The Formula One champ needed some help from the heavens in July—and turned that unexpected weather boost into a season-defining moment.
Before the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in July, the Formula One season was shaping up to be a classic duel between the drivers who have dominated the circuit for the past decade—four-time champion Lewis Hamilton and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel. Vettel was first in points for the year and had captured the pole position at Hockenheim after a disastrous hydraulic system failure during qualifying left Hamilton to start in 14th, an extremely difficult position from which to win an F1 Grand Prix. But then it rained. What happened next defined the season and launched Hamilton on a blistering winning streak that saw him capture five of the next six races, culminating in his fifth F1 title.
SEBASTIAN VETTEL, DRIVER FOR FERRARI: It’s disappointing, because up until that point, everything was sweet. We didn’t need the rain.
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December 2018/January 2019