The Briton also wins the Grand Prix of the Eifel and cracks a legendary record for the record world champion. Sebastian Vettel fights for points for a long time, but fails in the end – there is a surprise in third place.
Photo series with 11 pictures
Victory record set, the seventh world title is within reach: Lewis Hamilton celebrated his 91st Grand Prix success in the home of Michael Schumacher, of all places, and in just a few weeks should also equalize the seven world championships of the legendary Kerpener. Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, experienced another debacle in the home game in eleventh place, super joker Nico Hülkenberg drove up from position 20 to eight at Racing Point.
At the Nürburgring, Mercedes star Hamilton won ahead of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (Netherlands) and Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who gave Renault its first podium since the Formula 1 comeback in 2016.
In the drivers’ standings, the 35-year-old Hamilton now has a full 69 points ahead of his team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who had to park the Mercedes with starting number 77 due to engine problems in his 150th Grand Prix. This means that the Finn can no longer overtake Hamilton on his own in six races remaining.
Hot duel between Bottas and Hamilton at the start
“I’m not thinking of the Schumacher record,” said Hamilton, who looked depressed this weekend, on Saturday. There were two corona cases in the Mercedes crew, six team members were replaced as a precaution. But in the race it was “Hammertime” again.
The Nürburgring sold 15,000 tickets, the coherent hygiene concept enabled the second-best visit to date in the Corona season, but the fans saw a rather monotonous race – also because the unpredictable Eifel weather was not a factor.
Pole-setter Bottas maintained the lead over Hamilton at the start in a hairy duel. In the 13th of 60 laps, however, the World Cup runner-up slowed down with serious consequences. Bottas not only had to let Hamilton pass, but also ruined his tires. After his unplanned pit stop, victory was out of reach for him. Four laps later, his last World Cup dreams were probably bursting: “I have no power,” said Bottas. Car after car passed him, then the 31-year-old put down his night-black Silver Arrow.
“I lost my performance, tried a few laps, but then I couldn’t. If Lewis wins today, it will be a bit difficult for me with regard to the World Cup,” Bottas analyzed on the RTL microphone.
Heavy braking from Vettel
Vettel, winner of the last Nürburgring GP to date in 2013, suffered a heavy brake on the eleventh lap and also came to the tire change earlier than planned. With an air temperature of nine degrees (asphalt: 15 degrees), his second set broke down early, so that in the end he just missed the points. The Emmericher Hülkenberg, who spontaneously replaced the sick Canadian Lance Stroll on Saturday afternoon, did much better.
Vettel’s long-time Ferrari companion Kimi Räikkönen advanced to become the sole Formula 1 record holder with his 323rd Grand Prix start. The 40-year-old Finn, who started next to last and thus directly in front of Hülkenberg, had his most conspicuous scene when he shot down George Russell’s Williams (England) in his Alfa Romeo.
Mick Schumacher watched the action with eagle eyes. The 21-year-old, whose Formula 1 training debut on Friday was prevented by the thick fog over the track, stayed at Alfa Romeo the entire weekend and glimpsed deep insights into the inner workings of what appears to be his future team.
The 21-year-old sees the fact that his father’s win record went to Hamilton in a sporty way: “Records are there to be broken. If Lewis succeeds, it is the job of the other drivers to break this record.”