After two days of very hot weather, the German Grand Prix was held in wet conditions nearly all the way to the finish, leading to a chaotic race with multiple pit stops and four safety cars. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen eventually won the race, having stopped five times, ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat.
A wide mixture of strategies (from 3 to 6 stops) were used throughout the 64-lap race due to changeable weather conditions. All the tyres in the range were used at various points, with the exception of the hard.
Lewis Hamilton went off twice and stopped six times (like Haas’s Kevin Magnussen) finished P11 in a chaotic race . Valtteri Bottas failed to finish after a crash at Turn 1 late in the race
Sebastian was able to make the most of the SF90, and started carving his way through the field. The German passed Gasly, then Magnussen and dealing with Albon on lap 56 when the race was neutralised one last time after Bottas crashed. The final restart came on lap 60 as Sebastian dealt with Sainz and set off in pursuit of Stroll. He passed the Canadian for third with three laps to go and on the penultimate lap he even managed to get by Kvyat’s Toro Rosso to take the chequered flag in second place. It was an amazing comeback, with Seb giving it his all, helped by the team’s strategy and the the SF90 which has certainly made significant progress over the past few races.
Lance Stroll briefly led the race in the final stint, after Racing Point rolled the dice and put him on dry tyres. The move proved inspired and while he battled bravely, he eventually succumbed to Kvyat and Vettel to take fourth, ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, who at one stage was as low as 14th.
Alexander Albon survived contact with Pierre Gasly on the final lap to take sixth in the other Toro Rosso, ahead of the Alfa Romeo duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, with Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen banging wheels but escaping unscathed to complete the top 10.
Next Race Hungaroring next week!
“That was quite a race. I enjoyed it even though it was a tricky race, something of a lottery. It was a very long one and I don’t even remember all of it. It was very tough at times, especially on the intermediates in the slippery conditions. I made up a lot of ground immediately after the start and in the first couple of laps, even though it was difficult to see. After that, it was quite hard to get into a rhythm as I did not feel so comfortable on the intermediates and their degradation was quite high. It was hard to tell if the lack of grip was because of the track being greasy or because the tyres were going off.
To be honest in these kind of races you can’t count on anything until the last couple of laps. I think I was about P8 when the last safety car came out. There are so many decisions to make, but overall we stayed on track and in the race. In mixed conditions when it was starting to dry on the slicks I felt comfortable and that’s when we made up the most ground.”
“It’s incredible to be back on the podium in what could be called my ‘second career’. I thought it would never happen again in my life, so I’m so incredibly happy. There’s so many emotions I still need some time to let it all sink in! This achievement is so great for us since it’s 11 years since Toro Rosso’s last podium with Sebastian in Monza. It was such an amazing day and I’m so happy. Thank you to everyone in the team, it was just an incredible day. I was readier than ever to fight for this kind of position. This year I feel more mature, my head is cooler, and I’m readier to fight on top, so I think I proved that today to myself and everyone around here. I hope this will become a habit soon! These kinds of races aren’t easy, it was a tough call to pit that lap earlier, but it’s a 50/50 call between the team and me, we win and lose together and today we won together.”