Hamilton seals remarkable German Grand Prix victory after Vettel crashes out

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff denied Monday that the use of team orders in Sunday's spectacular German Grand Prix signalled that Lewis Hamilton would be preferred as the number one driver. "It was a huge impact on the race because we retired, but it's not like tonight I will have difficulties to fall asleep because of what I've done wrong".

Shortly after he had spoken to the print media at Hockenheim, Hamilton made several posts to Instagram, including one which quoted former South African president Nelson Mandela. The Ferrari driver had spectacularly crashed, and he was out of the race. "A hammer blow", they wrote.

Lewis Hamilton now leads the driver's championship by 17 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel. It doesn't affect me whatsoever. "It means we can have a full focus on the championship fight". That is our approach right now. "We've shown everywhere that we are competitive, so I am looking forward to Hungary next weekend". "That is not necessary". Hamilton wants revenge for Silverstone. He snubbed an interview with broadcaster Martin Brundle before accusing Ferrari of dirty play. "It was about bringing him home, irrespective of who is in front".

"It's been the most emotional day, up and down". We are racing and we have all been there.

"You've always got to believe".

It came two days after Mercedes confirmed he had signed a blockbuster two-year contract extension and followed other unexpected disappointments in Canada, Austria and Britain where Hamilton and his team had been unable to match expectations.

Mercedes held their breath as Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas diced for the lead.

Bottas and Raikkonen, both on older rubber, had to pit for new tyres, but Hamilton - despite being told to stop too, only before changing his mind at the last moment - stayed out on track. "It wasn't the biggest mistake I've done, but one of the most costly ones". "'Is he staying? Is he not staying?' So now this has been announced it has stopped all of that, and we can now embark on a strong future together".

"I made sure that I returned to the track as safety as I could".

The German, locked in a yo-yo duel with Hamilton to be the first to claim a fifth title, was leading when he slid off in the rain.

He was hit on the opening lap of the British GP, a race that he had won on the last four occasions.

After he first resisted an instruction to stop, his Mercedes team fearing he may further damage his machinery, the desperate Englishman then got out and attempted to push his vehicle more than one mile back to his garage in the hope that the issue could be resolved.

Verstappen finished fourth with his slim chances of finishing on the podium ending with Red Bull's failed gamble to switch to the intermediates.

Vettel was fourth fastest.