Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has won a thriling German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, heading off challenges from Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button.
The race verdict was in doubt until the final laps, as Button (McLaren) harried race-long leader Alonso. However, with five laps to run the Spaniard was able to make better progress lapping backmarkers just as Button's tyres started to fade, and pulled clear of any potential late attack using the DRS drag reduction system.
Alonso is now 34 points clear of Mark Webber (Red Bull) in the world championship race, as the Australian could only limp home a lowly eighth.
After his late-race attack on Alonso faded, Button fell back into the clutches of Vettel (Red Bull), who he had passed earlier in the race. On lap 66 the reigning world champion made a move stick on the Briton, although it was deemed illegal by the race stewards and a 20 second penalty dropped him down to fifth.
Behind this pulsating three-way battle, the race was considerably more sedate. Kimi Raikkonen took a lonely fourth on the track for Lotus before being moved up to third after Vettel's punishment. The Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez showed a deft touch in making their tyres last and split the two-time world champion to finish fourth and sixth from their midfield starting positions.
German Grand Prix result
1. Alonso (Ferrari) 1h 31m 05.862sec
2. Button (McLaren) +6.949s
3. Raikkonen (Lotus) +16.409s
4. Kobayashi (Sauber) +21.925s