Michael Schumacher stayed third, attacking Vettel for second, with Nico Hülkenberg behind. Jenson Button overtook Pastor Maldonado for fifth place, and Mark Webber got ahead of Lewis Hamilton for seventh. Behind them, Felipe Massa crashed into the back of Bruno Senna. Massa lost his front wing, and Romain Grosjean also was forced to pit with a new front wing.
Despite all the debris on the track, the safety car was not called out. Only one car lost out in the process, as Hamilton suffered a puncture. He continued despite thinking that McLaren should retire the car.
Kimi Räikkönen managed to get past Paul di Resta for eighth a few laps later. Räikkönen got ahead at the start, but Di Resta overtook him on lap three. Räikkönen would not be troubled by Di Resta again. After troubling Vettel on the first lap, Schumacher starting dropping away from the leading pair. Luckily for the German, Hülkenberg was being caught by Button, who got past on lap eight at the Hairpin.
On lap ten, Hamilton was the fastest driver on track, in clear air with new tyres. On the next lap, Button caught and passed Schumacher. The pitstops had started on lap ten, with Di Resta pitting. On lap eleven, Räikkönen pitted from eighth. On lap twelve, Hülkenberg pitted from fifth, and Webber pitted from seventh. Maldonado pitted the next lap. Maldonado then suffered a severe loss of pace, as his race only went downwards from that point. Schumacher pitted on lap fourteen, emerging ahead of Räikkönen. The Sauber pair and the leaders were all pitting later. Sergio Pérez, from 17th on the grid, found himself in fourth on lap 15, ahead of his team mate, Kamui Kobayashi. Pérez pitted first, and emerged behind Maldonado, whom he overtook immediately. Alonso pitted next, and after first Button, and then Vettel pitted, re-emerged in the lead. Kobayashi pitted last, on lap 23, and came out in eleventh place, and behind Maldonado, who had been overtaken by Webber and Di Resta. Kobayashi and then Rosberg both passed the Venezuelan.
Räikkönen overtook Schumacher on lap 21, the German going defensive into the Hairpin, but making a mistake on the exit of the corner, and the Finn flew past. Kobayashi found his way past Di Resta on lap 25. The running order at this point was Alonso leading, only just ahead of Vettel, with Button close behind in third. Fourth was Räikkönen, fifth Schumacher, then Hülkenberg, Pérez, Webber, Kobayashi and Di Resta occupied the rest of the pointscoring positions. Rosberg and Maldonado followed, ahead of the two Toro Rosso.
By lap 30, Vettel was challenging Alonso, but could not get close enough to cause the Spaniard any real problems. Behind them, Button was closing in. Pérez passed Hülkenberg for sixth on lap 31. Two laps later, Pérez's team mate, Kobayashi also moved up a place, as Webber lost his new seventh place after Hülkenberg pitted. Hamilton pitted from 18th, and emerged a lap down, but between Vettel and Button.
Unfortuanately for Vettel, Hamilton decided to unlap himself. The move benefitted both Alonso and Button. Hamilton could not get past Alonso. Rosberg had also pitted, and emerged behind Nico Hülkenberg. Schumacher pitted on lap 36, and emerged in clear air. Kobayashi overtook Pérez the next lap for fifth. Kobayashi then gained another place temporarily when Räikkönen pitted.
On lap 40, Button pitted, attempting to gain an undercut on the two leaders. Button's stop was the quickest of the race. Pérez and Webber also pitted the same lap. In reply, both Alonso and Vettel pitted the next lap. Alonso held onto his lead, but Button managed to overhaul Vettel and the British driver took second place. Button started to slowly close in on Alonso. Kobayashi pitted on lap 43, and came out just behind Hülkenberg, who was quickly overtaken. Hülkenberg then pitted. Kobayashi set a few fastest laps, but when Schumacher pitted on lap 52, the German became the fastest driver on track. Button had got close enough to use the DRS on Alonso, but was not close enough to challenge for the lead. Button then started to fall back slightly.
Rosberg passing Di Resta for the final point on lap 56. The German was having a strong race, considering his starting position of 21st. Later, the lapped Hamilton retired from the race.
The final few laps saw Button slow his pace down massively. Vettel closed in, and passed Button after the Hairpin on lap 66 with his whole car off the track. Button was unhappy with this, and the FIA began an investigation.
Alonso won the race, his third win of 2012 and his 30th win in the sport. Vettel crossed the line second, ahead of the Button. Räikkönen was fourth, with Kobayashi fifth. Pérez's sixth place capped off an excellent race for the Sauber team. Seventh was Schumacher, ahead of Webber. Hülkenberg and Rosberg scored the final points. Di Resta, Massa, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne were the final drivers on the lead lap. Maldonado was lapped in 15th, Vitaly Petrov was an impressive 16th, ahead of Senna in 17th, with Grosjean behind in 18th. Heikki Kovalainen was 19th and two laps down. Charles Pic was 20th, and Pedro de la Rosa overtook Timo Glock for 21st. Narain Karthikeyan was 23rd and last.
Sebastian Vettel's overtake of Jenson Button was investigated by stewards after the race. Vettel was eventually given a twenty second penalty for the illegal overtake, as the German had all four wheels off the track and was perceived to have gained an advantage by doing so.
|2||3||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||67||+ 6.949 s||201.587||6||18|
|3||9||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||67||+ 16.409 s||201.239||10||15|
|4||14||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||67||+ 21.925 s||201.327||12||12|
|5||1||Sebastian Vettel*||Red Bull-Renault||67||+ 23.732 s||200.971||2||10|
|6||15||Sergio Pérez||Sauber-Ferrari||67||+ 27.896 s||200.819||17||8|
|7||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||67||+ 28.970 s||200.779||3||6|
|8||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||67||+ 46.941 s||200.125||8||4|
|9||12||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||67||+ 48.162 s||200.081||4||2|
|10||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||67||+ 48.889 s||200.054||21||1|
|11||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||67||+ 59.227 s||199.680||9|
|12||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||67||+ 1 m 11.428 s||199.240||13|
|13||16||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||67||+ 1 m 16.829 s||199.046||11|
|14||17||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||67||+ 1 m 16.865 s||199.041||15|
|15||18||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||66||+ 1 lap||198.222||5|
|16||21||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||66||+ 1 lap||197.221||18|
|17||19||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||66||+ 1 lap||197.202||14|
|18||10||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||66||+ 1 lap||196.515||19|
|19||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||65||+ 2 laps||195.121||16|
|20||25||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||65||+ 2 laps||194.672||20|
|21||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||64||+ 3 laps||192.511||23|
|22||24||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||64||+ 3 Laps||192.330||22|
|23||23||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||64||+ 3 laps||192.319||24|
|Ret||4||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||56||Collision damage||196.465||7|
Laps in the Lead
|1||Fernando Alonso||1 – 17||17||77.758 km|
|2||Sebastian Vettel||18 – 20||3||13.722 km|
|3||Fernando Alonso||21 – 67||47||214.978 km|
|1||Fernando Alonso||64||292.736 km|
|2||Sebastian Vettel||3||13.722 km|
- Lewis Hamilton's 100th race.
- Heikki Kovalainen's 100th entry (99th start).
- Kamui Kobayashi's 50th race.
- 100th race of the Red Bull-Renault partnership.
- 100th race of the Toro Rosso-Ferrari partnership.
- Mark Webber's 100th race for Red Bull.
- Fernando Alonso's 30th victory.
- Jean-Éric Vergne's and Charles Pic's 10th Grand Prix.
Standings after race
|V T E||German Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Nürburgring (1951–1954, 1956–1958, 1960–1969, 1970–1976, 1985, 2007–2013*), AVUS (1959), Hockenheimring (1970, 1977–1984, 1986–2006, 2007–2014*, 2016, 2018)|
|Races||1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 •|
|* Nürburgring and Hockenheimring alternated between each other during these years.|
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