Hamilton reprimanded but keeps German GP win

Formula 1 German Grand Prix start time, TV channel and odds

Lewis Hamilton regained the lead in the world drivers championship on Sunday when he claimed one of the most memorable victories of his career by winning a rain-hit German Grand Prix for Mercedes after starting from 14th on the grid.

"Whatever the reason is, it's OK, I forgive you".

"I did a very long first stint, but I had to stop just before it started to rain as the tyre just couldn't hold out any longer", he added.

One of the stewards was Finnish former Ferrari driver Mika Salo, who collected the best result of his career when he finished second for the Italian team at Hockenheim in 1999. "I've had a lot of races, and there have been a lot of other great ones".

"I started turning in, then they asked me to box and then I said, "Kimi (Raikkonen) is pitting" and then they said, "Stay out" and I was already in the lane!"

"When Seb went off I thought now was a good time, but I think the safety auto came at a better time for Lewis", Bottas said. "The weird thing is that I was really happy about it".

Hamilton said he did not think it was the kerb that did the damage. "The kart that I had was really, really old, owned by five different families", Hamilton recalled.

He said: "It is very hard (to win) from that position and highly unlikely but you have always got to believe".

"I want to look at Mercedes and say is there anything that we've missed?" I'm so grateful, I kept pushing and kept believing and it happened.

"I will never give in or give up".

"I'm just focused on trying to be the best I can be in myself".

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Nonetheless, the race stewards made a decision to issue Hamilton his first reprimand which means that his final race time remained unchanged.

Vettel's off triggered a safety auto and, with the end of the lap approaching fast, Hamilton was given a series of conflicting instructions from his Mercedes pit wall in quick succession.

Even worse, Hamilton profited from his mistake to reclaim the championship lead by 17 points.

Eventually the 31 year old got out of his vehicle and walked away, escorted by marshals, kicking away some gravel from underneath his foot as he did.

Yes, he did not win and gifted 25 points to his chief rival, albeit in tricky conditions as he drove on a track that a mixture of wet and dry, following a rain shower, on slick tyres.

"It's not like tonight I'll have difficulties to fall asleep, because of what I've done wrong".

"Taking all of the above into account, including considering previous infringements of the above rule, we are of the opinion that a reprimand would be the appropriate penalty for the said infringement on this occasion".

Vettel cannot undo his error, but he can take confidence from the fact he had the race won until that stage.

'I was in the barrier and realised I don't get out, ' Vettel said.

"The conditions were the same for everyone, but I was a tiny bit too late on the brakes".

Hamilton's love of fighting from the back is somewhat ironic, considering he is F1's record holder with 76 pole positions - eight more than Michael Schumacher.

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