Hamilton equals Schumacher record at Nurburgring

Lewis Hamilton wins the Eifel GP ahead of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo

2020 Eifel Grand Prix, Saturday - LAT Images

Lewis Hamilton is level on career F1 wins with Michael Schumacher after winning the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

The reigning champion saw teammate Valtteri Bottas, who started the race on pole position, retire with a mechanical issue, finishing ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, while Daniel Ricciardo completed the podium lineup, giving Renault their first podium since 2011.

Hamilton briefly got ahead of his teammate off the line, but both Mercedes drivers ran wide at the first corner, and Bottas recovered better to regain the lead.

Kimi Raikkonen ran wide early on, running through the gravel. Romain Grosjean, running behind the Finn, reported being hit by a piece of gravel on the index finger, telling his team he thought the finger could be broken.

Charles Leclerc, running fourth, started to back the back up, but Daniel Ricciardo managed to pass the Ferrari driver, who immediately came under pressure from Lando Norris and Sergio Perez.

Sebastian Vettel was the first driver to switch into the hard compound tyre as the German flat spotted his mediums while attempting an ill-judged pass on Antonio Giovinazzi, which left him spinning across the runoff area.

As more drivers started to come in for fresh tyres, the front-runners continued on their first set, but Bottas locked up, gifting Hamilton the lead, and allowing Max Verstappen to close to the rear of the Mercedes.

George Russell was the first driver out of the race when his Williams was punted off the track by Raikkonen, leaving the Briton with a puncture and suspension damage, as well as earning the Alfa Romeo driver a 10-second time penalty. Russell tried to bring the car back to the pits, insisting on the radio that he left the 2007 champion plenty of space, but the damage was too much.

A virtual safety car was needed to clear the Williams, before Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon went wheen to wheel on the restart. The Russian ran wide, letting Albon edge ahead, but the Red Bull driver moved over too soon, taking out the AlphaTauri’s front wing, resulting in a five-second time penalty for the Thai driver.

There was drama at the front of the field less than a third of the way through the race as Bottas reported a lack of power. His engineer suggested some engine modes to try to fix the issue, but it didn’t work, forcing Mercedes to retire the car.

A suspected hydraulics issue took Esteban Ocon out of the race a couple of laps later, while a difficult day for Albon was cut short by a mechanical issue.

Norris also reported a power issue, but McLaren left the Briton in the race, although he started to drop down the order. Norris managed to keep the car going for some time, but with 15 laps to go the car lost power completely, forcing him to pull to the side of the track, with smoke coming from the back of the car, and scorch marks on the side.

Norris’s retirement meant a full safety car was needed, allowing the front runners to come in for fresh tyres and bunching the field up. Racing Point initially seemed to be keeping Perez out, promoting him above Ricciardo for the final podium place, but knowing the Renault would be on new rubber, the team brought Perez in on the next lap, allowing the Australian to move back up in to third.

Ricciardo looked to have the advantage on Verstappen at the restart, but the Dutchman defended well to keep his Red Bull ahead, before Ricciardo came under pressure from Perez behind, but was also able to hold on to his position.

Hamilton pushed to set a fastest lap on the final lap of the race, but Verstappen just beat his rival to it, securing the bonus point.

There was also a points finish for Nico Hulkenberg, who was a last-minute replacement for the unwell Lance Stroll at Racing Point. The team was the only constructor to have both cars finish in the points.

Provisional classification:

1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)

4. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)

5. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)

6. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

8. Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point)

9. Romain Grosjean (Haas)

10. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

11. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

12. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

13. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

14. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

15. Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri)


Lando Norris (McLaren)

Alexander Albon (Red Bull)

Esteban Ocon (Renault)

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

George Russell (Williams)

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