- Ferrari crew completes the DHL Fastest Pit Stop of the German GP
- Local favorite Sebastian Vettel is sent on his way in 2.09 seconds
- Red Bull Racing successfully defend their lead in the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award
Ferrari perform the DHL Fastest Pit Stop in Hockenheim
The German Grand Prix got frantic towards the end. What had been a fairly uneventful race until then was spiced up by the unpredictable ingredient of rain. Local favorite Sebastian Vettel had looked to be cruising to a comfortable victory when he lost control of his Ferrari on a wet patch of the track and threw away his race in the gravel of the Hockenheimring.
The main beneficiary was Lewis Hamilton, who emerged the winner after a sensational charge through the field from 14th on the grid. Until his involuntary spin, Vettel had put in an immaculate performance. The Ferrari crew had likewise been on top form. Coming in for his only tire change on Lap 25, Vettel was dispatched in 2.09 seconds – the fastest pit stop of the season so far.
"There's not much to say: I made a small mistake which had a huge impact on the result", Vettel said. "I braked just a tiny bit too late for the corner, locked the front tires and then the rear ones, so that I couldn't turn the car anymore. I think I had managed everything right before that. We had the pace and we had been in control of the race up to that point. It was my mistake, so I am disappointed, but I don't think we still have to show what we can do."
The incipient rain, which was heavier on certain sections of the Hockenheimring, not only gave rise to racing incidents on the track but also kept the pit crews busy. Many pilots took a gamble and switched to intermediates as the first raindrops began to fall. Too early, as soon became apparent, and after only a few laps, they were returning for slicks.
Fourth-placed Max Verstappen was a case in point: like six other driver, he called in at the pits no fewer than three times. On his third stop, exchanging badly worn Intermediates for slicks, the Red Bull man was sent on his way in 2.31 seconds – the second-fastest stop of the race.
The third-fastest stop at the Hockenheimring was performed by Charles Leclerc’s crew. Sauber changed the tires for the Monegasque driver in 2.33 seconds, thus confirming the strong form they have shown over recent weeks in the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award. Overall, there were 40 stops at Hockenheim – a heavy workload for the pit crews.
Top 10 pit stops in the 2018 FORMULA 1 EMIRATES GRAND PRIX OF GERMANY
- 01 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - 2.09s
- 02 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 2.31s
- 03 Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) - 2.33s
- 04 Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) - 2.49s
- 05 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 2.60s
- 06 Fernando Alonso (McLaren) - 2.66s
- 07 Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) - 2.72s
- 08 Lance Stroll (Williams) - 2.73s
- 09 Carlos Sainz (Renault) - 2.78s
- 10 Charles Leclerc (Sauber) - 2.81s
DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award: Red Bull retain their lead
Red Bull Racing have built up a commanding lead in the 2018 DHL Pit Stop Award. The Bulls top the table on 303 points, with nearest challengers Ferrari some way behind on 173. In third place are Sauber (161) followed by Mercedes (147) and Williams (117).