Lewis Hamilton Wins German GP As Vettel Crashes Out

Lewis Hamilton Wins German GP As Vettel Crashes Out

Mercedes lead with 310 points to Ferrari on 302 points while in the drivers' Hamilton has 188 and Vettel has 171. After 52 laps, Vettel crashed, sliding straight into the barriers. The four-time World Champion knows the potential that Ferrari have. He was angry with himself, kicking the gravel in frustration as he stepped out his auto. "It was my mistake", Vettel said.

"The conditions were the same for everyone, but I was a tiny bit too late on the brakes. I had it in my hands - small mistakes, big disappointment". "I think this is right up there". The hold-up had been the stewards determining whether Hamilton had infringed the rules when he aborted his pit stop.

"I didn't think about it". "I didn't put a foot wrong", Hamilton rightly said.

He said: "It is very hard (to win) from that position and highly unlikely but you have always got to believe". German driver Nico Hulkenberg was fifth for Renault. As the safety auto was deployed, rivals pitted for tyres but Mercedes were unsure what to do with Hamilton.

Hamilton hoisted Mercedes' group chairman Dry Dieter Zetsche up into the air after the race.

Hamilton was told to come into the pits, but ignored his mechanic screaming "In, in, in in!" at him.

But this doubling back onto track led to the stewards summoning Hamilton.

Hamilton was up into the top 10 after just four laps.

That did not go down well at a nervy Mercedes.

But, at the team's home race, Mercedes called off the fight: "Valtteri, this is James (Vowles - chief strategist)".

He pummeled the steering wheel angrily after the auto crumpled against the tyre wall, the lap 52 incident bringing out the safety vehicle. "Get in there, Lewis", said Mercedes on team radio.

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They left Raikkonen in the lead with the faster Vettel behind him, and after some painful negotiating the team swapped the pair on lap 39, with Raikkonen ceding first place to his championship-challenging teammate.

Ferrari's senior performance engineer, Jock Clear, told Raikkonen not to hold up Vettel.

"What an unbelievable job from you guys", Hamilton replied. "What do you want?"

"For those who didn't know me before, now you do". "Please. Just tell me". "I had the speed". Since joining the Mercedes F1 team, the Finn has scored 3 Gran Prix victories and secured 5 pole positions.

Vettel had won once before in Germany - at the Nuerburgring - but has never won at Hockenheim.

"I have never had a race like this".

Pole-sitter Vettel had been in charge of his home race and should have extended his lead in the standings to as many as 21 points before his stunning, and potentially, title-deciding mistake. The team also credits him for helping securing Mercedes' fourth consecutive constructor's championship.

Things started well for Ferrari, with Vettel getting away cleanly and Raikkonen holding off Verstappen.

As luck would have it, however, the rain arrived heavily one lap later, but only at turn six, posing drivers the question of whether to switch to wet-weather tyres early and hope for conditions to worsen or to ride out the shower on slicks. The Briton persisted, but by lap 43 his tyres were shot and Mercedes had no choice but to pit him for new ultrasoft tyres.

When he came back out, the heavy rain started falling.

In the past two races, he has finished first and second after being way down on the grid.

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