German Grand Prix 2019: Lewis Hamilton rues ‘worst day at the office’ as Mercedes react to Hockenheim horror show

Hamilton twice spun off the track on his way to finishing 11th while Valtteri Bottas crashed out to record Mercedes' worst weekend result since last year's double-retirement at the Austraian Grand Prix

Jack de Menezes
Sunday 28 July 2019 17:20
Comments
Formula One: 1000 races in numbers

Mercedes were left to pick the bones out of their worst performance in more than a year after Toto Wolff admitted “it simply cannot go much worse” following a disastrous German Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton failed to score a single point after twice spinning off, having led from pole position at a rain-soaked Hockenheim, while Valtteri Bottas saw his race end late in the day when he spun into the tyre wall at high speed while running in fourth.

Having been suffering from illness throughout the weekend, Hamilton uncharacteristically spun off while leading the race, which was all the more surprising given that the safety car was out for Charles Leclerc’s accident at the time of Hamilton’s accident.

Hamilton managed to escape with light damage to his Mercedes but required an immediate pit stop to change his front wing, only for his team to cost him time with their slow reaction to putting Hamilton on dry tyres just as the rain started to fall again.

In an attempt to regain positions from fifth place, Hamilton made it past the Toro Rosso of Alexander Albon only to spin off at Turn One and again miss the barrier, but a sixth pit stop of the day dropped him to the back of the field just as Bottas followed Hamilton off the track a handful of laps later.

“It’s just been a bad day, a bad weekend, and there’s not really much to say to be honest,” a dejected Hamilton said afterwards. “It was probably the worst day at the office for a very long time.

“You live and you learn. I don’t really know what happened today to be honest but I’m just glad it’s over and we’ve got more races up ahead so we just need to focus on regrouping and coming back stronger in the next races.

“Well me hitting the wall wasn’t helpful, then putting on the slick tyres wasn’t helpful when it was still raining so just a culmination of things.”

Mercedes team boss Wolff was far more damning in his verdict, with the Austrian hinting that the celebrations surrounding Mercedes’ celebration of their 125th anniversary this weekend had distracted the team from their ultimate goal this weekend.

“Well it doesn’t make it any easier if you have a day like this,” Wolff said. “I think we had a decent start to the race, but then you add the incidents and the tricky conditions and crashing out.

“No, it was unfortunate because crashing right at the entry of the pit lane obviously you[re not prepared. Then we made the wrong calls after.

“Many others made the same mistakes, Leclerc crashed and others crashed. Overall it was a bad day, it simply cannot go much worse.

“No it shows that you shouldn’t fool around with stuff, you should concentrate on the job. We’re not superstitious but we believe in karma and it’s a day to learn.”

Lewis Hamilton goes off at the penultimate corner while leading the German Grand Prix

After Hamilton spun out of contention, Mercedes still looked set to salvage a podium through Bottas, only for the Finn to fail to pass the third-placed Racing Point of Lance Stroll, and in pushing harder to try and secure third place he put a wheel slightly onto the wet line through the first corner that sent him careering into the barrier.

“I learned for sure a lot. I made a mistake myself,” Bottas said. “The team also told me to push harder and I was pushing as hard as I could to get the podium, obviously I pushed a bit too much in that corner and lost the rear end so it’s my mistake. Maybe I should have stayed more calm and taken my time but I don;t know if I didn’t try that hard that I would reach the podium. At least I could’ve got some points which would’ve been important, so lots to learn.

Valtteri Bottas ended the day in the tyre wall

“These kind of conditions it’s so easy to make a mistake. Obviously I should have done the race without mistakes, that’s always the goal, but that’s not how it happened and it was at the wrong time at the wrong corner.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in