One of the craziest races in Formula 1 history

Mark Scott

The 2019 German Grand Prix will go down as perhaps the craziest race in Formula 1 history. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we will begin.

Here is how race day unfolded…

As the heavens opened at the Hockenheimring, fans were treated to another demo run from Mick Schumacher in his father’s Ferrari F2004. What a beautiful sight.

Lewis Hamilton said he had been feeling a little under the weather this weekend in Germany. A certain former team-mate wasn’t buying it…

Collective hearts sank when the FIA confirmed that the formation lap would be behind the Safety Car.

It was confirmed that the drivers would indeed line-up on the grid for a standing start with three laps taken off the total.

An awful start for both Red Bulls, Hamilton kept P1 off the line with Bottas up to P2 – P3 for Kimi Raikkonen!

Celebrations were put on hold when Verstappen cleared Raikkonen at the hairpin. Meanwhile Vettel was up to P13, soon to be P12 when Sergio Perez hit the wall, bringing out the SC.

Vettel came in for the inters, while race leader Hamilton also got the call along with a large chunk of the grid.

Magnussen proved quite the hold up for Leclerc, but he eventually improved to P4 with Nico Hulkenberg in close pursuit.

As for the other Ferrari, Vettel survived a hairy moment with Robert Kubica to continue his progress up to P8.

10 laps gone and Mercedes were proving you can’t rain on their parade. Hamilton had a three-second lead over Bottas, the Finn was then almost two seconds up on Verstappen.

Ferrari were hit with a fine for their unsafe release of Leclerc into Romain Grosjean’s path.

The VSC appeared after Daniel Ricciardo’s engine gave up the ghost.

DRS was enabled on Lap 17 and Verstappen had a look at Bottas which backfired.

Another issue for the Dutchman was Leclerc who put on a fresh set of inters and was now closing in by three seconds a lap.

Carlos Sainz went for a spin on the drag strip.

Kevin Magnussen was the first to try slick tyres as he put on a set of softs, Vettel followed a few laps later.

Verstappen liked what he saw, but he picked the medium tyres rather than the softs – just getting out of the pitlane was a challenge.

The Red Bull man went for a spin, but Mercedes still made the call to give Bottas the mediums.

Softs went on for Leclerc who improved to P2! Norris’ McLaren had enough as he retired reporting “no power”.

Hamilton boxed for softs but the VSC was ending and the rain was getting heavier – a golden opportunity for Leclerc.

But it was deja vu for the Scuderia as Leclerc went into the barriers.

Hamilton was next to be caught out by the rain as he lost his front wing. Mercedes weren’t ready for his stop as Bottas took over the race lead.

The Brit emerged P5 behind Hulkenberg and Alex Albon.

Bottas ditched the mediums under the Safety Car as Verstappen ranted at his team for putting him on those tyres in the first place.

So your top five – Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Albon and Hamilton.

The drama intensified when Hamilton was handed a five-second time penalty for not going the right side of the bollard when pitting.

Out of the race Norris gave a helping hand on commentary.

Hamilton finally cleared Albon but he was under investigation again for driving too slow under the SC.

Bottas made his move on Hulkenberg to take P2 with Hamilton getting himself back on the podium shortly after.

A rare Kimi error as he became the next man to slide onto the drag strip.

Heartbreak for the Hulk as he crashed out of P4 – same spot, same result. That wait for a first Formula 1 podium rolls on.

Disaster for Albon as he went from pulling a move on Hamilton on P4 to dropping to P8.

The latest rush to the pits began to bolt on the slicks with no more rain forecast.

However, there was a bigger story breaking here…Lance Stroll was the new leader of the German Grand Prix, though Verstappen quickly took that away from him.

Toro Rosso were back on it as Daniil Kvyat set the fastest lap in P3 while Albon overtook Gasly – perhaps a bit of foreshadowing there.

Also, poor Lando…

Hamilton spun again, this time at Turn 1.

Hamilton didn’t find the barrier, but his team-mate Bottas did. A weekend of celebration for Mercedes had become a nightmare.

Anyway remember Vettel? With the SC out he was staring at Sainz, Stroll and Kvyat ahead. P2 was on!

Grosjean and Magnussen then hit each other…again! Yet they went on to record a double-points finish.

Vettel did indeed go from P20 to P2, while Gasly’s miserable afternoon came to an end after he rear-ended Albon.

Verstappen claimed victory in a purely bonkers German Grand Prix.

P2 for Vettel, P3 for Kvyat. Incredible!

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