Rosberg lost more time due to 'stopwatch failure'

F1i 1/08/2016
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Rosberg couldn't capitalize on his qualifying advantage.

The Hockenheim stewards sanctioned Rosberg after they deemed the Mercedes driver had forced Max Verstappen off track at the hairpin when overtaking the Red Bull.

Rosberg elected to serve his five-second time penalty at his third and final pit stop but his W07 was left unattended for over eight seconds.

“It was a stopwatch failure, the time thing failed,” Wolff explained. “It didn’t function like it should have. We could have also counted, one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three but we relied on the stopwatch and it let us down.

“Even in a Formula One team with all the high-tech, if you get to take out the instruments that you usually don’t use like a stop watch, they can fail and the stop watch didn’t start properly and once we realised we had to take it safe and this is why it took longer than normal.”

Rosberg’s lenghty time penalty was just the latest hurdle in a tough afternoon for the German driver, who suffered a poor start from pole position and could not out pace the Red Bulls to finish second behind title rival Lewis Hamilton. Wolff says the events just snowballed for Rosberg at Hockenheim.

“You know on a day like today you are having a shitty start OK, you are losing two positions, you battle your way back and you are being penalised, instead of spending five seconds in the stands you are spending eight seconds in the stands.

“There is a human being in the car and on top of that the set up probably overheated the tyres. If you put that all together and you are having a bad day, that is the consequence.”

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German GP: Hamilton cruises to victory

Sport360 staff 31/07/2016
Hamilton's sixth win in last seven

Lewis Hamilton will head into Formula One's summer break with a 19-point lead over title rival Nico Rosberg after cruising to victory in Sunday's German Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who has now won six of the last seven races, started from second, but a poor start by Rosberg enabled the defending champion to take the lead at turn one.

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Pole-sitter Rosberg slumped to fourth off the start-line, and his torrid afternoon took another twist when he was hit with a five-second penalty for an overzealous pass on Max Verstappen. The German finished behind both Red Bull drivers, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen completing the podium places. Hamilton was left kicking himself on Saturday night after a mistake in qualifying paved the way for Rosberg to claim pole. But the defending champion vowed to bounce back with a victory here in Hockenheim and he did not disappoint. Just as in Hungary seven days ago, the Stevenage -born racer emphatically beat Rosberg off the line and from there his victory never looked in doubt. In contrast, Rosberg will be desperate to forget a home race which turned sour from the moment the lights flicked to green. The German, who was quickest in all three practice sessions before claiming pole, was fourth after his sluggish start, and he spent much of the opening phase of the race behind the Red Bull drivers with Verstappen initially running in second after a bold overtake around the outside of his team-mate at turn one. With Rosberg adopting a different strategy to Ricciardo, he emerged from his second stop behind Verstappen, and on the run down to the hairpin on lap 29 he dived underneath the Dutchman. But as in the controversial race in Austria earlier this month, in which he collided with Hamilton on the final lap, Rosberg appeared to leave little room for the Dutchman. The 18-year-old was forced to take to the escape route, and following a brief investigation by the stewards, Rosberg was hit with a timed penalty. The German protested his innocence. "Can you explain to them that I was full lock on the steering wheel," he said over the team radio. But TV replays suggested it was an implausible defence. After serving his penalty at his third and final pit stop, Rosberg emerged with 22 laps remaining behind both Ricciardo and Verstappen, and that is how it remained. Rosberg will now head into the three-week summer break having seen a 43-point championship lead over Hamilton turn into a 19-point deficit in just seven grands prix. And with nine rounds remaining, Hamilton, whose early part of his season was fraught with car issues, will now be the overwhelming favourite to win his fourth title. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen crossed the line in fifth and sixth for Ferrari while Jenson Button finished eighth for McLaren after passing the Williams over Valtteri Bottas on the penultimate lap. British rookie Jolyon Palmer started 14th and made three places off the start-line, but a clumsy collision with Felipe Massa on the opening lap, saw him drop to last, and he ended the race only 19th.

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LIVE F1 German Grand Prix from Hockenheim

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Home track: Rosberg edged out Hamilton in Saturday's qualifying.

Nico Rosberg put in one of his best ever laps to clinch pole for his home race but a defiant Lewis Hamilton has promised to fight back on Sunday and win the German Grand Prix to remain in charge of the Formula One World Championship.

Hamilton has won five of the last six grands prix to overturn a 43-point deficit to his title rival Rosberg.

But the defending champion, now six points ahead of Rosberg, will start the race from second on the grid after a crucial error in qualifying allowed his Mercedes team-mate to claim pole.

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