WOLFSBURG, November 4 (Bundesliga) - A first-half header from Mike Hanke was enough to secure the points for Wolfsburg and heap yet more misery on Thomas Doll.
The under pressure Hamburg coach had called for a positive reaction from his players after they were dumped out of Champions League with a 3-1 home defeat to FC Porto in midweek.
But the Rothosen fell behind to Hanke's 19th-minute effort and never looked like finding a way back into the match.
With a torrent of criticism aimed in Doll's direction, this could prove to be the result that signals the end of his reign as Hamburg coach.
Wolfsburg were the better team from start to finish and took a deserved lead when Jacek Krzynowek's cross was met by the oncoming Hanke who's header left Stefan Wachter with no chance.
Wolfsburg almost got a second when Krzynowek's shot from the edge of the box went narrowly wide.
Hamburg were thankful to Wachter on the half-hour when he produced a fine save to keep out Tom van der Leegte's 18-yard effort.
The second half was a scrappy affair, with Hamburg looking like a team who have only managed one win all season.
Their only real chance came with 78 minutes on the clock, but Jose Paulo Guerrero's early shot was easily saved by Simon Jentzsch.
In the last 10 minutes, Wolfsburg again took control and could have doubled their lead when Krzynowek once again crossed for Hanke, but his header struck Wachter.
The 28-year-old stopper again kept his side in the game a minute later and he knew a bit more about it this time as he saved Krzynowek's shot from the right hand side of the box.
But Hamburg could not muster another effort on goal and slumped to their third defeat of the season, leaving them just one place above the relegation zone.