Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Hamilton takes wild German GP

Published:Monday | July 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Hamilton

HOCKENHEIM, Germany (AP):

Lewis Hamilton regained the championship lead in unexpected and dramatic fashion yesterday, winning the German Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel crashed while leading near the end.

However, Hamilton was then summoned to speak to stewards to explain a move late in the race.

Heavy rain played havoc late on at the Hockenheimring as Vettel misjudged a basic entry into a turn and slid over the gravel into the barriers with 15 laps to go.

The four-time Formula One champion started from pole position and seemed in control. He was angry with himself, kicking the gravel in frustration as he stepped out his car.

"I threw it away. It was my mistake," Vettel said. "I was a tiny bit too late on the brakes, locked the rears and I couldn't turn. It wasn't the biggest mistake I've done, but one of the most costly ones."

His mishap opened the door wide open for Hamilton, who is 17 points clear of Vettel after trailing by eight beforehand.

"I've never had a race like this," Hamilton said. "I think this is right up there."

Hamilton met with stewards for crossing the line between pit entry and the track. The incident came while the safety car was deployed following Vettel's crash.

Hamilton decided against pitting at the last second and crossed the grass to rejoin the track a move prohibited under governing body FIA's rules.

The British driver was fourth at the time of the crash, having started from 14th on the grid because of a hydraulic problem in qualifying. Valtteri Bottas started and finished second on a great day for Mercedes, with Kimi Raikkonen taking third on a bad one for Ferrari.