Before the last safety car, Vettel thought he could do something because he felt like he was faster than the others, so passing them was relatively straightforward.
“It was a long race,” says Vettel. “At some points it felt like it was never ending, but it was good fun.”
Verstappen says it was amazing out there, he enjoyed it and it was all about trying not to make too many mistakes in really difficult conditions.
“All credit in the world to Verstappen,” says Amanda Orson, “but Vettel going from #20 to #2 is just incredible. He should have been Driver of the Day.”
Can’t argue with that.
Verstappen gets out of his car and celebrates his second win in three races with his team.
“What a race” says Vettel, an observation accurate both generally and specifically.
“What a result!” says Verstappen to his team. He is delighted, and why not.
Max Verstappen wins the German Grand Prix for Red Bull!
And Sebastian Vettel comes second from the back of the grid, with Daniil Kvyat coming third!
Lap 63/64 Come on! Vettel absolutely mashes Kvyat on the straight and the crowd go wild! He’s second now, while Versatappen leads by more than four seconds! But what an effort from Vettel, who started at the back of the grid!
Lap 62/64 Albon blocks off Gasly and Gasly can’t stay away, bumping him and ruining his own chances±
Lap 61/64 Verstappen extends his lead – it’s 2.475s to Kvyat, who leads Stroll … no he doesn’t! He can’t handle Vettel’s power, and Vettel takes him out!
Lap 61/64 Juna Pablo Montoya once finished second from the back of the grid; can Vettel get onto the podium? He’s fourth, less than half a second behind Stroll!
Lap 60/64 Vettel gains on Sainz, who holds him off, then Vettel sorts him on the inside! Superb! Then Albon does Gasly to move sixth and it’s all going on!
Lap 59/64 The safety car departs and Verstappen steps on it! Five laps to go!
Lap 59/64 Right, our placing:
Lap 58/64 Bottas’ gaffer was proper vex when he spun off. Lovely stuff.
Lap 58/64 They reckon it’ll take three laps to remove Bottas’ debris as Hamilton pits again; presumably he’s seeking a fastest lap point, though needs to get into the top 10 for that.
Lap 57/64 Back comes the safety car as we see Bottas’s spin – he slides on a bit of water and his rear tyres take him off. That will not be unwelcome to the 15th-placed Hamilton; did I say 15th? I meant 15th and last.
Bottas spins out
Lap 56/64 AND BOTTAS, PUSHING HARD TO ATTACK STROLL, SPINS OFF! WHAT IS GOING ON! WHAT A RACE! MEANWHILE, IN MERCEDES DIGS, TABLES ARE THUMPED!
Lap 56/64 Sainz is now in that battle for third with Stroll and Bottas, with Vettel behind them in sixth place.
Lap 55/64 Verstappen leads by 9.903 from Kvyat, while Bottas tries to relieve Stroll of his third place. Verstappen just got his tyres exactly right, while the rain came at exactly the wrong point for Hamilton.
Lap 54/64 Hamilton is 14th now, and pits for a change of tyres! He needs something out of Wacky Races!
Hamilton spins again
Lap 53/64 It’s impossible to see anyone catching Verstappen now, and with Kvyat behind him we’re looking at a Honda one-two … but then Hamilton goes off the track! He went wide at a corner, too wide, spun, and though he managed to right himself lost plenty of time in so doing. His run of 22 point-accumulating races is surely at an end!
Lap 52/64 Vettel is carving through the field, currently sitting seventh but lapping fastest of all of them. Hamilton has been extremely quiet since finding himself 12th.
Lap 51/64 Stroll was the first Canadian to lead a race since Jacques Villeneuve, but now he’s third – Kvyat passes him. The gap to Verstappen is 9.128s/
Lap 50/64 Albon goes by Magnussen as the track dries out…
Lap 48/64 This is an absolutely ridiculous race! Verstappen nails Stroll and records the fastest lap of the race, then seconds later Kvyat beats it; in between the two is Stroll, and fourth is Bottas, fifth is Sainz, sixth is Magnussen.
Lap 48/64 Hamilton pits and Stroll takes the lead! Verstappen is just behind – 0.176s – and Hamilton serves his penalty to rejoin the race in twelfth.
Lap 47/64 Bottas pits too and Hamilton leads the race now, 2.556s ahead of Raikkonen, from Vettel, from Giovinazzi, from Stroll, from Verstappen.
Lap 46/64 Off goes the safety car and Albon and Sainz both attack Hamilton! One on each side! But around the corner he holds it down! Albon then finds himself sliding from fourth to eighth, while in front Verstappen extends his lead to 3.964 before pitting for slicks!