The tongue in cheek case for mandatory rain at each Formula 1 Grand Prix was one being bandied around by fans of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes after Sunday’s race in Germany, the Brit racing from 14th on the grid to the top step of the podium.
Sebastian Vettel seemed to hold the Hockenheimring in his hand for much of the afternoon but let his championship lead slip when crashing out as the rain fell in the second half of the race.
From pole position, Vettel’s first win in the track just 30 miles from his hometown seemed in the bag as he drove away from Valtteri Bottas at the start.
Kimi Raikkonen pitted first and pulled off an undercut to lead and even held up his Ferrari teammate for a few laps before an orchestrated swap over.
The first drizzle began to fall at the hairpin of Turn 6 some 20 laps before the end, prompting a handful of runners to jump onto the Intermediate tyres, Pierre Gasly even picking the full Wets in an ill-fated attempt to predict the weather, sending his Toro Rosso onto the grass numerous times.
Once the rain looked to have passed, those runners, including Max Verstappen, leapt back onto the dry weather Ultra Softs at very short notice. And yet, further drizzle meant the entire pack ended up squirming around with Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc two of a number to spin.
Hamilton, meanwhile, had used his long first stint to stop fpr fresh rubber later than his rivals, allowing to hold relative grip and both Mercedes overtook Raikkonen amid the chaos, which only grew when Vettel hit the wall.
With a comfortable lead and under little overall pressure, he lost control in the stadium section and skidded across the gravel on lap 15, the German barely able to hold back the tears as he apologised to the team via the radio.
View this post on Instagram
Wow, I wish I could describe this feeling right now… What a day, true proof that you should never ever give up!! The team did such a great job as they always do, I can’t thank them enough! I kept the belief and it came true. A big, big thanks to God 🙌🏾 #Godisthegreatest #StillWeRise #GermanGP #F1 #TeamLH @mercedesamgf1
Under the safety car, Raikkonen and Bottas pitted for fresh Ultra Softs but sat behind Hamilton after the latter Finn’s stop was incredibly slow, forcing his teammate to abort his own tyre change at the last second.
At the restart, Bottas pushed Hamilton hard but fell back quickly to prioritise a one-two finish for the German marque in front of their Daimler bosses.
Another splash of rain threatened to come in the final laps yet Hamilton cruised home. Also benefiting from the conditions were Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon, Marcus Ericsson and Brendon Hartley, who completed the top ten.