Lewis Hamilton celebrates 'crazy' F1 title turnaround in Germany

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Hockenheim
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory at the Hockenheimring

Lewis Hamilton said the turnaround in form that had led to him opening a 19-point lead in the championship was "kind of crazy".

Hamilton has turned a 43-point deficit to team-mate Nico Rosberg into a 19-point lead with six wins in the last seven races - a 62-point swing.

"It feels like only a couple of weeks ago I was finding it hard to think how I could find my way through the trees," he said.

"It's crazy. I'm very happy with that."

Defending champion Hamilton said his Mercedes team had helped him keep up his self-belief and motivation.

"My engineers and mechanics all stayed super-focused and showed no signs of giving up and that has inspired me to do the same.

"Now I'm 19 points ahead, it's proof to me that whenever I'm faced with that sort of thing again, never give up."

Hamilton took his sixth win of the year at the German Grand Prix in dominant style, passing Rosberg, who was on pole position, at the start and controlling the race from there to the end.

"It wasn't a 100% weekend. It was not a perfect qualifying," he said. "But you can't always be perfect and there is better still to come."

However, he said he was still aware of the fact that he would almost certainly lose ground again to Rosberg at one of the next two races in Belgium and Italy, following the four-week summer break.

That is because he will have to serve a grid penalty for using more than the permitted number of engine parts as Mercedes introduces new power-units to get him to the end of the season after a number of early season failures.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
Rosberg will be hoping to benefit from Hamilton's upcoming grid penalty

"There will be one race where I'll fall further behind," he said. "Nico will probably be having a nice Sunday afternoon drive and I don't know with the damage limitation how far I'll be able to get back up.

"The Red Bulls have picked their pace up and its might be hard to get past them. So I'm still not properly ahead. If I can get a race win ahead, then I'll feel like I'm properly ahead."

His Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff said: "Lewis has great talent and speed and on a good day I think he's unbeatable. But this is a mechanical sport and he's human and this is why he is not unbeatable in every race."

Rosberg fell to fourth on the first lap after a bad start but fought back past the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen into second

However, stewards adjudged Rosberg's passing move on Verstappen broke the rules forbidding drivers from forcing a rival off the track and he was given a five-second penalty.

Listen: Rosberg's bad start

That turned into an eight-second penalty because the stopwatch Mercedes used to time it broke and although he returned to the race less than five seconds behind Verstappen, he was not able to catch him.

Wolff described Rosberg's race as "a bad day".

"Once he has recovered over the next two days, I'm sure he'll come back strongly after the summer break."

The next race is the Belgian Grand Prix on 28 August.

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