Wolff: Ferrari power boost has dealt Mercedes a 'severe warning'

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Since then, Hamilton has been in Iceland, Holland and in London, too, but this week will head to Mercedes' home race in Germany hoping to wipe the slate clean after two disappointing races, and get his championship bid back on track.

Hamilton pushed to the line in the final laps at the team's request as Mercedes covered off the prospect of a time penalty for not entering the pits under the Safety Car, but the race director's event notes made no such mention of drivers not being allowed to abort, and there has been no investigation announced. It's just a tremendous day for us - I've never had a race like this.

It proved the right decision, as Raikkonen then chose to pit from the lead behind the Safety Car, with light rain still falling and tire temperatures dropping.

Hamilton stayed ahead, after which Mercedes called off the fight, and the expected further rainfall did not arrive until after the chequered flag, deluging the podium ceremony. "But it's good to see how much they care".

More than one hour after claiming a stunning win from 14th on the grid at a rain-hit Hockenheim, Hamilton and Mercedes representatives were summoned to the stewards to explain why the Englishman had aborted what appeared a planned pit stop under the Safety Car with 14 laps to go and instead cut across the grass to rejoin the track.

That did not go down well at a nervy Mercedes.

The identity of Vettel's team-mate next season, however, is uncertain with highly-rated rookie Charles Leclerc mooted to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari.

Shortly after, Bottas was firmly told on team radio to "hold position" and not challenge Hamilton, who secured his fourth win of the season and 66th overall.

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'I think it's disappointing because up to that point everything was sweet, ' said Vettel later.

"Obviously we wanted to wait until after the race to have a look at it because we were getting quite close to the end of it and then with all the rain and the thunderstorms and everything like that, by the time everything had calmed down, had a good look at it and the stewards decided that they should, in fact, discuss it with the team".

Hamilton enjoyed home advantage at the British Grand Prix in the prior meeting, but his winning run at Silverstone was ended after an early collision with Kimi Raikkonen.

"For those who didn't know me before, now you do". "What do you want?"

"It's obviously very, very hard from that position and highly unlikely but you've always got to believe", added the four times champion, who said a long prayer before the race started. "Please. Just tell me".

Asked about the instructions, a rueful Raikkonen said "it wasn't clear".

Hamilton's win also made a bit of history, moving him level with F1 great Michael Schumacher on four German GP wins.

But his error and Hamilton's remarkable victory mean he leaves trailing the Briton by 17 points with 10 races remaining, starting with next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

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