Nico Rosberg won the German Grand Prix on Sunday to stretch his lead in the Formula One drivers’ championship over Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who finished third after starting 20th.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win at home. It’s a very special day,” said Rosberg, who led throughout to become the first German to triumph at Hockenheim since Michael Schumacher won in 2006.
Hamilton, who crashed in qualifying and survived a number of scrapes throughout the race, could not get past Valtteri Bottas in the closing laps and the Finn took second to give Williams its 300th F1 podium finish.
“It was not easy and required input from all the engineers. Thanks to all the fans. I saw many Finnish flags so thank you,” Bottas said.
Hamilton was pushed back to the penultimate row of the grid due to his qualifying crash and a penalty for changing his gearbox, but threaded his way through the field despite a broken front wing caused by a collision with former teammate Jenson Button of McLaren.
His super-soft tires wore quickly in his final stint and he did not have the grip to get past Bottas. Rosberg leads Hamilton by 14 points going into next weekend’s race in Hungary.
Four-time defending champ Sebastian Vettel was fourth, ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who won his exciting battle with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo for fifth.
There was a collision at the first corner between Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren and Felipe Massa’s Williams, which flipped over and slid across the run-off area in a shower of sparks.
The McLaren also left the track and Ricciardo had to steer wide around them to avoid the damage, dropping him down to 15th and compromising his race.
Magnussen had to pit to repair damage to his left front tire but Massa’s race was over. The Brazilian emerged unhurt from the car to cheers from the crowd.