Fernando Alonso held off home-hero Sebastian Vettel and a resurgent Jenson Button to win the 2012 Germany Grand Prix. The Spaniard started the race from pole position and stayed in front for whole of the race bar the pitstops to win his third race of the season.
Alonso held Vettel and rest of the field at the start of the race as Hamilton dropped down to 9th place and subsequently had a puncture the following lap. The damage at turn one also forced Massa, Grosjean and Senna to make pit stops. In the meanwhile, Jenson Button moved up the field overtaking Maldonado, Hulkenberg and Schumacher to take 3rd place.
The first round of pitstops started as early as lap 10 with Paul di Resta and ended on lap 22 with Narain Karthikeyan as different drivers started on different tyres. In the pits, Maldonado came out of Webber who ran wide at turn 1 having pitted a lap earlier. On lap 16, Schumacher overtook Hulkenberg on the inside of turn 8, who in turn lost momentum and a place to Kimi Raikkonen. Hulkenberg also lost two places at one in the last race.
As the race progressed, Vettel closed down gap over Alonso to less than a second but couldn't move close enough to make a move. Button was running close behind these two drivers but likewise couldn't come close enough to make a move. Hamilton, who lost time earlier due to a puncture caused a havoc by unlapping himself from Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton didn't stop there and closed in behind Alonso as he set the fastest lap of the race on fresh tyres.
Of the front runners Jenson Button was the first to pit on lap 40; Alonso and Vettel followed it by pitting simultaneously on the following lap. Button with his fast outlap went side by side with Vettel after latter's stop and came out ahead of the defending world champion to take 2nd place. After the race, McLaren announced on Twitter than the stop was completed in a mere 2.3 seconds, a new record!
Button then charged behind Alonso closing the gap to less than a second. But Alonso stayed ahead and used the backmarkers to stay ahead. Button then had to back off to prevent his tyres as he saw Vettel taking a controversial move over him to take 2nd place with 1 lap to go. The incident is been investigated by the stewards.
Alonso thus went on to win the German Grand Prix by over 3 seconds to Sebastian Vettel and further 3 seconds over Button. Kimi Raikkonen finished in a strong 4th place but never came close to the frontrunners. Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez managed tyres beautifully to finish in 5th and 6th place respectively.
Michael Schumacher finished the race in 7th place with a three stop strategy ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber, Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg. Hulkenberg who started the race in 4th place was forced to make 3 stops after suffering from severe tyre wear. Di Resta in the 2nd Force India finished the race in 11th place ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Toro Rossos of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne.
With this victory Fernando Alonso extends his lead to 34 points over Mark Webber and 36 to his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Kimi Raikkonen moves ahead of Lewis Hamilton in drivers' standings to take 4th place while Jenson Button moved in to 7th place .
In the constructors standings, Red Bull stay on top with 238 points ahead of Ferrari(177) and McLaren(157).
Update - Vettel was given a 20 seconds penalty after the race for an illegal pass outside the track over Jenson Button. This drop Vettel to 5th place.