Sebastian Vettel seemed destined for his first ever victory at Hockenheim but dramatically hit the barriers in the final stages. Lewis Hamilton seized the chance to claim victory, confirmed after a steward's enquiry.
Lewis Hamilton triumphed in a frantic German Grand Prix, climbing from 14th to finish first after Sebastian Vettel threw victory away after a crash 15 laps from the end.
Heavy rain played havoc late on at the Hockenheimring as Vettel misjudged a basic entry into turn 52 and slid over the gravel into the barriers in a potentially pivotal moment in the championship race.
Vettel's incident led to a safety car coming out for several laps. There was confusion at Mercedes, even with Hamilton out in front, as the Briton ignored orders from his team to pit. But Hamilton's gamble paid off as he secured a victory that sees him regain the lead in the driver's championship.
"You've always got to believe. I just wanted to stay collected, stay calm," said a delighted Hamilton. "For those who don't know me, now you do."
But Hamilton's victory was in doubt after the race when he was summoned to the stewards to explain an aborted pit stop.
Hamilton was first instructed by his team to pit in chaotic circumstances as rain fell late in the race before he pulled out at the last second, cutting across a grass verge. But Hamilton escaped punishment to keep his victory.
Win number 44 in car number 44 for Lewis Hamilton ! 👊
It is Hamilton’s fourth win at the German Grand Prix, matching Michael Schumacher as the most successful driver at the race and of import for Mercedes in securing a one-two, with Valtteri Bottas in second, regaining their lead of the constructors’ championship. Third place was taken closely behind by Vettel's team mate Räikkönen giving them at least a few points to add to the constructor standings.
Celebrate the podium from the GermanGP with Special Edition Driver Caps from Hamilton. Bottas and Räikkönen and shop the range below.
For Vettel, who finished ahead of Hamilton at the British Grand Prix two weeks ago, his dream of winning a first Grand Prix at Hockenheim turned to a nightmare. He now has 171 points to Hamilton's 188, with next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix set to be another vital one for both drivers.
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