Vet­tel’s Hock­en­heim slip hands win to Hamil­ton

THE MOTORSPORT LAP/ The 2018 For­mula One Ger­man Grand Prix was full of in­ci­dents and sur­prises

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Mo­tor News Re­porter

The Ger­man Grand Prix at Hock­en­heim was some­thing to be­hold with the slightly in­clement weather putting a span­ner in the works. Fer­rari looks to be on pace now with Se­bas­tian Vet­tel hav­ing qual­i­fied on pole ahead of Valt­teri Bot­tas (Mercedes-AMG) and Kimi Raikko­nen (Fer­rari).

Qual­i­fy­ing did not go well for Lewis Hamil­ton (MercedesAMG). He drove over a se­ries of kerbs, pierc­ing one of the hy­draulic pres­sure lines, forc­ing him to re­tire from qual­i­fy­ing and plac­ing him 14th on the grid.

On race day, both Fer­raris man­aged a great start, with Bot­tas sep­a­rat­ing the two scar­let cars, while a charg­ing Max Ver­stap­pen (As­ton Martin Red Bull Rac­ing) kept his fourth po­si­tion into the first corner. Vet­tel quickly put some air be­tween him­self and Bot­tas to gain a com­fort­able lead, while Raikko­nen was be­ing hounded by a press­ing Ver­stap­pen.

Hamil­ton im­me­di­ately be­gan mak­ing his way through the field to even­tu­ally win the race. Of course, this was also helped by the team’s choice of let­ting him stay out on his soft tyres for a lit­tle while longer than the rest of the field, giv­ing him some track time ad­van­tage be­fore com­ing in for a set of su­per-soft tyres, which was the per­fect strat­egy as the rest of the pack came in to put on in­ter­me­di­ate tyres as it was rain­ing on some sec­tions of the track. It did not last long and many had to come back in for slick tyres as the in­ter­me­di­ates were quickly los­ing grip on a dry­ing-up track.


Vet­tel mis­judged a brak­ing point into one of the cor­ners, which sent him into the kitty lit­ter and into a bar­rier that put paid to his ex­ploits. Hamil­ton went on to win ahead of Bot­tas and then Raikko­nen.

Hamil­ton leads the cham­pi­onship with 188 points fol­lowed by Vet­tel on 177 and Raikko­nen on 131 go­ing into the Hungarian race this week­end be­fore the break un­til the Bel­gian Grand Prix on Au­gust 26.

In For­mula E news, DS Au­to­mo­biles, the lux­ury arm of Citroen, has been ac­tive in the ABB FIA For­mula E Cham­pi­onship since the se­ries opened to man­u­fac­tur­ers and will run its new car — the DS E-Tense FE 19 — in as­so­ci­a­tion with Techee­tah from 2018-19.

This part­ner­ship brings the first chap­ter of the brand’s in­volve­ment in the elec­tric street rac­ing se­ries along­side Vir­gin Rac­ing to an end, a part­ner­ship that has har­vested five race wins, 16 podium fin­ishes, six pole po­si­tions and three fastest race laps. In the last three sea­sons, DS Vir­gin Rac­ing has fin­ished in­side the top three of the teams’ clas­si­fi­ca­tion twice.

Xavier Meste­lan Pi­non, di­rec­tor of DS Per­for­mance thanked Vir­gin Rac­ing “for the three won­der­ful sea­sons we spent to­gether”.

“Our in­volve­ment in For­mula E is an in­te­gral part of DS Au­to­mo­biles’ com­mit­ment to the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of its model lineup. The DS E-Tense FE 19’s de­vel­op­ment be­gan sev­eral months ago with the ob­jec­tive of be­ing in a po­si­tion to chal­lenge for the top step of the podium from the open­ing race of the 2018-19 cam­paign. Our as­so­ci­a­tion with Techee­tah, who re­cently cel­e­brated win­ning the 2017-18 driv­ers’ ti­tle in ad­di­tion to com­ing sec­ond in the teams stand­ings, is geared to­wards this tar­get. We are fully aware of the qual­i­ties of the men and women who work at Techee­tah and I am con­vinced that our two en­ti­ties will dove­tail per­fectly.”

The new team will of­fi­cially be pre­sented on Oc­to­ber 1, ahead of the start of the fifth sea­son in Riyadh, Saudi Ara­bia, on De­cem­ber 15.

Co­in­cid­ing with the new sea­son, the du­ra­tion of For­mula E races will be 45 min­utes plus one lap, with no mid-race car swaps. The new ve­hi­cles will fea­ture sig­nif­i­cantly re­vised styling and aero­dy­nam­ics and will be pow­ered by new, man­u­fac­turer-de­vel­oped 250kW elec­tric mo­tors.

Lewis Hamil­ton cel­e­brates his vic­tory at Hock­en­heim.

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