Grand Prix of Germany – Race


The weather forecast is proving to be correct – about an hour before the start of the race and it’s already raining. It might dry up soon, but the probability of more rain in the second half of the race is around 90%

Qualifying was pretty eventful, with VET unable to run in Q1, teammate LEC having issues in Q3, and HAM disclosing he was almost replaced by Ocon this weekend because of illness.
Provisional grid: HAM, VER, BOT, GAS, RAI, GRO, SAI, PER, HUL, LEC, GIO, MAG, RIC, KVY, STR, NOR, ALB, RUS, KUB, VET*
*No time from VET so he’ll have to ask the stewards for permission to race

Since then, VET was given permission by the stewards to start the race from last position; both he and NOR have penalties for new engine components; RAI also took new components but doesn’t incur a penalty as those additional parts are within his allowance for the season. [FIA]

Cars are heading out to the grid; they’re all on the blue-walled full wet tyres as there’s standing water and it’s still raining
A lot of novice F1 drivers, and not much (if any) experience with running in the wet, so this could be an eventful start
GAS – “I think it’s going to be tricky for everybody. Opportunities!”
Zak Brown – “It’ll be more fun to watch than in the car”
ALB – There’s zero, zero, zero grip”
Christian Horner – “You’ve got to think on your toes in conditions like this”

Grid: HAM, VER, BOT, GAS, RAI, GRO, SAI, PER, HUL, LEC, GIO, MAG, RIC, KVY, STR, ALB, RUS, KUB, NOR, VET

Race control – race will start behind the safety car
Radio for HAM – “there will be a few laps behind the SC and then he’ll decide if it’s a standing start”
Can they do that? Surely once they’ve started, they’ve started?
Ah, apparently this year’s regulations give them that option

Bernd Mayländer in the SC leads the formation lap away
Everyone is on full wet (“extreme”) tyres, as expected
Radio from MAG – “let’s go!”
Another formation lap
Radio from VER – “we can race”
Radio from HAM – “SC needs to come in – it’s not that wet”
Race control – SC in at the end of this lap; cars will form up for a standing start
Race distance has been reduced to account for the additional formation laps

01/64: Poor start from VER; BOT to P2
HUL inside GRO for P5

02: HAM, BOT, RAI, VER, HUL, LEC, GRO, GAS, SAI, MAG, PER, GIO, RIC, VET, STR, ALB, KVY, RUS, NOR, KUB
VER steals P3 from RAI
VET takes P13 from RIC
PER spins; tags the wall

03: HAM fastest lap
Safety Car deployed
VET, ALB pit for inters
Radio for HAM – “box, box”

04[SC]: HAM pits; inters go on
BOT follows into the Mercedes pit
Lots of others entering the pits
Did LEC touch a car when he left his box?
Replay – yes, he tagged GRO
SC in at the end of this lap

05/64: HAM, MAG, BOT, VER, STR, LEC, HUL, NOR, RUS, KUB, RAI, VET, SAI, ALB, GRO, GIO, GAS, RIC, KVY; retirements: PER
BOT and VER past MAG

06: BOT f/lap 1:33.076
LEC dives inside MAG, takes P4
HUL follows through, takes P5

07: HAM f/lap 1:30.853
Radio for HAM – “try to look after these tyres – there’s more rain on the way”
RAI past MAG for P6 but MAG reclaims the place

08: HAM f/lap 1:30.025
RAI past MAG again
Incident involving LEC and GRO under investigation for unsafe release

09: HAM f/lap 1:29.688
MAG finally pits for inters; everyone is now off the full wets

10/64: HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, HUL, RAI, VET, SAI, ALB, GIO, GRO, RIC, KVY, GAS, NOR, MAG, STR, RUS, KUB
HAM f/lap 1:29.022
GAS got very close to the rear of KVY
Radio from BOT – “it’s drying up pretty quickly” (but they just told HAM there’s rain coming in ~10mins)

11: LEC put his right rear over the rumble strips and had to fight like crazy to get the Ferrari back pointing the right way

13: There’s a dry line and the radar says “drops at times” rather than rain
Team (financial) penalty for Ferrari for the unsafe release of LEC – that’s stupid!

14: RIC’s got smoke coming from the engine

15/64: RIC’s Renault engine has gone bang
HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, HUL, RAI, VET, SAI, ALB, GIO, GRO, GAS, KVY, NOR, MAG, STR, RUS, KUB
Virtual SC deployed, so expect more pit stops

16[VSC]: LEC in; more inters
HUL pits too
VSC ends

17: VER loses the tail of his Red Bull as he goes off-line to lap a car

18: LEC f/lap 1:27.697
HUL closing on RAI; takes P5
Radio for LEC – “you are the fastest car on track”

19: SAI off in the final turn; it’s a tarmac run off, and he stayed out the wall, so he turns the McLaren around and rejoins the track

20/64: HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, HUL, RAI, VET, ALB, GIO, GAS, GRO

21: Radio from VET – “these tyres are pretty knackered”
STR inside MAG, takes P15

22: Radio for HAM – it’s raining in the pit lane
MAG pits; soft slicks go on

23: VER all over the tail of BOT

24: Radio for VET – “box for new softs”; “copy”
VET pits; softs go on; rejoins P11

25/64: HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, HUL, RAI, ALB, GIO, GAS, GRO, VET, KVY, NOR, SAI, STR, MAG, RUS, KUB; retirements: RIC, PER
VER struggling for grip coming out of the corners

26: VER pits from P3; mediums go on; rejoins P4

27: BOT pits; mediums go on
VER spins but keeps it on the track
NOR pulls off; he’s lost power; parks by the marshals

28: Virtual safety car deployed
LEC pits; softs go on
Rain drops on the on-board camera

29[VSC]: HAM pits; softs go on
VSC ending
LEC runs wide; into the gravel and the tyre wall
Safety Car deployed
HAM off; broken front wing; cuts into the pit lane

30[SC]: Major confusion around HAM’s car; they change the nose; not sure which tyres are going on; ends up with inters
BOT struggling to stay on the pit lane tarmac
Incident involving HAM under investigation – entering pit lane on wrong side of the bollard

31[SC]: VER, HUL, BOT, ALB, HAM, SAI, RAI, VET, GAS, GIO, KVY, MAG, GRO, RUS, KUB, STR; retirements: LEC, NOR, RIC, PER
Everyone back on inters

32[SC]: Lapped cars can pass the SC
Half distance, and halfway through the 2019 season

33[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
Bernd Mayländer is pushing hard – the SC was fully over the rumble strips!

34: 5sec penalty for HAM

35/64: VER, HUL, BOT, ALB, HAM, SAI, RAI, VET, GAS, GIO, KVY, GRO, MAG, RUS, STR, KUB
HAM under investigation again – “driving unnecessarily slowly” while SC deployed
I wonder if VET will complain about all these penalties and the stewards stopping people racing – yeah, sure

37: HAM takes P4 from ALB
There’s rain in the pit lane again

38: HAM closing on HUL; takes P3

39: GAS close enough to VET to get DRS

40/64: VER, BOT, HAM, HUL, ALB, SAI, RAI, VET, GAS, GIO
VER f/lap 1:27.623
RAI runs wide in the final turn; drops from P7 to P9

41: HUL in the gravel at the final turn
Safety Car deployed

42[SC]: VER pits; new inters
VET pits; more inters; rejoins P10
Radio from HAM asking why he wasn’t pitted; told he’d have to serve his 5-sec penalty and that would have dropped him too far back

43[SC]: Radio from HAM – “my tyres aren’t in great shape”

45/64[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
Radio for BOT – “no more rain expected”
STR is the only one on slicks (softs); everyone else on the last set of inters

46: HAM swarmed by ALB, SAI and GAS
SAI past HAM
HAM fights back; reclaims P3

47: VER pits, followed by BOT and a few others – they’re all going for slicks
BOT f/lap 1:27.031
VET tries to put a move on RAI but the Finn holds on to P2

48: HAM pits, along with RAI and VET
STR now leads the race!
HAM has to serve his 5sec penalty
VER takes P1 from STR

49: VER, STR, KVY, BOT, SAI, MAG, ALB, GAS, VET, GRO, RAI, HAM, GIO, RUS, KUB; retirements: HUL, LEC, NOR, RIC, PER

50/64: VER f/lap 1:18.386
ALB takes P6 from MAG
KVY harrying STR for P2

51: VER f/lap 1:18.157
GIO f/lap 1:17.643 (but doesn’t qualify for the extra point because he’s P13)
VET takes P7 from MAG

52: VET f/lap 1:17.590
GAS past MAG for P8

53: HAM runs wide in Turn 1; spins, across the run-off but keeps it out of the barriers

54: MAG lets teammate GRO take P9
HAM pits again; softs go on but he’s ~40secs behind P10

55/64: VET f/lap 1:17.045
MAG and GRO manage to bang wheels again

56: STR defending P3 from BOT; SAI now catching them

57: BOT runs wide; into the tyre wall
Safety Car deployed

58[SC]: HAM pits for the 4th time

59[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap

60/64: VER, KVY, STR, SAI, VET, ALB, GAS, RAI, GRO, GIO, MAG, KUB, RUS, HAM; retirements: BOT, HUL, LEC, NOR, RIC, PER
SAI defends but VET dives inside to steal P4
ALB inside GAS for P6
GIO takes P9 from GRO but GRO reclaims it

61: VET lining up STR

62: VER f/lap 1:16.645
STR still defending P3 but VET powers past with DRS
GIO past GRO again
GAS runs wide – he clipped ALB as he tried to take P6
HAM up to P11

63: VET easily past KVY for P2
Incident involving GAS and ALB under investigation

64/64: VER has a 4sec lead over VET
At least the crowd has changed from cheering HAM and BOT going off to VER and VET coming home

VER takes the chequered flag – his second win in 3 races

Provisional result: VER*, VET, KVY, STR, SAI, ALB**, RAI, GIO, GRO, MAG; HAM, KUB, RUS
DNF: GAS**, BOT, HUL, LEC, NOR, RIC, PER
*Fastest lap: VER on lap 62
**Incident involving GAS and ALB under investigation

KVY: “It was a horror movie with a bit of black comedy, a roller coaster, a bit like my career!” 🙂