F1 Winter Break
Lewis Hamilton wins German GP from P14 on grid as Vettel crashes out of lead
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Jul 2018   |  3:49 pm GMT  |  817 comments

Lewis Hamilton won the German Grand Prix from 14th place on the grid, leading a Mercedes 1-2 finish ahead Valtteri Bottas with Kimi Raikkonen in third.

It was Hamilton’s 44th win for Mercedes and his first from this far down the grid. He retook the championship lead that Sebastian Vettel had taken from him at Silverstone. It was his fourth German GP victory on the weekend that he announced his new two year Mercedes contract.

Mercedes returned to the top of the Constructors’ Championship table ahead of Ferrari.

“It was highly unlikely but you always have to believe,” said Hamilton. “The team did a great job, I kept pushing and believing. It was so tough there; conditions were perfect for business time! For those who don’t know me, now they do!”

It was a win based on strategy decisions; Weather played its part, teams had to guess what would be the best tyre as the rain arrived, then eased. Mercedes gave Hamilton a set of ultrasoft tyres, gambling that the rain would not be so intense and the ultrasoft would be the best tyre in that condition.

It caught Vettel out, the German had controlled the race overall, but crashed out sensationally in he stadium section, throwing away 25 points.

“Miracles do happen,” said his engineer Peter Bonnington on the radio on the slow down lap. Team boss Toto Wolff said that Mercedes had not been the fastest car and called on the team to address that for the races ahead in the season.

“We have a strong car and we can be more confident than anyone else. I had it in my hands, small mistake and big disappointment. I apologise to the team,” said Vettel.

Just like Silverstone, this began as a race about a Vettel vs Bottas battle at the front and a Hamilton fightback through the field and ended with a 10 lap dash to the flag after a late Safety Car.

Ferrari again appeared to use Kimi Raikkonen as a tactical chess piece in their quest to win the drivers’ world championship for Vettel. The Finn was pitted early on Lap 15 to both challenge Bottas but also to cover Hamilton’s progress through the field. Instead he ended up sitting in front of Vettel after the German’s stop and the latter described the approach as ‘silly’.

Ricciardo chose to start on the medium tyres from 19th on the grid, while Hamilton went for softs from P14. Hamilton made up two places on the opening laps as a result, while Ricciardo took longer to get going.

At the start Vettel was decisive into Turn 1 fighting off Bottas who reacted faster to the lights. Verstappen and Raikkonen battled furiously but the older man held off the younger. Verstappen had got the better launch, but pulled out of a risky move down the inside into Turn 1, a sign that he’s perhaps re-evaluated risk at the starts after a tricky early season.

Hulkenberg locked up as he fought off an attack from Grosjean who had lost a place to the German after running wide in Turn 1 from a superb 6th place on the grid.

At the end of the opening lap, Vettel led from Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Perez and Sainz.

Hamilton was up into the Top 10 by Lap 3, scything past Charles Leclerc. He passed Sainz for ninth on Lap 6. But with a large field spread at Hockenheim, he was already a pit stop worth of time behind the race leader at this point and hoping for the threatened rain to come.

He made short work of Grosjean and Perez and by Lap nine was up to seventh. Meanwhile Ricciardo was making slower progress, reaching only 14th place at this stage.

At the front Vettel easily opened a lead of just under four seconds over Bottas, like at Silverstone. Verstappen shadowed Raikkonen. The strategists were in talking to the weather data suppliers, no-one wanting to be the team who pits their driver for a new set of dry tyres just before the rain comes in. So drivers were encouraged to extend the opening stint as a hedge.

Hamilton passed Magnussen for fifth on Lap 14, which put him in the game if there were to be rain or a Safety Car.

Ferrari pitted Raikkonen on Lap 15, ostensibly to try to drag Bottas into covering him with an earlier than idea pit stop but also more importantly to come out ahead of Hamilton on the same soft tyres, so he could cover Hamilton’s progress. Raikkonen set the fastest lap to that point on his first flying lap.

Ricciardo came alive as the mediums started to crossover with the worn tyres around him, he passed Alonso for 12th on Lap 18. He passed Leclerc for 10th on Lap 19.

The Force India duo got too close and both lost position to Hulkenberg. Perez had further misery with a slow stop due to a sticking front right. He dropped to 14th.

Vettel was still safe to Hamilton on Lap 24, with four seconds to play with, but a lock up inspired the race leader to stop a lap later. He emerged ahead of Hamilton on new softs, but behind Raikkonen.

By Lap 27 Bottas led the race ahead of Verstappen, neither had stopped yet. Raikkonen, Vettel, Hamilton and Ricciardo. But the Australian retired soon after, reporting a loss of power. It was his second retirement in three races.

Raikkonen was told that his team mate was on the same tyres that were 11 laps fresher than his own, but Vettel locked up and put a flat spot on his right front. He radioed that the strategy was ‘silly. I’m losing time and damaging my tyres” following Raikkonen.

Verstappen stopped on Lap 29 and rejoined in fifth place, but Hamilton had not stopped at this point.

Vettel radioed that his rear tyres were getting hot, while Hamilton was waiting for the rain, which was predicted to fall around Lap 40-45. His pace at this stage was still good.

“Don’t you see the tyre temperature? Do you see it? What are you waiting for?” he radioed on Lap 38, frustrated with Ferrari’s lack of decision making on letting the team leader through.

Hamilton began to lose touch with the leaders on his worn softs.

Raikkonen was ordered to let Vettel through, as they were on different strategies and he obliged on Lap 38.

But as the teams began getting more serious in predictions of rain, Hamilton was only seven seconds behind Vettel as he desperately waited for the rain to fall. On Lap 43 Hamilton was pitted for ultra softs for an aggressive final stint and a gamble that there would be no rain. Hamilton had told them the tyres had one lap left so it was the right gamble to take to go with ultra softs, in case the rain were only to be a shower, they would deal with it better than worn softs. A Safety Car would also give him a great chance.

Hamilton rejoined fifth behind Verstappen. The rain fell a lap later at Turn 6..

It was decision time.

Sauber went for it, pitting Leclerc for intermediates, hoping for first mover advantage. Alonso made the same move.

Hamilton was now two seconds a lap faster than the leaders with 11 laps to go. It was a bold move for a chance for victory and depended on it not raining enough to justify wet tyres.

Verstappen went for intermediates losing a position to Hamilton.

Vettel made a mistake, breaking a piece of his front wing off. Hamilton was 15 seconds behind in fourth place.

Vettel led Raikkonen by 6.7 seconds, with Bottas in third, Hamilton fourth and Magnussen fifth as Verstappen pitted again to get off the intermediates.

The rain then intensified. Bottas challenged Raikkonen whose tyres were no very worn and passed him for second place on Lap Lap 51 after Raikkonen ran wide avoiding a back marker.

Vettel went off on Lap 52, just 15 laps from the end of the race, bringing out the Safety Car. Bottas pitted and the team were not ready with the tyres, Hamilton had looked like stopping but didn’t, cutting across the grass at the last minute.

The rules “crossing the line separating the pit entry and the track by a car entering the pit lane is prohibited”. But the stewards took a lenient view and let Hamilton off with a reprimand.

Raikkonen now led on worn soft tyres, Hamilton was second on fresher ultrasofts. Raikkonen pitted for fresh ultrasofts, rejoining third behind Hamilton and Bottas.

The race restarted on Lap 58, Raikkonen was too far behind Bottas to try anything, while Bottas attacked his team mate using the extra grip of the new tyres. He didn’t manage it and Hamilton pulled away once his older tyres were up to temperature.

Bottas was told to hold position, Mercedes strategist James Vowles adding, “I’m sorry,”

Verstappen finished fourth, getting away with the chopping and changing on tyres. Hulkenberg was fifth, Grosjean sixth, Perez was seventh, Ocon eighth, Ericsson ninth and Hartley 10th.

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

alonso’s telling more stories, suggesting that he is just about to or has already singed a contract extension with mclaren.

a very clever story indeed, that they have discovered their problem and now looking for solutions.

i am surprised that, with all mclaren’s resources, he’s not able to guide them out of this mess.


I was nice to see SV in the interviews after crashing out and getting no points. Unlike LH when he came in second and could not even talk to the anyone after the race just run off and cry.



I saw the interview with SV . The bit I didn’t get is when he was saying it didn’t bother him and that he’d sleep 💤 just fine that night . If that is so then why was he crying 😭 in the car when he was apologising to the team? Didn’t sound or look like he wasn’t bothered to me, banging the steering wheel like a baby who’d dropped their dummy – do you think he was pretending?


I’d like to see the midfield being told to race the front runners coming through a bit more actively instead of this “we’re not racing them, so minimise time loss”. It’s not just Merc as per Hockenheim, the Ferrari guys get it too. Manufacturers have way too much clout with this multi-team, engine supply deals, etc. We want more racing, and this is almost as big a barrier to racing as the rubbish tyres and grid penalties.

Come on Liberty, grow some balls and take back the sport. Force India in the sh*t, Williams with loss of Martini and possibly Stroll cash, Sauber bankrolled by Alfa, Haas reliant on Ferrari, Red Bull running two teams – very worrying. Roll on the budget caps, and strong rules about voting when manufacturers have too much influence.

So in summary, get on with it, by all means listen to the manufacturers, but do the best for the sport even if it means short term pain of losing one or two of the OEMs.

If no new engine manufacturers come in, then fine, agree with the manufacturers on technology, but…. follow the rules they said they would about more noise, no fuel economy faces, etc and agree a maximum engine performance differential, and allow suppliers to catch up to a degree if not match the best.


It was nice of God to take a break from giving malaria to babies and causing natural disasters killing thousands, to pop down to Hockenheim and give Lewis a win.

I’m a Hamilton fan, but nothing grinds my gears like a sportsman believing that an all-powerful, all-knowing god, if it existed, would give the tiniest s**t about the result of a sports contest.


@ Jim…I couldn’t agree more despite the fact that i’m no Hamilton supporter. IMO one has to see through all the garbage. What he’s doing is trying to emulate Senna and his ‘supposed’ spirituality. What on earth has all this got to do with motor racing ? Couple that with a wishy washy quote like ‘love conquers all’ and you can see where all this is headed. Liken that to his pose with head held high and his arms outstretched and you wiil see a dead set copy of the stance depicted in the ‘ Christo Redentor’ on Mt. Corcovado overlooking the harbour in Rio de Janeiro/Brazil. He will never ever be Senna in any guise whatsoever. Symbolism is a powerful tool for image manipulators.

Torchwood Mobile

@Kenneth – It is also the same pose that Daniel adopted for his Monaco dip.


Who’s emulating who now?



That’s a bit naughty of you. As I am sure you are well aware it’s only Hamilton that ever does anything ‘wrong’ 😉


Really? You do surprise me kenneth. Ah well… 4 WDCS (and counting) 66 wins (and counting) 75 poles ( and counting) will have to be his legacy. Your COUNTRY doesn’t have as much legacy in F1 as Lewis. You crack on though me ol China 😉 xx


What he’s doing is

There you go again kenneth – you are guilty of exactly the same kind of speculation that you criticise so frequently when others do it.


agreed. what I find worrying is that Lewis is more and more going the “supernatural way” : Here it was god who is always good, but when things don’t go his way he is quicker and quicker to go the conspiracy way : iyt started with the swith of mechanics against rosberg. and more recently the ” interesting tactics by the other side”.

basically, when something happens it is an act of god or a great evil ….it is just a weird mindset

In any case, if god really liked Ham that much he would have done something to tell him to do without his latest hairstyle 🙂


How very very true.


I always thought the Big Man in the Sky was Italian – he’s got his head office in the Vatican! So he must be gutted Vettel went off…………..

In fairness regarding LH, it’s hardly “We’re bigger than Jesus” from a certain whiny Scouse twonk is it! ………..


Were RB ever in championship contending contention this year? That’s just supposition not based on empirical evidence.

The Red Bull tub works well on tight twisty circuits and obviously the suspension compliance gives the tub superb mechanical grip……………..but on fast flowing circuits they just don’t have the power or mid range torque – and the RB bodywork produces too much drag meaning aerodynamic efficiency of the Bulls is poor. And the majority of the circuits these days prioritise mid range torque and aerodynamic efficiency over raw downforce.

I expect RB to go well at Hungary – a front row lockout perhaps – but on “momentum” circuits they can’t compete for pole positions and race wins on a normal dry circuit.


he showed appreciation for his team from day one. he says that from the bottom of his heart.



There’s a lot of chatter here and there about the Hamilton penalty/non penalty and in truth I don’t know the regs or application of them well enough to comment.

But… the more interesting way to see the story in my mind is this. What narrative should we be trying to sell through the rules. Yes if someone does something unsafe they should be penalised but I can’t see how Hamilton’s decision was unsafe. What a shame it would be for those watching on tv and in the grandstands to leave a race thinking they’d seen something amazing for it then to be taken away. Regardless of the rights and wrongs Hamilton making a last minute gut (it seems) decision to stay out, disobey the team and then this decision to win him the race from 14th is a great narrative. No one was in harm. I like many others switched off my tv when the race finished feeling energised by seeing something exciting. It would have been a punch to hear on the news later what I saw wasn’t real. F1 has a history of doing that and it’s never been good for the brand (think Spa 08).

I know rules be rules. But irrespective I think where things are safe the rules should facilitate great drama not leave the viewer mislead by what they have seen.


Its funny… I started writing a whole diatribe on why it was ridiculous that HAM just got a reprimand because it was HAM and not someone like GRO committing it. And how inconsistent the enforcement of pit entry/exit violations were. But I had to delete it.

I started doing research on the topic of late entry and early exit from pits to support my argument on why he should have gotten a penalty. But, I found of those entry/exit situations between 2015-2017, 14 of the 18 incidents (78%) were deemed harmless and resulted in either No Action or Reprimand, while the remaining 4 receiving a 5-sec time penalty (with 2 offenders also getting 2-pts).

So letting him go with a just reprimand doesn’t seem so outrageous to me now, no matter how much I dislike the guy.

Torchwood Mobile

@RExtreme8 – Thank you.

Much appreciated that you did the research, and made it public.

I wouldn’t have known where to look.


Research, really? Stop that right now. This is Hamilton, just make stuff up that suits your viewpoint, most posters here seem to do that.


#Fernz Half the debate is from avid Lewis / Seb/ Kimi / Max fans who think their driver is blameless in everything and the other guys deserve a lifetime ban for every minor or major infringement

The other half is about lack of consistency from the powers that be. Hence in 2016 Kimi crossed the pit entry line with all four wheels but did not enter pits. He got a five second penalty and two points on his license.

I am not a Lewis fan but did not want to see the result of the race altered for this offence but by rights he should have some points on his license rather than a telling off .


An interesting point you make regarding points. My understanding is that if you pick up 3 reprimands, you get a penalty.

Which appears very similar to the points system.

What I don’t understand is why we have both reprimands and points which appear to do the same thing.

I agree with your suggestion that points would be appropriate.


3 reprimands geys you a 10-place grid drop. 12 points on superlicense in 12 months gets you a race ban.


When it comes to safety rules, I don’t think there should room for interpretation /leniency as that opens up a case for various loopholes and precedents. In this case, was no one harmed because of luck or design? – Merc themselves admitted they were confused so did they/HAM check that the track was clear enough to re-enter safely?

How does this “no harm” leniency apply to speeding under waved flags or VSC? Does anyone check whether actual harm was done when applying penalties to these infringements. IMO any infringement on safety rules should have a minimum time penalty to serve as a deterrent to that practice.


Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the penalty, there was clearly no danger to any driver, as Hamilton essentially cut the final corner at SC delta speed – he could see Kimi in front of him, and someone behind him would have had to have been tearing around the final corner at racing speed for Hamilton to get in his way.


How does this “no harm” leniency apply to speeding under waved flags or VSC? Does anyone check whether actual harm was done when applying penalties to these infringements

Jules Bianchi would have had a lot to say about this if he was still with us.


If actual harm to another competitor was done while speeding under yellows then the penalty would be more severe than otherwise. Of course it makes a difference. A reprimand was given and is an appropriate penalty and consistent with previous decisions.


So why is speeding in the pitlane treated so severely. When did anyone get harmed or impeded by someone exceeding pitlane speed limits. Pure contradiction.


Uh, because there are actually people on foot in a pitlane, whereas there are none on the grass between the pitlane entry, and the track.


It’s simple to understand really


lol – you’d have thought so wouldn’t you 🙂


Because of the risk factor. It’s simple to understand really.


What is Lewis referring to when attacking the SKy team on :

“no matter what words you use to try and undermine me, I started 14th today and finished 1st. God is good all the time”

has he joined a cult or something ? I watched the race and did not notice bad things from SKY…usually I read the contrary of how much they are suporting Lewis….??????


@ D-P I too would like to know what those purported comments are? I don’t recall anything being said. Can someone publish them?


@darth… I’m a Lewis fan (his driving) and I can overlook some awkward moments he has outside the car (and to be fair he also very good a lot of times in and out of the car with his behaviour). This one though was indeed a bit weird, even by his standards. Maybe there was some specific comment that annoyed him, in which case he should address that and not point and accuse in the general manner he did. Anyway, he has since deleted the post, so I guess he realised the error of his impulsive reaction (to whatever it was!).


JA, time for a deep analytics story about what might be going on in Maranello!?

This year it’s clear to everybody that the team made a car that is indeed capable of winning the WDC. And still their star driver appear not to be able to end their 10 years drought.

Marchionne has stepped down due to illness or was he asked to leave?

Marchionne was the big supporter of Leclerc but will Marchionne’s successor dare to gamble with such young gun despite his obvious talent, or will he stick with a known entity as Raikkonen and give him one more year? The politics, the history and the intense influence by the tifosi at Ferrari should not be underestimated. It would be a steep learning curve for Leclerc and one year more before joining the red would be a safer bet?

And how many more points will they allow Vettel to throw away before they will consider more drastic changes might be required?


Marchionne is in a coma – most likely permanent – at Zurich hospital ICU; he won’t be back. The surgery to the shoulder turned out to be something much more devastating (rumor is an advanced and spreading lung cancer).


He’s since died. Complications after surgery could have been a heart attack or stroke.


Indeed, not good news coming out from the Swiss hospital if the sources can be trusted? Marchionne was admitted to hospital to get surgery for a type of an invasive sarcoma he had in his shoulder. A type of cancer that he had suffered from for some time, which caused him a lot of pain in his shoulder. Marchionne had this operation done at the University of Zurich in the end of June.

But now news emerge that during the surgery then Marchionne suffered a cerebral embolism. Which is a blockage of an artery in his brain, often caused by a blood clot or air bubble in the bloodstream. The report doesn’t specify the exact nature of the embolism Marchionne suffered, but its effects are typically nothing short of devastating. As it’s effect is immediate then he most probably fell into a coma already during the surgery and suffered irreversible brain damage. He’s allegedly still in the coma and being kept alive only by life support machines, with no hope of recovery.

Tragic and terrible news to all.

Consequences will be widespread, including also impacting the decision of who is going to drive for Ferrari next season.


didn’t some report say he’s in a coma?


A quote from the movie ”RUSH”

“9/10 days he will make you pull your hair out, but on that tenth day he will be unstoppable, and that’s the day you’ll wish you had him in your car”

All team bosses when they see Hamilton reign supreme


F1 is becoming the WWE of racing a real farce, with no entertainment value from the top teams. All they do is cater to their prima donnas (Vettel, Hamilton & Verstappen). It’s like having a three year old screaming until they get their way.

The only real racing is in the midfield, those guys are the real racers of F1, included is Daniel, Valterri & Kimi. Cudos to Kimi for making the Ferrari pit tell him to let crybaby go. To me Valterri is the winner of the race.


i don’t normally follow sports which i don’t like.


Aveli, you shouldn’t reply to comments you don’t like.


Sb, trying to censor criticism there? Aveli has freedom of speech, if someone says something ridiculous he is free to respond.


Why is Valterri the winner of the race? Had his chances, didn’t take it. Couldn’t stay with Vettel at the start, couldn’t cope in the rain, couldn’t pass Lewis at the restart. What a strange thing to say.


It’s simple logic:

Did Hamilton win he race?

Yes – 2nd place is the true winner.

No – 1st place is the true winner.



he wasnt allowed to pass. Why say blatantly false things?


It’s not false – he had his chance to pass after the SC came in and didn’t take it. Admittedly the team order came, but even Valtteri was pretty sure his delta to Lewis wasn’t sufficient to pass.


@ Aezy -doc What is the difference between team orders and race fixing? What is the difference between race fixing and Mercedes engined teams giving free passes to the factory team…as acknowledged publically by Wolff who stated …’That’s how it is’. Yes, team orders are legal so why not simply say that Bottas is not allowed to win to the exclusion of Hamilton?


That’s a fair point Kenneth but I believe the answer is fairly obvious and you know it, after all you’ve been watching this sport for many years. It’s pretty clear that two cars battling are slower than two cars following each other – even if there’s slim to none chance of an actual pass taking place. And in the event there was a Vettel/Webber at Turkey moment, with Kimi waiting to pounce, would you risk losing a 1-2 as a team boss at your home GP?


@ Aezy Doc… If that was the case why issue an instruction in the first place?


The Ferrari looked very quick in the last few races. It leads me to wonder if they are cheating or if they found something extra on the engine that Mercedes have not. James, any technical insights would be greatly appreciated on the development front.


Just because Ferrari is fast they are cheating?! That means that when Merc was fast they had to cheat too.


I say this because we are in year 5 of an engine development cycle and it’s almost unheard of for a team to have found such significant step in power in such a short time.


they found a way of increasing the pressure in their turbos.


They have a new floor and have unleashed some power from the power unit – I don’t think they are cheating. I don’t remember seeing the tell tale puff of burning oil recently, so maybe they have found something there.


I was unable to watch this race but reading the comments and summaries seems like HAM got away with a driver infringement related penalty, hopefully the stewards will be consistent and we have all drivers at the last minutes exit pit lane. What a bad precedent this sets.

DRS too effective and team orders, not much of a miracle drive when you have the fastest car.


The precedent:

if you change your direction in the pit lane entry and cross back onto the race track under safety car whilst receiving conflicting and confusing messages and cause no safety issues for other drivers whilst doing so…. you will be reprimanded.


That appears to be the normal punishment for pit entries that are not considered hazardous as per the race officials driver briefing. Not difficult to follow really since cars leave and rejoin the track all the time without penalty. Or should they all be penalized?


It’s actually following precedent rather than setting one. Also, he got a reprimand so that is a punishment – just not the one some people would like.


@ Aezy doc…Do you think that a reprimand means anything at all to Hamilton?


I don’t think it means much to any of the drivers actually, but it is considered a punishment nonetheless. And as I said, it follows precedent. RXtreme8 (posted above) studied the 18 similar incidents between 2015-2017 and found that 14 of the 18 incidents (78%) were deemed harmless and resulted in either No Action or Reprimand, while the remaining 4 receiving a 5-sec time penalty (with 2 offenders also getting 2-pts). Seems like Hamilton was treated pretty similar to everyone else.


I’m not sure what that comment means Kenneth – rules often need some subjective application. However in the case of crossing the white line on pit entry/exit the exact wording is sometimes track specific due to the nature of the track. In Brazil every single driver crosses (or puts 2 wheels inside) the white line for the pit entry every single lap and there is no issue. It’s track specific and you need to get over it.


@ Aezy -doc….. I thought that he rules were very clear. They should not be determined by ‘subjective analysis’.


I love the fact that Seb was punished for his error by a good old fashioned gravel trap and tyre wall, instead of being able to do a 180 degree on an aircraft runway and rejoin unscathed.

This how it used to be all the time in the 90s, until they “improved” the circuits, and it it was great.


LukeC, your rose tinted specs are getting in the way again! It wasn’t like that all the time in the nineties at all, it may well have been like that more often than it is now, but it has never been the case that a driver would always be out of the race if he went off.


Tim, maybe an off track excursion did not always result in a retirement, but at lest drivers tended to avoid going off like the plague, because if they did, more often than not they would risk a spin, damage to the car, or a crash and retirement.

Today the drivers have the luxury of knowing that if the mess up a corner they will be able to rejoin unscathed. Therefore the standard of driving does not need to be as high.


Luke, so you are saying the drivers in the nineties didn’t push as hard as they do now?


Luke, sometimes they got damage, and sometimes they didn’t. A bit like now really….


Evidently they did push very hard in the 90s. The difference is that in the 90s if they pushed too hard and overstepped the limit they ended up spinning or bouncing over grass and gravel and hitting tyre walls or getting beached. Or losing bits of wing and underbody as they did so.

Now they just take a wider radius or do a 180 and they’re back in the race with maybe a second or two lost. No problem.


agreed – it was massively refreshing to see mistakes punished.


Well I think VET should have only got a reprimand as well since nobody got harmed, everyone was going slower than normal, he was not on the racing line and this gravel is not consistent with other tracks where would be a tarmac run-off. Lol


I keep hearing that Vettel made a “small” mistake and had no idea he was under pressure from Hamilton.

But in fact the final mistake was one of a series after taking his last set of new tyres. At least four lockup’s, going too far over a curb so he lost an end plate and the final one which led him into the gravel.

So from this race the record in earlier races seems confirmed and does look as if he is rather brittle under pressure.

Christopher Fox

Any truth in the rumour that Lawrence Stroll has bought Force India?


Well there is at least some valid smoke coming out of that story. Allegedly then Stroll Sr has been meeting with Force India Mgt to discuss the opportunity of Junior joining Force India next year to get one of their race seats. And it’s no secret that Force India is now running short on cash, so will probably be seriously considering giving Stroll Junior the seat to get much needed cash to finance the 2019 campaign…


The rules “crossing the line separating the pit entry and the track by a car entering the pit lane is PROHIBITED”. Everyone agree this rule is very black and white? Guess there must be a Mercedes/Hamilton exception buried in the fine print of the German Grand Prix regs? And what if another car happened to be on the inside line as Hamilton merged?


But there wasn’t another car, he impeded no one and got a reprimand for his mis-demeanour. What punishment should he have received? 5s? 10s stop go? Exclusion from the results? Execution?


I will use this example again – If he exceeded pitlane speed limit but caused no harm not impeded anyone, would he have been punished with a reprimand only?


As if track is the same thing as pitlane, which people cross tens of times during each race.


As I replied to your example earlier, it’s a different situation and it is dependent upon the risk factor. If you can’t acknowledge this then there really is no point discussing it with you.


I think I saw most drivers leave and rejoin the track during that race, I don’t recall anyone else being investigated let alone receiving a reprimand. And yes exceeding the track limits with all four wheels is against the rules.


Did the other drivers intentionally leave the track and rejoin or were they forced off due to condition or taking evasive action.


He should be forced to wear off the rack clothes for the next race weekend.


IMO Safety infringement shouldn’t be evaluated from a viewpoint of consequence. That nobody was harmed or impeded was through sheer fortune and not through any remedial /preventative action from Merc (they admitted they were confused) – so strictly speaking Merc acted in an unsafe manner and they should be penalised in a similar way to speeding under waved yellows or speeding under VSC or speeding in the pitlane.

I am not sure how and why safety infringement is being compared to track position infringements


That makes no sense. Grosjean received a ban for his actions at Spa because of the consequences of his actions not because he got too close to Hamilton and caused a pile up. If he’d somehow missed everyone and gone too deep at La Source he wouldn’t have had the ban. It’s always been the way. If you spin and only take yourself out, no problem. Spin and hit someone else – penalty. I don’t see the issue. Do you want to punish every instance of exceeding track limits?


So you do want to punish every instance of exceeding track limits? I guess you’d be handing out about 1500 penalties every weekend. I do love tracks like Hockenheim where off track excursions can result in significant time loss (or worse) because it’s a test for the drivers.


It’s simple to understand really – BRO penalty was not a safety rule infringement, it was an infringement on another’s track position/race. It was also the last of many infringements that year. If it was his first infringement he would have never received the ban – perhaps only a grid penalty. Simple really


@ Aezy Doc…Then why have so called ‘track limits’/ why have a white line in the first instance? What does the white line represent? There is a solution…place a gravel trap alongside the pit entry…should do the trick!


was through sheer fortune

With all due respect that’s nonsense. If Hamilton had completed the manoeuvre with his eyes shut, then you could argue that it was sheer fortune that prevented a catastrophe . But he was looking where he was going, wasn’t he ? He checked to make sure it was clear, didn’t he? So it had nothing to do with sheer fortune, did it?


kenneth – the track was under SC conditions and re-entering at that point is off the racing line – where is the dreadful danger that Axx alludes too?. In addition, as others have already stated, there have been numerous previous examples where drivers have done the same thing and received the same punishment – complete consistency of penalties. All the stirring up is being done by people like yourself – who don’t like Hamilton – and who would like the result to be different.


@ C63…C’mon, you’re asking us to believe that he checked that it was safe to re enter all in a couple of nanoseconds and without any guidance from the pit wall? Even you have to admit that it is question you can’t answer as you’ve already acknowledged in your post.



You’re really getting yourself worked up over nothing . At Baku Kimi got a 5 second penalty for crossing the pit lane entry at racing speeds . Furthermore his manoeuvre was on the racing line. Hamilton’s indiscretion involved neither of those things – it therefore follows that as his ‘crime’ was less severe so the punishment should be less as well, and so it was. Complete consistency of punishment – which is what you say your gripe is about. So as you’ve got what you want so why are you still moaning?


Furthermore HAM is wearing a helmet – how would you know whether his eyes were open or shut.

Are you also suggesting that F1 collisions only occur when a drivers eyes are shut?

The stewards report did not state that HAM/Merc took precautionary measures to re-enter is a safe way despite the abundance of available data – why is that?

Perhaps God told HAM that love conquers all – even safety ruke infringements….


Can you prove he did all this – if not my opinion is as valid as yours. Frankly it’s not about HAM, its the double standards wrt penalising safety rule infringements. Other drivers have been time penalised for speedong in pitlane or under waved yellows and I can assure they were also looking where they were going and checking to see if the track was clear. Your argument is nonsensical.


Drivers rejoin the track after ‘off’s routinely, and other than Grosjean, generally safely. Its quite a reach to consider a cautious rejoin, with the field spread, and under a safety car to require “sheer fortune” to pull off.


Aezy, what precedent is set now? Bail out of the pit lane when ever you like? Would it be ok if it caused an accident (SC or not)? Is it quicker? Why don’t we all save time through there?

I would wager that there will be an amendment to the pit entry rules at some stage in the future…the FIA will announce late on a Friday afternoon…


Furthermore as someone posted above

Between 2015-2017, 14 of the 18 similar incidents (78%) were deemed harmless and resulted in either No Action or Reprimand, while the remaining 4 receiving a 5-sec time penalty (with 2 offenders also getting 2-pts). There’s your precedent.


The precedent was set with Stroll in Austria last year – reprimand for the same offence.


Aezydoc, crucifixion?


I think they would have suggested crucifixion Tim but, as they have to run all punishments past kenneth for approval, it was turned down as it has religious connotations 🙂


Go and check what Lance Stroll did in Austria last year. Same offence. Same penalty. No fine print. Just the facts not matching your agenda.


Fantastic drive by Hamilton and great strategy by his team. Vettel plain and simple tanked under self pressure. He was clearly annoyed being behind Kimi for a number of laps. Ferrari blew it by not moving Kimi out of the way immediately. Think this was to keep Kimi’s motivation up because the writing is on the wall for this season being his final one there.

Poor Bottas just got confirmed as the de facto #2 to Hamilton. So Ferrari needs to get behind Vettel in the same manner.


Hindsight in wet weather racing is a wonderful thing but pushing hard in the wet often seems to be the trick to unlocking performance – the faster you go, the more heat in the tyres, they work better and allow you to drive faster. Vettel, Schumacher, Senna and Hamilton all come to mind in the past where they have had races where they have managed lap times several seconds a lap faster than there competitors. Easing off to play it safe can equally be a disaster as the tyres cool and loose grip, leading you to going slower, having to ease of further…

So Vettel was probably mindful of the need to maintain lap times – just unlucky that he didn’t get away with the off with a decent run off area (I can recall that race where Hamilton went way off into a run off area in wet weather – no driver is immune from a wet weather error).


@Ian agree, Vettel is 4 times WDC (and way Ferrari have unlocked power from their engine, I can see Vettel at the helm bringing their first WDC in a long while), so to say he can’t handle pressure is stretching it. He made a mistake, it happens to all and the best.

By the way I’m a Lewis fan but I do hate it when fans of one driver need to rubbish (out of nothing but blind fanboy loyalty) other drivers (especially talented drivers of Vettel’s quality, or RIC, or Vers when he was going through a difficult patch etc)


If there is a large safe run off area the driver is going to attack that corner a bit more. If the run off is gravel a bit more caution is required. How long has Seb been racing, he should know this without thinking about it. There is no such thing as a small error that ends your race. It was large and costly, and he may come to regret it at the end of the year.


Great drive from Lewis. The long stint on the softs paved the way for his victory. It would be interesting to see, whether Ferrari will reconsider their driver lineup next season. Vettel has been inconsistent this season and his mistakes are proving very costly. Ferrari seems to be on par, or maybe slightly better than the Mercedes and if they don’t win the WDC this year, there could be fireworks in Maranello.

On another note, the gap between the top six is frightful.


Ditch Seb and sign Dan Ferrari


Loved the way naughty Kimi asked the team to spell out that they wanted him to let Seb past.


Regarding THAT call to pit / not pit.

Looked like it was Hamilton overriding Vowels to me, and not a mix up, right? This demonstrates Hamilton has little confidence in the team strategy and is always looking to doubt it.

Also, what tyres did they have out for Hamilton, thus delaying Bottas’s stop – was it Inters or another set of Ultras? If it was Inters, and he had obeyed the strategy call, he wouldn’t have won the race.


Thought i was the only one that saw it like that.

Lewis had last minute change of heart, he just went with his gut.

The team can’t spank him publicly though, else the reprimand will be an outright joke


Yup = and the “IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN” didn’t sound like Bono.

I think that was Vowels overriding Bono and Hamilton.

Bono was going with what Hamilton wanted and Vowels shouted over them both. That’s what it sounded like to me.


Great drive from Lewis. Well needed as the Ferrari is now clearly the faster car.

James can you do an article on the Ferrari engine and where it is believed they have found all the extra performance. Interesting that the smoke on start up seems to have stopped. Renault look further away than ever pu wise.



Too many mistakes from Vettel and its really beyond belief that if they have an Alonso or Ricci then results would have been different in last couple of years. I mean both are available yet they do not want to sign either of them. No matter how fast your car if your driver cannot deliver, I am afraid they will never win. Do u think this result will atleast send the bosses to think of Alonso or Ricci?

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