MERCEDES chief Toto Wolff branded the rain-hit German Grand Prix “Armageddon”.
F1 title leader Lewis Hamilton crashed, had TWO near misses, a bungled 50-second pitstop AND a five-second penalty.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff described the German GP as ‘Armageddon’[/caption]
He finished 11th although he was later bumped up to ninth as Max Verstappen won an incident-packed race.
And with his second driver Valtteri Bottas crashing out seven laps from the end, fuming Wolff said: “It ends in an Armageddon weekend for us.
“It was a really difficult day. We started well at the beginning and then it was tricky to make the right call. It is not embarrassing, it is motor racing and sometimes you have to take a slap on the nose.
“We learn and these are the days that make us better.”
Hamilton was moved up to ninth after the two Alfa Romeos were hit with 30-second time penalties post-race for breaching rules preventing drivers from using electronics to control their clutches at the start of the race.
But it was a shocker from Mercedes after it had all looked so rosy, despite the heavy rain.
At one point Hamilton was leading by eight seconds.
But the Brit, who still tops the driver standings by 41 points from Bottas, said the turning point was when his team put him on slick tyres when he could see it was still raining, before he crashed off.
He said: “It was a bad day. Probably the worst day I’ve had in the office for a long, long time.
“I don’t really know what happened but I’m glad it’s over. I had like ten pitstops.
“Me hitting the wall wasn’t helpful and then putting on the slick tyres at that time wasn’t helpful, either.
“It was just a culmination of things. The turning point was when they put the slicks and it was still wet.
“It was difficult as other people put slicks on and as I came in I could see the rain pouring down. It was massively upsetting for all of us.
“I was leading the GP, had an eight-second lead and then it was a game of snakes and ladders — only I kept on hitting all the snakes.”
Wolff slammed his fist into the desk in the garage as he watched Bottas spin out.
Lewis Hamilton crashed, had TWO near misses, a bungled 50-second pitstop AND a five-second penalty.[/caption]
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The Finn said: “I’m very disappointed. I made a mistake which lost us a lot of points. It’s a shame because it was a good opportunity to make up some points on Lewis.”
But the Mercedes drivers were not the only ones to fall foul of the treacherous conditions in a race featuring SIX safety cars.
Winner Verstappen made FIVE stops for wet and dry tyres while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg crashed out.