It may have been Nico Rosberg that emerged victorious at his home Grand Prix in Hockenheim, Germany, but it was his Mercedes-Benz teammate Lewis Hamilton that put on the performance of the day, storming from 20th on the grid to cross the line on the podium ion third.
Hamilton’s lowly grid position stemmed from a nasty accident in qualifying. Going into the tight hairpin at the end of Hockeheim’s long, fast back straight, Hamilton’s Mercedes’ brakes failed.
The Brit hit the wall hard and was audibly winded over the team radio, before being extracted from the car and taken to the medical centre for assessment. Crashing in the first qualifying session meant his qualifying time was slow, but to compound things, his car’s gearbox was also damaged in the crash.
This meant it needed changing, giving Lewis a five-place grid penalty. He started the race from 20th, and actually, it was advantageous for him.
With the two Williams cars getting off the line well, along with McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen, it took but one corner for things to kick off. As the cars concertinaed together for the first bend, Magnussen collided with Massa, spinning him round. But the accident developed even further.
The punt from the McLaren pushed the Williams into the air, and as the tyres gripped, it flipped Massa over. The Brazilian was sliding upside down along the track, with a whole field of cars trying frantically to avoid him.
Thankfully, they did, and Massa emerged shaken AND stirred.
From there, Lewis went on the charge, scorching through the field and passing people lap after lap. He made contact with his former teammate, McLaren driver Jenson Button at the same hairpin where he buried it in the barriers due to broken brakes.
Hamilton thought Button was letting him through. Button criticised Hamilton’s driving. Lewis apologised when he eventually did overtake. Jenson wasn’t happy.
From there he started to reel in the podium positions, eventually making it to third place. However, following the contact with JB, he and his car didn’t quite have the performance to catch and pass the remaining Williams of Valtteri Bottas, who brought his car home in second.
In his charge back to the front of the field, Hamilton had to pass both Vettel and Alonso, who finished in fourth and fifth positions respectively – with six world titles between them, that’s no mean feat.
T W White & Sons’ local team McLaren recorded solid results again, with Button coming home in eighth and Magnussen one place behind him despite the early contact with Massa. However, it’s far from where the team wants to be finishing week in, week out – especially with its level of history in the sport.
Daniel Ricciardo had an unusual blip in form, crossing the line in sixth, while it was a day to forget for the second Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who recorded a result of 11th.
Hamilton stole the headlines though, with an incredible performance. Despite it looking bleak for him on Saturday, his third place limited the damage Rosberg could do.
The championship gap opened slightly to 14 points, but with plenty of races left, there’s still a lot to play for. It’s going to be a very interesting second half to the season.