The return of Formula 1 racing to the infamous Nurburgring track made for a highly eventful 2020 Eifel GP. The race concluded rather predictably, with Hamilton crossing the line first, but this resulted in a dream day for the Brit who has now equalled the all-time victory record of the legendary Micheal Schumacher with 91 wins.
At the beginning of the race, Hamilton trailed behind his pole-sitting teammate Valtteri Bottas who would surely have been keen to double up on his success at Sochi two weeks prior. The Finn did well to keep the other black Mercedes at bay, but a critical lock up on lap 13 took him out of the race and made way for Hamilton who maintained his lead for the remainder of the race.
The Red Bull of Max Verstappen made a fine challenger, taking extra points for the fastest lap on the last lap, but this just wasn’t enough and resulted in a not at all shabby second place for the Austrian. Crossing the line in third place and making it on to the podium for his first time with Renault was Daniel Ricciardo who was visibly excited about his return to the top three. The last time Ricciardo graced the podium was when he won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2018.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez finished in a close fourth place as the McLaren of Carlos Sainz and the Alpha Tauri of Pierre Gasly followed on. Charles Leclerc did well to navigate the midfield battles as he crossed the line in seventh place, a very good result for Ferrari in a disastrous season. “Obviously, seventh place was the best we could today,” said the Monegasque in a post race interview.
Super-sub Niko Hulkenberg was very deservedly awarded ‘Driver of the Day’ having climbed from p20 to p8 over the course of the race. As Romain Grosjean in his Haas and Antonio Giovinazzi in his Alfa rounded up the points, Sebastian Vettel was left in the cold with an 11th place finish. Leclerc’s teammate will most certainly be looking forward to a fresh start with Aston Martin next season.
With the return to Nurburgring now over and done with, the F1 circus will travel to Portugal for the first ever Grand Prix race at the picturesque Portimao track on October 25.
Featured image: joint all-time victory record holders, Hamilton and Schumacher