Eifel GP – Race Review

The Eifel Grand Prix ended with Lewis Hamilton sealing his ninety first victory in formula one to equal the record of most Formula 1 victories ever, a record he now shares with the great Michael Schumacher. Behind him in second place was now podium regular Max Verstappen for Red Bull and completing the podium in third place for the first time since 2018 was Daniel Ricciardo who also gifted his team Renault their first podium since 2011.

It proved to be a challenging race as the cold temperatures meant the drivers struggled for grip in the opening laps of the race as it would take a while for the tyres to warm up and thus have better grip on the tarmac. A situation experienced by multiple drivers on the opening lap as they strayed off track whilst trying to guide their cars through several turns.

Pole sitter Valtteri Bottas got off the line fairly well albeit having to fight off his teammate into the first turn he managed to keep hold of the lead until a mistake saw him lock up his tyres and Hamilton was there to pounce and take the lead.

Bottas Locks up gifting Hamilton P1

Bottas wasn’t the only one to suffer a terrible lock up as a few laps earlier Alex Albon suffered a similar fate resulting in him flat spotting his tyres so badly he had to pit to change them, Leclerc was another victim of his own deeds as was teammate Sebastian Vettel who was spent into a spin before flat spotting his own tyres.

Further down the grid George Russell was infused in a battle with Kimi Raikkonen whom as of Sunday’s race is the most experienced formula 1 driver in terms of race entries, unfortunately for the Briton however Kimi punted him resulting in a suspension issue that led into retirement for him and a ten second penalty for the Finn.

Raikkonen punts Russell taking the young Brit out of the race

Russell’s retirement triggered a virtual safety car which offered a free pit stop which was taken advantage of by several of the drivers including race leaders Hamilton and Verstappen. On a different strategy was Lando Norris who opted not to pit and subsequently gained third place.

Racing resumed without much issue except for Valtteri Bottas and Daniil Kvyat with the former being forced to retire due to loss of power and the latter having his front wing taken off by Alex Albon who failed to properly complete an overtake.

Fellow Briton Lando Norris began to report loss of power as well as he struggled to get his car up to pace which left him a sitting a duck for Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz who all fancied getting past the handicapped racer for McLaren. 

Esteban Ocon also reported a loss of power and was called in to retire the car as was Alex Albon due to reasons unknown to him as some suspected was due to mechanical failure caused in part with his minor collision with Daniil Kvyat. 

It wasn’t very long either until Norris’ car finally gave out from underneath himresulting in him being the last of the retirees but his retirement in turn triggered a full safety car which bunched up the field together, a field that had been spread out all over the Nürburgring. 

Norris channeling his inner Alonso

After a few laps behind the safety car during which the marshals cleared Norris’ car we were back racing but Hamilton kept a stranglehold on the lead and brought the car past the finish line first.

A special race was run by German Nico Hulkenberg who prior to the race had only been in the car ten minutes, started from the back of the grid and finished well within the points in eighth place, ahead of him was another stellar race ran by Charles Leclerc who got the best of an underperforming Ferrari.

With a sixty nine points advantage from his nearest competitor, Lewis Hamilton has his sights set on another of Michael Schumacher’s records of seven world titles which is the most of any one driver.

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