Despite rain falling on Haas F1 Team’s parade in Sunday’s German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring, the Banbury squad made the most of the adversity after intermittent rain showers scuttled a likely double-points finish.
Romain Grosjean made a spirited drive in the waning laps following a safety car period between laps 53-57, powering his way from tenth to sixth in the final ten laps. Team-mate Kevin Magnussen, who started fifth and held that position for the first 13 tours around the circuit in Baden-Württemberg, wound up just outside the points in 11th.
Lewis Hamilton came from 14th on the grid to win by 4.535 seconds over his Mercedes AMG Petronas’ team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
The win was the 66th of Hamilton’s career, his fourth this season and his third at the Hockenheimring. It was also Hamilton’s fourth triumph in the German Grand Prix, as he won the 2011 edition when it was held at the Nurburgring.
The victory allowed the Brackley driver to retake the lead in the championship standings after he emerged with a 17-point advantage.
Nico Hülkenberg came fifth for the Renault Sport F1 Team but Enstone team-mate Carlos Sainz was 12th after he was given a ten-second time penalty for overtaking during the safety car period.
Prior to rain hitting select portions of the track on lap 44 and leaving other parts bone dry and bathed in sunshine, Haas was en route to its second double-points result of the season.
The spotty showers brought chaos, however, with the unpredictable weather putting teams in the difficult position of deciding how long to stay on slicks before switching to intermediate rain tires and, ultimately, when to return to slicks.
Tenacious drives by Magnussen and Grosjean combined with the pit stops cycles of their counterparts allowed the duo to return to the top ten. As rain began to fall over certain portions of the circuit, Magnussen was up to sixth and Grosjean was eighth.
But by lap 52, the rain intensified, which was exemplified when Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel crashed out of the lead. When the race returned to green on lap 58, Grosjean was tenth and Magnussen was 12th.
Grosjean tiptoed his way to sixth while Magnussen stayed mired in 12th but was awarded 11th when Sainz got his ten-second time penalty.