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Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 16:09 UK

German Grand Prix as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)
606: DEBATE

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By Caroline Cheese

1517: The fall-out from "Rubinho rage" continues on the Red Button, with Frank Williams describing it as a "red card offence". I'm going to stop going on now, but please continue to enjoy live streaming (in the UK) or pore over Andrew Benson's report. I'll see you in (virtual) Hungary on 24 July.

From QwaarJet on 606 "Barrichello had every right to be upset. Brawn chucked his race down the drain."

Alan Webber, Mark's dad: "I'm proud as punch."

1509: Not sure what to make of those Barrichello comments. Like the honesty, but was it a bit "toys out of the pram"? Plenty of unhappy drivers around today: Barrichello, Lewis Hamilton, Adrian Sutil, Sebastien Bourdais...

From The Man they call Raven on 606: "So not happy then Rubens?"

1502: Fair amount of shock from BBC pundits Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard after that Barrichello outburst. Jordan describes it as a "grave mistake". We will hear more about that, I am sure.

Rubens Barrichello on what went wrong: "I guess the strategy in the pit lane... it was a good show from the team on how to lose a race today. I'm terribly upset with the way things have gone. I did all I had to do. I went first on the first corner and that's all I did and then they made me lose the race. If it is really what's going on, we're going to end up losing both championships. I feel sorry for myself, the team. To be very honest, I wish I could get on the plane and go home. I don't want to talk to anyone in the team. It will be all 'bla bla bla' and I don't want to hear that."

Sebastian Vettel: "Mark was unbeatable. I'm very happy with the result. It was quite a good recovery from quite a bad start."

Mark Webber: "It's incredible. I wanted to win so badly after Silverstone. The only thing I thought could beat me was the rain. I lost Rubens completely off the start and banged into him. It's not normally my style, so I had to take the drive-through and recover from that. It's a great day for me. It was a difficult winter, but I had great people around me."

BBC pundit Eddie Jordan on Webber: "He was majestic, supreme. No one could live with him this weekend, not even Vettel."

Anthony Davidson on BBC 5 Live: "Webber's pace today was just awesome, he was so quick he deserved the win today and I am really really happy for him."

1449: In the olden days at the Nurburgring, they used to give the winner an actual ring. Not any more. Just a boring old trophy. And some bubbles obviously... and there goes the champagne, and Webber is tipping it all on his own head.

1447: Mark Webber leaps onto the top step to hear the Aussie national anthem. His dad is taking photos for the family album. Since I am very pleased that Webber has won that Grand Prix, would Australia be kind enough to let England off the hook in the first Ashes Test? Please?

1445: Webber is only the third Australian to win in F1 - and victory moves him up to third in the championship standings behind Jenson Button and team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

1442: Sebastian Vettel makes it back-to-back one-twos for Red Bull. Felipe Massa completes the podium for Ferrari. Then: Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen.

1440: Dad Webber is swamped in hugs from the Red Bull mechanics. That is Mark Webber's first Grand Prix win after 130 attempts. And it couldn't happen to a nicer fella. He is punching the air in delight. "Ba ba ba ba booo," I think he screeched over the radio, followed by: "Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes... yes!" Tears? I reckon...

1439: MARK WEBBER WINS GERMAN GRAND PRIX

Lap 59: Tense looks in the Red Bull garage. Cheeks are puffing, legs are shaking. Less than two laps remaining.


Lap 58: This may well work out for Jenson Button. Rubens Barrichello is close behind but may be more occupied with holding off Fernando Alonso. As it stands, Button's lead will be cut by two points and Vettel will move up to second.

Lap 56: Barring disaster, Mark Webber has this win sewn up. Seb Vettel looks safe in second. But Rubens Barrichello is now right up behind Jenson Button, with Fernando Alonso right behind both of them. "Jenson's tyres are gone," reports Ted Kravitz.

Lap 54: Big old train developing behind Heikki Kovalainen in eighth. The battle is on for that last point. Fernando Alonso is on the tail of Rubens Barrichello. This ain't over.

Lap 53: Mark Webber leads by 15.6 seconds from Sebastian Vettel, and I think that was a smile I saw playing on Christian Horner's lips as the Red Bull boss sits on the pit wall. Felipe Massa is third, then Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen.

Lap 52: Rubens Barrichello is charging down the start-finish straight as Jenson Button emerges - but the Englishman stays ahead, just. They've got Nico Rosberg ahead of them, and a very quick Fernando Alonso behind.

Lap 51: Jenson Button puts the hammer down. He is desperate to come out in front of his team-mate after this third stop. He's into the pits now...

Lap 50: Jenson Button is right behind his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello... until the Brazilian pits. Rubinho out in sixth place, behind Nico Rosberg.

Lap 49: Talk of rain has ceased. Only 12 laps remaining. Fernando Alonso sets the fastest lap of the race in seventh. The Renault man is on fire. Don't forget: both Brawns need to stop again.

Lap 47: Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso make their second stops. Alonso fends off team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr as he emerges. The order now: Webber, Barrichello, Button, Rosberg, Vettel, Massa, Heidfeld, Alonso.

Text in your views on 81111
From Jono via text on 81111: "At the Cardiff cricket ground watching the Aussies and keeping up to date on Webber on bbc. Great day to be Aussie!"

Lap 46: Felipe Massa makes his second stop and comes out behind sixth-placed Fernando Alonso, who is the quickest man on the track at the moment.

Lap 44: Seb Vettel in for his second stop now and returns to the track in sixth, behind both Brawns. The German is on the super-softs, Webber is on the harder compound. Reports of rain from the pit lane.

Lap 43: Red Bull report no problems for Mark Webber - and the Aussie is now into the pits for his second proper stop, third if you include his drive-through. Quick stop and he comes out behind Seb Vettel - but crucially, in front of Felipe Massa.

Lap 42: The top eight: Webber, Vettel, Massa, Rosberg, Barrichello, Button, Alonso, Heidfeld. Heidfeld has just moved past his BMW team-mate Robert Kubica to move into the points positions.

Lap 41: The camera shows a radar weather forecast which predicts no rain in the next 30 minutes. Martin Brundle ponders whether Mark Webber might have a problem. The gap is still coming down.

Lap 40: Mark Webber has slowed up a touch, perhaps conserving the tyres. He still leads by 22 seconds from Seb Vettel, with Felipe Massa another 1.1 second behind.

Lap 38: "Looks like the rain's coming..." reports Lewis Hamilton to his McLaren team. Interesting, very interesting... Kimi Raikkonen says he "lost power" in his Ferrari and predictably believes the ding with Sutil was merely a "racing incident".

Lap 37: Red Bull one-two, Brawn five-six. Don't think that title's wrapped up just yet, Jenson. Mark Webber is absolutely flying at the front and leads by 21.4 seconds from his Red Bull team-mate.

Text in your views on 81111
From Nick, enraged, in Sheffield, via text on 81111: "At what point is Raikkonen going to be punished for being a danger to other drivers? That's twice Sutil has paid for Kimi's carelessness."

Lap 36: As Mark Webber sets a fastest lap out front, Kimi Raikkonen is the second man to retire. There are black clouds looming at the Nurburgring... surely not?

Lap 34: It's a Red Bull one-two with Mark Webber leading from Seb Vettel. Then Massa, Rosberg, Barrichello, Button, Kovalainen, Fisichella... hang on, could Fisi deliver Force India's first point?

Lap 33: Jenson Button is right on the back of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari - and is past him coming into the finish straight. Smoke from the Ferrari and Raikkonen is going backwards... Rubens Barrichello is told by his Brawn team that there was a fuel rig problem and he is not fuelled to the end. Disaster for Brawn.

Lap 32: Mark Webber closes the gap to Rubens Barrichello to 1.2 seconds... and now the Brazilian is into the pits for a second stop - and he is fuelled to the end. Webber now leads.

Lap 31: The Sutil-Raikkonen incident will be investigated after the race, we hear. Jenson Button into the pits for his second stop and returns in seventh.

Lap 30: Sutil yesterday described himself as "the happiest man in F1". Not today - although Sebastien Bourdais could probably rival him for the sport's saddest. Sutil has a new front wing now. Rubens Barrichello leads by 3.8 seconds from Mark Webber, who is now the race favourite.

Lap 28: No, no, no, no, no and again I say, noooooooo. Adrian Sutil emerges from the pits and straight into a Ferrari sandwich. Kimi Raikkonen tries to overtake on the outside, taking Sutil's front wing with him. Heartbreak for Force India. He'll need to stop again - and his hopes of a points finish look doomed.

Lap 27: Rubens Barrichello goes two seconds quicker without Felipe Massa in front of him. Amazing. Adrian Sutil is flying too though, and trails the Brazilian by 1.5 seconds. Sutil now into the pits though...

Lap 26: Relief for Rubens Barrichello as Felipe Massa finally comes in for his first stop. The Brazilian will need to fly. fly, fly now if he is to have any chance. He's probably got another nine laps until his next stop. Massa is behind Vettel and in front of Raikkonnen. Another boost for Red Bull.

Lap 25: Kimi Raikkonen into the pits from third. Mark Webber, without Kubica in front of him, laps two seconds quicker than Rubens Barrichello. Adrian Sutil is up to third in the Force India.

Lap 24: Mark Webber won't be thinking about winning, he'll be more worried about the Brawn of Jenson Button in his mirror. Robert Kubica comes into the pits from sixth. Sebastien Bourdais receives a sympathetic hug from a Toro Rosso mechanic. Looked every bit the sad farewell.

Lap 23: "This is playing right into Red Bull's hands," reckons Martin Brundle. "Massa is holding up Rubens Barrichello."

Lap 22: Sebastian Vettel into the pits from fifth. The one-two-three is Massa, Barrichello, Raikkonen but neither of the Ferraris have stopped yet.

Lap 21: A very gloomy-sounding Lewis Hamilton, lying 19th, tells his McLaren team "we should save this engine and this gearbox" but he is told to "concentrate on the driving and leave the strategy to us" because it may still rain. Sebastien Bourdais retires from what is rumoured to be his last Grand Prix race. Toro Rosso are expected to dispense of the hapless Frenchman's services imminently.

Lap 20: Race leader Mark Webber comes into the pits for hard tyres. He comes out ahead of Jenson Button, and leaves Felipe Massa in the lead. Massa holding up Rubens Barrichello in second.

Lap 19: Jenson Button now gets past Nick Heidfeld's BMW and this could be a crucial charge for the Briton's title challenge. He's up to 10th now but he has stopped, and many of those in front of him haven't.

Lap 18: Mark Webber leads by more than 10 seconds from Felipe Massa. Jenson Button brilliantly overtakes Sebastien Buemi on the outside to move up to 11th.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "When Mark Webber passed, his rear tyres looked pretty badly grained. That's clearly what's affecting Sebastian Vettel."

Lap 16: Rubens Barrichello tries to take Felipe Massa at the chicane, but it was a rather desperate effort. Heikki Kovalainen into the pits from second to take on the harder tyres. Mark Webber now leads, but is yet to stop.

Lap 15: Mark Webber does his drive-through penalty, and at the same time Rubens Barrichello comes in for his first stop. The Aussie returns ahead of Heikki Kovalainen - but he still has to make his first actual stop. Barrichello now fourth, ahead of Seb Vettel.

Lap 13: Jenson Button first man into the pits and it's a quick stop so probably the first of three. Mark Webber will have to drive through the pits without taking on any fuel or tyres.

Lap 12:Mark Webber receives a drive-through penalty for swerving across to try to block Rubens Barrichello off the start. Martin Brundle thinks it's "slightly unlucky" for the Aussie, whose victory hopes may well have gone in smoke.

Lap 10: Heikki Kovalainen is lapping almost a second slower than Mark Webber in front of him. Gap between them already about 14 seconds.

Lap nine: Some chat that Felipe Massa - Murray Walker's dark horse for the race - may be on a one-stop strategy. Seb Vettel tries to take the Ferrari but nothing doing. Mark Webber and Rubens Barrichello are under investigation by the stewards...

Lap eight: Hamilton has the hard tyres, so will only need to stop once more. Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley tells Felipe Massa to preserve his tyres as he and Jenson Button trail behind Heikki Kovalainen.

Lap seven: Lewis Hamilton is lapped by fourth-placed Jenson Button. The world champion has been into the pits for new tyres and a lot of fuel. He is, unsurprisingly, last.

Lap five: Mark Webber, who David Coulthard reckons was "too aggressive" at the start, is the fastest man on the track and he's fuelled longer than leader Rubens Barrichello.

Lap three: Here's the replay of the start... Lewis Hamilton touches Mark Webber's Red Bull before he goes off at the first corner, so that's where he picked up the puncture. Webber swerved right into Rubens Barrichello as he tried to maintain position. Sebastian Vettel was swamped at the start, and now sits sixth, stuck behind Felipe Massa. Jenson Button has Heikki Kovalainen in front of him.

Lap one: Chaos! Absolute chaos. Lewis Hamilton flies off the start and threatens to take the lead - but he overdoes it into the tight first corner, and suffers a puncture. Poor start from pole sitter Mark Webber - and Rubens Barrichello has the lead after one lap. Webber second, Kovalainen third, Massa up to fourth.

1303: Fernando Alonso spun it on the warm-up lap! And now they're off...

1300: Off they go on the warm-up lap, and the mechanics begin the charge back to the pit lane. Timo Glock, demoted to the back of the grid for blocking Fernando Alonso in qualifying, will start from the pits.

1259: Brawn were thought to be planning a three-stop strategy, but could switch to two given the unexpectedly warm and dry conditions.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at the Nurburgring: "I've had a last run up and down the paddock earlier before returning to BBC HQ. I spotted Felipe Massa's wife Rafaela proudly showing off her baby bump - the Massas are expecting a boy in November; Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber looking super relaxed over lunch in the Red Bull motorhome; Timo Glock talking to Toyota technical guru Pascal Vasselon and FIA president candidate Ari Vatanen, who I almost mistook for incumbent pres Max Mosley with a dyed blond hair-do. Disconcerting."

1254: Daniel Schuhmacher (no relation presumably, because he spells his name differently) was the mystery man singing the German national anthem. He was the winner of Germany's Pop Idol equivalent.

1251: Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says "we shouldn't see any rain" during the race.

1249: A McLaren engineer lets the cat out of the bag when he is grilled by Martin Brundle - can you put this thing on the podium?, asks our intrepid reporter. "Yeah I would think so" comes the confident reply… Interesting, considering Lewis Hamilton and team boss Martin Whitmarsh have been carefully attempting to manage expectations since qualifying...

1245: Sun still out at the Nurburgring. What looks like a German boy-band member is now doing an accapella version of the national anthem. George Michael in his Wham days is as close as I can get. Adrian Sutil has told Martin Brundle he's hoping for a top 10 finish. "Maybe a point," he adds. "A little dream..."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring: "Brawn boss Ross Brawn went as far yesterday evening as saying that he 'welcomed' a wet race. He is confident that Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will not experience the same problems that restricted their pace in the last rainy GP, in China. 'We have a different front wing now than we had in China,' he said. 'One of the problems with the wing we had was when we dropped the flap to get the balance you need in the wet, it lost an enormous amount of the aerodynamic performance in the car. We didn't fully understand that until afterwards. I can't judge where we will be in the wet, but we won't have the problems we had in China.'"

1240: Martin Brundle is on his grid-walk. Pole-sitter Mark Webber reckons his Red Bull team-mate Seb Vettel will be his main rival. Jenson Button reports that the grip is better for his Brawn because the track temperature is up.


1238: McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh tells BBC1 that they knew they had made major improvements to their car when they heard Lewis Hamilton "whooping" via his radio in practice on Friday. He adds: "We were disappointed not to get on the front row of the grid. Had we had fresh tyres at the end of Q3, I think Lewis would have been up there."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring: "BBC 5 Live commentator David Croft had a ride around the track courtesy of Jenson Button at the wheel of an AMG Mercedes C63 on Saturday evening. Crofty described his trip in the 6.3-litre 527bhp monster as 'amazing, exhilarating, exhausting, an honour and a privilege'. He says Button joked about halfway around the lap: 'Imagine what it would be like with a decent driver.'"

Michael Schumacher on a possible return to F1: "Put it this way: if I wanted to work, I have all the options. It's not what I'm looking for."

1232: "Horror-Start fur Vettel" is the headline in this morning's Bild. Even with my completely non-existent German, I think I understand the gist. Vettel, who almost collided with Kazuki Nakajima in the pits, thought he had time for another flying lap in Q3, but saw the chequered flag instead and had to settle for fourth on the grid. His first task today will be to fend off Lewis Hamilton at the start.

Pedro de la Rosa
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at the Nurburgring: "BBC HQ has been deafened by the sound of engines firing up. Guess what was outside the window? Only a cluster of classic Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows racing cars. McLaren reserve driver Pedro de la Rosa says he is going to drive round the Nurburgring in a 1934 W35 before the Grand Prix. David Coulthard is also going to get behind the wheel of an F1 car for the first time since he retired as he gets back in a 1998 McLaren."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring: "One of the attractions of coming here is the fabulous old Nordschleife circuit, which hosted the German GP until Niki Lauda's fiery crash 1976. You can drive around it in your road car to get a taste of arguably the greatest race track ever built. But it is not an endeavour to take lightly - as one unfortunate man found out on Saturday evening. He had taken his £147,000 Lamborghini Gallardo for a lap and crashed at Bergwerk - coincidentally where Lauda went off - and the car caught fire and was destroyed. Fortunately, the driver was unhurt - at least physically. Insurance does not cover you for a lap of the 'Ring. As the man at the gate said: 'He was crying quite a lot when he got back here.'"

Force India on Twitter: "Thank you all for your support yesterday. We're looking for a good result today!"

1223: They are sweltering in weekend-high temperatures of 17C at the Nurburgring. Coats are even being unzipped.

BBC pundit Eddie Jordan: "He may not have said it, but you can tell Lewis thinks he's in with a chance of victory today. I have never seen an upgrade as big and as comprehensive as this one by McLaren, so full marks to them."

Lewis Hamilton speaking on BBC1: "It's exciting to wake up on a Sunday to know we have a fighting chance for a podium or points finish. It's all down to the hard work the guys have done at the factory."

1220: "I'm the happiest guy in F1 today." So said Adrian Sutil yesterday. The German not only took Force India into Q3 for the first time, he also qualified in an impressive seventh. Force India may never get a better chance to secure their first points in F1.

1215: Disappointing, Andrew, deeply disappointing. I have heard BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz might give the rollercoaster a go. Here's hoping.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring: "I'm afraid I'm not going to get on the new Nurburgring rollercoaster today, Caroline. But Michael Schumacher is going to be one of the celebs on its first run before the start of the race. The organisers claim it is the 'prospectively (sic) the fastest rollercoaster in the world'. Apparently, it reaches its top speed of 217km/h (135mph) in 2.5 seconds. That's fast even for Michael."

1209: UK dwellers, manually refresh IMMEDIATELY for moving pictures.

1208: In answer to the Kovalainen text query below, the Finn benefited from the weather chaos and his lap time is actually over a second slower than his McLaren team-mate.

Michael Schumacher
1204: While I sat on the sofa and ate pizza last night, the F1 party headed to a middleweight boxing match at the Nurburgring. Bernie was there with Flavio Briatore. Michael Schumacher was there with Germany striker Lukas Podolski. Schuey, you'll notice I'm sure, sporting a v dodgy necklace.

From Joe, Dudley, via text on 81111: "A prediction. There will be not be a Brawn car on the podium today. Webber. Vettel. Hamilton. My 1.2.3."

Get involved on 606
From Future-Headlines on 606: "If there is a tougher job than being a weather forecaster at the Nurburgring, I don't know what it is!"

Text in your views on 81111
From Ric, London, via text on 81111: "If Kovalainen has none of the upgrades that Lewis has, how come he's lining up alongside him on the grid?"

1152: Lewis Hamilton famously loves the rain - but he may also be hoping for a dry start, so he can benefit from the Kers power-boost on his McLaren.

BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "I might be making a bold statement, especially with the weather which will probably throw a very large spanner in the works, but this could be the day we see Lewis Hamilton back on the podium, albeit on the second or third step. I also think it could be Mark Webber's day, finally. If it is raining then being tangled up in traffic and spray from cars in front will be a huge disadvantage and if Mark makes a good start then he could build-up a pretty handy lead."

1146: The weather certainly had its say during a chaotic qualifying session yesterday. Mark Webber took pole - and once fuel loads are taken into account, the Aussie looks a good bet to end his long wait for a Grand Prix win. Lewis Hamilton was the big surprise though: the McLaren man qualified in fifth but is actually third on the fuel-adjusted grid, while Sebastian Vettel moves up from fourth to second. The two Brawns, struggling again with their tyre heat, are fuelled light. Adrian Sutil, on the other hand, won't be stopping until lap 28, which could be a major benefit if it does rain. You can read more about it in the F1 Mole's latest offering.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at the Nurburgring: "Eddie Jordan put his old team principal wiles to practical use on the journey to the Nurburgring this morning. After the BBC minibus found itself stuck in a traffic jam, EJ took over: "Get right up at the front… Put your hazards on… Squeeze up on the outside!" Soon we were off piste, diving through the thick forests and mountain villages on the way to the Nurburgring. Once up at the circuit, the sight of EJ at the window prompted excited shouts of "Ahh, hey Eddie," and he began signing autographs to help ease the bus through the crowd."

1137: BBC Sport's Lee McKenzie was reported as saying "you can reach out and touch the clouds" at the Nurburgring this morning. Lovely. The BBC weather forecast is a lot less romantic and predicts light showers throughout the day. However, the sun is now poking through and a dry line emerged on the track by the end of this morning's GP2 race. In summary: it's anybody's guess.


1130: Hello... or should I say Hallo. About half an hour ago, I was looking up "it's raining" in the German dictionary, as I looked forward to wet weather chaos at the Nurburgring. However, I've just had a call from our man in Germany and he reports that it has now stopped raining, they are predicting a dry race and he can even see the sun. Booooo.



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see also
German Grand Prix race results
07 Jul 09 |  Results
Webber battles to maiden F1 win
12 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
German Grand Prix photos
12 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Webber charges to first F1 pole
11 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
German Grand Prix qualifying results
07 Jul 09 |  Results
German GP qualifying as it happened
11 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton heads Vettel in practice
10 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
German Grand Prix practice photos
10 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Mosley to stand down - Ecclestone
11 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Time for change at FIA - Vatanen
11 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Mark Webber column
14 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1


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