Hamilton wins chaotic German GP as Vettel crashes out whilst in the lead

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton survives all the odds to battle his way from 14th on the grid to win the German GP ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen as Sebastian Vettel crashes out whilst in the lead of the race.


Grid Formation

1.Vettel  2.Bottas  3.Raikkonen  4.Verstappen  5.Magnussen  6.Grosjean  7.Hulkenberg  8.Sainz  9.Leclerc  10.Perez  11.Alonso  12.Sirotkin  13.Ericsson  14.Hamilton  15.Ocon  16.Hartley  17.Stroll  18.Vandoorne  19.Ricciardo  20.Gasly


There are dark clouds forming over the circuit with the threat of rain looming and raindrops should start to fall about an hour into the race. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel starts on pole but the German driver has never won on this track. Where can Lewis Hamilton finish after starting 14th and what progress can Daniel Ricciardo make starting in 19th? Ricciardo will start on the Medium tyre and Hamilton will start on the Soft tyre. The top 10 will start on the Ultrasoft tyre with everyone else bar Esteban Ocon, who will start on the Ultrasoft tyre, will start on the Soft tyre.

The lights go out and it’s a great start for Sebastian Vettel who leads ahead of Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen with Max Verstappen in 4th hounding the Finnish driver. Into turn 1 on lap 2, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Esteban Ocon for 12th. Romain Grosjean has dropped to 7th with Nico Hulkenberg 6th and Kevin Magnussen 5th. Lap 3, Vettel leads by 1.5 seconds ahead of Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen as the top 4 start to pull away from the rest of the field. Daniel Ricciardo meanwhile is now 18th as Hamilton overtakes Fernando Alonso for 11th into turn 8.

Lap 4, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Charles Leclerc for 10th place into turn 6. A replay of the start shows that Max Verstappen actually got a very good start and was side-by-side with Kimi Raikkonen into turn 1 with the Dutchman thinking better of it and slotting into 4th. Lap 6, Sebastian Vettel’s gap to Valterri Bottas has increased to 2.5 seconds as Hamilton overtakes Carlos Sainz for 9th place into turn 6. Lap 7, Daniel Ricciardo, who started on the Medium tyre, is now 15th as Sergio Perez overtakes Romain Grosjean for 7th place into turn 6. Lap 8, Hamilton overtakes Grosjean round the outside of turn 6 for 8th place.

Lap 9, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Sergio Perez for 7th place into turn 6 as Sebastian Vettel’s gap at the front has grown to 3.8 seconds. Lap 10, after overtaking Marcus Ericsson, Daniel Ricciardo now overtakes Esteban Ocon for 13th place. Lap 11, Hamilton now overtakes Nico Hulkenberg for 6th place into turn 6. Lap 15, Hamilton overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 5th place as Kimi Raikkonen pits from 3rd, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 4th just ahead of Hamilton.

Lap 18, Daniel Ricciardo finally overtakes Fernando Alonso for 12th place into turn 6 as Sebastian Vettel’s lead has increased to 4.7 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. On the new set of Soft tyre, Kimi Raikkonen is flying setting fastest lap after fastest lap. Lap 20, Nico Hulkenberg pits from 7th, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 16th. Lap 22, Kevin Magnussen pits from 6th, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 11th with Charles Leclerc also pitting, going onto the Soft tyre. After Sergio Perez’s pit-stop, Ricciardo is now 6th a mere 25 and a half seconds behind Lewis Hamilton in 5th.

Lap 26, Sebastian Vettel pits from the lead, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 4th behind Kimi Raikkonen in 3rd and in front of Lewis Hamilton in 5th. Lap 29, Valterri Bottas pits from the lead, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 5th. Daniel Ricciardo has pulled over and is out. The Australian reports a loss of power and stops at turn 11 as Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen pits from the lead, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 5th. Lap 30, Raikkonen leads ahead of Vettel, Hamilton who hasn’t pitted, Bottas and Verstappen. Behind the top 5, Kevin Magnussen is in 6th ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz.

Lap 39, Kimi Raikkonen lets Sebastian Vettel past for the lead into turn 6. Raikkonen was on older older tyres and Vettel behind with his rear tyre overheating. Lap 42, Vettel has extended his gap to 2.5 seconds while Bottas has closed up to the back of Hamilton in 3rd. Hamilton pits at the end of lap 42. The Brit goes onto a set of Ultrasoft tyres and rejoins in 5th. Lap 44, the rain is starting to fall at turn 6. How heavy will it be? Lap 45, Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso pitting going onto the Intermediate tyres. Lap 47, Max Verstappen pits. The Dutchman rejoins in 5th on the Intermediate tyre.

The trouble at the moment is that it was only raining at turn 6. The Intermediate runners and Pierre Gasly who was on the full Wet tyre, comes into the pits and switches to dry tyres again. That has ruined Max Verstappen’s race who is now 45 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton in 4th.

After spinning at the exit of turn 1 a couple of laps ago, Charles Leclerc runs wide at turn 3. Sergio Perez spins as well at turn 8 and rejoins as Valterri Bottas overtakes Kimi Raikkonen for 2nd. They are all tip-toeing around in the 2nd and 3rd sector as it is wet there. Lap 52, race leader, Sebastian Vettel is out! The German is off at turn 13 after running wide and losing the rear of the car. Bottas pits but Mercedes had the wrong tyres out. Bottas is now on the Ultrasoft tyre. Raikkonen pits. The Finn goes onto the Ultrasoft tyre and rejoins in 3rd behind Bottas. Vettel is distraught.

Hamilton leads behind the Safety Car ahead of Valterri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. Sergey Sirotkin has pulled over and is out. Lap 55, Hamilton leads on his Ultrasoft tyre as lapped drivers are able to overtake the Safety Car. Double misery for Williams as they retire Lance Stroll. The Safety Car is in and racing resumes on lap 58.

Lap 58, Valterri Bottas on newer Ultrasoft tyres hounds Lewis Hamilton through turns 6,7 and 8. The Brit stays ahead. Lap 59, Hamilton has increased his to over a second. Lap 63, Carlos Sainz has been given a 10 second time penalty for overtaking under the Safety Car. Meanwhile, Bottas has been told to “maintain station” and not to attack Hamilton.

Lap 67, Lewis Hamilton comes round to win the German GP ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 67 Laps (Fans Driver of the Day & Fastest Lap Award)
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +4.535s
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +6.732s
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +7.654s
  5. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, +26.609s (Best finish at a German GP)
  6. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +28.871s (First points round Hockenheim)
  7. Sergio Perez, Force India, +30.556s
  8. Esteban Ocon, Force India, +31.750s
  9. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +32.362s
  10. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, +34.197s
  11. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +34.919s
  12. Carlos Sainz, Renault, +43.069s
  13. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, +46.617s
  14. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, +1 Lap
  15. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, +1 Lap
  16. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +
  • Lance Stroll, Williams, DNF
  • Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, DNF
  • Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, DNF
  • Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, DNF

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