Hamilton's 91st win, Albon on the decline... Winners and losers from the 2020 Eifel GP
- Lewis Hamilton won the 91st race of his F1 career.
- Daniel Ricciardo sealed the first podium of his Renault career.
- Valtteri Bottas failed to finish the race.
- For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
On Sunday, the Eifel Grand Prix took place in Germany. For some the race had plenty of highlights to write home about, but for others it was a race to forget.
We list the winners and losers from the Eifel GP.
Hamilton's weekend didn't get off to the best of starts. On Friday, the Mercedes driver could not get any practice in, as was the case for every driver. On Saturday, he struggled for pace during third practice and in qualifying only mustered second place behind teammate Valtteri Bottas.
In the race, Hamilton benefitted from a lockup by his teammate and gained first place. In the end, he crossed the finish line first to take the 91st win of his Formula 1 career, equalling the record set by Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton has rewritten several of Schumacher's records in recent years and will, expectedly, equal the great German's seven F1 world championships.
Mick Schumacher presents Lewis Hamilton with his father Michael's helmet. (Peter Fox / Getty)
When Ricciardo signed with Renault for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, he was under no illusion that the team was on the level of Red Bull Racing, the Aussie's former team. Yet, he signed and set out on a new challenge. Now in their second season together and Ricciardo on the cusp of joining McLaren in 2021, the partnership finally achieved the goal they set when joining forces: secure a podium finish.
Ricciardo has been driving well in the last couple of races but could never get over the advantage line to reach third place. It finally happened at the Eifel GP, and Ricciardo and Renault were elated at the achievement.
Although he is on his way to McLaren, Ricciardo says he is still committed to Renault and will give the team his absolute best until the end of the season. He is proving that tenfold.
What's been your best moment from the Eifel Grand Prix? Email us.
Daniel Ricciardo (Peter Fox / Getty Images)
From coffee in Cologne to representing Racing Point an hour later, Hulkenberg's weekend took an entirely different direction when he had to stand in for an ill Lance Stroll. Hulkenberg, with no running in the practice session, took to qualifying, lining up last of the 20 runners. But like Ralph Schumacher said, if Hulkenberg was on the pace from the off, the rest of the grid are seriously overpaid.
In the race, Hulkenberg made steady progress up the grid to eventually register an eighth-place finish. The Hulk's feat garnered widespread praise from those who know the intricacies of F1, and it is believed his stocks have increased as several teams have yet to announce their driver pairings for 2021.
Bottas looked very competitive throughout the Eifel GP. Having qualified first and leading the first part of the race, Bottas made an error that saw him relinquish the lead to Hamilton. The lockup of his front tyres left a major flat spot on his right front tyre, which sent vibrations throughout his car, making it difficult to drive.
Following an earlier-than-planned pit stop and several laps later, Bottas retired from the race due to technical difficulties. The non-finish sees him trailing Hamilton by 69 points in the championship race, leaving him with only a mathematical chance of toppling Hamilton to the title.
Realistically, Bottas' chances of winning the championship are over.
Albon had a strong debut to his career as Red Bull driver last year, but he is struggling to string together a series of good results. In Germany, it was a case of more of the same as Albon had another bad race. A relatively strong qualifying session saw him start the race in fifth place, but he almost immediately fell down the order when the race got underway.
A coming together with Daniil Kvyat and engine problems saw Albon retire from the race.
Red Bull Racing has made it clear Albon will be retained for 2021 only if he manages to perform. Sadly, it is becoming clearer by the day that the team will be looking to replace him, possibly with Sergio Perez or Nico Hulkenberg. Hulkenberg, it came to light, would have raced for Red Bull this past weekend if Albon returned a positive Covid-19 test.
Alex Albon (Mark Thompson / Getty Images)