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Formula 1 News - July, 2008
Team-by-team summary: Sunday, Germany

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No rival could match Lewis Hamilton's pace, as he secured his second consecutive win and established a four-point lead in the drivers' championship. The only hiccup was the team's decision to leave him on the track rather than pit under the safety car, meaning the dominant Briton had to pass teammate Heikki Kovalainen, Ferrari's Felipe Massa and surprise leader Nelson Piquet's Renault. Heikki Kovalainen finished 12 seconds down the road in fifth. "My speed was not good enough and I couldn't make the tyres work," the Finn said, but he was lauded by Hamilton and team boss Ron Dennis for being "super-cooperative" (Dennis' words) when Hamilton needed to pass him.



Nelson Piquet - having dropped out in Q1 on Saturday - finished an astounding second in the race, the Brazilian rookie the admittedly lucky beneficiary of the safety car period, whose timing coincided perfectly with his one-stop strategy. "I knew that Lewis was much faster than me, so I did not want to take any pointless risks," said Piquet, explaining the moment when he lost the lead of the race. There was no such luck for Fernando Alonso, who finished 11th.



A poor weekend for Ferrari - which will surely be described as a "crisis" by the Italian press - as Massa was blown away in the first stint by Hamilton, and even challenged amid brake problems in the closing stages by Nick Heidfeld's BMW-Sauber. "I didn't have the car to fight," Massa said. Kimi Raikkonen was off-colour all weekend, and his sixth place, from sixth on the grid, leaves him seven points adrift for the drivers' title chase. "We were too slow and we have to understand the reason why," said team boss Stefano Domenicali.



Unlike Hamilton, Heidfeld's decision to stay on the track rather than pit under the safety car was astute, due to his heavier fuel load, and by the chequered flag he was pressuring Massa for the last step of the podium, having started 12th and captured the fastest lap of the race. An unhappy Robert Kubica described his car as often "miles too slow" on Sunday, and he finished seventh and falls ten points shy of Hamilton's championship lead. "There is some work for us to do to get back to the front of the grid," said team boss Mario Theissen.



Sebastian Vettel capped his sterling home weekend with the final point, following a late-race mistake by Toyota's Jarno Trulli. Sebastien Bourdais, 12th, lost time when he had to queue in the pits behind Vettel during the safety car period. "I am happy in terms of the pace I could run," he nonetheless said.



Timo Glock will spend the night in hospital after his violent backwards crash against the concrete pitlane wall, but the German is otherwise not hurt. The team is investigating the cause of the crash, with replays showing a broken rear suspension as he lost control in the last corner. Jarno Trulli was clinging to a points finish in the closing stages when he made a mistake and was passed by Vettel.



No points, with Nico Rosberg tenth and Kazuki Nakajima just 15th.



Mark Webber's oil leak, caused by the debris of Glock's crash, was his first mechanical retirement of the year. David Coulthard finished 13th, following a poor first lap and a collision later in the race with fellow veteran Rubens Barrichello (Honda).



Giancarlo Fisichella (14th) and Adrian Sutil (16th) each beat a rival home -- Nakajima for Fisichella, and Honda's Jenson Button for Sutil. Fisichella, however, received a 25-second penalty for unlapping himself under the safety car at the wrong time, which demotes him to last.



Button was the only lapped car and dead last at the chequered flag, but promoted thanks to Fisichella's post-race penalty. "We weren't very quick today," team boss Ross Brawn admitted plainly. Rubens Barrichello retired with damage following his crash with Coulthard.

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