With polesitter Valtteri Bottas falling out with engine issues in his Mercedes, his teammate Lewis Hamilton eased to an easy win over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to win the Eifel GP at the Nurburgring.
With the win Lewis Hamilton ties Michael Schumacher with 91 F1 race wins. No other driver is even close. Hamilton will likely pass Schumacher at the next race.
And in a very, very nice touch Mick Schumacher presented Hamilton with one of his father’s Mercedes race helmets in a gesture to celebrate the two being level on race wins.
“I don’t know what to say, I grew up genuinely idolizing him. I played ‘Michael’ in the video games, seeing his dominance, I never imagined I’d be anywhere near his records. It’s such an honor.”
The gap 1st to 2nd would have been a lot more but the safety car was deployed to pick up the stricken McLaren of Lando Norris with 13 laps to go. And Hamilton’s point lead is now 70 over his teammate meaning the 2020 title is now his to lose.
“I managed to look after my tires, I could see [Bottas] was graining his, so I knew I could push, and he did lock up. The Red Bulls were quick though, we’ve got a serious fight on our hands. I’m knackered,” said Hamilton.
“I think the pace was good, we tried to do our own race as Mercedes were too fast. We just manged to get that fastest lap and one extra point so happy with that,” said Verstappen.
Daniel Ricciardo brought his Renault home third to close out the final podium position, his first since 2018.
Ricciardo of course had a pact with team boss Cyril Abiteboul that meant the Team Principal had to get a tattoo of the Aussie’s choosing if he managed to get on the podium this season.
“It’s been awhile, it feels like the first podium all over again'” said Ricciardo. “It’s been two and half years or something. So happy. [The tattoo] is real, it’s going to happen.”
Sergio Perez was 4th for Racing Point while Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the top-5 for McLaren.
Charles Leclerc hung on for seventh in his Ferrari and Nico Hulkenberg made it to P8 from 20th on the grid in the 2nd Racing Point.
Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the points today.
• Hamilton reached his 91 wins in 260 starts. Schumacher did it in 246 starts.
• Mercedes won at the Nurburgring for the first time since 1954 when Juan-Manuel Fangio took the victory.
• Hamilton’s victory means that 5 of the last 6 F1 races at the Nurburgring have been won from 2nd on the grid.
• Mercedes-Benz power units today tied Ford’s all-time record of 228 consecutive points finishes, set between 1967 and 1983 with the legendary Cosworth DFV engine.
• Mercedes led every lap of the race for the 8th time in 11 races in 2020.
• Daniel Ricciardo gave Renault their first podium finish since Nick Heidfeld at the 2011 Malaysia GP.
• It was Ricciardo’s first podium since Monaco 2018.
• Racing Point reserve Nico Hulkenberg finished 8th from last on the grid, having also been 7th at the 70th Anniversary GP earlier in the year.
• Hulkenberg now has as many top-8 finishes this season as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Lewis Hamilton (1st): “It’s tough to put what this means into words. I remember watching Michael winning all those races when I was a kid and playing racing games with my brother and choosing to play as Michael. I dreamed of being there myself, but I don’t think anyone and especially me, imagined another driver getting anywhere near Michael’s records. It was beyond my wildest dreams to be equaling his number of race wins and it just shows that dreams can come true. It’s an incredible honor and something that will take some time to sink in. But I couldn’t have done it without this incredible team, everyone pushing so hard and giving it absolutely everything. A huge thank you to everyone back at the factories and also a huge respect for Michael, I feel really grateful today. In terms of the race itself, it was tough out there. I had a really good start and Valtteri did an amazing job to defend into Turn 2, I wouldn’t expect it to be any other way. Then it was about trying to figure out how I could beat Valtteri, so I really had to look after the tires and make sure I stuck with him. I saw he was struggling a bit and knew the opportunity would come, but then he had the lock-up. I managed to build a good gap after that, but then the Safety Car came out. Max was right behind me and I knew I had to have a strong restart to keep him behind. I managed to catch him out which is always nice and that gave me the jump I needed. But you can see the pace Red Bull had at the end, so we’ve got a serious fight on our hands.”
Valtteri Bottas (19th DNF): “It’s a frustrating way to finish a race, it was really good fun until I started to lose power during the Virtual Safety Car. The start and the battle with Lewis through the first couple of corners was nice, there was no way I was going to make it easy for him. Obviously, later on I had a lock-up into Turn 1 and lost the position, which meant I stopped early. The new tires were starting to feel pretty good and I was hopeful I could have potentially undercut. Everything was still to play for. But then it was quite a big loss of power – something wrong with the Power Unit. We’ll have to investigate what that is, but it was really unlucky. I went around for a couple of laps to see if it recovered but there was nothing else, we could do.”
Toto Wolff, Team Principal: “Congratulations to Lewis on the victory today and for equaling Michael’s record for most F1 wins. It’s an incredible moment. I remember watching F1 when Ferrari were winning every single Championship. Now our team have been able to catch them up and seeing Lewis equalize Michael’s winning record, it’s much more emotional than I thought it would be. An amazing thing to witness and a fantastic drive by Lewis today. It was a challenging race with very tricky, cool conditions. Valtteri and Lewis had a brilliant battle on the first lap, they raced each other hard but knew where the boundaries were. Valtteri went full rally style, keeping his foot on the throttle and maintained position. The pace of Valtteri’s opening few laps were incredible and it was such a shame he suffered the lock-up and then had the Power Unit issue. Otherwise, he would have been in the fight for victory, for sure. We still need to analyze what caused his retirement, because we don’t yet know the real cause. Everyone at Brixworth on the Power Unit side are pushing the boundaries all of the time and that’s why these things can sometimes happen. Of course, disappointing for Valtteri but we know how resilient he is, so I’m sure he’ll bounce back.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “Another really impressive win from Lewis and it’s incredible that he’s equaled Michael’s colossal tally of race wins. Michael has many good friends within the team, and it was very moving to see Mick and the family mark the occasion by giving Lewis one of Michael’s helmets. Valtteri on the other hand had a tough day. It was going well for him, but all his bad luck seemed to come within a few laps. He’d struggled a bit with the front end when we had some spots of rain, which triggered a lock up that meant he had to box for a new set. He then lost race time to Lewis and Max, because they benefited from a faster stop under the VSC, and then on the restart he was losing power and we couldn’t recover the situation. So, we retired the car. We’re still looking into the problem, but the early indications are that it’s an electronic issue rather than a hardware issue. Lewis’s day was more straightforward. He did a good job of preserving the tires in the first stint and was starting to make good time on Max later in the stint, but ultimately both got pulled in by the VSC. He had everything under control in the second stint. We had the gap to just shadow what Red Bull were doing but the Safety Car came out, which made the decision to convert to a two-stop very easy. Overall, it’s been pleasing to see car work well in the cold conditions but as we’ve seen in other years, Red Bull are developing well and it’s looking like it will be pretty tight in the remaining races. However, retiring a car from a race is not our normal standard and it’s especially tough for Valtteri, who had good prospects after such a strong pole position yesterday. We’ll work hard to get on top of that issue and look forward to the challenge of another new track in Portugal.”
Charles Leclerc (7th): “Seventh is the best we could do today. On the soft tires at the beginning we struggled massively, which compromised our race. We had a lot of graining so we were very slow and lost several positions. So we went for a two-stop strategy, which I believe was the right thing to do. On the medium tire it went quite well and we did some good overtaking which is always fun. It was very tricky after the safety car period towards the end of the race, because I had to do the re-start on old tires and it was very cold, but I think we managed pretty well. I am happy with the overall improvement we have seen in recent weeks. We are not yet where we want to be, but every small step is going in the right direction and this is what we need.”
Sebastian Vettel (11th): “I would have liked to bring home some points, but generally, I was struggling too much with the tires. I think the start wasn’t bad. I was on the Medium compound and only lost one place to Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo. However once my tires were in the right temperature window, I was stuck behind him and I was struggling a lot to pass him. I probably took too much of a risk and damaged my tires. I was obliged to pit and after that it was very difficult to fight back. With the Safety Car at the end we thought there was a chance for points, we fought with Magnussen and I also tried to pass Giovinazzi. In the end we just weren’t able to pick up the last point. It was a very difficult day.”
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal: “It was a tough race today, mainly down to getting the tire temperatures into the right operating window. That was particularly the case with Charles who, after a good start, began to suffer with graining on the Softs, right from the first few laps, which meant he was unable to push as hard as he would have liked. We therefore had to pit him earlier than planned, immediately switching him to another strategy. Then, in the closing stages, when it would have been possible to pit under the Safety Car, we took the joint decision to leave him out on the Mediums, given what we had seen in the early stages of the race. As for Sebastian, the spin early on compromised his race and from then on, there was little to be done, even in the final laps when he was running the Softs. Of course, we are not satisfied with this result, but we continue to work on improving our overall performance level. We saw signs of progress in qualifying, but the important thing is that the updates we are introducing seem to be going in the right direction, especially looking ahead to 2021. In the light of this, we should also have a few updates for the next race in Portimao.”
Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen (2nd): “Overall it was a positive weekend and I think we can be very pleased with another second place. I tried to keep as close as possible to Lewis during the race and we just didn’t quite have the pace to fight him but overall I was pleased with the performance. We have taken a step forward with the car this weekend, so I am of course happy with that, but we still need to improve and we will keep pushing so we can take the fight to Mercedes every weekend. The Safety Car re-start was not easy with the cold temperatures and the tires, especially with the others behind having a bit of a temperature advantage after catching up to us, but I managed to keep them behind and pull away again with Lewis. I’m of course also happy with the point for the fastest lap which was an extra bonus. It’s also good to see Daniel back on the podium, he is a great driver and he really deserves it.”
Alexander Albon (DNF): “The pace in the car was good today so it’s a shame to have a result like this and not see where we could have finished the race. I had a lock-up avoiding contact on the first lap which meant I had to pit really early because I had severe vibrations from a flat spot on the tire. I don’t really know what happened with Daniil and I need to watch it back. I think he may have run a little wide into the chicane when we did the re-start and I guess it was a bit of misjudgment from my side. After that, the Team saw the temperatures rising and I was asked to box and then retire the car. It initially looked like a power unit issue from the data but the Team investigated and found that some debris had pierced the radiator system which led to the rising temperatures. It is definitely not the way I wanted to end the weekend as the car felt good, but onwards and upwards and I’m looking forward to Portimao in a few weeks’ time.”
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: “It is fantastic to see Max on the second step of the podium again with yet another stellar drive and we do seem to be a small step closer in the fight with Mercedes this weekend. Max was able to keep within striking distance of Lewis for the entire race and it all got a little more interesting when the field closed up behind the Safety Car on lap 44. Because the Safety Car was out for so long the tire temperatures plummeted which Lewis, with the DAS system, was able to handle a little better than we were. Max managed the tricky re-start well and from there it was a pretty straight forward race to the finish for second place. Alex’s day was far from simple with a big lock-up into Turn 3 on the opening lap causing us to pit him early as the vibrations took us close to the safety threshold. He was then making good progress back through the field but was incredibly unlucky to pick up some debris, which pierced the radiator, causing his engine temperatures to rise which unfortunately forced us to retire him. Our congratulations also go to Renault, Daniel and Cyril for the podium today and now I think we are all intrigued to see what tattoo Daniel chooses for Cyril!”
Renault Sport Formula One Team
Daniel Ricciardo (3rd):
Esteban Ocon (DNF, Brakes):
Haas F1 Team
Romain Grosjean (9th): “It feels good – finally. We’ve been doing a good job in the last few races but things haven’t gone our way. I said yesterday that the unexpected was the best we could get. Obviously, we did a different strategy on tires – it was very difficult at the beginning. For us, we have to take risks, if we follow regular strategy, we don’t have the raw pace to be up there sadly. We managed to hold on though and go for one stop in the race. It wasn’t really good news for me when the safety car came, but we managed to get some temperature back into the tires and hold on to P9. That was good news. It was a question of time before we got a good result, but I’ve known we’ve been doing a good job.”
Kevin Magnussen (13th): “Today was one of those races that gave some opportunities, so missing out on that was disappointing. We were on the wrong strategy, but there was no way to know that before the race. We chose the strategy that we thought was going to give us the best chance – but then the race just didn’t really come our way. I had some early front wing damage as well, so all-in-all it just really wasn’t my day – that’s racing.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: “It was a happy day today for us. We come away with some points – which is fantastic for the team as they work hard, everybody did a good job. I don’t know if it’s because we had no Friday practice, maybe it made it a more level playing field. Obviously, we got a little bit lucky as a few cars dropped out at the front, I’m conscious of that, but in the end, we took the opportunity. It’s a good feeling again to come away with points. Hopefully we can have more of that this year – we’ll keep trying hard for it.”
McLaren F1 Team
Carlos Sainz (5th): “It’s been a challenging weekend for us. We have to be fairly happy with P5 and those 10 important points. I managed to be consistent on track and took advantage of the opportunities. However, our main competitors finished ahead and seemed to have better pace throughout the race. I never felt completely comfortable with the car, so we need to make sure we understand better the new parts. There are an important couple of weeks coming up to analyze what we do for the future and how we go into Portugal. Sorry for Lando today, it seemed to be the same issue as in Spa. We move on.”
Lando Norris (DNF, Engine): “Initially we had a good start. Our strategy and pit-stop meant we had a decent first stint that put us in a strong position. Then obviously we had the power unit problem before the pit-stop, which was costing us a lot of time every lap. I was just dropping further and further away from a potential P4, and what looked like fighting for a podium. We could’ve scored some good points today and we haven’t. Thanks to everyone in the team for all their hard work and effort this weekend. It’s a shame – but on to the next one.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal:
Andrea Stella, Racing Director:
Racing Point F1 Team
Sergio Perez (4th): “I’m a little bit frustrated because I felt the podium was ours if we didn’t have the safety car. Until that point, I was catching Daniel [Ricciardo] and he was on older tires – so it was set up for a close battle for the podium in the final laps. Once again, the first stint was crucial to our result. We made a good start and gained a place, and we were able to manage the tires to run longer, so we had an advantage for the second stint. After the safety car, I was able to pressure Daniel and I almost got him into Turn 4 but I wasn’t able to make it stick. To finish P4 is a strong result and the team did a great job to go into a race full of unknowns and read the conditions so well. I’m pleased to see Nico score points as well and we’ve ended up turning what could have been a really difficult day into a strong result. The car is performing well and we can be proud of our recovery today. I’m going to catch up with Lance on the phone later and we’re looking forward to him returning.”
Nico Hulkenberg (8th): “What a race and a story that was! I really didn’t think we could go from last to eighth – I’m not sure many thought it would be possible before the race! A lot of things happened around us and some retirements helped too, but I’m really pleased with our performance and it’s a real credit to the team. I went out there with the goal of driving as hard as I could and avoiding any incidents, and we managed it well. It felt strange at the start as I’ve not raced around a lot of cars like that for a while, but I made up a couple of places and I started to get into a good rhythm halfway through the first stint, which was crucial because we were able to extend it and it helped me get up to speed. I’m feeling it now: it’s a very bumpy track and I’m a bit sore because it was mentally and physically demanding out there. I’m very happy with the result and it was great to play a part in the team moving up into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship. Obviously, there’s still a long way to go in the season, but I wish the team all the best in the coming races.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer: “After a challenging weekend leading up to the race, it feels very satisfying to leave Germany with 16 more points and to reclaim third place in the Championship. Sergio was in the hunt for a podium and, with a tire advantage, was closing quickly on Ricciardo until the safety car levelled things. Still, fourth place is an excellent result for the entire team. On the other side of the garage, Nico was fully deserving of being voted driver of the day by the fans. He was up against it, having only done ten laps in the car prior to the race, so to finish in eighth is a tremendous effort. We thank him for standing in for Lance, who is feeling a bit better today and has now returned home to continue his recovery. We’re hopeful he will be back to full health in time for the next race in Portugal.”
Alfa Romeo Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi (10th): “I am very happy with today’s performances, both mine and the car’s. We did a very good race, keeping good pace from start to finish. We knew everything was going to be possible on such a day and that we could fight in these circumstances, so I am happy to bring home a point. I had another great start, making up a few places, then we managed the tricky conditions pretty well. I think we could and should have finished a bit higher, in P8, but the last Safety Car really hurt us as we lost places to Hulkenberg and Grosjean. In the end, though, finishing in the top ten was the target and we did it. It’s a good confidence boost ahead of the next few races.”
Kimi Raikkonen (12th): “It wasn’t the greatest weekend, but after yesterday we knew we’d have a difficult job on our hands. The start of the race was ok, but then I had to avoid some cars ahead of me and I lost a lot of places. We could have been a bit ahead but the Safety Car cost us a few positions and the end result wasn’t great. It was a frustrating weekend, but we have to leave it behind us and try again next time.”
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: “Scoring a point is always a positive result, but what is even more important is the way in which we have scored it. The team did an excellent job today, showing grit in difficult conditions and being ready to take the chances that we had along the way. We fought on merit with the cars we had around us, we kept behind a driver the caliber of Vettel despite the pressure he applied on Antonio for pretty much the whole of the race and we put in some good overtakes. The only regret is with that late Safety Car: we could have been on course for a double-points finish, but the shuffling of the positions it created meant we lost some ground with too little time to make it up. Still, to finish in the top ten for the second time in three races is a positive on which we can build for the rest of the season.”
Red Bull AlphaTauri Honda
Pierre Gasly (6th): “I’m really happy today because yesterday was pretty difficult for us. I didn’t feel so good with the car as we didn’t manage to get the balance where we wanted. We know that on Sundays we usually have a bit more pace to fight and be in the mix for points, and today it was good fun. I had a lot of battles on track – attacking, defending…all sorts of situations and I must say I really enjoyed it out there! The team took all the right decisions in the right moments, so I think we can all be very pleased with sixth position today.”
Daniil Kvyat (15th): “Not a good one today, my race was pretty much ruined from the moment I had contact with Albon. I don’t know what he wanted to do but as a result, I lost my front wing and the car was massively damaged on the floor and brake ducts. I lost so much time doing that slow lap to the pits without a front wing, then the pit stop was obviously slow to replace it, so there wasn’t much I could do afterwards. The car was missing a lot of downforce, so I struggled for the rest of the race. I was just hoping for some rain or something to happen to be able to catch up, but nothing happened. It’s a shame because until that incident with Albon it really looked like it could have been a very strong race, I think we could have done well today.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal: “This race weekend was under quite difficult circumstances because of the weather conditions. As we weren’t able to run on Friday, it wasn’t an easy exercise for the engineers to find the correct setup, and that’s maybe why we suffered a bit on Saturday during Qualifying, finishing only 12th and 13th. For today’s race, we decided to put both drivers on the Prime tire at the start, which meant the first laps were a bit tricky for them until the tires reached a good temperature. However, they were both able to catch up and put in some really good lap times. Unfortunately, Daniil was involved in an incident with Alex Albon where he lost his front wing. The car was heavily damaged, especially on the floor, so Daniil could not keep the same performance level he showed before the collision and his race was heavily compromised. As for Pierre, he had a very good race. We called him in on lap 29 for the Base tire because we thought we could make the one-stop strategy work. However, when the Safety Car was deployed on lap 44, we decided to bring him in again to change him to the Option tire, on which he did a really good job chasing Sainz in the last 15 laps and finishing just a few tenths behind him in sixth position. The pit stops were good today and we made the right strategic decisions, so well done to the team. I think this was the best we could have extracted from the package today, and we closed the gap a bit to sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship, so we are positive for the future. We’re looking forward to continuing our good form in Portimao.”
Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer: “Overall as a team, we’ve had a really good result today. It was a challenging race as, like all the others, we headed into Sunday with very little information on tire performance. Daniil was very unlucky when he came together with Albon which caused him to lose his front wing, especially because at that time we really had strong pace. That meant his race was pretty much over, as it did a lot of damage to the floor and other parts of the car. On the other side of the garage, Pierre drove a really good race, he managed the tires well and gave us excellent feedback, allowing us to plan a good strategy. We reacted well to the late Safety Car, pitting Pierre while Leclerc in front didn’t pit, so with fresher tires we were able to attack him and finish ahead in P6. Today we scored more points than our main competitors, which allows us to close the gap in the fight for sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship.”
Nicholas Latifi (14th): “It was a challenging race today and I was pushing as hard as I could. I can’t pinpoint why exactly, we were just lacking overall pace, especially compared to the Haas and the Alfa. We were put in a good position after the safety car, but we had faster cars on new qualifying tires behind us. I had some fun battles with Daniil (Kvyat), I think for the last five or six laps I was defending into turn one, battling through one, two and three, so it was fun to have that fight. We will have to go away and analyze to see why we were lacking pace this weekend.”
George Russell (DNF, Damage): “It was a very frustrating way to finish the Eifel Grand Prix. I was racing with Sebastian (Vettel), and Kimi (Raikkonen) was close behind. I overtook Sebastian in the corner before, but he got the DRS to re-pass me. Kimi was close behind fighting with us, he made the mistake, lost the car and crashed into me which damaged the car and gave us a puncture. There was too much damage to bring it home and we had to retire the car, but that’s just racing sometimes. Up until then, the car was feeling was good and we were on pace with the guys around us. We were on a slightly different strategy to those we were racing, so there were opportunities there. It is a shame because the way that this race has panned out there was definitely an opportunity there.”
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: “It is a shame that George’s race ended as soon as it did as he was making decent progress and was in a good race with the cars that eventually finished in the points. Nicholas was unfortunate with the timing of the safety car, which helped our rivals more than us. However, overall, we didn’t have the pace to achieve a better finish today, but we have enjoyed our return to the Nürburgring and the shortened race weekend, which made yesterday quite difficult but has served as useful preparation for the upcoming race at Imola.”
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||60||+4.470s|
|4||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point Mercedes||60||+16.070s|
|5||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren Renault||60||+21.905s|
|6||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||60||+22.766s|
|8||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Racing Point Mercedes||60||+32.596s|
|9||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||60||+39.081s|
|10||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||60||+40.035s|
|12||7||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||60||+41.476s|
|13||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||60||+49.585s|
|14||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||60||+54.449s|
|15||26||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri Honda||60||+55.588s|
|NC||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||42||DNF|
|NC||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||23||DNF|
|NC||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||12||DNF|