Hamilton wins German GP as rival Vettel crashes late on

Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas has signed a new deal with Mercedes that could see him stay for two more years, the Formula One world champions announced at the German Grand Prix on Friday. "I have never had a race like this. Happy to finish. A bit disappointed but I'll take it today and we'll try next time".

"Miracles do happen", Hamilton's race engineer Pete Bonnington said to the Brit after he took the win.

Hamilton was told to come into the pits by his team but then was told to stay out even as he was told "in in in", with the result that the Mercedes driver cut across the grass to rejoin the track.

"What an unbelievable job by you guys", he replied.

"Love conquers all", he declared, a possible reference to a defiant message he had posted on Instagram after his auto broke down in Saturday's qualifying. It was very hard to make the right call.

In the interim, Hamilton was explaining to reporters: "I feel like I drove the best I can remember".

For Vettel, it was simply a nightmare - the chance to make big gains slipping through his hands in an instant.

From 14th, Hamilton was in the points after just four laps.

The incident came while the safety auto was deployed following Vettel's sudden crash.

"It was a small mistake but a big impact on the race", the German said.

"At one point I had a moment with some back-markers and unfortunately I lost second place", he sighed. It was my mistake so apologies to the team. "They did everything right".

Vettel, who made key mistakes last season as Hamilton secured the title, seemed keen to use the rain as a factor for his crash on Sunday. "They were shouting 'No, [go] left!" By lap 11, he was up in 6th place but still a long way off the leader.

Verstappen is no stranger to criticism himself having being scrutinised for his own errors earlier in the year and the Dutchman was quick to defend the Ferrari driver.

Out from Q2 went Fernando Alonso of McLaren in 11th ahead of Sergey Sirotkin of Williams, Ericsson, Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo, who will start from the back of the grid after taking penalties for engine parts changes and did not clock a lap.

Hamilton finished 4.535s ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final standings. From 2010 to 2013, he would start almost every race in front in his unassailable Red Bull, and even though he stormed to four consecutive championships, much of the credit went to his wheels. Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Renault) 26.609, 6. Romain Grosjean (Haas-Ferrari) 28.871. Sergio Pérez (MEX/Force India-Mercedes) 30.556, 8.

Brendon Hartley claimed 10th spot in the German Grand Prix. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 34.919, 12. Carlos Sainz Jr (Renault) 43.069.

Sebastian Vettel is now top of the F1 standings. Esteban Ocon (FRA) 29, 12.

  • Julie Sanders