With Valtteri Bottas suffering a power unit failure early in the race, Lewis Hamilton held off a charging Max Verstappen to win his 91st Grand Prix to equal Michael Schumacher’s incredible record.
Hamilton had a better start than Bottas getting up alongside him into the first corner and it seemed that Hamilton had the position before Bottas muscled his way back past the number 44 car to retake the lead. It was a lead he held for 13 laps with Hamilton very close behind him. Pushing quite hard Bottas struggled with tyre degradation and ultimately made a mistake into turn 1, flat spotting his tyres, running wide and thereby allowing Lewis to take the position around the outside of turn 2.
Bottas then pitted for a new set of medium tyres but it wasn’t long after he emerged from the pits that he was on the radio suffering a loss of power. The team unfortunately had to retire the car which saw Lewis now comfortably ahead of Max Verstappen, a lead he would keep until the end.
A Special Presentation from Mick Schumacher
Hamilton’s win means he equals the great Michael Schumacher’s overall win record of 91 wins in Formula 1. It’s a record that we all knew would come and its fitting that it came at a German Grand Prix and that it came on a weekend where Michael’s son Mick was at the track as he was there to test with Alfa Romeo this weekend. As a special tribute to Lewis Hamilton, Mick Schumacher was on hand at the end of the race to gift Lewis a very special race helmet that his Dad wore in 2012 when he too raced for the championship-winning Mercedes team. It was a touching and honouring moment for a record that has stood for almost 14 years.
A visibly surprised Hamilton was quite speechless. “I don’t even know what to say. I mean, when you grow up watching someone and you generally idolise them, really, just in terms of the quality of the driver they are and what they are continuously able to do year on year race on race week on week with their team…Seeing his dominance for so long, I don’t think anyone, especially me, didn’t imagine I would be anywhere near Michael in terms of records and it is an incredible honour. It’s going to take some time to get used to it.”
Hamilton’s dominance can only really be understood when you compare it to Schumacher’s. Here’s a lovely thought: for the last 501 Grand Prix starts, the name ‘Hamilton or ‘Schumacher’ have been at the top for 182 races - now 91-each.
Ricciardo takes 3rd
It’s been a long time coming but after Valtteri’s engine failure that left the 3rd step of the podium open for the taking. Daniel Ricciardo fended off a quiet but competent Sergio Perez for 3rd place. It seems that Cyril Abiteboul will have to get that tattoo after all. Carlos Sainz finished in P5 as the only remaining McLaren after a DNF from Lando Norris.
A special mention must be made of Pierre Gasly, Charles Leclerc and Nico Hulkenberg. Gasly must be commended for his P6 race result after a very late move on Charles Leclerc to take 6th place. That should then let you know that Charles who qualified his Ferrari in P4 and then held on to finally come home in P7, drove a brilliant race in an ‘unbrilliant’ Ferrari. He finished ahead of Nico Hulkenburg, a superman comeback from a man who on Friday morning had no clue he would be racing at the German GP. Hulkenburg who didn’t have much running around the Nurburgring track started in P20 but still drove a brilliant race assisted by the safety car to finish in P8.
Grosjean bagged some points for the first time this season finishing in P9 followed by Antonio Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo.
Title No. 7 is close
The win today makes Hamilton the most successful F1 driver in history. Lewis now leads the F1 championship by 69 points ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas and it looks increasingly more likely that he will win the F1 title once again. This win will give him a 7th world title bringing level with Schumacher on championship wins and cementing his GOAT status, something that most critics and F1 lovers will not be able to argue with.
You have to feel for Bottas though, especially after his victory in Russia and his pole position yesterday but with just 6 races left, Hamilton’s lead must be insurmountable now.
Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix Results:
- Lewis Hamilton
- Max Verstappen
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Sergio Perez
- Carlos Sainz
- Pierre Gasly
- Charles Leclerc
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Romain Grosjean
- Antonio Giovinazzi
- Sebastian Vettel
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Kevin Magnussen
- Nicholas Latifi
- Daniil Kvyat
- Lando Norris
- Alex Albon
- Esteban Ocon
- Valtteri Bottas
- George Russell