Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 Formula 1 wins at the Eifel Grand Prix, and stretched out a 69-point championship lead as Valtteri Bottas retired.
Hamilton immediately took the lead at the Nurburgring with a better start than polesitter Bottas, but after both Mercedes ran very deep into the first corner Bottas managed to muscle back in front into Turn 2.
|1||Lewis HAMILTON||Mercedes||LAP 60|
|2||Max VERSTAPPEN||Red Bull||+ 4.470|
|4||Sergio PÉREZ||Racing Point||+16,070|
|5||Carlos SAINZ||McLaren||+ 21.905|
|6||Pierre GASLY||Alpha Tauri||+22,766|
|8||Nico HULKENBERG||Racing Point||+32,596|
|10||Antonio GIOVINAZZI||Alfa Romeo||+40,035|
|12||Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN||Alfa Romeo||+ 41,476|
|14||Nicholas LATIFI||Williams||+ 54,449|
|15||Daniil KVYAT||Alpha Tauri||+55,588|
|17||Alexander ALBON||Red Bull||DNF|
Bottas, Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull then ran relatively close for the first 13 laps before Bottas had a huge lock-up at the first corner.
Hamilton drove around the outside of his team-mate as he recovered, and then sprinted away, while Bottas pitted immediately to get rid of his flat-spotted tyres.
He lost further ground behind Daniel Ricciardo’s yet-to-stop Renault and because Hamilton and Verstappen managed to make their first pitstops during a virtual safety car period.
And any hope of Bottas getting back into contention ended when he had to retire with an MGU-K problem.
Verstappen fell as much as 10s behind Hamilton in the middle of the race. A late safety car closed them back up, but Verstappen was more occupied with resisting Ricciardo at the restart than chasing Hamilton – whose record-matching win was his seventh in 11 races this year.
Verstappen did at least pinch fastest lap from Hamilton on the race’s very last lap.
Ricciardo fended off pressure from Sergio Perez’s Racing Point to take the current Renault project’s first podium finish and his first since leaving Red Bull.
While Carlos Sainz Jr resisted Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri to complete the top five, engine problems slowed, infuriated and eventually forced out Sainz’s team-mate Lando Norris, whose parked McLaren caused the late safety car.
Norris was among a surprisingly large number of retirements. Alex Albon pitted early after flatspotting his tyres, picked up a penalty for clashing with Daniil Kvyat as the AlphaTauri rejoined after a trip over the grass and then stopped with a power unit problem.
A gearshift issue took Esteban Ocon out when he was in the top five, and George Russell had to retire his Williams with damage from an aerial spin when Kimi Raikkonen hit him as they diced with Sebastian Vettel.
That prompted the early VSC, and earned Raikkonen – in his record 323rd start – a penalty. He finished 12th.
Charles Leclerc fell back from his fourth on the grid to seventh, while Nico Hulkenberg brilliantly came from 20th to eighth on his latest stand-in appearance for Racing Point.
Romain Grosjean made a one-stop strategy and long second stint on hard tyres work to score his first 2020 points in ninth for Haas, fellow off fellow first-time-2020-scorer Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo, early spinner Vettel and Raikkonen.
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 14:18||1st Qualifying|
|14h25 - 14h40||2nd Qualifying|
|14h48 - 15h00||3rd Qualifying|
|13:10 - 15:10||Race|