02:53 - Source: CNN
Why does the German Grand Prix matter?

Story highlights

Lewis Hamilton wins German GP

Moves 19 points clear after Nico Rosberg finishes fourth

Daniel Ricciardo finishes second, Max Verstappen third

CNN  — 

Lewis Hamilton opened up a 19-point lead at the top of the Formula One drivers’ championship after he cruised to victory at the German Grand Prix.

It was a double blow for Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, as he was handed a five second penalty for forcing Max Verstappen off the track and finished fourth in his own back yard.

Hamilton’s lead marks a remarkable turnaround for the three-time world champion, winning six races out of the last seven to overturn a 43-point deficit to Rosberg after a poor start to the season.

“What a race, what a fantastic start,” Hamilton told reporters after the race, referring to his jump from second to first off the grid.

“It was just about keeping it cool. This is a very proud position to be in and thank you to the team, who did a fantastic job.

“I didn’t make any mistakes so in my heart I’m happy with what I did. Yesterday was not perfect but you learn from those things.”

It was the 49th Formula One victory of Hamilton’s career, putting him two behind Alain Prost’s 51 but he is still some way short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91.

Rosberg, on the other hand, had a day to forget. After starting in pole position, he initially dropped to fourth before clawing his way back to second, only to be hit by the five second penalty.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory in the German GP that saw him move 19 points clear of Nico Rosberg.

“It is a tough one, really difficult,” Rosberg told Sky Sports. “The start went completely wrong, none of it was good. There was a lot of wheelspin, it caught me by surprise.

“I was very surprised to get the penalty. That cost me dearly.”

Due to a miscalculation, Mercedes held Rosberg for an extra three seconds, although the German admitted it “didn’t make a difference.

“Being 19 points behind is not tough, tough is losing the race in the way I did and that will take some time to digest.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and and Verstappen completed the top three, the first time the pair have shared a podium for their team.