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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2012 GERMAN GRAND PRIX - THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: The German Grand Prix
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
Alonso11:45 Hello everyone and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live for coverage of round 10 in this year's FIA Formula 1 world championship - the German Grand Prix from Hockenheim.

Fernando Alonso starts today's 67-lap race from pole position after coming through yet more weather chaos. Alongside him on the front row is Sebastian Vettel, but there was consternation in the paddock this morning, as both he and team-mate Mark Webber's participation in the race was thrown into doubt, following a stewards investigation into the legality of the RB8's engine mapping.

After more than two hours of deliberation and intrigue, the stewards decided that the team has obeyed the ECU regulation to the letter. While the stewards indicated that they weren't completely satisfied with the explanation from the team, ultimately no penalty will be imposed.

No further action taken over Red Bull

So Vettel keeps his front row position, with Michael Schumacher and Nico Hulkenberg pulling out sensational performances in qualifying to make it three Germans in the top four at home. Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado is a fine fifth on the grid, followed by McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

11:46 The crowd rises as the German national anthem rings out over Hockenheim.

11:47 Here's how the standings look as the season reaches the half way stage:
World Championship standings, round 9:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Alonso       129        1.  Red Bull-Renault          216
 2.  Webber       116        2.  Ferrari                   152
 3.  Vettel       100        3.  Lotus-Renault             144
 4.  Hamilton      92        4.  McLaren-Mercedes          142
 5.  Raikkonen     83        5.  Mercedes                   98
 6.  Rosberg       75        6.  Sauber-Ferrari             60
 7.  Grosjean      61        7.  Williams-Renault           47
 8.  Button        50        8.  Force India-Mercedes       44
11:49 What a change 24 hours makes. It has been fine, dry and mainly sunny so far today and this trend will continue into the race.

Air temperature is up to 20 degrees and, with continuing sunshine this afternoon, we may see track temperatures nudge through the 30 Celsius barrier during the event.

A light north-easterly breeze will keep the spectators cool this afternoon, but the action on track should be pretty hot.

11:50 Lewis Hamilton readies himself on the grid ahead of a 100th start for McLaren. He is lines up seventh in an upgraded MP4-27.

11:51 With several penalties being applied, here's how the shuffled grid will line up this afternoon:
Pos  Driver                Team                  
 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault
 3.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes
 4.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes
 5.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault
 6.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes
 7.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes
 8.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault *
 9.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes
10.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault
11.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari
12.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari
13.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari
14.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault
15.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari
16.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault
17.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari  **
18.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault
19.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault  *
20.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth
21.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes *
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth

* Five-place penalty for gearbox change
** Five-place penalty for impeding
11:51 Raikkonen's Lotus crew is being told to be very careful not to reveal the starting choice of tyres.

Tyres11:53 Preparations for this race have been seriously hampered by rain, with limited dry running during practice meaning teams don't have the usual pre-race knowledge of how the tyres are likely to perform on Pirelli's debut at this circuit.

Soft and medium compound tyres are on offer, with the wet qualifying session meaning drivers have a free choice of starting rubber. That opens the possibility of contrasting strategies, with some outfits surely eying a start on the harder tyres and seeing how far they last before a switch to softs when the track improves.

Wear rates could turn out to be high - with temperatures much warmer today and rainy practice days meaning limited rubber remains on the track surface.

11:53 Button lines up sixth in his updated McLaren, which did appear to have promising pace during the limited dry running on Friday.

11:54 Alonso's steering wheel is fitted and the championship leader is ready to lead the cars away from his second pole position in as many races.

11:55 Just five minutes to go until the formation lap begins at Hockenheim.

11:55 Michael Schumacher is advised of a choice of differential settings for the early stint of the race, on the Mercedes team radio.

11:56 One DRS zone here, detected after the second complex of corners before allowing the wing to open down the curving stretch to the hairpin.

11:58 Soft tyres looks to be the choice of the field for the start as provisional data comes in on the initial selection.

11:59 Vergne, Pic, Rosberg and Glock look to be the men starting further back on the harder rubber.

11:59 The engines fire with a minute to the formation lap.

12:00 The formation lap begins in Hockenheim.

12:00 Alonso rounds Turn 4 and makes the long run down to the hairpin.

12:01 Down to Turn 8 and the Mercedes grandstand they come with the Spaniard taking them round at a decent pace.

12:02 Soft tyres are the choice of the top 11, with Kobayashi the first to opt for hard rubber from 12th on the grid.

12:02 Alonso leads them down to the grid. The field is beginning to form up.

Lap 1: The five red lights go out and we are racing in Germany!

Lap 1: Alonso gets a great start with Vettel second, Schumacher third and Hulkenberg fourth into Turn 1.

Lap 1: Alonso leads them down to the hairpin from Vettel, Schumacher and Hulkenberg a fast-starting Button.

Lap 1: Vettel has to defend hard from Schumacher at the hairpin, while Hamilton is down the order after a poor launch.

Lap 2: Alonso leads strongly into lap two through heavy debris at the first corner.

Lap 2: Massa and Senna are into the pits at the end of the first lap.

Lap 2: Button is now harrying Hulkenberg in a battle over fifth, chased by Maldonado, Webber and the slow-starting Hamilton.

Lap 3: Vettel sets the fastest second lap, closing to 0.9 seconds down on Alonso.

Lap 3: Hamilton runs wide at the first corner and falls further behind. It looks like he has a puncture...

Lap 4: Hamilton's left rear is flat and he's touring back to the pits. It looks like he has picked up the debris from the first corner.

Lap 4: DRS is enabled now as Vettel continues to close on leader Alonso.

Lap 4: Hamilton tells his team that he should retire in a disaster on his 100th start.

Lap 5: Hamilton is sent out of the McLaren pits on a fresh set of tyres.

Lap 5: Alonso leads by 0.7 seconds from Vettel, Schumacher, Hulkenberg, Button, Maldonado, Webber, di Resta, Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

Lap 5: Perez is eying Ricciardo's 10th and makes the move stick at the hairpin.

Lap 6: Just ahead, a furious battle between di Resta and Raikkonen, with the Lotus man finally coming out on top after a great scrap.

Lap 6: That puts Raikkonen up to eight and di Resta down to ninth.

Lap 6: Replays of the start show the contact was between Massa and Ricciardo, with the Ferrari's front wing smashed on the Toro Rosso.

Lap 8: Vergne has been in for an early first stop, possibly with signs of a slow puncture showing to the team.

Lap 9: Button has been eying a move on Hulkenberg for several laps and finally uses DRS to get his McLaren alongside and past at the hairpin.

Lap 9: Button now sets off in pursuit of Schumacher, who runs third at the moment but slower than the lead duo.

Lap 10: Behind the top eight, di Resta is ninth after that wonderful scrap with Raikkonen, Perez is 10th with Kobayashi 11th.

Lap 10: Rosberg is up and profited well from the early race chaos. He is 12th with Ricciardo 13th, Petrov 14th, Kovalainen 15th and Pic 16th.

Lap 10: Button is closing rapidly on third-place man Schumacher.

Lap 11: Hulkenberg now has Maldonado on his gearbox, with Webber and Raikkonen closing quickly as well.

Lap 11: Glock is 17th ahead of Vergne, de la Rosa and then the recovering drivers. Massa is 20th, Karthikeyan 21st and Hamilton 22nd.

Lap 11: Button is right with Schumacher now and should be in place for a DRS move on this lap.

Lap 11: Button sends it on the DRS and is neatly past Schumacher's Mercedes at the hairpin.

Lap 12: Raikkonen is told that Lotus intend to stick to the pre-race plan, with another set of soft tyres at the first stop.

Lap 12: Raikkonen is in for that change of tyres.

Lap 13: Alonso sets the fastest lap at a 1m22.214s, matched within a tenth by both Vettel and Button.

Lap 13: Hulkenberg, Webber and Rosberg all head into the pits.

Lap 14: Maldonado is the next man to pit, heading for service at Williams.

Lap 14: Maldonado takes the harder tyres and heads back out just ahead of Webber, who ran wide at Turn 1 and failed to leap the Williams.

Lap 14: Kovalainen pits from 14th position in the Caterham.

Lap 15: Massa is now up to 18th position, having passed de la Rosa and Glock in short order.

Lap 15: Schumacher is in for his first stop.

Lap 15: Hamilton remains in 22nd spot. He is 9.9s behind Narain Karthikeyan.

Lap 15: Petrov pits the Caterham from 13th place. He drops down the order.

Lap 15: More soft tyres for Schumacher and he resumes... just behind Hulkenberg, with Force India's earlier stop paying off there.

Lap 16: Hulkenberg is now seventh, chased hard by Schumacher and Raikkonen.

Lap 16: Massa has now moved ahead of the rejoined Kovalainen and also Pic. He is up to 16th position.

Lap 16: Schumacher dives through in a fine move at Turn 8, with Raikkonen slipping past Hulkenberg as well.

Lap 17: Alonso, Vettel, Button, Perez, Kobayashi and Ricciardo are the top six and all yet to stop.

Lap 18: Behind those yet to stop, Schumacher is seventh with Raikkonen eighth, Hulkenberg ninth, Maldonado 10th and Webber is 11th.

Lap 18: Perez now heads in for a stop in his Sauber.

Lap 18: Further down the field, Kovalainen quickly passes Pic on the run to Turn 6 as he makes up positions after his first stop.

Lap 19: Leader Alonso has been wide entering the stadium complex but continues to lead Vettel by around two seconds.

Lap 19: Perhaps that was an indicator that Alonso's tyres were finished as he pits for a switch to medium compound.

Lap 19: Hamilton has passed Karthikeyan and is up to 21st position. His next target is de la Rosa, who is two seconds ahead.

Lap 20: Alonso has resumed in clear air, behind Button on the road.

Lap 20: Vettel now leads ahead of his first stop, with Button up to second in his McLaren.

Lap 20: Button is the next to head in for a switch to hard tyres.

Lap 20: Di Resta runs in 12th following his first stop, with Rosberg 13th, Vergne 14th, Massa 15th, Kovalainen 16th and Petrov in 17th spot.

Lap 20: Button resumes behind Kobayashi on the road, with the Sauber man yet to stop.

Lap 21: Vettel pits from the lead, taking medium compound rubber.

Lap 21: Alonso takes the lead back, with Vettel resuming just behind the yet-to-stop Kobayashi.

Lap 21: Webber is through on Maldonado and up into ninth place.

Lap 21: Vettel breezes past Kobayashi on DRS and is back up to second place.

Lap 22: Vettel is clocked 3.3 seconds behind leader Alonso, with Button now 6.7 seconds off the lead and told by McLaren he is "racing to win"

Lap 22: Raikkonen is now through on Schumacher, with the Lotus showing strong pace on the soft tyres.

Lap 23: Kobayashi finally heads in for his first stop.

Lap 23: De la Rosa also stopped in the HRT, promoting Hamilton to 19th spot. His next taget is Pic, who is yet to come in.

Lap 23: Medium compound rubber for Kobayashi, who resumes down behind Webber.

Lap 24: Webber is still ninth with Maldonado now 3.5s behind him and holding up di Resta and Rosberg in the process.

Lap 24: Button sets the fastest first sector as he clocks his fastest lap of the race to close to 5.6 seconds behind Alonso.

Lap 24: Di Resta sneaks through ahead of the Williams driver and up into ninth.

Lap 25: Alonso's pace isn't as strong on these harder tyres, with Vettel now back to under two seconds behind the Ferrari.

Lap 25: Kobayashi rejoined from his stop right in the middle of that group. He and di Resta are embroiled in a huge fight for ninth.

Lap 25: Perez is looking racy in his Sauber, harrying sixth-place man Hulkenberg.

Lap 25: Rosberg is also through on Maldonado and has moved up into 11th spot, as Massa comes in from 16th.

Lap 26: Grosjean also pits, as this enormous scrap between Kobayashi and di Resta for ninth continues.

Lap 26: Alonso responds with his own personal best but Vettel is now just 1.6 seconds behind. Button's progress has been pegged over recent laps.

Lap 26: Raikkonen in fourth is the top man using the soft tyres with Schumacher behind on similar rubber. Most have chosen mediums for this stint.

Lap 27: Kobayashi appears to have won the battle against di Resta. They are ninth and 10th, with Rosberg now on top of them in 11th, Maldonado 12th.

Lap 27: Senna pits from 20th position in the Williams.

Lap 27: Vettel continues to close on leader Alonso, edging closer to being in the DRS zone on the Ferrari.

Lap 28: Button sets the fastest lap of the race, now edging under five seconds behind Alonso.

Lap 28: Massa rejoined from his stop in 17th, just 3.5s ahead of Hamilton.

Lap 29: Vettel now just 0.9 seconds behind and looming large in the mirrors of leader Alonso.

Lap 29: Vergne has been into the pits from 14th. Kovalainen and Petrov move up one spot.

Lap 29: DRS gets Vettel ever closer to the leader, piling the pressure on the Spaniard.

Lap 30: Button is told he will catch the lead battle as he moves to 3.5 seconds behind Vettel.

Lap 30: Kobayashi in ninth has dropped di Resta to the tune of 4.5s, as we now see Rosberg getting past the Scot to take 10th place.

Lap 30: Vettel tries again on DRS but he is struggling to close significantly on the Ferrari for the moment.

Lap 30: Button's pace remains strong and he closes to four seconds off the lead.

Lap 31: So di Resta drops to 11th place and he has Maldonado beginning to charge after him. Ricciardo is 13th with Kovalainen 14th.

Lap 31: Petrov is 15th and Vergne is on his tail, then Massa a further 1.7s back and Hamilton in 18th place. Pic is 19th with Grosjean 20th.

Lap 31: Raikkonen is now 10 seconds behind Button in fourth and falling away from the top three as perhaps his soft tyres begin to fade.

Lap 32: Meanwhile, Webber has nosed his way past Hulkenberg, who now pits the Force India.

Lap 32: Kovalainen and Hamilton also pit that time round.

Lap 33: Vettel sets the fastest lap but it doesn't last long as Button goes quicker in 1m20.340s.

Lap 33: Hulkenberg has rejoined in 13th place, just behind Ricciardo. Now Rosberg comes in for his second stop.

Lap 33: Petrov follows team-mate Kovalainen in one lap later.

Lap 34: Hamilton is lapped and soon advised over the team radio that Button in third is just a few seconds behind him.

Lap 35: Hamilton has found some speed after his second stop and tows up behind Vettel and unlaps himself from the Red Bull!

Lap 35: Vettel is not happy about that one, with Button quickly closing on the Red Bull.

Lap 36: Alonso is just ahead of Hamilton, as the Briton now sets the fastest lap of the race - 1m20.091s.

Lap 36: Hamilton is keeping himself entertained, chasing after the leading Ferrari. He is almost on the back of Alonso now.

Lap 37: Vettel is told to "toggle KERS" with the Red Bull team reporting a problem at "high energy"

Lap 37: Schumacher is in for a second pitstop.

Lap 37: Schumacher resumes behind Webber in eighth place.

Lap 37: Hamilton is now right with leader Alonso and looking for a way to unlap himself. This will surely dent his plans to run to the end.

Lap 38: Di Resta is ninth and has fallen to 7.7s behind Webber. Hulkenberg is 10th after his second stop, with Maldonado 11th and Rosberg 12th.

Lap 38: Hamilton is encouraged to attack Alonso by the team as he draws right up behind the Ferrari.

Lap 38: Ricciardo is 13th with Massa 14th, Vergne 15th, Kovalainen 16th and Hamilton still enjoying himself mightily in 17th.

Lap 38: Alonso is being forced to defend from the fresh-tyred McLaren, with the lead Ferrari nearing the end of its second stint.

Lap 39: Maldonado and Ricciardo come into the pits for their second stops.

Lap 39: Hamilton, who is of course down in 17th after an early puncture, continues to harry leader Alonso in an attempt to get back on the lead lap.

Lap 40: Di Resta pits the Force India from 10th position.

Lap 40: Button hasn't made great capital from Alonso's distraction, remaining around four seconds off the lead.

Lap 40: McLaren are preparing for a stop and in comes Button.

Lap 41: It's a rapid change to fresh medium tyres for Button and he resumes in clear air to try and leap the lead pair.

Lap 41: Ricciardo has jumped Maldonado in that second round of stops. Good work there from Toro Rosso. These two are now 14th and 15th.

Lap 41: Ferrari will surely react to Button's stop as the McLaren will be rapid on fresh tyres.

Lap 41: Webber has been in for what should be his final stop of the afternoon.

Lap 41: There's a scramble in the pits as Alonso and Vettel rush in for a stop.

Lap 42: Alonso is away but it's side-by-side between Button and Vettel!

Lap 42: Button powers ahead as Vettel gets underway but there's DRS for the Red Bull down to the hairpin.

Lap 42: Kovalainen lost time moving over to let the leaders through and in the process Hamilton charged past him, into 16th position.

Lap 42: Button secures his second place and is told "let's have Alonso!"

Lap 43: Vettel was all over Button to try to get his place back but runs wide at Turn 1 and drops away from the McLaren.

Lap 43: Glock pits the Marussia from 22nd position and falls to the back of the field.

Lap 43: Behind them, Kobayashi is up to fourth but yet to make his second stop.

Lap 43: Raikkonen has been lapping quickly on his fresh rubber and runs fifth for Lotus, followed by Schumacher, Hulkenberg and Perez.

Lap 43: Kobayashi comes in for his final stop.

Lap 44: Grosjean pits the Lotus from 19th spot.

Lap 44: Button is pressing on, barging through traffic in the form of Pic to continue his chase of leader Alonso.

Lap 44: Kobayashi resumes right behind Hulkenberg in a battle for sixth.

Lap 44: Button is clocked just 0.8 seconds behind leader Alonso.

Lap 45: Rosberg is ninth with Webber 10th, di Resta 11th, Massa 12th, Vergne 13th, Ricciardo 14th, Maldonado 15th and Hamilton 16th.

Lap 45: Alonso is scrapping his way through lapped traffic as Button's chase of the lead continues.

Lap 45: Charles Pic has pitted the other Marussia for the second time, as Kovalainen comes in for his third stop of the afternoon.

Lap 45: Vettel is told to "be smart" with the tyres, which will be towards the end of life by the end of the race - still over 20 laps away.

Lap 47: Button is right with Alonso now in the battle for the lead of a fascinating German Grand Prix.

Lap 48: Jean-Eric Vergne pits from 14th place in the Toro Rosso. This is his third stop of the afternoon.

Lap 48: Kobayashi has switched to soft tyres, having completed two stints on the hards. He sets the fastest lap, running in sixth.

Lap 48: Hulkenberg heads in for his final stop.

Lap 48: Button is just 0.7 seconds behind Alonso as Button begins to experiment with DRS down to the hairpin.

Lap 48: Positions are relatively static for now down the order, with all eyes on the fight between the top three.

Lap 49: Hamilton has been in for a third stop from 16th place. Senna also came in that time round.

Lap 50: Alonso is told that he the medium compound tyres should be able to make the distance, with Ferrari confident after the long middle stint.

Lap 50: Massa was another to pit for a third time. He rejoined in 14th spot, just ahead of Vergne.

Lap 50: Kobayashi sets the fastest lap once again, closing to 4.7 seconds behind Schumacher and closing on the German.

Lap 51: Grosjean runs wide entering the Motodrom and skates over the gravel, before rejoining. He is down in 20th position.

Lap 51: Webber is ninth and has been unable to make any headway this afternoon. Di Resta is 10th and has team-mate Hulkenberg right on his gearbox.

Lap 52: Data from the pitstops show Button's tyre change was a rapid 2.4 seconds, vital in helping to leap past Vettel.

Lap 52: The lead gap has stabilised at a second between Alonso and Button, with Vettel a further 1.8 behind.

Lap 53: Petrov pitted from 17th position, handing the place back to team-mate Kovalainen.

Lap 53: Schumacher is in the pits again for a costly third stop.

Lap 53: Rosberg came in for his final stop and rejoined with soft tyres in 11th place. He is now attempting to charge back into the points.

Lap 54: Schumacher resumes from his third tyre change behind Perez in eighth.

Lap 55: That move by Mercedes will certainly be of interest to the leaders as they try to run the flag on a two-stop plan.

Lap 55: Down the order, Massa in 14th is now less than one second behind Maldonado and looking to make it through.

Lap 55: Vergne in 16th is just 2.2s behind the developing Maldonado v Massa fight and ready to pick up the pieces.

Lap 55: Schumacher is now seventh, clocked 7.1 seconds behind the Sauber of Perez and closing on his fresh tyres.

Lap 56: Petrov and Kovalainen engaged in a bit of tem formation driving that will cause some conversation in the post-race debrief. Both continued.

Lap 56: Schumacher sets the fastest lap as he closes to 6.3 seconds behind Perez, although he was ahead of the Saubers before pitting.

Lap 56: Kovalainen then came in for his fourth pitstop of the afternoon, losing 18th place to Senna and 19th to Grosjean.

Lap 57: Button is pressing on now, closing to 0.6 seconds behind Alonso.

Lap 57: Meantime, Massa has made it past Maldonado's Williams and is up into 13th spot.

Lap 57: Still 10 laps remaining for the tyres to survive, so plenty could happen on the degrading rubber.

Lap 57: Rosberg is continuing his charge on those soft tyres. He passes di Resta at Turn 6 to take the final points position.

Lap 58: Traffic now for Alonso, with several lapped cars up ahead.

Lap 58: Hamilton pits the McLaren from 16th position and drives straight into the garage, ending an unsatisfactory day for the British driver.

Lap 59: Maldonado comes in for his third stop of the afternoon, from 15th place.

Lap 59: Lots of marbles building up off-line as the tyres wear significantly on a warm day in Germany.

Lap 60: Rosberg remains in 10th spot. He is dropping di Resta, but he is unable to make any inroads into the 6.7s deficit to Hulkenberg.

Lap 60: Both Saubers, traditionally kind on rubber, continue to lap quickly in fifth and sixth. Schumacher is only slowly gaining on Perez currently

Lap 60: So Hulkenberg is ninth, 1.5s down on Webber. Rosberg now begins to pull in the Force India and has the gap down to 5.8s, with di Resta 11th.

Lap 60: Button has been told to increase his engine mode but has fallen to 1.3 seconds behind leader Alonso over the last lap.

Lap 61: Alonso is certainly stretching his lead at the moment, with Vettel now moving in on Button.

Lap 62: Ricciardo is 12th ahead of Massa 13th, Vergne 14th, Maldonado 15th, Petrov 16th, Senna 17th, Grosjean 18th and Kovalainen in 19th spot.

Lap 63: Five laps remain in Germany with just 2.7 seconds covering the top three.

Lap 63: Schumacher is now 1.6 seconds behind Perez and edging up to the Sauber in a battle over sixth.

Lap 64: Alonso is stretching his lead now as Vettel begins to harry Button.

Lap 65: Alonso now leads by 2.4 seconds and looks on course for the win in Germany.

Lap 65: Vettel continues to push Button while Alonso sprints away into the penultimate tour.

Lap 65: Down the order, Bruno Senna in 17th has caught Petrov, setting up a scrap with two laps to go.

Lap 66: Vettel tries the DRS move on Button and makes it stick with some fine driving around the outside of the McLaren.

Lap 66: Developing scrap for eighth in the final stages. Webber now has Hulkenberg 1.2s behind him, with Rosberg a further 1.8s back in 10th.

Lap 66: Alonso heads into his final lap in the lead at Hockenheim.

Lap 67: Button complains to his team that Vettel completed his pass off the circuit.

13:34 Fernando Alonso wins the German Grand Prix!

13:34 Another commanding drive by the Spaniard, holding off pressure throughout to further build his championship lead.

13:34 Vettel grabs second place at the end from Button to take vital points on home soil.

13:34 Button ends up third after a fine drive in the upgraded McLaren, which does look to have much more competitive pace here.

13:34 Raikkonen finishes a distant fourth for Lotus, with spurts of pace but ultimately not enough to fight for the win.

13:35 A strong fifth for Kobayashi, backed up by team-mate Perez in sixth on a fine day for Sauber.

13:36 Michael Schumacher claims seventh in front of his home fans, with Webber eighth, Hulkenberg ninth and Rosberg gets the final point.

13:36 Race control has announced an investigation into the move from Vettel on Button.

13:36 Alonso is delighted on the team radio - "that was fantastic again" he tells the crew.

13:36 Out of the points, di Resta came home 11th ahead of Massa 12th, Ricciardo 13th, Vergne 14th, Maldonado 15th and Petrov 16th.

13:37 Replays show Vettel was fully off the circuit as he used a wide line over the run-off to make his way past Button.

13:37 Senna crossed the line just 0.5s behind Petrov in 17th spot, with Grosjean 18th, Kovalainen 19th, Pic 20th and de la Rosa 21st.

13:38 Glock came back past Karthikeyan in the final few laps of the race to finish 22nd, leaving the Indian as the final finisher.

13:39 Lewis Hamilton was the only retirement of the race. His day started badly with a puncture and never really got any better after that.

13:39 Hamilton did at least have some mid-race fun, mixing it with the leaders as he tried to unlap himself, before eventually retiring.

13:39 A time penalty could be handed to Vettel if stewards decide that overtake on Button was outside the rules.

13:40 Vettel tells Button he didn't know where he was as the pair continue to debate the move behind the podium.

13:41 The top three drivers walk out onto the podium and the Spanish national anthem rings out for this afternoon's winner - Fernando Alonso.

13:42 That is followed by the Italian national anthem for today's winning constructor - Ferrari.

13:43 Fernando Alonso collects the winning trophy on another great day for the Spaniard.

13:43 Ferrari technical chief Pat Fry picks up the constructors' prize.

13:44 Sebastian Vettel receives his award for second place, to a huge cheer from the home fans.

13:44 Third place for Button - for the moment - but he will still be happy with a much-improved McLaren performance.

13:46 Niki Lauda is on hand to interview the podium trio as the crowd spill onto the front stretch at Hockenheim.

13:48 Alonso's third win of the year puts him 34 points clear in the title race, with Webber now just two points above Vettel after a tough day.

13:49 Raikkonen is now fourth in the standings, pipping Hamilton who had another disappointing afternoon.

13:50 Red Bull still has a sizable lead in the constructors' race over Ferrari, with McLaren taking third place back from Lotus after a better day

13:51 Stick with AUTOSPORT for all the reaction from Germany, including news of that stewards' inquiry into Vettel's late move on Button.

13:54 Fernando Alonso continues his great summer run of podium finishes and claims another win to extend his championship lead.

His race was shaped with a brilliant start off the line. He left Vettel standing on one of the shortest runs to Turn 1 of the season, but it would be foolhardy to say he never looked back after that. The Spaniard was under all sorts of pressure during the race from the Red Bull driver and Jenson Button. Even the lapped Hamilton got in on the act during an entertaining middle segment.

Another great day for Ferrari, but Sauber will also be very pleased with a strong haul of points for Kobayashi and Perez, while Webber and Hulkenberg will reflect on what might have been. As for Hamilton, a poor start never got any better during the rest of the afternoon and he is falling away in the championship race.

This was the 2012 German Grand Prix on AUTOSPORT Live. Thanks for joining us over the last three days of action. We will be back next weekend with full coverage of the final race before the long summer break - the Hungarian Grand Prix.

  OVERVIEW GERMAN GRAND PRIX  
Race length: 67 laps
  CURRENT WEATHER
Mainly sunny High Temp: 20°C / 68°F
Track: Dry
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Friday 20 Jul Start GMT
 Friday practice one 07:55
 Friday practice two 11:55
Saturday 21 Jul
 Saturday practice 08:55
 Qualifying 11:50
Sunday 22 Jul
 The German Grand Prix 11:45