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Nurburgring 20-22 July, 2007
Radio Five Live podcast

Positions after 60 laps of 60.

1. Alonso (McLaren)

2. Massa (Ferrari)

3. Webber (Red Bull)

4. Wurz (Williams)

5. Coulthard (Red Bull)

6. Kubica (BMW Sauber)

7. Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)


By Sarah Holt


To get involved, text us on 81111 (UK users only) or contribute to 606

Lap 60: That's it. Alonso holds on to take his third victory of the season for McLaren. The Spaniard closes to within two points of team-mate Hamilton at the top of the drivers' standings.

Massa takes second after leading for much of the race while Webber hangs on to third, despite a late challenge from Wurz.

Coulthard rounds off a satisfying day for Red Bull as he comes home in fifth with Heidfeld and Kubica sixth and seventh for BMW Sauber.

Kovalainen, who was running in fifth before switching to immediates, takes the final point on offer as he crosses in eighth.

Hamilton finishes his frantic race in ninth, and out of the points for the first time in his career.

Lap 59: Hamilton makes a move on Fisichella to move up to ninth as he stays in the hunt for a championship point.

Lap 58: Alonso looks on course for victory at the Nurburgring. Even though the track is drying out now it seems unlikely that anyone will stop again. Kovalainen's tyre gamble failed to pay off as the Finn's Renault is down in eighth.

Lap 57: Alonso leads and is now 2.4 seconds ahead of Massa. If he goes on to win then he will close the gap on team-mate Hamilton to two points at the top of the championship.

Lap 56: Massa and Alonso are neck-and neck-now. Massa holds off the Spaniard at turn one but the duo touch wheels and Alonso pours past him into turn five. Hamilton pits for intermediates so he will be out of the points now.

Lap 54: Massa and Alonso come in to switch tyres too. Alonso almost takes out Fisichella in the pit lane. And there is a real battle between Massa and Alonso for the lead now.

Lap 53: Coulthard and Kubica into the pits.

Lap 52: It is raining now on certain parts of the track but Kovalainen is 87 seconds off the lead so surely he can't make up too many more places.

Lap 51: Kovalainen says it is just starting to drizzle but no real rain yet.

Lap 49: Kovalainen pits to move onto intermediate tyres. What a gamble by Renault as no rain is falling as yet. He comes back out into eighth with the idea of grabbing a podium spot if the rain comes.

Lap 48: Hmmmm we might get some more drama afterall as more rain is predicted for seven minutes time. The crowd are hastily putting on their rain coats.

Lap 47: Race leader Massa has to dodge round a loose wheel cover that is out on the track, and Alonso has reduced the Brazilian's lead to five seconds.

Lap 46: Unless there is more drama at the Nurburgring, Hamilton's record of straight podiums will come to an end in Germany.

Lap 45: The Hamilton debate is still raging on 606, is he brilliant or is it just the car? Here's what Fordale on 606 thinks:
"No doubt Hamilton is a remarkable driver but 'experience' counts and he is still lacking in that department. He will have to bow to experience in this one."

Lap 44: Coulthard pits from third in his Red Bull and he rejoins in sixth.

Lap 42: Massa leads Alonso by six seconds at the front of the field but the double world champion looks like he is closing on the Ferrari.

Lap 41: Webber pits from third while Hamilton roars beyond Barrichello to climb up to 10th.

Lap 39: Raikkonen sounds even more despondent as usual as he explains where the race went wrong for him. He said: "I was in a good position and catching Alonso but the car just stopped." Asked if the conditions affected him he answered: "Naaah, it doesn't matter."

Lap 38: Massa pits from the lead. He gets in and out in 8.5 seconds and retains the lead.

Lap 37: Alonso pits while team-mate Hamilton gets past Trulli for 12th.

Lap 36: Massa leads Alonso by 8.3 seconds at the front as the race looks to have shrunk into a two-car contest.

Lap 35: Hamilton comes into the pits.

Lap 34: Big problems for Raikkonen as his Ferrari sputters and gutters its way round the track. Could be electrical problems and he cannot get back to the pits. His Nurburgring jinx strikes again,

Lap 33: Hamilton tries to squeeze past Fisichella and after a battle with the Italian he sails beyond him at turn 11.

Lap 32: Here's Ralf Schumacher's take on his brush with Heidfeld:
"Even after the rain we were still in a good position to score some points. The corner before I made a mistake and that's why he came so close. But I thought he wasn't close enough. He had only one wheel inside and that's not enough."

Lap 30: Hamilton is really trying to fight back at the back of the field. He lays down another fastest lap, but Massa quickly follows suit and clocks 1:33.351.

"We had a phone-in last night and one guy asked me if I thought Lewis Hamilton was dramatically over-hyped. I couldn't believe my ears."
Five Live commentator Murray Walker

Lap 29: Massa stretches his lead up to 5.9 seconds over Alonso at the front.

Lap 28: Kovalainen pits from fifth.

Lap 25: "It was really exciting for me and I'm happy to lead a Formula One race for once in my life. No-one can take that away from me. It wasn't easy to lead out there as I hadn't driven an F1 car in the rain before. It was just a shame I couldn't finish the race."Spyker's Markus Winkelhock on his eventful debut.

Lap 24: Raikkonen is starting to hunt down Alonso for second, he is only 0.5 seconds behind the Spaniard. At the back, Hamilton sets a new fastest lap of 1:33.607.

Lap 23: The stewards announce they will look into Heidfeld and Schumacher's shunt after the race. Here's what Murray Walker reckons:
"Each will say it's the other's fault - they always do."

Lap 22: New fastest lap for race leader Massa, who clocks 1:33.732.

Lap 21: Hamilton continues to pour on the pace as he sets another fastest lap of 1:34.020 - only problem is he's 83 seconds off the lead. Takuma Sato also retires.

Lap 20: "Kimi Raikkonen is driving the wheels off his Ferrari and he's closing up on Fernando Alonso's McLaren. But Lewis Hamilton down in 16th place is also flying."
BBC Five Live commentator Murray Walker

Things are not going so well for Ralf Schumacher, who is clipped by Heidfeld's BMW Sauber. Schumacher is out of the race.

Lap 19: Kovalainen passes Wurz to take fifth place with a neat overtaking move into turn one.

Lap 17: Kovalainen comes under pressure from his team radio to overtake Wurz for fifth.

Lap 16: Raikkonen sets a new fastest lap of 1:35.129, but that is quickly overhauled by backmarker Hamilton, who finds some pace to set a hot lap of 1:34.359.

Lap 15: Hamilton is 85 seconds behind back in 17th place. At the front, Massa leads Alonso by 2.1 seconds. Winkelhock's day is over as he retires with flames licking out of the back of his Spyker.

Lap 13: Coulthard and Heidfeld pit, which means Massa retakes the lead.

Lap 12: Massa and Alonso pit. They also take on a glug of fuel too.

Lap 11: Raikkonen comes into the Ferrari pits to take on dry tyres, which are coming good now. Wurz, Davidson and Winkelhock also pit.

Lap 10: Looks like it was too early for Hamilton to take on the dry tyres as he is now a lap down again. Webber squeezes past his Red Bull team-mate Coulthard for third.

Lap nine: Lots of moves throughout the field now as the race settles down. Raikkonen is putting pressure on Kovalainen for fifth place.

Lap eight: Massa and Alonso pour round Winkelhock, who is likely to go backwards from here on him. Who knows what is going on with Hamilton, as he spins off the track. He is struggling for grip with the dry tyres.

Lap seven: Hamilton has been allowed to overtake all cars and the safety car so he is no longer a lap behind, but he's still at the back of the field. The Briton then comes into the pits to refuel and put on dry tyres. The safety car is removed so we're racing again.

Lap six: The safety car remains out. Heidfeld comes in to put on intermediates instead of full wets - race leader Winkelhock is already on full wets.

1335: The cars restart under safety car conditions. And it's started to rain again.

1334: "It's a pity because the wet is good for us. I had a crap start, but after we changed tyres I was up to fourth behind a Ferrari, a McLaren and obviously Winkelhock. But then I came down to the first corner and it was like a lake down there and I just went straight off - like everyone else who arrived at that time."
Jenson Button gives his verdict on the treacherous rain-storm

1333: McLaren are claiming that Hamilton is definitely not a lap down. Let's see how things pan out.

1331: Most drivers are likely to take Murray's advice and start on intermediate tyres - especially as more rain is predicted in 15 minutes' time.

1330: There are a handful of drivers who won't be back on the track and they are; Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso), Scott Speed (Toro Rosso), Nico Rosberg (Williams), Adrian Sutil (Spyker) and Britain's Jenson Button (Honda).

1327: The race will restart at 1335.

1326: "It's absolutely chaotic. I would put intermediate tyres on and hope for the best. We need someone with the skills of Ayrton Senna or an ice-skater to deal with these conditions."
Murray Walker on Five Live

1324: The drivers will restart the race shortly and will run one lap behind the safety car.

1319: Here's where things stand. Hamilton is down in 17th one lap behind as his action-packed weekend continues. The McLaren man had a puncture, changed his tyres, then immediately aquaplaned off the track and was then lifted back onto the Nurburgring by a crane while he sat in the car.

Pole-sitter Raikkonen is down in seventh while his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa is second ahead of McLaren's Alonso.

1317: The cars will be restarted in the order that they were in when they were last running. They could be starting soon as the sun is now shining - which means the drivers will probably all be on the wrong tyres again.

1315: "This restarting is quite a complicated business and the mechanics are pouring out of the pits to put on full wet tyres."
Murray Walker on Five Live

Lap four: Winkelhock, who had led the race on his debut, pits from the lead, while Hamilton's car has been lifted out of the gravel with the rookie still in the cockpit. He is back in the race.

At the end of lap the race is red-flagged which means they will line up behind the safety car for a restart, once the terrible weather has cleared.

Lap three: Safety car deployed as six cars all plough off the track at Turn One. Lewis Hamilton is amongst them. Also off are Jenson Button, Sutil, Rosberg and Speed because of aquaplaning. Liuzzi also spins off too.

Lap two: Raikkonen comes into the pits, finally. And bizarrely that means Spyker's Markus Winkelhock leads the race on his Grand Prix debut.

Lap one: Dramatic start to the race. Lots to say but first of all, Hamilton suffers a left-rear puncture. The conditions are causing chaos and the two BMW Saubers have collided. Alonso and Hamilton both in pits to change tyres. Raikkonen tries to get into the pits but misses and he is still out on the slicks as the rain falls harder. Utter chaos.

1303: The rain is falling harder now and the race is off.

1301: All the frontrunners have opted for the harder tyres, but if the rain falls then they will have to soon duck in the pits for the wet tyres.

1259: The drivers are ready and off they go to warm up their tyres on the formation lap.

1258: "Rain has been forecast for about three minutes time from now - and they're sitting on the grid with dry tyres on. If it does rain - and it is just a forecast - it is going to be very interesting in the pit lane."
BBC Radio Five Live commentator Murray Walker

1256: Late celeb spot on the grid. BBC tennis pundit Boris Becker - and he is wearing the same ill-advised black cap as he was at Wimbledon.

1255: "Lewis Hamilton and British Drivers good luck in Germany: Fahren Sie Ausgezeichnet!"
Elizabeth via text

1249: Hamilton is sheltering under a large McLaren umbrella, on goes his fireproof hood while his team-mate Alonso is still doing some meet and greets. So he must be in a good mood then.

1246: We should be in for a dry race in Germany as there is plenty of blue sky stretching over the Nurburgring.

1240: How odd. Red Bull's Mark Webber gets an enthusiastic send-off from cult film director Quentin Tarantino. Otherwise no sign of any other celebs in the paddock.

1231: The drivers fire up their engines and emerge from the pits to bring their cars round onto the grid.

1230: "I have a feeling that Massa and Alonso will have a bit of a dice into the first corner, and one of the BMWs will be making up a place or two."
Norbert on 606

1220: News in from the McLaren pits. Hamilton will start from 10th as the team have managed to rebuild his car. The suspension has been changed but the engine and gearbox are the same, so under FIA rules he will be able to start on the grid.

1214: McLaren have been letting Hamilton take it easy this morning, keeping him away from media work and the drivers' usual corporate commitments. The rookie's dad, Anthony, says he is absolutely fine and just focusing on the race.

1210: "Hamilton needs a good start to be in with a podium shout, the win is beyond him. I'm going to go for a Fernando Alonso win and relishing the prospect of him and Kimi going neck-and-neck into the first corner."
Celtic06 on 606

1207: First glimpse of the weather at the unpredictable Nurburgring. So far so good, it's sunny with temperatures around 21C.

1200: We are asking for your favourite Murray Walker memories via 606 and the text. The legendary commentator, 83, is back behind the mic for Five Live, and you can also listen to the commentary here on the BBC Sport website (UK users only).

1155: "Lewis is wandering around as if nothing had happened to him. It's an incredible testimony to the strength of the modern Formula One car - and to Lewis himself. It's amazing. He's 22 - a boy to me - and he's so mature and friendly.

"If I had to put money on anyone it would be Kimi Raikkonen. It looks like a fight between Raikkonen and Alonso. But I'll be very interested to see how Heidfeld goes from fourth on the grid."
BBC Five Live commentator Murray Walker

1150: "7 to 1 that Hamilton will make the podium? I don't think he's got it today, he will not move through this field easily, and he might be happy enough to make the top 5."
ThanksalotBBC on 606

1146: "I'm having a difficult time with the race as I want both Raikkonen and Hamilton to win, and as this isn't possible, I say may the best man win! I'm looking forward to a good race."
Xynoxx on 606

1130: Will the European Grand Prix, staged at the Nurburgring for the 12th time, live up to the drama of Saturday's qualifying?

The ingredients for another exciting race in Germany are in place - and Michael Schumacher returns in front of his adoring fans to drive a lap of the track to mark the renaming of turns 8 and 9 as the 'Schumacher S'.

It was there that Lewis Hamilton crashed at high speed in qualifying, an incident which saw him whisked off to a military hospital for a check-up.

The British McLaren driver, 22, has been given the green light by FIA doctors, and starts 10th on the grid. If he has to use the spare car he will begin his race from the pit lane.

In his quest to keep up his superb record of straight podium finishes - nine so far - expect the rookie to try to weave his way through the field.

Kimi Raikkonen finds himself in new territory as he chases a hat-trick of wins for the first time in his career.

The Finn lines up his Ferrari on pole and, after a dominant weekend, he looks favourite to add to his wins in France and Britain.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso lines up on the front row alongside Raikkonen and, with news he is settling into the team and getting to grips with the Bridgestone tyres, he could challenge the Finn.

Felipe Massa starts the second Ferrari in third ahead of Nick Heidfeld, who is dashing back from his Swiss home for the race after taking leave to see his newborn son, Joda.

We would like your thoughts ahead of the European Grand Prix via text and 606.

Grid positions for the European Grand Prix:

1. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari
2. Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren-Mercedes
3. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari
4. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber
5. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber
6. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault
7. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Renault
8. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota
9. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota
10. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes
11. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Toyota
12. Alexander Wurz (Aus) Williams-Toyota
13. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault
14. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda
15. Anthony Davidson (GB) Super Aguri-Honda
16. Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda
17. Jenson Button (GB) Honda
18. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso-Ferrari
19. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Ferrari
20. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Renault
21. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Spyker-Ferrari
22. Markus Winkelhock (Ger) Spyker-Ferrari

Hamilton fit to start European GP
22 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton unhurt following crash
21 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Raikkonen roars to Germany pole
21 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Euro GP qualifying as it happened
21 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Top two dominate Euro GP practice
20 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Walker nervous about F1 return
20 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Nurburgring to honour Schumacher
25 Mar 07 |  Formula One


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