Max Verstappen Wins Rain Soaked German Grand Prix
Max Verstappen won the German Grand Prix on Sunday in what was a chaotic race due to rain that saw drivers struggling to stay on the track. The victory was Verstappen’s second of the season after he managed to keep his nerves in check finishing ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who was the big surprise of the day after starting in last place. Commenting on the win, Verstappen, who now has seventh career F1 wins said,
“It was amazing to win, it was really tricky out there, you had to be focused. It was about trying to not make too many mistakes. You learn over the years. I’m very happy with the result.”
After earning pole on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton has his worse finish of the season and his teammate Valtteri Bottas ended up crashing in the later stages of the race, leaving Mercedes with its worst weekend in over a year.
After a brutal heatwave the came over Germany this week, storms came as the race was in progress and that saw drivers diving into the pits to change tires. The rain caused the track to be dangerously slippery and several drivers saw the end of their race as a result. That included Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who was looking strong for finishing on the podium but after making a change to faster tires, he slide off the course into the crash barrios. Lewis Hamilton also met his demise in the same spot but managed maintain control even after damaging his front wing.
"Those kind of races, he really excels at… he was in total control" 👏@redbullracing boss Horner in awe of @Max33Verstappen after he triumphs amid the chaos at Hockenheim#F1 #GermanGP 🇩🇪 https://t.co/WUhirxmNza
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 28, 2019
Hamilton’s German Grand Prix was lost after pitting unexpectedly for tires and costing him valuable time as the pit crew scrambled into action. However, for Sebastian Vettel, who looked like he was going to have another poor performance, the day turned into a bright spot, even with the rain after coming from the back of the grid and finishing second. Speaking post-race, Vettel said,
“It was a lot of fun, it was very tough to read what the smartest move was in the conditions. I stayed tidy in the whole race. Congratulations to Max, he was superb.”
It took little time for the engineers and mechanics from Ferrari to surrounded Vettel clearly relieved after a terrible qualifying session that saw Vettel dropping to the back of the field due to not being to get out and record a qualifying time. Finishing third and earning his third career podium finish. This was a small consolation to stand on the podium with Verstappen after he replaced the Russian driver in 2016 with Red Bull after only four races. Commenting, Kvyat said,
“Amazing to be back on the podium. The race was crazy. Incredible roller-coaster, like my whole career.”
Before the race went green, the rain was dropping in buckets and that saw the safety car deployed and created frustration amongst the drivers who were left having to do formation laps until the safety car exited the track. Once the race started, an unprepared Max Verstappen stalled his car and fell to fourth place behind Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas.
A mere two laps after going to full racing conditions, the safety car was deployed again after Sergio Perez spun off the track and came into contact with a wall. The race was full of drivers failing to finish as a result of the wet conditions. That included Red Bull’sPierre Gasly, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes Valtteri Bottas.
After his pit mishap, Hamilton was heard complaining over the radio. The day saw him making an unheard of six pit stops, and while he was able to gain a few places, he struggled to control his Mercedes. Yet, the poor showing had zero impact on his lead in the Driver’s Championship and he remains in first by 39 points.
The Formula One season next will arrive in Hungary for the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 4th where defending champion Lewis Hamilton will be looking to return to form and continue his push to winning his sixth Formula One Championship.