On the other occasions a driver has retired from the lead since then a mechanical failure has usually been to blame. Two exceptions involved Lewis Hamilton, who collided with leader Nico Rosberg at Spain in 2016 and was leading when he was hit by Nico Hulkenberg at Interlagos in 2012.
Vettel’s retirement ended his 14-race streak of points finishes, which included every race this year. Unusually, this was the third race in a row where the winner of the previous grand prix failed to score.
The weekend began promisingly for Vettel, who took Ferrari’s 20th German Grand Prix pole position on Saturday. This was his first retirement from the lead since the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix, when he suffered a tyre failure.
Vettel’s demise means he still hasn’t won an F1 race at the Hockenheimring. It opened the door for Hamilton to take his 66th career win. This leaves Hamilton 25 shy of Michael Schumacher’s all-time victories tally.
Hamilton’s victory from 14th on the grid also has a connection to Alonso: The last time anyone won from as low a starting position was when Alonso scored his notorious 2008 Singapore Grand Prix win.
The last driver to win from 14th was Jenson Button at the Hungaroring in 2006. Just 14 races in F1 history have been won from 14th or lower than the grid, which is 1.4% of the 987 world championship races to date.
Team orders at Mercedes meant Valtteri Bottas had to follow Hamilton home. He therefore collected his fifth second-place finish of the year, though he remains yet to score a victory in 2018.
The same goes for Kimi Raikkonen, who has now finished on the podium more times than team mate Vettel this year without winning a race. Sunday was his fourth consecutive podium finish without winning.
Fourth place for Max Verstappen means he is now one point behind team mate Daniel Ricciardo in the championship. Things were looking a lot tougher for him five races ago, when he was 72-35 down against his team mate.
As usual the ‘big three’ teams dominated proceedings. It’s now more than three years since a lap was led by a driver not in a Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull.
However Toro Rosso scored their first point in the German Grand Prix for 10 years thanks to Brendon Hartley. “I doubled my points today,” he joked after taking his second 10th-place finish of the season.
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Review the year so far in statistics here:
- 2018 F1 championship points
- 2018 F1 season records
- 2018 F1 race data
- 2018 F1 qualifying data
- 2018 F1 retirements and penalties
- 2018 F1 strategy and pit stops
Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the German Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.
2018 German Grand Prix
- Vettel quickest, then spins, as Ericsson escapes huge crash
- Hamilton says the quality of his German GP drive was “missed” by TV coverage
- Sainz wants simpler Safety Car rules after penalty
- Stewards right not to give Hamilton “harsh” penalty – Ricciardo
- Alonso backs McLaren over tyre gamble he disagreed with