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Di Grassi wins frantic, attritional Putrajaya ePrix

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Lucas di Grassi has taken the lead of the FIA Formula E championship after winning an eventful Putrajaya ePrix in Malaysia on Saturday afternoon.

Di Grassi started the race from sixth position, but brought himself into contention for the win after a solid first stint and a quick pit stop that allowed him to vault many of his rivals.

Pole sitter Sebastien Buemi had controlled proceedings throughout the first half of the race, only for an issue on his car to cause him to slow and hand the lead to Loic Duval.

Duval’s hopes of claiming his first Formula E victory were dashed after a slow pit stop that saw the Frenchman emerge behind Antonio Felix da Costa and di Grassi.

Nicolas Prost did lead the field after being forced into an early pit stop due to a software issue, but the need to save power throughout the second half of the race saw him drop down the order.

A frantic final period of the race saw da Costa’s car stop and start again, Andretti’s Robin Frijns make contact with the wall, Duval retire and Jerome d’Ambrosio crash out on the final lap while running in third place.

Di Grassi kept himself out of trouble in the final stages to claim his first win of the season and move into the lead of the championship as Buemi could only finish 12th.

Sam Bird came through to finish second for DS Virgin Racing, marking a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the Briton. After qualifying all the way down in 14th and with doubts over whether his second battery would work, Bird managed to make a longer first stint work before charging through the field late on.

The podium was completed by Frijns, who despite hitting the wall managed to continue and cash in from d’Ambrosio’s error to finish third for Andretti. Stephane Sarrazin bounced back from an issue on the grid to finish fourth ahead of Bruno Senna and da Costa.

Daniel Abt ended the race in seventh ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr, who also made a longer first stint work to charge through for his first points of the year. Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost rounded out the points in Putrajaya.

F1: Lewis Hamilton roars back from starting 14th to win German GP, regain points lead

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Heading into Sunday’s German Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton wasn’t given much of a chance after qualifying so poorly (14th) one day earlier.

But in one of the most significant rallies of the 2018 Formula One season, Hamilton roared back to not only win at Hockenheim, but also regain the lead in the F1 drivers championship standings at the halfway point of the season.

Ditto for Mercedes in the Constructors Championship.

“It was so tough out there,” Hamilton told Sky Sports/ESPN. “Conditions were perfect for business time. When it rained, I knew I’d have a good position, but you never know what’s going to happen behind the safety car.”

Despite rainy conditions for part of the race, not to mention wet overall conditions that caused a number of drivers to spin, Hamilton won the 66th race of his F1 career (44th with Mercedes AMG Petronas) in a time of 1:32.29.845 and took home 25 points for his fourth win of 2018.

It’s the furthest back a driver has come from back in the pack to win since Fernando Alonso started 15th and won the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008.

The win comes just a couple days after Hamilton re-signed with Mercedes AMG through the 2020 season, leading him to pay an immediate return on investment, so to speak.

“It’s obviously very, very difficult (to win) from that position and highly unlikely, but you’ve always got to believe,” Hamilton said. “I said a long, long prayer before the race started.

“When we did the parade lap, I could see how much support we had and I just wanted to stay collected and stay calm. The team did such a great job today, the car was fantastic, I’m so grateful.

“I would never have thought you could do something like that today, but I kept pushing and kept believing and it happened, so I really manifested my dreams today. Thanks to God.”

It was also the 125th F1 podium finish of Hamilton’s career.

To make the win even sweeter, Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finished second, the first time in German GP history that homeland team Mercedes has finished 1-2.

It’s Bottas’ fifth podium of the season, all being runner-up finishes.

Kimi Raikkonen finished third, 6.5 seconds behind Hamilton, followed my Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg. For Raikkonen, it was his 28th podium since his last win.

Sixth through 10th were Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon, Marcus Ericsson and Brendon Hartley.

Kevin Magnussen finished 11th, followed by Carlos Sainz, Stoffel Vandoorne, Pierre Gasly, Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso was the last running car, finishing 16th.

Failing to finish (17th through 20th) were Lance Stroll, pole sitter Sebastian Vettel (who made a mistake and crashed), Sergey Sirotkin and Daniel Ricciardo.

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