The 2018 F1 championship reached a boiling point this weekend after a dramatic German Grand Prix forced the WDC title to change hands again.
Sebastian Vettel started the race from pole, and had been leading for the majority of the race, but all that unfolded as light rain made the track extremely slippery, most notably at the hairpin. This rain turned into the undoing of several drivers, including pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel, who slid into the barriers on lap 52, bringing his race to a close.
Vettel was far from the only driver to face adversity in Germany this weekend. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing was forced to start the race from 19th on the grid after changing his power unit during qualifying. He had a strong race and made it up to 6th place until his shiny new power unit failed, turning one of the most exciting drivers into the race’s first of five DNFs.
Light rain in the waning laps of the race caused panic and confusion throughout the pit lane, as cars were coming in left and right to switch out their slicks for intermediate compound tires for better grip. Unfortunately, the rain didn’t last very long and did not accumulate enough to warrant use of the intermediates for more than a few laps. The significantly slower tires caused shuffles of position all along the grid.
On the subject of pit lane chaos, Lewis Hamilton, perhaps in his most controversial moment so far this season, received orders to pit from his crew, but at the last minute was told to stay out. In an effort to avoid slowing down to drive through the pit lane, he crossed the grass partition and rejoined the race.
In a surprising move, the stewards chose not to give him a penalty for this action, and with his chief rival out of the race and support from teammate Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton went on to win, turning an 8-point deficit into a 17-point lead over Vettel. This victory was the first ever one-two victory for Mercedes in their home country of Germany.
The next race takes place at the Hungaroring in Hungary on July 29th. After that it’s (ugh) a whole month before the next race at the infamous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
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Title Image courtesy of World News Network.