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Major takeaways from epic, rain-lashed and wildly-spectacular German GP

Max Verstappen won an epic German Grand Prix

German GP: From record-breaking heat to steady rain

After the record-breaking heat, the race began in steady rain with the field on full wet tyres behind a Safety Car through four formation laps before a standing start. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Verstappen wins the race

Max Verstappen took full advantage of his rivals' calamities to win an epic, rain-lashed and wildly-spectacular German Grand Prix for Red Bull ahead of Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

The 21-year-old Dutchman secured his second win of the season and seventh of his career, finishing ahead of four-time world champion Vettel, who had started 20th and last on the grid. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Masterclass by Vettel

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel fought back to complete a sensational comeback from 20th on the grid to second. 

Vettel, for whom the result brought redemption after he had crashed out while leading in heavy rain last year, said, "It was a long race and at some stages if felt like it was never-ending. I am just very happy."

(Photograph:AFP)

Nightmare for Mercedes

The race was a disaster for champions Mercedes who were celebrating their 200th Formula One start of the modern era and 125 years of motorsport, both defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas crashed and failed to score any points.

Hamilton eventually finished 11th after making six pit-stops as he missed out on a point finish for the first time in 23 races while Verstappen continued his rich streak of consistency.

(Photograph:AFP)

New dad Kvyat finishes third

New dad Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso was third as he secured only his third Formula One podium. 

Kvyat confirmed that he became a father on Saturday night when his partner Kelly gave birth to a daughter.

He said: "It is amazing to be back on the podium and incredible for Toro Rosso, after so many years."

Rosso scored just their second-ever podium finish. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Leclerc blames the track

A frustrated Charles Leclerc said that the low-grip asphalt used on the outside of the final corners, where he crashed out is "unacceptable" in Formula One. 

"I'm disappointed with myself," he said. "It wasn't a huge mistake. It's a small mistake and I've done a lot bigger mistakes during the season.

"It doesn't make anything better for my mistake, but, first of all, I think the asphalt in the last two corners -- it's just unacceptable that we have that on a Formula One track when it's wet.

"We can't have so much low-grip. We've seen other drivers too, maybe I was the only one on slicks, but I was at 60kph and had absolutely no grip. There's something there.

"It's like a dragster track and once you go on it, it's just very, very dangerous," he added. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Safety car interventions

The race distance was reduced to 64 laps as the spray rose high in plumes throughout the pack, Vettel romping forward from 20th to pass six cars in the first five corners. Leclerc, in the other Ferrari, rose to sixth from 10th on the opening lap.

Hamilton led by two seconds from Bottas after lap one, Verstappen having made a poor start, as the field jostled for space and grip, Sergio Perez spinning backwards into the stadium entry wall and damaging his Racing Force.

That required a Safety Car intervention for three laps, during which the leaders pitted for intermediates, before racing resumed.

(Photograph:AFP)