Max Verstappen wins crazy German Grand Prix: 'Amazing to win'
Published on 28 July 2019 by Mike Motilall
Max Verstappen has won the German Grand Prix in a superb fashion. The race, on a wet Hockenheim circuit, was full of spectacle. With no less than seven drop outs and crashes from Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas. Even Verstappen spun during his first lap on the slicks, but he was able to continue on. Due to the fact that the front runners were making mistake after mistake, Max was able to take the lead. After racing for two hours including five stops, Max took the chequered flag. Icing on the cake was also snatching the fastest lap. The Dutch Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-driver was accompanied on the podium by Sebastian Vettel and surprisingly Daniil Kvyat in his Toro Rosso.
“It’s amazing to win”, says a very happy Max after the race. “It was really tricky to make the rights calls and we really had to be focused. It was about not making too many mistakes in these tricky conditions. We stayed out of trouble, apart from that only spin. When we went to the slicks, I had a moment. Luckily we managed to get that well under control. I was able to do a 360 and eventually came out on top. I am very happy with our whole performance today.”
Max came poorly off the line on the wet track. How did that happen? “I didn’t have any grip, but I think nobody on the right had any grip. It was not a smooth start, but in the end it doesn’t make any difference.”
After his spin, Max said on the radio that he would rather have had the softs on his car instead of the medium compound tyres. Verstappen explains why: “At that moment, I wanted the red, soft tyres. When the track is wet and slippery, you really don’t get the medium tyres that well up to temperature, you could see that. Eventually it started to rain even more and we went back to the inters. The problem was that I was first behind of Bottas and when I got within a second-and-a-half, I lost all grip. When I eventually was at the front, I was able to pull away very easily.”
In the closing stages, Vettel was fast approaching but he was no longer a threat to Max: “We clocked the fastest lap and never really pushed. We still had some margin and eventually we didn’t need to push than was necessary. So I am very happy with this win.”
We can truly say that for a very long time now we have had a rainy race. All the drivers are on the full wets when the field gets underway behind the safety car. “I think we can race”, says Max on the radio on the third formation lap. After four formation laps, a standing start follows. Max gets poorly off the line and is fourth after the first corner. Polesitter Hamilton retains his lead ahead of team mate Bottas.
On lap two, Max overtakes Kimi Raikkonen. On the same lap, Perez crashes at Turn Eleven. The Mexican gets out unscathed from his Racing Point, while the safety car has been deployed. Sebastian Vettel, who started all the way back, pits for the intermediates. The rest of the field follows a lap later. Max rejoins in fourth after his stop.
The safety heads back in on lap five. Verstappen immediately overtakes Kevin Magnussen, which puts him in third. Verstappen is now able to easily trail Bottas, who is ahead of him, the following laps.
Daniel Ricciardo’s engine gives up on him on lap 15. The Ozzie, running in twelfth, is now the second drop out of the race. DRS is enabled on lap seventeen. Max immediately uses the opportunity to engage an attack on Bottas. Unfortunately the rear of the RB15 breaks out and the Dutchman slots back in behind of the Finn.
Magnussen is the first driver who takes a gamble on lap 23 to put the slicks under his car. Max Verstappen follows suit three laps later. On the medium compound tyres, Max rejoins in fourth. In Turn Fifteen, Verstappen spins on the cold rubbers. After a full 360, Max continues on without any damages.
Norris drops out due to technical issues on his McLaren. A brief virtual safety car follows. On lap 29 all is clear again. Charles Leclerc slides off track on his new slicks in Turn Fifteen. The Monegasque hits the tyre wall and gets stuck in the gravel trap. The safety car gets sent out, while race leader Hamilton hits the guard rail at the exact same point. The Briton is able to continue on with a damaged front wing. He immediately heads to the pits but Mercedes is not ready for him. After a hectic stop lasting no less than 50 seconds, Hamilton heads back out in P5. Apart from that, Hamilton is handed a five-second time-penalty for entering the pits incorrectly.
At that moment, Verstappen has stopped for intermediates, while Bottas follows a lap later and relinquishes the lead to Max. On lap 34 the safety car heads back in. Verstappen gains four seconds in one lap on Nico Hulkenberg, who is second.
The Mercedes, running third and fourth, start hunting down Hulkenberg. Bottas is the first to overtake the German while Hamilton does the same one lap later. By that time, Verstappen has built a lead of nine second on Bottas.
Turn Fifteen proves to be a separator for the men and the boys. Hulkenberg is also sent packing when he slides off track on lap 41. The German gets stuck in the gravel and becomes the fifth drop out of the race. The safety car is deployed once more. The enables Max to do a pit stop for a new set of fresh inters and still keep the lead.
On lap 46, the safety car period ends. Verstappen immediately pulls away from Bottas and Hamilton. At the end of the lap the Dutchman heads back in to change to dry weather tyres. When the Mercedes also head in one lap later, Verstappen is at the front again, ahead of Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat. Both of them strategically and very brilliantly having strapped on the dry weather tyres during the safety car period.
Hamilton is very lucky spinning at Turn One. The Mercedes-driver brushes the wall, but is able to continue on. Team mate Bottas is less fortunate on lap 57. He also spins in Turn One but hits the tyre wall. The Finn is out of the race and the safety car is called upon once more. On lap 60 the track is cleared and Max pulls away from Kvyat and Stroll.
Vettel overtakes Lance Stroll on lap 62 for P3, while Pierre Gasly rear ends Alexander Albon. The Frenchman is forced to give up with a severly damaged RB15 while Albon continues on. Vettel also overtakes Daniil Kvyat and snatches away second place from him. Max Verstappen takes home the victory and also manages to get an extra point for the fastest lap. This is second win this season and his career seventh. Daniil Kvyat scores a nice win for Toro Rosso. This is the first trophy for Kvyat since the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix and the second podium for Toro Rosso in their history. Behind the Russian, there are more names that have surprised: Lance Stroll comes in fourth, Carlos Sainz is fifth and Alexander Albon is sixth fastest. Lewis Hamilton finishes with no points in eleventh.
|1||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||64||1:44:31.275||26|
|3||Daniil Kvyat||KVY||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||64||+8.305s||15|
|4||Lance Stroll||STR||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||64||+8.966s||12|
|5||Carlos Sainz||SAI||McLaren Renault||64||+9.583s||10|
|6||Alexander Albon||ALB||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||64||+10.052s||8|
|7||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||64||+12.214s||6|
|8||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||64||+13.849s||4|
|9||Romain Grosjean||GRO||Haas Ferrari||64||+16.838s||2|
|10||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||64||+18.765s||1|
|12||Robert Kubica||KUB||Williams Mercedes||64||+24.987s||0|
|13||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||64||+26.404s||0|
|14||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Red Bull Racing Honda||61||DNF||0|
|0||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Renault||25||DNF||0|
|0||Sergio Perez||PER||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1||DNF||0|