The 2019 German grand prix was one to remember, the incredible racing, shocking crashes and unbelievable results from the midfield is something we haven’t seen in Formula 1. With all the action I will try and dissect the most memorable bits and in my review talk about the amazing podium, all the highlights from the midfield and everything else from the race as well.
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Verstappen wins chaotic, amazing, incredible German GP
Max Verstappen pitted five times on his way to the German GP win as Sebastian Vettel raced from P20 to P2, Lewis Hamilton lost his front wing and Charles Leclerc blotted his copybook.
After too many grands prix where the meteorologists said it would rain and it didn’t, the rain forecast for the German Grand Prix fell in buckets – the first wet race of 2019.
That meant formation laps behind the Safety Car until such a time as the track was dry enough for a standing start – and wet weather tyres for everyone. After just one lap, Lewis Hamilton: “Safety Car needs to come in already, it’s not even that wet, let’s go.”
Thankfully the FIA saw reason and, after a handful of formation laps behind the SC, a standing start for a 64-lap German GP was called.
Hamilton made a great start while Max Verstappen did not, allowing Valtteri Bottas up into second place while Kimi Raikkonen jumped to third ahead of Verstappen. Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean touched wheels with the Frenchman losing out while Charles Leclerc went from P10 to P6. Sebastian Vettel shot up from 20th to 14th on the opening lap.
Watching what could only be called a slo-mo grand prix as the driver adjusted to the conditions, Hamilton was flying with clear air and clear vision ahead while Verstappen took third off Raikkonen and Vettel overtook his former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for P13. Sergio Perez was the first man to spin, and the first to crash, hitting the wall at Turn 11 with his SportPesa Racing Point.
Out came the Safety Car and in came drivers, including Vettel, swapping their full wets for inters. Hamilton was then told by Mercedes to “box” as others – except Magnussen, Stroll, Norris and the Williams – pitted.
The race resumed on lap 4 with Hamilton immediately pulling away on his inters with Bottas and Verstappen making short work of Magnussen with Leclerc and Hulkenberg following them through two laps later. Further back Vettel was up to P8, passing three drivers on one lap alone!
‘Pass Magnussen’ day continued at the Hockenheimring with Raikkonen the next to put his inters to good use with Vettel stuck to his former team-mate’s rear wing and also through. Magnussen pitted, conceding Haas had made the wrong call and swapping the wets for inters. The other four who stayed out, pitted.
Ricciardo added his name to the retirement list – an engine failure for the Renault driver. The VSC came out with Leclerc and Hulkenberg into the pits, both swapping inters for inters.
Carlos Sainz almost joined Ricciardo in retirement as he spun off the track and somehow avoided the barrier. 10/10 for that pirouette! Just behind him Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen battled for position with the Racing Point driver introducing the Haas man the track limits. With very little to lose, Haas pitted Magnussen for slick tyres – the first to take the gamble.
A lap later Ferrari did the same with Vettel with Verstappen the next in. He was right on Bottas’s rear wing when Red Bull pitted him, opting for the medium Pirellis. He came out P4, losing a position to Leclerc. That prompted furious action in the pits as many more came in, including Bottas. He came out ahead of Verstappen as the Red Bull driver had a rather impressive spin, so too did Stroll on his slick tyres.
Points for Hamilton and Kubica, Alfas demoted
One of the craziest races in Formula 1 history
Hamilton rues ‘worst day in a long time’
Honda take a dig at Alonso after ‘GP2 wins’
FIA clear Hamilton of wrongdoing during Safety Car