Germany’s Grand Prix, at the Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg on Sunday, had skill driving, slapstick decision making, crashes, spins, high drama until the final lap and some bits of rain as well. Max Verstappen won following a catastrophic start will be long spoken.
Sebastian Vettel was the hero of the day, finishing in second place despite starting at the very back of the grid. It was a miraculous drive by the German Ferrari driver in front of an excited home crowd.
21-year old Verstappen’s victory was his second of the season. He’s the only driver other than those under contract with Mercedes to triumph anywhere this campaign, and it came off the back of an awful start. Despite lining up in second, a wheelspin saw the Red Bull driver slip back to fourth, only to recover towards the end of a chaotic contest. At one stage his car spun 360 degrees at one stage on the circuit.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton, who tops the F1 leaderboard after 11 of 21 races lost control of his car in the wet conditions and eventually finished in 11th, despite securing pole in Saturday’s qualifying. However, he remains 39 points clear of his teammate Valtteri Bottas in the standings after the Finn crashed out with six laps remaining.
It was just the Mercedes team that struggled who may have underestimated the wet conditions.
The safety car was called upon on a number of occasions. Some drivers took as many as six pitstops, while several crashed on the exact same bend. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc had been in contention for a podium finish, only to crash out after switching tyres.
Hamilton suffered more than most, however. The 34-year old hit a wall on the wet track directly before a comical pitstop which saw him sitting still for more than 40 seconds. Once he got going, he was slapped with a five second penalty for the manner in which he entered the pits to begin with.
Mercedes were celebrating 125 years of their involvement in motorsport, as well as their 200th F1 start, in front of a home crowd.