Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead in the Formula 1 World Championship standings with a flawless drive to victory in the German Grand Prix as title rival Nico Rosberg paid the price for a third race penalty in four events on his way to fourth.
Beaten to pole position for the second race in succession by Rosberg, a superior start would nonetheless see Hamilton snatch the lead into turn one, a spot he would retain all the way to the chequered flag as he comfortably controlled the pace.Despite being beaten to the second corner by Verstappen, who made a superb start from fourth place, a rapid second stint by Ricciardo – as Red Bull split the strategies – would see the pair swap positions and prioritise the Australian in its efforts to capitalise on Rosberg’s penalty.
ALSO READ: Arsenal To Make Improved Bid For Lacazette
Indeed, it was another underwhelming afternoon for Ferrari as Sebastian Vettel – up to fifth at the start – and Kimi Raikkonen steadily fell away from the lead fight, the pair circulating on their own to the end. Attempting to go long with a two-stop strategy, Valtteri Bottas tumbled down from seventh in the closing stages as his tyres wilted, ceding positions to Nico Hulkenberg (7th) and the impressive Jenson Button (8th) to cross the line ninth. Sergio Perez picked up the final point in tenth place for a double Force India top ten, passing Fernando Alonso with three laps to go.
Just missing out on his first points of the season, Esteban Gutierrez was 11th in the best of the Haas cars after also passing a fading Alonso late on. Romain Grosjean crossed the line 13th after starting 20th, while Toro Rosso’s run of points’ finishes ended as Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat could only manage 14th and 15th. In a race of low attrition, only Felipe Massa – who ran slowly for 31 laps after contact at the start – and Felipe Nasr failed to see the chequered flag.