Hockenheim (Germany), July 22 (IANS) Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton of Britain (Mercedes) rallied to win the German Grand Prix, after Sebastian Vettel of Germany (Ferrari) crashed out on a wet part of the track while leading in the 52nd lap here on Sunday.
With this win, Hamilton reclaimed the lead in the 2018 driver standings from Vettel, after having to start the race from the 14th spot due to a hydraulic failure in Saturday’s qualifying, reports Efe.
“It’s very difficult from that position but you always have to believe. I kept pushing, kept believing and it happened,” Hamilton said after the win.
Under dark skies, Vettel had held first for much of the race, but rain showers on part of the track led him to lose control and careen into the gravel, after which he could be seen pounding his steering wheel in frustration.
After the loss, Vettel said it was “a quite unspectacular way to end the race. Up to that point everything was fine, but then obviously a small mistake with a big impact”.
With the safety car deployed following the crash, the Mercedes team called Hamilton in for a pit stop, only to reverse their decision at the last minute, and with that, their British driver sped across the grass and into the lead.
Second place went to Mercedes’ other driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, who with fresher tires had fought Hamilton for the lead before the team asked him to settle for second.
Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) came in third, while Max Verstappen of the Netherlands (Red Bull) came fourth, followed by Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) and France’s Romian Grosjean (Haas).
Spain’s Carlos Sainz (Renault) wrapped up the race in the 12th spot after being handed a 10-second penalty for overtaking while the safety car was deployed.
His countryman Fernando Alonso (McLaren) was forced to leave the race in the final lap.