Lewis Hamilton survived a late safety car to win his 91st F1 race, ahead of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo scored a first podium for Renault in third.
Polesitter Valtteri Bottas led the early part of the race, fighting off Hamilton in the first lap, but retired mid-race with engine failure after Hamilton had overtaken him on track.
Ricciardo’s podium wasn’t secure until the final corner, with Sergio Perez fighting hard right to the end, crossing the line only 1.5 seconds behind the Australian.
It was partially a race of attrition with four retirements due to failures early on, while George Russell also DNFed when Kimi Raikkonen punted him off – his Williams team was the only one not to score a point.
Hamilton got a good start and looked like he’d overtake up the inside at the first corner, but he ran both of them wide and Bottas was able to take the position back through turn two.
He extended his lead through the first ten laps, quickly breaking the DRS window, but Hamilton stayed in touch and then slid through on lap 13, when his teammate heavily locked up at turn one.
Soon after Bottas could be seen going slowly up the hill to turn eight, and complaining he had no power. He was forced to retire.
After that Hamilton was largely unchallenged, having to remain faultless but Verstappen never was close enough to make a move.
He executed the safety car restart perfectly, dropping the clutch through the final complex and catching Verstappen completely unawares.
He crossed the line five seconds ahead of the Dutchman (who grabbed the fastest lap at the end), completing Mercedes’ first win at the Nurburgring since Fangio on the Nordschleife.
There was a strong battle for the final podium slot, with Norris holding it at one point before his engine failed. It boiled down to Daniel Ricciardo vs Sergio Perez, with the latter looking like he was running a one-stop while Ricciardo would have to pit again.
But the safety car nullified that battle as they both pitted and both had a sprint to the end.
Carlos Sainz completed the top five, on a bittersweet weekend for McLaren given Norris’ retirement from a good points haul.
Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc both had brilliant drives to take sixth and seventh, being racy when they needed to be and outperforming where they’d have expected finish.
Nico Hulkenberg, standing in for Lance Stroll, had a strong return after only turning a wheel this weekend at the start of qualifying.
He finished eighth, after starting last on the grid. Romain Grosjean was the other standout driver, claiming he had a broken finger after being hit on the hand with gravel kicked up from Raikkonen.
Raikkonen broke Rubens Barichello’s record for race starts but had a difficult afternoon, running wide on the opening lap and then tripping Russell into the gravel which earned him a ten-second penalty. He finished twelfth, having also sustained damage.
The other big incident of the race was Alex Albon – who had a difficult race and retired before the half-way stage – hitting Daniil Kvyat.
He looked to have overtaken the AlphaTauri through the final chicane but then running over his front-wing as he rejoined the racing line.
Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the top ten, grabbing his second points score of the season after a strong weekend as he fights to save his career.