German claims his first win in main series
Nico Hülkenberg has taken his first victory in the main series with a dominant performance at his home circuit of Nurburgring that left his rivals floundering, finishing 14 seconds ahead of his closest rivals Roldan Rodriguez and Andreas Zuber.
The victory was set up at the start, with the German making a solid getaway and sliding across the track to cover fellow front row starter Rodriguez, while Lucas di Grassi slotting between the pair as the field arrived at the first corner, and behind them Zuber made a great start to move up two spots and into fourth place.
With Rodriguez pushing di Grassi hard for his place back Hülkenberg was able to steadily build a lead, and all eyes turned to the pitstop strategy for a change in position: Romain Grosjean led a string of cars in when the pits opened, and was soon running at such a pace that, when di Grassi came in 7 laps later, he was unable to stop the Frenchman sailing by further around the lap, along with Alvaro Parente.
Back at the front Hülkenberg, as the last driver to pit, was able to re-emerge at the front of the field and 8 seconds ahead of Rodriguez, and so it remained: the German continued to pull away and took a peerless win from Rodriguez and Zuber, who claimed his team’s first podium of the season with a measured drive to third, while Vitaly Petrov held on against race long pressure from Javier Villa to claim fourth.
Behind them Parente was promoted to sixth position due to a penultimate lap hydraulic problem for Grosjean, with di Grassi slotting in just ahead of Sergio Perez, who claims the reverse pole for tomorrow. With Hülkenberg also picking up the point for fast lap he has cut Grosjean’s championship lead to the bone: the Frenchman, on 40 points, leads by just one point with Petrov just behind the pair on 38.