Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2018

Hamilton takes shock German GP win as Vettel crashes

2018 German Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton claimed a stunning victory in the German Grand Prix after championship rival Sebastian Vettel crashed out during the rain-hot race.

Vettel slithered into the barriers at the Motodrom section when rain fell during the second half of the race. That prompted a Safety Car period which allowed Hamilton, who had made a late pit stop, to take the lead of the race.

A shambolic pit stop delayed Valtteri Bottas during the Safety Car period but he restarted the race on fresh tyres and pressured his team mate from the lead. The fight was called off, however, when Mercedes issued a “hold position” instruction.

Kimi Raikkonen, who had been subject to Ferrari team orders earlier in the race when told to let Vettel by, collected third place. Max Verstappen salvaged fourth for Red Bull after making an early pit stop for intermediate tyres, then having to pit again for slicks. Team mate Daniel Ricciardo dropped out with a technical problem – his fourth retirement of the year.

Nico Hulkenberg took fifth for Renault ahead of Romain Grosjean, who passed the two Force Indias in the final two laps. Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon followed the Haas home. Marcus Ericsson took ninth for Sauber after team mate Charles Leclerc spun in the rain.

A 10-second penalty for overtaking behind the Safety Car cost Carlos Sainz Jnr 10th place and handed it to Brendon Hartley. The Toro Rosso driver had slipped out of the top 10 with four laps to go. Kevin Magnussen took 11th ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne.

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2018 German Grand Prix reaction

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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113 comments on “Hamilton takes shock German GP win as Vettel crashes”

  1. I can’t believe Hamilton’s pit entry incident got ignored completely. I’ve seen drivers getting penalised over much less serious incidents.

    1. Most notably Kimi at Baku in 2016, 5 second penalty for a much lesser incident.

      1. The pit entry rules are different in baku.

    2. But it’s not against the regulations, he didn’t gain time if anything hurting his tyres. Why would he get a penalty?

    3. @carbon_fibre because he was way past the pit entry line.

    4. @carbon_fibre what about it? i don’t remember anything like this being penalized… and I don’t think it’s anything serious either.

      1. @fer-no65 Baku 2016? Though that one was probably more serious, being more or less the same as the location of the rather spectacular VES-RIC crash this year.

      2. I accept why Lewis didn’t get penalised, but the rules should absolutely prevent this!
        When a driver sees a car ahead of him crossing the pit line they shouldn’t worry about it re-entering the track!

    5. I cannot believe that the rules don’t cover something like this. You can’t touch the pit exit line, but you can do that!?
      How is that not an unsafe re-entry into the track?

      1. You can’t just retrospectively come up with rules to penalise drivers. I’d have a guess and say you’re not Hamiltons biggest fan. I actually agree that it should be looked at because at other tracks that could be a disaster but that’s for another day.

      2. @carbon_fibre what’s different from a normal spin? he didn’t go into the racing line at speed or in any careless way.

    6. There is no rule stating you cannot do that on pit entry, he didn’t impede other drivers so there’s no issue.

    7. I remember Kimi doing that in 2007 at the German GP. No penalty for that.

      Maybe the Baku incident with Kimi was different because he was willingly doing it to gain a tow and was clearly a dangerous precedent. Dunno.

      1. I might be wrong, seem to remember Baku was an exception because of the huge difference between the cars on the straight and those entering the pit? Again may be wrong though

    8. Get in there Lewis!!!

      1. Nop, change of mind,
        ‘get back out there Lewis’!! ;-)

    9. HELLO? Please check the racing rules & regulations before the Hamilton haters get in another lather over it.
      The pit lane entry bollard is just a guide. Zero rule or regulation infringement.
      If there had been?
      Don’t you think the on screen ticker would have had the normal & usual ” Car xx is under investigation for YY” ?
      Well done! Correct no investigation as there was absolutely nothing to investigate.
      Per se ZERO PENALTY.
      The pit lane exit is a much more serious matter.
      Rigidly enforced due to the tremendous danger in rejoining a race in progress.

    10. Can anyone explain what triggered Hamilton to suddenly stay out? It seemed the radio was urging him IN IN IN

    11. @carbon_fibre It wasn’t “ignored completely”. It was investigated. Stewards decided that it didn’t give him an unfair advantage and it wasn’t dangerous. Still, it was a minor infringement and Hamilton was issued a reprimand. I think it was a good decision.
      Imagine you get a written reprimand from your boss for some minor infringement at work which wasn’t deliberate on your part, didn’t cost the company anything, didn’t deter you from your work and didn’t cause any harm to anybody. You probably wouldn’t feel “completely ignored” and might even be inclined to say that your boss is overreacting a bit.

      1. @maroonjack

        Good Morning train

        It actually gave him a huge advantage. See its from Ferrari point of view: had he pitted he would have stuck behind Bottas and loose places to him, Kimi and probably Max.

    12. It is very easy for brit to win:
      1. Helper Bottas
      2. FIA= Merzedes Assistance Agency
      3. Brain from Toto Wolff
      4. But who will help him to push the car on the track during qualification= Kimi will for sure

  2. That was Crazy! Just amazing.

  3. What a great afternoon! Hamilton was magnificent and lucky!
    Formula 1 is the greatest motor show on Earth!

    1. Amazing race! This is why I love F1. Anything can happen and when it does it never disappoints.

  4. Not the result I was hoping for but it was a great race. Battles all throughout the race all the way down the field. Great job by Lewis and Valtteri bringing home the 1-2.

  5. If anyone wondered about Hamilton pit entry and potential penalization – here is a precedent – Nürburgring 2007 Kimi Räikkönen

      1. +1. There is another eg of Hungary IIRC.

    1. That incident should have been the reason to clarify the rules. That move is not okay.

    2. The difference is that Raikkonen accidentally slid across the pit entry whereas Hamilton purposely crossed it.

    3. Your precedent is invalid, because it ignores the Hamilton rule– which is that Hamilton’s actions must be penalized more harshly than other drivers.

      Had Hamilton pulled that stunt in 2007, I suspect he would have been penalized– much as he was at Spa a year later.

  6. Neil (@neilosjames)
    22nd July 2018, 16:13

    Great drive from Hamilton, fully deserved.

    Obviously the two team orders incidents weren’t great, but Vettel was obviously quicker (and later crashed) and Bottas was never going to get another chance like the one he got after the restart. So I don’t believe either had any impact on the result.

    1. Actually, I thought the order was given due to the track conditions. With a fully dry track, I’m not sure the Mercedes order is given in the first place.

    2. Vettel wasn’t quicker though. He couldn’t even get within DRS range of Kimi and his tyres were already overheating. Didn’t make much of a difference as he binned anyways.

      1. @todfod Doesn’t explain VET pulling away afterwards between the wave and him binning it.

        1. @davidnotcoulthard

          I wouldn’t expect Kimi to constantly tail Vettel and overheat his tyres. It was expected he’d keep a gap and run his own race in a demotivated style you’d expect when a potential race win has been taken from you.

          1. @todfod Perhaps but not sure – I doubt a demotivated BOT would have kept 2nd place but there he was somewhat languishing behind HAM on newer tyres but staying P2 anyway.

        2. @davidnotcoulthard It’s called “saving the engine”. Vettel should have done the same really. Perhaps he could have kept it on track then.

          1. @patrickl Not sure you’re making much sense. Saving the engine? And VET binned it turning with the accelerator off afaik so yeah, don’t see what you mean.

          2. @davidnotcoulthard It’s ok man, we know your understanding of F1 doesn’t go that deep.

            Lemme try to help. When a driver is in a position and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere, they tune the engine settings down and just bring it home with as little stress on the engine as possible.

          3. @patrickl I’m impressed your understanding goes so deep that you can be sure beyond any doubt that VET was pushing while RAI 100% wasn’t.

            Still can’t get my head around the f-up having to do with that when it didn’t happen under acceleration though. Some enlightenment would be appreciated.

          4. well pushing the engine, anyway

          5. @davidnotcoulthard Do you seriously want me to explain if a driver is driving less on the limit, he’s less like to crash out?

            Raikkonen was sacrificed by Ferrari to get in the way of Hamilton with an incredibly early stop on lap 14. So he was on much older tyres than Vettel and he was just cruising along saving his engine and tyres. Doing his thing, trying his best to make something of yet another underhanded bad deal he got from Ferrari. To top it all off they take away his track position too.

            Hilarious how he made them actually say it out loud this time.

            Karma hit back hard though and rewarded Raikkonen.

  7. Well, that’s the man who has won all rain affected races since Suzuka 2014… I said if it would rain then he had a big shot at the win.

    1. Has it really been all of them?

      1. Hungary 2014- Ric
        Suzuka 2014- Ham
        Britain 2015- Ham
        USA 2015- Ham
        Monaco 2016- Ham
        Britain 2016- Ham
        Brazil 2016- Ham
        Singapore 2017- Ham
        Germany 2018- Ham

        1. And if I recall, Hamilton had to settle for 3rd in Hungary 2014 because of a failing fuel pump.

        2. Yeah ok, but with all these stats the same remark applies: in 14, 15 and 16 he was only racing his teammate.
          Lewis is a fantastic driver, especially in the wet, but stats…

          1. They say the rain nullifies the car’s advantage. So…

    2. Wow, that’s quite a stat!

  8. (..) and Carlos Sainz Jnr took the final point.

    Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley slipped out of the top 10 with four laps to go. He lead home Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne.

    1. @krxx No, he didn’t. He dropped to 12th due to a ten-second time penalty for overtaking under the SC.

  9. What an absolutely disastrous mistake for Vettel today. He was being so careful when he locked the rears and unfortunately for him it happened in a place without run-off, as at the hairpin. There are still 10 races left, but this one must sting like hell. Everyone was so upbeat (myself included) about the possibility of Vettel putting a stamp on the championship fight today, but not only his mistake anulled that, but also Hamilton and Mercedes aced the strategy for the first time in many races. Really well executed and thought out, kudos.

    1. Absolutely, especially considering Vettel has never won at Hockenheim, and with the yet to be determined future of the German Grand Prix in F1, this could potentially be the last German Grand Prix for several years, perhaps the last chance of Vettel’s career? This will stick with him for a long time.

    2. I know he had just strayed off the dry line, but i still don’t understand how he ‘locked the rear’. I also don’t get why he didn’t try to turn to take the impact side on. If he could have braked the fronts, his momentum could have taken the rear around, and he might just have got out of the gravel.

      Oh well, I guess that why they get paid those big bucks.

  10. Michael Brown (@)
    22nd July 2018, 16:19

    Team orders spoiled the race, I wouldn’t have called Vettel’s win deserved if he didn’t crash his car. And obviously Mercedes decided that it was better for Bottas to hold off Raikkonen.

    1. I’m not sure it was a great idea to let two teammates duke it out in such track conditions when you pretty much have 1-2 locked up.

    2. They know what they re signing.
      Both are way lesser drivers than their team mates.
      They can’t complain.
      Just for info, Vettel has already more race wins with Ferrari than Kimi, even if Kimi raced 4 more seasons with them.

  11. Azrof Ferrari Azrof Vettel! Hehe

  12. Is this a Singapore 17 moment I wonder.

  13. Rain/pressure effect:
    Hamilton 14 > 1
    Vettel 1 > 0

    I expect the rest of the season will still turn up a lot more incidents, so this may not be a championship decided, but again Vettel under pressure lost it. At the same time he’s racing well, superb in qualifying and at the race starts. It’s a theme for two seasons now in the Ferrari/Mercedes battle. As is Ferrari’s use of Raikkonen in anyway they see fit. Why was he pitted so early? Just to mess up Hamilton’s race? It may have done the opposite, giving him a tow. Bizarre.

    1. There’s no tow when you’re three-to-four seconds behind.

  14. I like Vettel (since 2017) but i think he and Ferrari deserve that. He is shamelessly the Number 1 driver and even once in like 15 races Raikkonen ends up ahead of him, he endlessly complains on the team to move him over. A big reason i support Hamilton against him is because Hamilton actually has to fight his team mate as opposed to Vettel who is just not allowed to be challenged by his team mate (No wonder Ricciardo didnt get that second Ferrari seat).
    And this race Vettel’s performance was so poor, 2 big lock-ups even before rain, broke his front wing and then that crash.
    Felt so bad for Raikkonen there…

    1. Hamilton actually has to fight his team mate

      Out of all days to say that you chose today.

      1. @davidnotcoulthard Hate to have to correct fake news, but Hamilton did have to race Bottas. It was visible on your TV screen, presuming you watched the race. The order came after and was basically a ‘consolidation’ order that fits the Mercedes pattern of allowing their drivers to ‘sort out’ their positions at race starts/restarts but then ensure both finish. Given they’d never had a 1-2 at their home race, and the treacherous conditions, it was entirely sensible, fair (since Bottas had been allowed the chance at the restart) and probably irrelevant since Hamilton was faster by the end of the lap anyhow when his tire temperature was back up. He was never going to give up that position. If Bottas didn’t know that from Hamilton’s defence, Mercedes made sure he was aware. What would have happened if Bottas had caught up again would have been an increasingly aggressive (and successful) defence from Hamilton at the cost of inter-team harmony. This could still happen at some point, but for now it was wise for Mercedes to keep a lid on it.

        1. Hamilton was faster by the end of the lap anyhow when his tire temperature was back up.

          I actually don’t buy this at all, @david-br. Mercedes put a brake on it as soon as they saw them going side by side into the Mercedes stand. Hamilton was 1s quicker than Bottas in that lap, and more than 9 tenths come from the last sector alone. It was clear that Bottas eased off and let Hamilton go at that point and settled into position. I’m not saying that the call wasn’t sensible, rather that Hamilton had much better pace because Bottas stopped pushing and just went along due to said order.

        2. @david-brit

          was entirely sensible, fair

          Yeah, I woul agree there to be fair (well mostly – I wouldn’t call it fair but in James’ position my top priority would be to not leave Toto and dieter with a heartbreak).

          Still though BOT was prevented from racing HAM – apart from a few turns. Not going to pretend I wouldn’t have done that as Merc strategist but yeah (likewise though had VET not been waved past it would’ve been costly. The Mercedes would’ve either caught up or if VET got past RAI first (because RAI pitted so early) tyres would’ve been further off so I doubt the waving VET past wasn’t going to increase the chances of Ferrari winning. Of course VET then binned it but hindsight is a wonderful thing).

          1. @davidnotcoulthard @david-brit :) Not inaccurate but a bit too Brexity for me!
            Sure I think Bottas might have been able to challenge again, but unlikely to have been successful on a second attempt when Hamilton was just getting faster. I’d have enjoyed seeing them race more, but like I said, I don’t think Hamilton was going to give up. And I doubt he’d have readily accepted an order to do so had Bottas got past.

          2. @david-br As part of the audience would’ve appreciated seeing him try – though I wouldn’t want to visit the Mercedes garage if it ended up in HUL’s first podium.

          3. In those conditions racing side by side in the wet, one of them would come a croper, which would have meant more squandered constructor points. Lets says Bottas had got the advantage over Hamilton, that result would have suited Vettel and Farrari. Whichever way you cut it, Mercedes made the best call for the situation they were in.

      2. @davidnotcoulthard The difference is it was Mercedes who called off that fight. Bottas still challenged Hamilton for half a lap before the fight was called off by Mercedes. Hamilton didnt ask for anything or at least i didnt hear that. Its just that Bottas is no Rosberg, if it was Rosberg instead of Bottas, he would have challenged Hamilton more (Bahrain 2014, Austria 2016). In comparison Vettel asked his team to employ team orders and let him pass Raikkonnen.

        1. Difference is hamilton doesn’t ask for team orders and vettel depends on it

          1. @carlosmedrano This isn’t for you specifically but it does get tiring seeing people say things like “HAM always (insert anything remotely relevantly/otherwise related to missing a race interview, Massa and 2011, the surprisingly heated-discussion-generating natural 2016 WDC defence-through-backing-off, expression of unhappiness after falling to 4th in AT this year)” and “VET always (insert anything related to being waved off, showing his emotions as well, etc. Surprised he got away with missing a qualy interview this year once in terms of internet complaints)” when it’s not even true.

            somewhat specific to your comment, this doesn’t look dependent on team orders.

      3. @davidnotcoulthard One swallow does not a summer make.

  15. Michael Brown (@)
    22nd July 2018, 16:26

    Team orders in Hockenheim? That’s the real shock.

    1. Orders, two of them!

      (maybe 3 for 2026?)

  16. The Skeptic (@)
    22nd July 2018, 16:29

    Hey Keith, I think that Hartley did get 10th, as Sainz had a 10 second penalty for overtaking under safety car.

  17. I wish they’d shown Hulkenberg’s overtake on Magnussen and Grosjean’s late charge through the field.

    1. @neutronstar I was going to comment that as well. There was a mega midfield battle after the sc but instead they solely focused on the leader. They could have at least switch to the midfield whenever they are going through sector to and back to the leaders during sector 3. Especially during the rain where there were almost 5(3 and 2) going into the hairpin

  18. Bottas showed today why he’ll never win anything of note.

    I understand why he followed the order but, a driver sacrificing a potential win, when he’s on the better tyres, just doesn’t sit well with me.

    1. Indeed. I was a bit shocked with how easily he obeyed the order and dropped back. He clearly could have been at it for at least a couple laps more with his fresh tyres.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        22nd July 2018, 16:53

        Are people really implying that Bottas shouldn’t have listened to his team and tried a bit harder? As it was wet in places and very slippery and when Bottas heard this, it made sense to take no risks at all. Even driving in the dirty air of Hamilton won’t have helped, so that was possibly why he dropped back further. There was no point Bottas trying if he knows it is his team mate who is in the lead. Especially at this stage in the race. I was very frustrated with the order at the time. But it makes sense. But nobody should blame Bottas for accepting team orders. It won’t be good for Mercedes if they have to drivers like Hamilton that very often refuse because then what would happen? They would more likely clash. Given Hamilton often doesn’t accept things, they need one very willing driver to keep them out of trouble. And that is what they have. But I certainly do feel sorry for Bottas as there was a good possibility he could have got past hamilton.

        1. @thegianthogweed I wasn’t necessarily saying that Bottas ought to have gone rogue, but even Raikkonen fought it a bit more over the radio when his time came to let Vettel through (granted that the conditions were still good then). I guess his compliance his highly appreciated within Mercedes, hence his contract extension instead of them going for Ricciardo. Rather than showing his own ambition and fighting for himself, he will keep playing second fiddle to Hamilton for as long as they’ll be team mates there.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            22nd July 2018, 17:08

            Well, I think at this stage, Bottas just accepts that (although heavily due to better luck) Hamilton is well ahead of him in the standings and it is worth doing what the team say. And I agree with some others that in conditions like this, things possibly could have gone wrong. And potentially both would have ended the race with 0 points.

            I disagree that bottas would always be like this. But in the circumstances today, there was a good reason for it. It isn’t a good sign to ignore team orders. Mercedes may really respect him for his attitude towards this.

          2. @toiago – The big difference was the language used on the radio. Mercedes simply requested that Bottas should hold station, with an apology, very up front. Ferrari talked about the costs and benefits, the strategic reasoning but did not issue a straightforward request to Raikkonen. Kimi didn’t like that, he clearly wanted a simple, open instruction. He asked twice for the message to be clarified, making the guy he was talking to squirm.
            I think this gives us an insight into how different drivers fit into their respective teams.

      2. Toiago
        To what end? I am sure his contract says he has to abide by instruction, in a race situation given by his team’s principle. And besides, team orders sometimes will favour one driver today, and another tomorrow.

    2. Archit (@architjain07)
      22nd July 2018, 17:04

      He lost a race win to win team confidence and harmony. This season he cant win the title anyways but gives him leverage next year to make the charge and have the whole team behind him if he is faster than Lewis!

    3. @davef1 Define anything of note.

      1. @davidnotcoulthard

        A drivers title.

        Telling your team to do one when asked to follow team orders is 100% the morally incorrect thing to do, but it’s also partly why Hamilton, Vettel amongst others go to bed as multiple champions.

  19. That error from Vettel, though. ”Embarrassing, very embarrassing.”

    1. Proud_Asturian
      22nd July 2018, 17:18

      YEAH! MAke the same joke in every single new story! You’re such the funny guy!!!

  20. geoffgroom44 (@)
    22nd July 2018, 16:56

    I think it’s not unfair of me to reprint a tweet that occurred on a leading national news network:
    “ChrisH: Three certainties in life: death; taxes; Vettel buckling once serious pressure is applied”.

    1. @geoffgroom44 He survived Bahrain this year so eh.

      OTOH there wasn’t even (very) serious pressure yet when he binned it today.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        22nd July 2018, 23:11

        @davidnotcoulthard People sure like to forget things like that. You’re only as good as your last race, unfortunately. When Hamilton makes a mistake or retires, he’ll be called overrated and a whiner

      2. geoffgroom44 (@)
        23rd July 2018, 0:25

        Not sure about that, Lewis was eating up the gap between them at quite a rate. If Ferrari had messaged Seb then perhaps it put some pressure on him.Lewis was gaining at a roughly 2 second per lap rate. 17 laps to go and Lewis is only 12 seconds behind Seb..and on better tyres. Seb had already been complaining that Kimi was holding him up.

        I would respectfully regard gaining 2 seconds per lap as ‘serious pressure’. hehehehe

        Oh, but it was such a lovely day for us Lewis fans…and for F1 in general. huh?

        1. Today was a good day for us LH fans and F1 but man I felt Seb heartache. This weekend was truly and emotional one for the championship protagonist. WOW

          1. Meant both championship protagonist.

        2. @geoffgroom44 – Vettel complained on the radio that being held up behind Räikkönen had compromised his tyres. He was right.

  21. Would have been interesting to see how things would have played out had Ricciardo not retired. He would have been in a good position to switch to the Ultra Softs when it started raining, since he was on Mediums which would have been in relatively good nick.

  22. Would have been interesting if Seb hadn’t binned it, could Hamilton still have won?

    He had got the gap down to Seb to around 10s from around 24s, so it could have been a cliff hanger!

    Probably would have dried out by the time he got close but still.

  23. YellowSubmarine
    22nd July 2018, 22:30

    Wow, what a race though.
    Does Karma exist?
    In Australia, Lewis joked about looking to “wipe the smile off” Vettel’s face during Qualifying. Come the race, Vettel won thanks to a safety car, leaving Lewis fuming.
    Silverstone – Vettel wins and taunts Lewis on the radio, “We came to their home and won!”, this after Kimi hit Lewis on the opening lap. Vettel went further, calling Lewis’ comments after the race “silly”.
    Karma didn’t wait long…German grand prix, and Lewis wins the race barely 28 miles south of where Vettel was born, after Vettel sticks it in the wall under zero challenge. Considering his comments after Silverstone, this probably couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
    Pride cometh before a fall?
    Whatever it is, it sure is giving us a season to remember!

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      22nd July 2018, 23:20

      The season of karma. Hopefully it continues.

    2. Well looks like if the drivers are going to start being PR machines from now on, we’ll know why.

      GRO hasn’t shown much pride over making up so many positions late in the race so looks like he got the memo from the racing gods there.

      1. Its like who can win the championship with the most mistakes. I love it

  24. Michael Brown (@)
    22nd July 2018, 23:22

    Something else that the commentators on Sky noticed was Verstappen being cautious at the start, judging correctly that Raikkonen wasn’t going to leave enough space in the first turn.

  25. geoffgroom44 (@)
    23rd July 2018, 0:32

    I must also observe that I truly believe it is a good week for F1 when Lewis has signed up for at least another 2 years. Like him (I do) or loathe him (I’ll never understand that prejudice)…he has brought considerable skill, excitement and interest to this sport for many years. I am so glad he has found the inspiration to continue on for some time to come.

    and, yes, I openly admit to hoping he is going to equal or surpass MS’s records (well, the remaining ones he has not already passed).

    I just really wish that those who don’t like him could at least respect his skills.

  26. So Vettel makes a mistake, and Lewis is still hated.
    Talk about being in a hate rut…It is just the way racing goes.
    Hamilton and Max are noted for being superb in the rain…
    Congrats to all the racers that finished the race.

  27. what was strange about this race before the rain was that suddenly some things have reversed – Merc previously did have the most power and straight line speed; that has been changing in Ferraris favour for a while and Merc seemed worried during qualifying about Ferraris growing dominance in this area now.
    We know Ferrari are easier on their tyres, so merc were just in damage limitation mode in this race as they would have no hope of a win!!! BUT in the race ( and practice long runs) ferrari were always on the back foot with tyre wear ( and hamilton got 40 laps out of his tyres with decent pace right up until the change to ultras ) and almost certainly without the rain they would both have had to make another stop or lost position due to tyres being finished.
    Without the rain merc could possibly still have pulled off a 1,2….. we were not really expecting that after quali!!
    This year the margins are fine and the upper hand keeps shifting back and forth ever so slightly which is great for the sport – and with the pressure on, everyone keeps throwing away points with unreliability, poor strategy when quick decisions are required and crashes…….. its brilliant!!

  28. Interesting tactics there by Ferrari

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