German GP: Lewis Hamilton REGAINS championship lead after Sebastian Vettel drama

Lewis Hamilton- Toto Wolff- Valtteri Bottas- Mercedes AMG- Daimler AG

Hockenheim - Lewis Hamilton's spectacular victory was under threat on Sunday when he was summoned to the stewards for an aborted pit stop during the safety auto period of the German Grand Prix.

"I started turning in, then they asked me to box and then I said "Kimi is pitting" and then they said "Stay out" and I was already in the lane", Hamilton told reporters after the race when asked what had happened.

The British driver was fourth at the time of the crash, having started from 14th on the grid because of a hydraulic problem in qualifying. "It's a glorious day, one I'll always remember".

"There have been many times in the past, I was there a lot, but I hardly ever see them now". I honestly thought I was going to stay out, I was happy with my tyres.

"Conditions were flawless because when it rained, I knew that I would be in a good position".

It proved the right decision, as Raikkonen then chose to pit from the lead behind the Safety Car, with light rain still falling and tire temperatures dropping.

Pushed on whether the team was Ferrari, he replied: "You can make whatever assumption you want".

"It's great to be here on Mercedes home ground - our second home".

"Maybe the nation is a little bit full or exhausted of racing, I don't know", ventured Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, now one of just two German drivers on the grid but still without a podium finish to his credit in 145 starts.

"It's obviously very, very hard from that position and highly unlikely but you've always got to believe", added the four times champion, who said a long prayer before the race started. "This was up there with them".

Hamilton's victory had catapulted him 17 points clear of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, the home favourite who crashed out while leading on a wet and slippery track.

The rain eventually intensified a few laps later but most of the leaders stayed out on dry tyres as they battled what was expected to be a brief shower.

With the benefit of fresher tyres, Bottas tried to overtake Hamilton at the restart but was rebuffed.

"Obviously we wanted to wait until after the race to have a look at it because we were getting quite close to the end of it and then with all the rain and the thunderstorms and everything like that, by the time everything had calmed down, had a good look at it and the stewards decided that they should, in fact, discuss it with the team".

Vettel, though, was the driver to encounter the major drama as he slid wide into the banked Sachs Kurve on lap 52, skated across the gravel, and hit the barriers.

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has finally signed a new contract with Mercedes.

"Yesterday, we saw how bad it can be and in 24 hours, it can all turn around".

"But it was the moment that gave us the win and we were punching the air in our garage, but I can still feel sympathy for him".

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