Hamilton has won the German GP 2018 after starting the race from P14, becoming the first ever world champion to do so. A 1-2 for Mercedes was completed by Bottas who finished P2, some 4s behind his teammate while Ferrari took P3 with Raikkonen, Vettel was the race front runner but the German crashed out of his home race, an incident that turned the race around.
Hamilton now leads the championship once again, this time with a 17-point gap to Vettel. The top ten at the German GP were: 1 Hamilton, 2 Bottas, 3 Raikkonen, 4 Verstappen, 5 Hulkenberg, 6 Grosjean, 7 Perez, 8 Ocon, 9 Ericsson and 10 Hartley.
Vettel started his home Grand Prix from pole at the German GP 2018, with Bottas slotting in second, Raikkonen booked third while Verstappen took fourth. Hamilton started from P14, but was up to P12 already, the Brit had a bad qualifying after facing a hydraulics issue during Q1.
📻 TEAM: Light rain, Turn 6… 👀 🇩🇪
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1)
By lap 11/67 Hamilton was already up to P7, although he was still some 23s off the lead. He was warned that Hulkenberg was reporting excessive tire wear.
Raikkonen was the first to pit among the front runners on lap 15, he picked up new softs and rejoined ahead of Hamilton. Moments later, on his fresh tires Raikkonen was able to set a new fastest time of the race with a 1m17.581s lap.
Kimi Raikkonen makes the first pit stop of the race
And emerges right in front of Lewis Hamilton 👀 🇩🇪
— Formula 1 (@F1)
Vettel pitted on lap 26, and surprisingly emerged on P4 just behind Raikkonen. Bottas now led from Verstappen, both yet to stop. Behind were the two Ferraris who had made their first stops already. Bottas then pitted from the lead before taking on new softs, he rejoined in P4 behind Hamilton.
Ricciardo then suddenly stopped on the field after losing power. Verstappen also pitted and released the lead to Raikkonen. The two Ferraris now led 1-2. Hamilton was still on his initial tires, the team urged him to push a little longer.
“This is just silly – I’m losing time, and destroying my tyres,” Vettel complained, urging his team to allow him pass a slower Raikkonen.
About half the race still to run. But there’s the threat of rain still looming. If it does rain (hard) that’s probably very good news for .
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport)
The next man to retire was Vandoorne after his McLaren continuously cut power. On lap 39 Raikkonen allowed his teammate to pass, and Vettel took the lead. Hamilton mad3e his first stop of the race on lap 42, he rejoined in fifth behind Verstappen and on ultrasofts. There were reports of rain on the forecast too. Vandoorne too appeared to have not retired as he was still running at the back of the field.
And yes, there was rain indeed. Mercedes did tell Hamilton to make the call on if he needed wet tires.
Mercedes waited as long as they could for the rain
But Hamilton finally pits for a set of ultrasofts 🇩🇪
— Formula 1 (@F1)
Verstappen had taken inters after the short rain, but the gamble didn’t work, so he went back to the pits for new ultrasofts. But while that was going on, there was rain on the track again, more this time as reported by Hamilton. Then suddenly, Vettel crashed and was into the barriers. The safety car was out now.
Raikkonen was now in the lead, while Hamilton was in P2 ahead of his teammate. There was a mass dash into the pits for inters under the safety car. Raikkonen also pitted, releasing Hamilton into the lead. Sirotkin pulled out of the track and seemed to have retired as well.
“F**** sake. F**** sake. Sorry guys. S***.” that was the message from Vettel on the radio.
Both Williams cars retire under the Safety Car
Sirotkin's car comes to a smokey end, whilst Stroll is wheeled away 🇩🇪
— Formula 1 (@F1)
After the safety car intervention ended, Hamilton and Bottas were engaged in a wheel-to-wheel battle, with the Brit holding his ground. Sainz was then given a 10s penalty for overtaking under the safety car.
Hamilton managed to bake another fastest lap of the race on 1m15.708s, but there was more rain coming. But the Brit managed to win the race, he became the only world champion to ever win a race after starting from 14th.