HOCKENHEIM, Germany, July 22 – Lewis Hamilton regained the lead in the world drivers’ championship on Sunday when he claimed one of the most memorable victories of his career by winning a rain-hit German Grand Prix for Mercedes after starting from 14th on the grid.
The defending four-time champion took full advantage of a heavy downpour during which title rival and fellow-four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari crashed out of contention to produce a master-class of technical and tactical racing in treacherous conditions.
His victory came just three days after Mercedes had announced he had agreed a blockbuster two-year contract extension with the team and leapfrogged him 17 points ahead of Vettel in the championship.
His team-mate Valtteri Bottas came home second, 4.5 seconds behind the Englishman, ahead of fellow-Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari to deliver Mercedes’ first one-two finish at a German Grand Prix.
It was Hamilton’s fourth win this year and the 66th of his career, the triumph lifting him to the top of the drivers’ title race and putting Mercedes back on top of the constructors’ championship.
“Get in there, Lewis,” said Mercedes on team radio. “Miracles do happen mate.” Hamilton said: “What an amazing job by you guys. Love conquers all.”
Dutchman Max Verstappen finished fourth for Red Bull ahead of German Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Romain Grosjean of Haas, Sergio Perez and his Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Marcus Ericsson was ninth for Sauber and New Zealander Brendon Hartley 10th for Toro Rosso.