Hamilton was fortunate to avoid crash with safety car

Lewis Hamilton's magnificent victory in Germany on Sunday almost failed to happen. Without question it was a great performance, but the margin between success and failure is small indeed. The TV cameras failed to spot it, but he very nearly came a cropper behind the safety car on the 41st lap, just before the race was restarted.

He was following safety car driver Bernd Maylander through the stadium section of the track. At the exit of the Sachskurve Hamilton backed off a little to create some space between his car and the safety car as the latter was naturally unable to negotiate the kink before the final two corners at the same speed as the F1 machinery.

Hamilton then put his foot down again and accelerated just as Maylander slowed down – and eyewitnesses report that Lewis just managed to avoid impact with the rear end of the Mercedes-Benz. It was very close indeed, and those same witnesses report that there were literally only inches to spare.

Given what happened in Canada it would have been a very different story if the McLaren had run into the back of a Mercedes in front of the German marque's home crowd.

Hamilton's subsequent drive to victory was so totally assured that it left the distinct impression that after a few hiccups this year he is now operating on a level clear of his rivals. Ferrari's Felipe Massa struggled all afternoon with his car and his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was far off his usual pace.

Hamilton now leads the World Championship by four points and McLaren are closing fast on second place in the Constructors' Championship, which is currently held by BMW Sauber.

Hamilton is too smart to be drawn into a debate whether he is now the man to beat, such is the way the tide can change so quickly in F1. He said: "We're in control and looking good, but last year chopped and changed who was quickest and we will see that again in coming races. If we can challenge for wins that's great, but we need to keep on pushing and I'm sure everyone else will be doing just that too."

Meanwhile, there were suggestions on Sunday evening that the FIA will investigate the manner in which German driver Timo Glock was treated after a heavy crash which brought out the safety car in the first place.

Glock's Toyota had a rear suspension failure in the final corner, spun out of control and impacted heavily with the concrete pit wall before sliding down and across the pit straight and ending up on the grass on the other side of the track. It was clear that the crash had shaken Glock and in such circumstances it is normal for specially-trained crews to go into action, using systems created specifically to ensure that no further damage is done to drivers after big accidents.

These procedures include the innovative rescue seat which is designed so that, if necessary, it can be taken out of the car with the driver still strapped to it, thus minimising the risk of increasing any spinal injury during the tricky extrication process. This is not what happened in Glock's case. He was helped from the car by marshals and walked unsteadily away rubbing his lower back. He was then presented with a canvas chair until an ambulance took him for precautionary checks in hospital. He was unharmed, but the procedures were created for a reason.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?