GALLERY: Rosberg wins F1 in Germany
Nico Rosberg gave Germany another win to celebrate after their recent World Cup success.
His home Grand Prix triumph for Mercedes on Sunday stretched his overall lead in the Formula One championship to 14 points.
Untroubled from pole position to chequered flag, the just-married German’s commanding victory added another highlight to a week that begun with the signing of a multi-year contract extension.
Lewis Hamilton, his team mate and only real title rival, finished third after starting in 20th place and then making 15 overtaking manoeuvres as he charged back through the field in one of the more determined drives of his career.
Finland’s Valtteri Bottas took second place for Williams, his third podium finish in a row and a hefty 20.7 seconds behind Rosberg, after Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa crashed at the start. The collision brought out the safety car.
Rosberg was the first to triumph on home ground for a German team since the championship started in 1950.
“What a great day after so many great events for me this week,” he said. “I came here hoping for a win and it worked out perfectly.”
If it did not quite compare to getting married but overall, it was still pretty good. “That was the best feeling,” he said of his Monaco wedding last week.
“But of course everything has been special."
Mercedes-AMG's German driver and race winner Nico Rosberg (C), Dieter Zetsche (R), CEO of the Daimler AG celebrate after the German Formula One Grand Prix in Hockenheim, southern Germany, on July 20, 2014. Photo: AFP
Mercedes Formula One driver Rosberg embraces Daimler CEO Zetsche after winningGerman F1 Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Photo: Reuters
Williams' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (L) and Mercedes-AMG's British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrate after the German Formula One Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring racing circuit in Hockenheim, southern Germany, on July 20, 2014. Photo: AFP
Rosberg now has 190 points to Hamilton’s 176, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo third on 106.
The German’s fourth victory of the season looked inevitable from the moment a brake disc failed on Hamilton’s car during qualifying on Saturday.
Mercedes Formula One driver Hamilton drives through a corner during German F1 Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Photo: Reuters
Williams Formula One driver Massa of Brazil crashes with his car in the first corner after the start of the German F1 Grand Prix at the Hockenheim racing circuit. Photos: Reuters
Mercedes had warned fans to buckle up for the ride and Hamilton went three abreast at times, picking off Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari and Ricciardo’s Red Bull in one swoop.
Had Hamilton not damaged the wing and lost downforce, he would probably have passed Bottas. But he could not prevent the Finn becoming the first Williams driver since Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya in 2003 to rack up three successive podiums.
“I had great fun,” said Hamilton on the podium. “I did as good as I could.
“It was hard to overtake so I’m glad to get some points today,” added the 2008 champion.
The lettering "Keep Fighting Michael" was fixed on Rosberg's car in support of German former Formula One pilot and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who suffered severe brain injuries in a horrific ski accident on December 29, 2013. Photo: AFP
Mercedes-AMG's German driver Nico Rosberg (L) leads the pack during the German Formula One Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring racing circuit in Hockenheim, southern Germany, on July 20, 2014. Photo: AFP
A track marshal gives a thumb up as Williams Formula One driver Massa of Brazil climbs out of the wreckage of his car after crashing in the first corner after the start of the German F1 Grand Prix. Photo: Reuters
Germany's national football team forward Lukas Podolski (R) chats with German former Formula One pilot and tv presenter Niki Lauda after the German Formula One Grand Prix on July 20, 2014. Photo: AFP