Move along. Noth­ing to see here


A some­what tepid race, but Lewis Hamilton’s hot streak con­tin­ues, with a sixth win from seven GPs

Much talk ahead of the Ger­man GP cen­tred on the crowd, or lack thereof, but that changed on race day as the grand­stands lled up. Even so, if Hock­en­heim is to ce­ment its place on fu­ture cal­en­dars, it may owe that life­line not to shouldbe home he­roes Nico Ros­berg and Se­bas­tian Vet­tel, but to Max Ver­stap­pen if the num­ber of Dutch ags on display was any­thing to go by.

Hock­en­heim’s abra­sive sur­face meant this would be a tac­ti­cal tyre-man­age­ment race rather than a wheel-to-wheel thriller, and so it came to pass. Lewis Hamilton was dis­ap­pointed to miss out on pole, so frus­trated, in fact, that he barely spoke in the af­ter­math of los­ing out to team-mate Ros­berg. But he made good on race day.

Hamilton be­gan the process of putting this race in the bag by mak­ing a bet­ter get­away than Ros­berg. Both driv­ers re­acted quickly, but Ros­berg suf­fered too much wheel­spin and was over­whelmed. From the sec­ond row, Daniel Ric­cia­rdo swept past be­fore Turn 1 and took up the rac­ing line, only to see Max Ver­stap­pen sling­shot the sec­ond Red Bull past on the out­side, rat­tling over the kerb into sec­ond place.

As Hamilton streaked away with Ver­stap­pen in pur­suit, Ros­berg des­per­ately probed for a way past third-placed Ric­cia­rdo, but also had to be mind­ful of the Fer­raris of Vet­tel and Kimi Räikkö­nen at Hock­en­heim’s pinch-points over the rst lap. Vet­tel had a look on the out­side line into Turn 6, but Ros­berg ran him wide and he had to back off. The Fer­raris were sim­ply not quick enough to of­fer any chal­lenge, even as the lead­ing four switched to tyre-con­ser­va­tion mode.

From then on it was a ques­tion of man­ag­ing the gaps un­til the rst round of pit­stops, when both Mercedes and Red Bull split their strate­gies. Ver­stap­pen and Ros­berg were rst in, on lap 11, and took on su­per­soft Pirellis. Any hope that Ros­berg could make an un­der­cut stick evap­o­rated due to a slow stop that dropped him be­hind the McLarens of But­ton and Alonso, while Ver­stap­pen emerged from the pit­lane on But­ton’s tail and made short work of him.

Ric­cia­rdo pit­ted on the fol­low­ing lap and took on soft-com­pound tyres, emerg­ing with three sec­onds in hand over Ros­berg, who was then in­formed by his en­gi­neer that they were mov­ing

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