What a race, what a crowd, what scenes! Whether cheering on home drivers Sebastian Vettel or Nico Hulkenberg, German-based Mercedes or generally well supported Max Verstappen, a huge capacity crowd was treated to one of Hamilton’s greatest drives.
Here’s the drivers that are more Ocktoberfest, and others that are more Saukraut.
Moving on up
▲ Lewis Hamilton achieved something even he has never done before — winning a race after qualifying outside the top ten. Sure Vettel took himself out of contention, and the safety car helped, and team orders played a part, but anyway you slice it Hamilton's victory required a single-minded determination to score the maximum points possible, and with a little help from some friendly nimbus clouds, the Rain King® has resurrected his championship tilt.
▲ Valtteri Bottas performed more than admirably. As disappointing as it might look on paper for him to have started 2nd and finished 2nd behind the guy who started 14th, it was clear that Bottas not only hung on to the back of Vettel throughout the race, pressure that you could arguably say contributed to Vettel's accident. Bottas also clearly had the pace with much fresher tyres to challenge (and most likely pass) Hamilton in the final laps, with his blunted attack being the only blemish on his, or Mercedes' race.
▲ Nico Hulkenberg really brought the wiener to the wiener schnitzel-party in front of his home crowd, leading the midfield (albeit notably slower than the front-runners, even over the relatively short lap of the Hockenheimring). With his teammate dropping out the points after a safety-car indiscretion, Hulk showed that Renault were undeniably the fourth fastest car on the day, a title many are hustling to claim.
▼ Sebastian Vettel ran an almost perfect race until, of-course, he didn't. Nico Rosberg said he could relate to how Vettel was feeling in that moment, having made similar mistakes in the past, in a flash Vettel let his lead in the drivers' championship go, as well as handing the lead in the constructors' championship to Ferrari's main rivals.
▼ Carlos Sainz forgot how safety cars worked and was slapped on the wrist by the stewards for overtaking. Besides being just plain embarrassing, it cost him a points paying position. (And we might be a little sore about penalties affecting our predictions results for the second week running.)
▼ Sauber's rain strategy ended up shooting them in the foot. Pitting Charles Leclerc early for Intermediate tyres when only a few corners of the track really needed them left him with little grip and needing to pit again for slicks. This dropped from a points paying position to the last of the classified drivers. Needless to say, it was a disappoint result for a driver who has proven he can deliver so much more.
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