Max Verstappen scored an incredible seventh career win in an incident-packed, rain-affected German Grand Prix that saw Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc crash out, Lewis Hamilton finish outside the points, and Toro Rosso score a first podium finish in 11 years courtesy of Daniil Kvyat.
The Red Bull driver sent the huge Dutch contingent in the grandstands wild, as he crossed the line to take his seventh career win.
Behind Vettel, Kvyat hung on to claim his third career podium finish and Toro Rosso’s first podium finish since Vettel won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix for the team.
P1: Max Verstappen: “To come out on top after a race like that is amazing and for the Team to win for the second time this year with Honda is incredible. I don’t know exactly what happened at the start but it seemed that everyone on the right side of the grid had a bad getaway and low grip.
I had a particularly poor start when I released the clutch but stayed calm and followed the Mercedes cars closely. It was hard to pass due to the dirty air and the tyres started to struggle as the track dried. From there onwards we always made the right decisions. Even though the first slick tyre was maybe a bit hard and I had a few moments, with a 360 spin, I luckily kept going.
Once I was back on the Intermediates and in the lead I was able to control the race and really show the pace of the car. Once you are ahead you can take a few less risks and everything feels a bit nicer. The conditions were very tricky and it was all about survival. It was definitely not an easy race and very tricky with the changing conditions.
The Team made all the right calls. They were giving me the right information and keeping an eye on all the other teams and sector times. They were really on top of things and everyone worked so well together. It has been one of my most difficult races and it is great to come out on top.
“For sure I enjoy driving in the wet but also you need a good car for that. You can find a bit of pace in yourself but today we had both things right and I’m very happy with the result. The orange fans were standing up, especially when I was in the lead which was also amazing to see. A big thank you to the whole Team and it has been a crazy but amazing Sunday.”
DNF: Piere Gasly: “That was an insane, crazy race and it just had everything. With the rain, crashes, safety cars and pit stops, it was a lottery and there were a lot of opportunities so I’m quite disappointed not to have made the most of it on my side and not finish the race.
“Towards the end, I was fighting with Alex during the last few laps and we made contact, which took my front wing off and gave me a puncture, so I had to stop the car. I don’t know what to say but it’s annoying not to score points when you have a race like this.
“At the start, I had wheel spin so I was slow off the line and I lost a lot of positions into Turn One so it was quite hectic from there. In these conditions, it’s a gamble when to pit and when not to and sometimes you just need to get lucky but the pace was there so we will keep pushing and next week, we go again in Hungary. For the Team and Honda, it was great to get Max’s win today and bag another decent amount of points.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “What an unbelievable performance from Max and the Team today and it took five pit stops to win that race. Max kept his head in tricky conditions, he had great pace when he needed it and he made that win happen.
“It’s fantastic for Honda to see two engines and both teams on the podium, and a massive congratulations go to Toro Rosso and Daniil Kvyat, who also became a father last night. The pit stop crew were unbelievable today and that was the reason for sending our Chief Mechanic, Phil Turner, up to collect the Constructors’ Trophy as he did an amazing job.
“For Pierre, it was a shame as he had sections of the race that were going really well for him and it looked like he would finish in the top five, but it wasn’t to be. He had an incident with Albon late in the race which I’ve only briefly seen, but thankfully both of them were unhurt and Pierre will bounce back.”