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