Hello MiniFans! After a year without a race in Germany, we are finally back at Hockenheim! It promised to be an interesting race with Ricciardo and Hamilton starting from the back. Ricciardo suffered from gridpenalties after some new parts were mounted on his Red Bull car, while Hamilton’s car failed at the end of Q1 yesterday and finished up in 14th position.
We had a clean start overall. The Renaults had a noticable, great start, as well as Verstappen who battled from the start on to take the third position from Raikkonen… unfortunately in vain. Everyone seemed to be a bit afraid from Hamilton, so that held them a bit back from real, laplong battles unfortunately. It took him about five laps to climb five places up to the ninth position. At the same time, Ricciardo moved up to the fifteenth position.
Raikkonen was the first one to enter the pitlane to get fresh, soft tyres in lap 15 and came out just in front of Hamilton, who already fought back to the fifth position. Verstappen also took some advantage from the pitstop and grabbed the third place from the Finn. Meanwhile, we could see blisters on the tyres of Vettel. A lot of drivers appeared to suffer from the same problem due to the hot track.
There was a hot moment when Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Ericsson and Sirotkin almost went four wide into a turn 5. Meanwhile, Perez had a disastrous pitstop and lost four places. Vettel lost fell back to the fourth position in front of Hamilton after his pitstop. Bottas slid down to the fifth position behind Hamilton, but that place was quickly taken over by Verstappen. Ricciardo’s car broke down at the same time and that caused a yellow flag in sector two and three. It was remarkable that the Aussie was the first one to retire after half of the race was already driven.
Vandoorne had to bring the car to the garage and retired after 36 laps due to some problems with his McLaren. While Vettel batteled with Raikkonen for the first place, till the Finn was told to let him through. It was still waiting for Hamilton to pit in lap 42, when we got to know that it was about to start raining. Leclerc was the first one to pit for intermediate tyres. Everyone was thrilled to see the shake up in positions due to the rain. However, the shower was over after five laps already. Because Verstappen came in for intermediate tyres and had to change back to ultra soft tyres, he lost a lot of time to the rest of the field.
After the rain, it was still very slippery on track. Also Leclerc can affirm that since he spun 360 degrees, as well as other drivers. Bottas was able to overtake Raikkonen after a mistake of the Ferrari driver after it started raining again. Everyone was shocked when Vettel crashed in the wall on his slippery home track and that incident caused a safety car. All options were open again with still 14 laps to go and that made a lot of people very nervous.
Sirotkin’s car broke down and also the other Williams driver, Lance Stroll, had to end his race before crossing the finish line. The safety car came in with only ten laps to go. Bottas tried to overtake Hamilton, but he didn’t make it in the end and Sainz got a ten second penalty at the end of the race as a result of overtaking during the safety car phase.
Lewis Hamilton, the driver of the day, won the German Grand Prix after a tremendous race with Bottas in second position and Raikkonen completing the podium. The top ten was supplemented by Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Perez, Ocon, Ericsson and Hartley.
We are back next week with a Vettel who will be ‘hungary’ to gain the points that he lost this week!