HOCKENHEIM, BALIPOST.com – Max Verstappen took full advantage of his rivals’ calamities on Sunday to win an epic, rain-lashed and wildly-spectacular German Grand Prix for Red Bull ahead of Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
The 21-year-old Dutchman secured his second win of the season and seventh of his career, finishing ahead of four-time world champion Vettel, who had started 20th and last on the grid.
New dad Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso was third as he secured only his third Formula One podium.
The race was a disaster for champions Mercedes who were celebrating their 200th Formula One start of the modern era and 125 years of motorsport, both defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas crashed and failed to score any points.
Hamilton eventually finished 11th after six pit stops but was then promoted to ninth following 30-second penalties for Alfa Romeo drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Lance Stroll of Racing Point came home fourth to deliver his team’s best finish ahead of Carlos Sainz of McLaren and Alex Albon of Toro Rosso.
“It was amazing, but really tricky out there,” said Verstappen, who made four pit-stops and survived a complete 360-degrees spin.
“To make the right calls, you had to be focussed. We put on the slick tyres and we had a 360! But it was alright.”
Vettel, for whom the result brought redemption after he had crashed out while leading in heavy rain last year, said: “It was a long race and at some stages if felt like it was never-ending. I am just very happy.”
Kvyat confirmed that he became a father on Saturday night when his partner Kelly gave birth to a daughter.
He said: “It is amazing to be back on the podium and incredible for Toro Rosso, after so many years.”
After the record-breaking heat, the race began in steady rain with the field on full wet tyres behind a Safety Car through four formation laps before a standing start.
The conditions did nothing to deter Hamilton who made a near-perfect start from his 87th pole position. (AFP)