The 2018 F1® season for German driver Sebastian Vettel started strongly, achieving victory at the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix, followed by another victory at Bahrain and multiple podiums.
The Ferrari driver lead the championship heading to his home Grand Prix at Hockenheim after 10 races.
Vettel took full advantage of championship rival Lewis Hamilton's hydraulic problems as he secured a fifth pole of the Formula One 2018 season in dramatic style at the German Grand Prix.
Hamilton was a surprise early casualty at Hockenheim as his Mercedes lost power at the end of Q1, the Briton unable to make it back to the pits.
Qualifying heartbreak for Hamilton
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 21, 2018
This meant the world champion started 14th while championship leader Vettel set off from the front, offering him a great chance to increase his eight-point advantage over Hamilton on race day.
Having secured pole with Loria (The name of his Ferrari SF71H) in record time, the German looked set to dominate the field at his home GP.
At the front, Vettel had beaten Valtteri Bottas to the first corner and began to open up a nice cushion to collect maximum points and extend his championship lead.
A brief rain shower caused chaos late on, though, as Vettel – who had just been let through by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen – went crashing out.
Vettel cautiously made his way towards Hockenheim's hairpin due to the earlier rain but as he looked to turn in his Ferrari had other ideas, Loria careered into the barriers - ending his hopes of home victory.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 22, 2018
The German drivers' mistake allowed Hamilton to challenge the top of the pack, battling from P14 with a truly herculean effort, eventually moving in to first place and sealing victory.
Making sense of the madness at Hockenheim
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 24, 2018
The German Grand Prix marked a turning point for both drivers, Hamilton began to truly dominate the season, with a stretch of four wins in a row and only once falling off the podium in the last 10 races of the season.
Vettel on the other hand, only managed one more victory for the season in Belgium, after leading the championship mid-way through the German drivers' off-season will feature a lot of reflection on what could have been.