Red Bull’s Max Verstappen survives the conditions to win the German GP after an action-packed race ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who started 20th, and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who rounds off the podium as Williams score their first point of the season with Robert Kubica.
1.Hamilton 2.Verstappen 3.Bottas 4.Gasly 5.Raikkonen 6.Grosjean 7.Sainz Jr 8.Perez 9.Hulkenberg 10.Leclerc 11.Giovinazzi 12.Magnussen 13.Ricciardo 14.Kvyat 15.Stroll 16.Albon 17.Russell 18.Kubica 19.Norris* 20.Vettel
Due to the fact that it is raining, the drivers have to start on either the Intermediate or the Wet tyre. Every driver will start on the Wet tyre.
It’s raining! Yep, gone has the sun and bone-dry conditions and now dark clouds have formed over the Hockenheimring and the heavens have opened. Now it’s a gamble to what tyres the drivers choose to start on. The drivers can either choose the Intermediate tyres or the Wet tyres. The Inters are used when their is light rain and the Wets are used when it’s heavy rain. Both tyre treads clear the water quite quickly. This’ll be the first wet race of the season and for rookies such as Lando Norris, Alexander Albon, George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi, this will be their first time in an F1 car in the rain! What can the out-of-position Ferrari’s do today? The prefect ingredients for an exciting race.
The FIA have decided that the formation lap that the drivers conduct will be behind the Safety Car. Behind the Safety Car, some drivers including Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Kevin Magnussen are urging to go racing. Yep, it’s been decided that it will be a standing start, the Safety Car will come in and the drivers will line-up on the grid. This is going to be good!
The drivers line-up in their grid positions and the lights go out and it’s a poor start by Max Verstappen and that allows Kimi Raikkonen to 3rd. Lewis Hamilton leads Valterri Bottas as Sebastian Vettel has made up 6 places. Drivers are struggling for grip and it’s been a poor start by Pierre Gasly. Charles Leclerc is up 6th as Verstappen overtakes Raikkonen out of turn 6. Sergio Perez spins and hits the barrier between turns 11 and 12. The Safety Car is called so Vettel and Alexander Albon pit for Intermediate tyres. Onto lap 3, Mercedes tell Hamilton to pit. Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen and the rest of the drivers pit for Inters.
Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Kevin Magnussen, who hasn’t pitted, Valterri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Lance Stroll, Charles Leclerc, Nico Hulkenberg, Lando Norris, who hasn’t pitted. The Safety Car pulls into the pits and racing resumes on lap 5. Magnussen starts to fall back as the Intermediate tyre is working better than the Wet tyre. Sebastian Vettel is up to 10th as Pierre Gasly has fallen to 18th. Onto lap 6, Leclerc overtakes Magnussen into turn 2 and Hulkenberg nips past Magnussen tor 5th. Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel are working in tandem and are running in 7th and 8th.
Lap 7, Lewis Hamilton leads by 2 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. Onto lap 8, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 6th as Sebastian Vettel also overtakes Magnussen for 7th. Charles Leclerc is under investigation for an unsafe release in the pit-lane into the path of Romain Grosjean. All the remaining Wet tyre runners including Magnussen, Lando Norris, Lance Stroll, George Russell and Robert Kubica are now on the Intermediate tyre. There’s reports of more rain in the next 20 mins.
Lap 11, Lewis Hamilton leads by 3.2 seconds over team-mate Valterri Bottas. The Stewards have decided that Charles Leclerc will not receive a penalty but his team, Ferrari, will have a fine to pay instead. Lap 15, Daniel Ricciardo has suffered engine issues and there’s plumes of smoke coming out of the RS18. He’s pulled over at turn 8 and the VSC is called out. Ricciardo’s out as Leclerc pits for another set of Intermediate tyres. Nico Hulkenberg does the same. Both rejoined in 4th and 6th. Lap 16, the VSC ends as Hamilton leads by 4.5 seconds. Lap 17, the Stewards decide that DRS will now be enabled.
On his new set of Intermediate tyres, Charles Leclerc, now sets the fastest lap of the race and is now up to 2-3 seconds quicker than the top 3. On his fresh Inters, Nico Hulkenberg overtakes Kimi Raikkonen for 5th. Carlos Sainz Jr spins at the final corner and drops to 14th after running in the top 10. Leclerc is rapidly catching Max Verstappen and Valterri Bottas and 3rd and 2nd as Lewis Hamilton is leading by 5 seconds.
Lap 23, Kevin Magnussen makes a bold move. He pits and goes onto the dry tyre, the Soft tyre that is. Lap 24, Ferrari tell Sebastian Vettel to pit. The German goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 11th. Lap 26, Max Verstappen pits from 3rd. He goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 4th. Drivers such as Daniil Kvyat, Lando Norris and Lance Stroll pit. Lap 27, Valterri Bottas goes onto the Medium tyre as Verstappen spins at turn 15 and 16. Lando Norris stops after losing power and retires from the race.
Valterri Bottas rejoins ahead of Max Verstappen as Charles Leclerc pits for the Soft tyre. Leclerc rejoins in 2nd ahead of Bottas and Verstappen as the VSC is deployed. Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi have pitted for the Medium tyre as Lewis Hamilton pits on lap 28. The VSC ends as Hamilton pits onto the Soft tyre. Leclerc’s in the wall! He’s beached in the gravel at turn 14. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel pits for the Intermediate tyre. The replay shows that he got onto the wet tarmac and slid into the barrier.
Hamilton’s had an incident! He’s lost half of his front wing and pits but his Mercedes team weren’t ready for him. Valterri Bottas leads as Hamilton goes onto the Intermediate tyre as the Safety Car is deployed for the stricken Ferrari. It was an extremely slow pit-stop for Hamilton as Mercedes were unprepared for him coming him to pit. Everyone’s on the Intermediate tyre now and Mercedes tell Bottas to pit for Inters. Max Verstappen takes the lead of the race ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Bottas. Alexander Albon is 4th ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz Jr, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi.
The replay shows that Lewis Hamilton did the same thing as Charles Leclerc and slid onto the wet tarmac, hit the wall slightly and lost half of his front wing. The Safety Car comes in and racing resumes on lap 34. Max Verstappen leads by 3 seconds ahead of Nico Hulkenberg as Lewis Hamilton is given a 5 second time penalty for entering the pit-lane at the wrong side of the bollard. Hamilton is under investigation again for driving too slow under the Safety Car as the Brit makes it past Albon for 4th. Lap 36, Verstappen leads by 7 seconds as Hulkenberg is under pressure from Bottas.
Valterri Bottas overtakes Nico Hulkenberg for 2nd place into turn 6 on lap 37. Lap 38, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Hulkenberg for 3rd into turn 6. Lap 40, Max Verstappen leads by 9.5 seconds as Kimi Raikkonen runs wide at turn 16 and 17. He rejoins in 9th after running in 7th. Hulkenberg’s off at turn 17! He in the barrier and did the same thing as Leclerc and Hamilton! The Safety Car has been deployed as Verstappen pits. He goes onto the Inters. He stays in the lead as Sebastian Vettel pits again for the Inters and rejoins in 10th.
Lap 45, the Safety Car ends as Lance Stroll goes onto the dry tyres. Racing resumes on lap 46 with Max Verstappen leads. Sebastian Vettel overtakes Antonio Giovinazzi for 8th as Lewis Hamilton comes under pressure for Carlos Sainz and Alexander Albon. Verstappen and Valterri Bottas pit for Soft tyres. Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel stay out. Stroll is up to 5th and is ahead of Verstappen! Hamilton, Raikkonen and Vettel pit. Hamilton’s down to 12th after serving his penalty as he and Vettel and Raikkonen went onto the Soft tyre.
Max Verstappen overtakes Lance Stroll for the lead on lap 48. Daniil Kvyat is in 3rd with Valterri Bottas in 4th, Carlos Sainz in 5th and Kevin Magnussen in 6th. Sebastian Vettel is in 9th. With 15 laps to go, Verstappen leads by 4 seconds ahead of Stroll and Kvyat. Alexander Albon overtakes Magnussen for 6th. Lap 51, Kvyat overtakes Stroll for 2nd as Bottas closes on the pair of them. Vettel is up to 7th as Pierre Gasly overtakes Magnussen for 8th.
Lewis Hamilton’s day gets worse. The Brit spins out of turn 1 and drops to 13th. Sebastian Vettel overtakes Alexander Albon for 6th as Hamilton pits for a new set of tyres. Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 10th on lap 54. Valterri Bottas is still behind Lance Stroll in 4th and now Vettel in 6th is catching the trio. Kimi Raikkonen makes it past Romain Grosjean for 9th. Lap 57, Bottas has spun and has hit the barrier and is out! He spins out of turn 1 after touching a bit of standing water and now the Safety Car is deployed.
Max Verstappen leads behind the Safety Car ahead of Daniil Kvyat, Lance Stroll, Carlos Sainz Jr, Sebastian Vettel, Alexander Albon, Pierre Gasly, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi. Lewis Hamilton has pitted again for a fresh set of tyres and lies 14th. Lap 60, racing resumes with Verstappen leading. Down into turn 6, Vettel overtakes Sainz for 4th. With DRS enabled on lap 62, Vettel is now behind Stroll and the overtakes happens round the outside for the German to take 3rd. Gasly’s off and retires as both him and Albon make contact. Vettel on lap 63, overtakes Kvyat for 2nd.
Onto the final lap, Max Verstappen leads ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat. Verstappen wins the German GP! Vettel and Kvyat rounds off the podium with Stroll and Sainz in 4th and 5th. Hamilton fails to make it into the points and finishes in 11th. Vettel finishes in 2nd after starting 20th and Kvyat gives Toro Rosso their 2nd ever podium!
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, 64 Laps
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +7.333s
- Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, +8.305s
- Lance Stroll, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, +8.966s
- Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, +9.583s
- Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, +10.052s
- Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, +16.838s
- Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, +18.765s
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +19.667s
- Robert Kubica, Williams Mercedes, +24.987s
- George Russell, Williams Mercedes, +26.404s
- Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, +42.214s
- Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, +43.849s
- Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, DNF
- Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, DNF
- Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, DNF
- Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, DNF
- Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, DNF
- Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, DNF
- Sergio Perez, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, DNF