until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

The Eifel Grand Prix as it happened

by Matt Beer
8 min read

Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Formula 1 race wins with what turned into a straightforward Eifel Grand Prix victory.

Here’s how it unfolded, with insight from Scott Mitchell and Edd Straw:

Start: Hamilton makes the better start and takes the lead under braking into Turn 1 as both Mercedes go very wide, but Bottas muscles back ahead into Turn 2.

Scott Mitchell: “Feisty from Bottas not to give up after briefly losing the lead – did the right thing keeping his foot in and being aggressive to get ahead at Turn 2! That’s what he needs to do. Good man.”

Order: 1 Bottas; 2 Hamilton; 3 Verstappen; 4 Leclerc; 5 Ricciardo; 6 Albon; 7 Norris; 8 Perez; 9 Ocon; 10 Sainz; 11 Giovinazzi; 12 Vettel; 13 Magnussen; 14 Gasly; 15 Kvyat; 16 Russell; 17 Hulkenberg; 18 Latifi; 19 Raikkonen; 20 Grosjean

Edd Straw:
“Giovinazzi’s keeping up his recent start form, moving from 14th up to 11th and holding off Vettel.

“Worth noting that Hulkenberg got himself up to 17th on the first lap as well. He’s currently between the two Williams drivers with Russell ahead and Latifi behind.”

Lap 4:
With the leaders running within a 3s train, Leclerc is a further 8s back, lapping 2s off the pace, and leading a train that comprises the entire rest of the field.

Lap 6: Grosjean reports on Haas radio that he’s been hit by gravel thrown up by Raikkonen and has severe finger pain.

Lap 6: Leclerc runs very deep into Turn 1 but still manages to resist Ricciardo.

Lap 8: Albon makes a surprise early pitstop from sixth and falls to last, just behind Grosjean. He’s taken mediums.

Scott Mitchell: ‘We’re expecting a few drops of rain, not to wet the track. But anything can happen so keep your eyes peeled.’ Sage ‘this area does what it wants’ advice from Red Bull to Verstappen.”

Lap 9: Ricciardo finally takes fourth from Leclerc by diving down the outside at Turn 1 then making a cutback move to go right around the outside of the Ferrari at Turn 2.

Lap 10:
Leclerc pits, as does Raikkonen, with the Ferrari joining behind Albon’s Red Bull. Leclerc’s pitstop frees up Norris and Perez, who’d been having a huge fight on his tail.

Lap 11: Vettel has a spin at the first corner while chasing Giovinazzi for ninth. He falls to 13th and pits on the next lap.

Edd Straw: “Vettel’s spin perhaps shows he was getting impatient losing time to the cars ahead behind Giovinazzi, having been caught out by closing on the Alfa. His race was already compromised by that time loss behind the Alfa, but it’s much worse now.”

Scott Mitchell: “Hamilton is looking the most comfortable of the top three at the moment. Verstappen is complaining a bit of understeer and Hamilton is easing towards DRS range of Bottas.”

Lap 13: Bottas has a big lock-up into the first corner and runs very wide. Hamilton goes around the outside of him through Turn 2 to take the lead, and Bottas pits to get rid of his flatspotted tyres.

Scott Mitchell: “Verstappen is lamenting the time lost behind Bottas as he caught the limping Mercedes at the end of the lap. He’s now 3.7s behind Hamilton. Advantage Hamilton now.”

Lap 14: Bottas rejoins behind Ricciardo in fourth on medium tyres.

Lap 14: Russell is hit by Raikkonen at the first corner as they fight with Vettel, sending the Williams into a damaging aerial spin. Russell tries to continue but retires.

Scott Mitchell: “Big hit from Kimi into Russell! Properly pitched the Williams airborne. Easy mistake to make in battle but given this is Kimi’s record-breaking race and he has more experience than anybody in F1 history…slightly poor, shall we say.”

Lap 16: Bottas takes third from Ricciardo into the chicane.

Lap 16: As the virtual safety car is deployed for Russell’s car to be retrieved, Hamilton and Verstappen both make pitstops, as does Ricciardo from fourth.

Edd Straw: “That VSC couldn’t have been more badly timed for Bottas. Both Hamilton and Verstappen were able to make their stops and come out of the pits just as the VSC was ending.”

Lap 17: Hamilton and Verstappen are now just 1.3s apart after those VSC pitstops, but Bottas is 17s adrift.

Scott Mitchell: “Unless there’s a safety car later on Bottas is destined to finish no higher than third. He will be so far behind the other two. But… he is the reason he had to pit early. That’s how it goes. ‘You make your own luck.'”

Lap 17: Kvyat goes off at the chicane while trying to hold off Albon, who clips the Red Bull as it rejoins and takes its front wing off.

Lap 18: Bottas reports that he’s losing power. He slows and retires. Norris and Perez – who are yet to pit – move up to third and fourth.

Edd Straw: “Ricciardo is now on course to take third place when the four cars ahead – Norris, Perez, Ocon and Sainz – make their stops. He’s just over 15s behind Norris. ‘New’ Renault has a good shot at breaking its podium duck now.”

Lap 22: Ocon retires from what had been fifth place with a gearshift problem.

Lap 24: Raikkonen and Albon are both given time penalties for their respective collisions with Russell and Kvyat. Albon pits and

Lap 25: Hamilton has pulled out a 4s lead over Verstappen now.

Scott Mitchell: “Hamilton’s built a nice gap since his tyres got into a better working window and he’s just over four seconds clear. Both drivers will stop again. Hamilton considering a bit more wing, Verstappen happy as it is.”

Lap 26: Norris, who’s still holding third, reports that he’s losing power. McLaren tells him it’s OK to keep going because it’s a sensor issue.

Lap 28: Perez and Sainz pit from fourth and fifth, rejoining seventh and ninth.

Lap 29: Norris pits from third place. Hulkenberg makes his first pitstop too. Norris comes back out behind early pitters Ricciardo and Leclerc.

Edd Straw: “Norris finally gets to make his pitstop but he’s still been complaining about power problems. He’s managed to stay ahead of Perez, though.”

Lap 31 order: 1 Hamilton; 2 Verstappen; 3 Ricciardo; 4 Leclerc; 5 Perez; 6 Norris; 7 Sainz; 8 Giovinazzi; 9 Vettel; 10 Raikkonen

Lap 31: Perez passes the unhappy Norris for fifth into the chicane.

Lap 35:
Perez now takes fourth from Leclerc after a dice with the Ferrari. Norris has fallen to seventh behind team-mate Sainz.

Scott Mitchell:
“This should be a tense and close fight for third place with Perez coming back at Ricciardo (should be Norris too). But it’s happening a minute off the race lead. That’s the fight for third place, 60 seconds behind the first two positions. Sincerely hope these days are over soon.”

Lap 35: Leclerc comes in for his second pitstop and rejoins 10th.

Lap 39: Hamilton’s lead over Verstappen is now approaching nine seconds.

Lap 41: Hulkenberg passes Vettel to move into ninth place, with Vettel pitting for a second tyre change soon after.

Edd Straw: “Ricciardo reports that he feels this is his pace. Perez is now 10s behind in the battle for third. Perez is, along with Hamilton, the fastest on track currently.”

Lap 45: Norris’s struggle ends as he parks his McLaren. That prompts a safety car.

Lap 45: Hamilton and Verstappen make their second stops, and Ricciardo and Sainz are among those who pit straight away too, elevating Perez to third.

Lap 46: Perez pits too next time around, and comes out between Ricciardo and Sainz in fourth.

Scott Mitchell: “Expecting the safety car to be out a little longer as the field is quite spread out, so needs to all close up and then the lapped cars need to be released.”

Order: 1 Hamilton; 2 Verstappen; 3 Ricciardo; 4 Perez; 5 Sainz; 6 Leclerc; 7 Grosjean; 8 Gasly; 9 Hulkenberg; 10 Giovinazzi; 11 Magnussen; 12 Latifi; 13 Vettel; 14 Raikkonen; 15 Kvyat

Scott Mitchell: “Hamilton and Verstappen are very unhappy about the speed of the safety car. They are really concerned about tyre temps dropping.”

Edd Straw: “Hamilton will be very pleased to have DAS available in these conditions. Track temperature is on 16 and the slow pace means front tyre temperature will be the big challenge for the restart.”

Lap 48: It’s taking time to bring the field back together with the cars unlapped.

Scott Mitchell: “Verstappen says the safety car can’t stay out another lap. The tyres are way too cold. He’s saying the cars that will come round to the train will have an advantage (obviously not directly against him!).

“That’s strong from Verstappen. He says they shouldn’t be sending the safety car out for nothing, but ‘anything to make it more interesting, right?’ – no doubt Hamilton feels exactly the same.”

Lap 49: Racing resumes. One-stopping hard-tyre-runner Grosjean quickly drops behind Gasly and Hulkenberg to ninth.

Lap 49: Hamilton manages to make a quick break and re-establish a 1.5s lead, as Verstappen has to focus on fending off Ricciardo for a moment.

Lap 50: Gasly snatches sixth from Leclerc.

Lap 53: Hamilton’s lead is up to 2.5s with a new fastest lap.

Lap 55: Vettel takes 11th from Magnussen after some wheel-banging in the first complex.

Lap 58: Another fastest lap brings Hamilton’s lead up to 5.3s.

Lap 60: Verstappen steals fastest lap back from Hamilton, but it’s Hamilton’s victory by 4.5s.

Lap 60: Ricciardo stays clear of Perez for third, Sainz holds off Gasly for fifth, and Grosjean keeps Giovinazzi, Vettel and Raikkonen at bay for ninth.

Race Results

Pos Name Car Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 60 48 1h35m49.641s 1m28.145s 2 25
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 60 0 +4.47s 1m28.139s 2 19
3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 60 0 +14.613s 1m29.584s 2 15
4 Sergio Pérez Racing Point-Mercedes 60 0 +16.07s 1m29.7s 2 12
5 Carlos Sainz McLaren-Renault 60 0 +21.905s 1m30.129s 2 10
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 60 0 +22.766s 1m30.11s 2 8
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 60 0 +30.814s 1m30.712s 2 6
8 Nico Hülkenberg Racing Point-Mercedes 60 0 +32.596s 1m30.733s 2 4
9 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 60 0 +39.081s 1m31.562s 1 2
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 60 0 +40.035s 1m30.909s 2 1
11 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 60 0 +40.81s 1m30.408s 2 0
12 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 60 0 +41.476s 1m30.512s 2 0
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 60 0 +49.585s 1m30.456s 2 0
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 60 0 +54.449s 1m31.377s 2 0
15 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 60 0 +55.588s 1m32.214s 2 0
Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 42 0 DNF 1m32.328s 1 0
Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 22 0 DNF 1m32.33s 2 0
Esteban Ocon Renault 21 0 DNF 1m33.189s 1 0
Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 17 12 DNF 1m31.884s 2 0
George Russell Williams-Mercedes 12 0 DNF 1m34.526s 1 0
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