Lewis Hamilton endured a German Grand Prix to forget on Sunday as a Mercedes celebration of 200 races and 125 years in motorsport turned into a soggy nightmare. The five-time world champion went from pole position to last on a chaotic afternoon, the Briton hitting the barriers and spinning before finishing 11th in a race won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
“It’s just been a bad day, a bad weekend. There’s not really much to say. It was probably the worst day I’ve had in the office for a long, long time,” said Hamilton. “You live and you learn. I don’t really know what happened today, to be honest, but I am glad it’s over,” added the 34-year-old.
“Me hitting the wall wasn’t helpful and them putting on the slick tyres wasn’t helpful just a combination of things.” The only good news for Hamilton was that his teammate and closest rival Valtteri Bottas crashed out, leaving the gap between the two unchanged at 39 points.
“Overall it was, for us a bad day, it was for the drivers a bad day and it simply cannot go much worse,” said team principal Toto Wolff. “It shows that you shouldn’t fool around with stuff, you should concentrate on the job,” added the Austrian, whose team brought a new car livery and retro 1950s-style clothing to the race.
“We are not superstitious but we believe in karma and it’s a day to learn.” Mercedes had won nine of the 10 races before Hockenheim. Verstappen is the only driver to beat them this season, triumphant also in Austria.