Hi Bob Aldons, The Car Guy reporting in after the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Surely Lewis Hamilton is soon to be mentioned in the hushed tones as legends Senna and Schumaker. Call it what you like – Hamilton’s car let him down in qualifying leaving him 14th place on the starting grid. Call it lucky, managed or just the complete professional, Lewis Hamilton won the German Grand Prix from an unwinnable starting position.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport race to a perfect result on Mercedes home turf
- After starting from P14, Lewis stormed through the field to claim his 66th career victory – his fourth of the 2018 season and fourth at the German Grand Prix, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record for most F1 wins at the race
- Valtteri came home second to complete a perfect 1-2 for the team – his fifth second place of the 2018 season
- Todays’ result marks the 80th win in Formula One for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, the 60th fastest lap for the team and the 125th podium in the series for Lewis – 92 years after the first German Grand Prix was won by Mercedes in 1926
- Lewis (188 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 17 points from Sebastian Vettel (171 points) with Valtteri (122 points) in P4
- Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (310 points) claim the lead in the Constructors’ Championship, leading Ferrari (302 points) by eight points
- Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, accepted the Constructors’ trophy on behalf of the team
I’ve never experienced a race quite like this. I knew sitting on the grid that I had to catch the guys at the front – that was my goal. I did a very long first stint, but I had to stop just before it started to rain as the tyre just couldn’t hold out any longer.
It rained more and more and it was so tricky out there, but I’d come so far, there was no way I was giving it up. To get the 1-2 for Mercedes, especially on a weekend when the Team showed their confidence in us by re-signing us, is tremendous. I would never have thought you could do something like that today but I just kept pushing, I kept believing and it happened.
I prayed as I always do before the race, and it feels like those prayers were answered. There was a lot of negativity this weekend, but I feel like the rain has come down and washed away all of that negativity. It’s been a real dream and a day I’ll always remember.
I would have loved to win this race, but at the moment I’m very happy for us at the team – it’s a perfect result here at the home race for Mercedes in Germany. I was fighting for the win today and things started to unfold quite nicely for me towards the end of the race. But unfortunately, I was a bit unlucky as the Safety Car did not come at an ideal time for me in terms of tyre age. That’s where I lost the race.
Lewis had a great comeback and drove a mega race – probably one of his best. In the end, he was a bit more lucky with the Safety Car timing than I was. I had a good opportunity at the re-start, Lewis and I had a great, fair battle – but he managed to stay ahead. It must have been quite exciting to watch – two of the same cars fighting it out on the track.
We decided not to pit for the Intermediate tyres; it was risky, but the team was comfortable that the rain would not last long. It turned out to be exactly the right decision, so I’m glad I trusted the team. I will keep pushing hard and I’m sure my time will come.
What an incredible race – here at Hockenheim, on home turf for Mercedes, and a one-two finish after all the bad luck we have had in recent races. Today it felt like that turned into good fortune for us and it was the perfect scene on the podium with our two drivers and Dr Zetsche up there.
Like always, the race happens on Sunday, not Saturday, and sometimes it’s not the quickest car that wins; that was what happened today. But even in the joy of victory, our thoughts also remain with Sergio Marchionne and his family; although we are rivals on the track, we are friends off it and we were saddened to hear the news of his illness. It’s hard, to sum up a Grand Prix like this one in a few sentences but things were unfolding in an interesting way when the rain came.
Valtteri was planning to make the one-stop plan work and looked like he was in better shape with his tyres than the Ferraris ahead. Likewise, Lewis had great pace running long on the soft tyre, then was poised to hunt down the guys in front in the second part of the race. Things were pretty chaotic when the Safety Car came out – it was a very late call, a lot of traffic on the radio and we ended up with one car in the pits and one car out on track.
In the end, this covered every option for us – then the battle was on when they went back to racing. With so much at stake, and after the misfortune of recent weeks, we took the call to tell Valtteri to hold position; it would have been the same if the cars had been the other way round, too, because we needed to protect the one-two and avoid losing one or both cars.
After the drama of Silverstone and then qualifying yesterday, this is a dream result and that unpredictability is the beauty of sport. But our focus will turn quickly to Hungary, where we will have to do it all over again next weekend.
After yesterday we were wondering when our luck was going to change but we’d never expected today’s race to go the way it did. To finish with a 1-2 at one of our home races is amazing, this weekend will be one of those that stays in your memory forever It’s easy to underestimate how difficult it is to stay on track in those conditions on dry tyres so well done to both drivers who made today’s result possible. Valtteri’s race was panning out as we’d expected to Vettel.
The dry situation wasn’t very exciting as it was all about driving to tyre temperature limits and as a result, Valtteri couldn’t really put the Ferrari under pressure. The second stint was more promising, Vettel was losing time with Kimi and the traffic and it seemed like Valtteri’s tyres were in better condition which helped when the rain started to fall which was helping us close further.
Lewis’s plan worked very nicely in the conditions, he did a great job of looking after his tyres in the early traffic and was able to push the stop very late. We decided to fit new Ultras on lap 42 as we could see the rain coming but wanted to be on new tyres when it came as we felt we could ride out the first shower on dries. This paid dividends as he was able to really close on the lead in the difficult conditions.
The safety car created the race winning opportunity for Lewis, he had the best tyres of anyone so staying out was not an issue. Valtteri needed fresh tyres to restart so his stop was necessary. It wasn’t a clean stop but luckily it didn’t end up costing a position. After the restart, we’d asked the drivers to hold position in the closing stages as the conditions were so tricky and we have to think about both championships given how close our fight is with Ferrari.
It’s never a nice call for a driver to hear but Valtteri showed his class and professionalism today and I hope we can see him on the top step soon.
Bob Aldons is the owner and founder of The Car Guy, reviewing cars, reporting on Car Industry Matters, Car Tech and the world at large. He’s spent the last forty years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership. Bob knows cars.
If you’re hunting around for a great price on your next new car, you should call the auto expert, Bob Aldons from Car Business. My company, a car Broker, Car Buyers Agent or Car Buyers Advocate based on the north side of Brisbane, will return your inquiry within 24 hours and make the process of buying a new car easy and stress-free.
Are you tired of salesperson tricks? I protect you from the pressure exerted by car dealer’s salespeople. There isn’t any obligation – just a pretty significant saving.
You’re where? Seriously, my services are available for you in any Australian state and territory: from Darwin to Hobart, Cairns to Perth. Car Broker Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, and Darwin – I’m available when you need me to be.
Whether you’re a small fleet or a large national fleet, Car Business will go to work and get that price down. Lower new car prices are my goal. So you’ll get the best prices from us rather than hoping you can help yourself.
If I can’t get you the best new car price, better than you can get yourself from a car dealer, we won’t charge you any fee. No Saving, No Fee. – that’s what you should expect from a car buying expert.
Car Business WILL save you money on your next new car purchase – guaranteed
The Australian Road Safety Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose charter is to reduce serious accidents on our roads through training and education. Car Business donates to the ARSF for every car we sell. If you’d like to support this worthwhile foundation, donate to the cause, become a member today or just buy your next new car from Car Business