5 Talking Points from the 2019 German Grand Prix

Formula 1 - GP Germany - Race Day
Formula 1 - GP Germany - Race Day

If there was a race that was every bit crazy as it was exciting, then it was the German Grand Prix of 2019. This was far more unpredictable a race than one seen at the very venue last year where Sebastian Vettel, firmly in control of the proceedings, went on to skid off the track, going out of control only to give Lewis Hamilton the checkered flag.

But it wasn't to be this year. In fact, Hockenheimring would produce a completely opposite narrative this year as Vettel went on to garner a tremendous podium while Lewis Hamilton, leading the Grand Prix at one point, fell well outside the top-five.

In fact, on many occasions, it seemed even those contesting in the Grand Prix had less idea about what was to happen. A track besieged by rains, challenged by utter lack of grip with drivers spinning off a turn after another, Hockenheimring produced a belter of a contest.

A classic wet-weather battle contested in barely drivable conditions, it could be said, the German Grand Prix did its mighty bit to rescue F1 from the criticism that it had generated following Mercedes dominating usually every race without there being any room of thrill.

A lot was at stake from a numerical standpoint for so many drivers out there. For starters, the Hockenheim race offered a smashing opportunity to pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton to clinch his 50th win from pole. But it was never to be.

So what were the key talking points from the 2019 German Grand Prix?

Valtteri Bottas copping up a DNF

Formula 1 - GP Germany - Race
Formula 1 - GP Germany - Race

Valtteri Bottas entered the 2019 German Grand Prix at the back of very strong performances. Following his brilliant second at France, he gathered a third at Austria and a second at Great Britain.

In fact, before arriving at Hockenheim, the lowest that he'd gathered all season was his P4 at the Canadian Grand Prix. This was the only time where he didn't finish on the podium. Following the turbo-failures in both Ferraris on Saturday, Bottas and Hamilton would've fancied their chances of a strong result on Sunday.

Just that, it wasn't meant to be. After a decent start under torrential rains, Bottas began well following closely the Mercedes of the race leader, Hamilton.

For the better part of the race, Bottas had held the better of Verstappen in a closely-fought battle for second.

But there was some drama to follow. Later on, as the track deteriorated with the driving conditions proving tricky, the likes of Perez, Ricciardo, and Norris already retiring, it was Valtteri Bottas' turn to turn.

On Lap 57, the Finn slid off the track approaching a stiff right-hander, the left-rear of his Mercedes spiraling out of control. Before the unexpected incident happened, Bottas was firmly running in on fourth.

And boy, what an unexpected turn of events that was, right?

Alfa Romeo succumbing to penalties

F1 Grand Prix of Germany- Raikkonen and Giovinazzi were stripped of their points
F1 Grand Prix of Germany- Raikkonen and Giovinazzi were stripped of their points

Kimi Raikkonen might have been a bit surprised when his Alfa Romeo clocked the fifth-fastest time during the qualifying run on Saturday. Raikkonen later confessing that his car had more in it to even better its eventual grid position, upped the confidence of those roaring for the white-and-red cars.

Then, on race-day, when Raikkonen dived into the inside of Verstappen to complete a brilliant opening-lap move, jumping two cars in the act, it seemed we had a real race into our hands.

Soon, despite being overtaken by Verstappen, Raikkonen stayed in the hunt for strong points and was seen constantly among some impressive overtaking maneuvers, passing both Haas cars in a great fashion.

Eventually, both the Finn and his Italian teammate, Antonio Giovinazzi finished seventh and eighth on the grid respectively. But all the joy for Alfa Romeo would soon turn into dust as the two cars would be stripped off some points as both Kimi and Giovinazzi were penalized by the stewards.

The penalty was extended owing to clutch infringements made by the Hinwill-based team at the start of the race. Though, it appears that the team have appealed against this verdict.

Heartbreak for local-hero Nico Hulkenberg

Formula 1 - Hulk was in contention for a podium
Formula 1 - Hulk was in contention for a podium

It could be said, one of the biggest disappointments of modern Formula 1 is that among the most talented drivers on the grid hasn't yet scored a podium. One wonders, how special would be that day when German Nico Hulkenberg would go on to collect his first-ever podium.

But truth be told, at a certain interval during the mad race at Hockenheimring, it did appear that Hulkenberg would outdo his ill-luck that's restricted his otherwise glowing career.

Having controlled the race beautifully, keeping his Renault inside the track limits up until Lap 41, Nico Hulkenberg was unprepared for the massive change that was to hit him.

As he approached the final corner, Hulkenberg's Renault suffering from a bit of an understeer wasn't able to complete the move and went slithered away from the track, into the barriers.

And that was that. A race utterly well-driven up until then saw Hulkenberg being the second casualty from the Renault stable, with Ricciardo having retired earlier due to an engine malfunction.

An unusual day for Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1 - GP Germany where Hamilton finished P9
Formula 1 - GP Germany where Hamilton finished P9

It's not always that one gets to see Lewis Hamilton not winning a race. And to be more specific, it's even rarer to see the famous Briton finish outside the top three in any Grand Prix.

But truth be told, Lewis Hamilton, who eventually earned a P9 would be happy to forget a modest race at Hockenheimring.

Following a sensational pole on Saturday, the 87th of his stellar career, the five-time world champion began firmly, keeping the lead of the 64-lap race.

Later on, his race went from bad to worse as on a couple of occasions, Hamilton, suffering from a clear lack of grip went way outside the track and in the process, fell way off the track position.

On Lap 46, Hamilton was even under pressure from the midfielders, one of whom was the talented Alex Albon, threatening to pass the Mercedes driver for fourth. There was more drama to come. Later on, he was found struggling for a five-second penalty when the stewards alleged that his entry to the pit lane breached rules.

Forza Sebastian Vettel - from zero to hero

2019 F1 Mercedes-Benz German Grand Prix - Never say die!
2019 F1 Mercedes-Benz German Grand Prix - Never say die!

If there was ever a race that showed Vettel going from zero to hero (in the more recent past of the German's thrilling career), then it was his home Grand Prix event at Hockenheim.

In fact, the 2019 German GP would mean something special, perhaps even beyond words for the famous German driver.

When asked what his impressions were after failing to put any time during the final qualifying run on Saturday following a predicament with his car's turbo, Vettel muttered softly, "It would have been nice to have begun the race from the front of the grid, rather than the back of it."

But seconds from the start on Sunday, Vettel found himself a busy man with a lot of work to do. Despite beginning from twentieth on the grid, the Heppenheim-born driver jumped 5 places inside the opening lap.

By lap 10, he was already in business and all set to finish a strong race. The highlight of Vettel's aggressive counter-attack at Hockenheimring, an effort that saw him climb his way back from 20th to 2nd was his move over Kvyat.

With only 2 more laps to go, Vettel passed Kvyat with mesmeric ease, going flat out on the main-straight to jump into second. He would prove himself to be the hero that Ferrari deserved and all German fans wanted to cheer that day.

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now