The key incidents that defined the German GP

HOCKENHEIM, Germany -- The German Grand Prix was an instant classic, a candidate for one of F1's best races of all time.

It was packed full of so much drama it was hard to keep up with it all at points. Here's how the remarkable contest unfolded, step by step.

Grid: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), Romain Grosjean (Haas), Carlos Sainz (McLaren), Sergio Perez (Racing Point), Nico Hulkenberg (Renualt), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Lance Stroll (Racing Point), Alexander Albon (Toro Rosso), George Russell (Williams), Robert Kubica (Williams), Lando Norris (McLaren), Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

Pre-race: With every car fitted on full-wet tyres, the Safety Car leads a longer-than-usual formation lap. After four go-rounds, the Safety Car returns to the pits and the drivers line up for the start. Those four laps are removed from the full race distance, meaning its duration is now 64 overall.

Lap 1: Hamilton leads away from pole position. Verstappen has slow start, Raikkonen climbs to P2 early on.

Lap 4: Sergio Perez crashes out of the race. Safety Car deployed.

Mad dash for the pit-lane follow to swap from full-wet to intermediate wet-weather tyres -- Hamilton gets in and out without drama to hold the lead. Magnussen stays out on the full wet compound and rises to P2.

Order ahead of restart: Hamilton, Magnussen, Bottas, Verstappen, Stroll, Leclerc, Hulkenberg, Norris, Russell, Kubica, Raikkonen, Vettel, Sainz, Albon, Grosjean, Giovinazzi, Ricciardo, Gasly, Kvyat

Lap 5: Hamilton leads at restart. Magnussen quickly drops back.

Lap 9: Magnussen is the last driver to make switch from full wets to intermediate tyre, drops to the back of the order.

Lap 12: Leclerc holds a big twitch at the final corner, the first indication it's going to be a hotspot for drama all afternoon.

Lap 15: Ricciardo's Renault engine fails. He parks his car on the side of the road, but a Virtual Safety Car is required to clear it safely. Leclerc pits, Hulkenberg does the same and catches a big moment on pit entry.

Lap 16: Sainz spins at the final corner, dropping him from P8 to P14.

Lap 21: Haas brings Magnussen in for dry tyres as the conditions appear to improve. First driver to do so.

Lap 24: Vettel pits from ninth for dry tyres of his own. Emerges in 11th.

Lap 26: Verstappen makes the same stop, but Red Bull fits his car with mediums, instead of softs. Mediums likely to offer less grip on a circuit which is still not completely dry.

Lap 27: Verstappen spins 360 degrees in the stadium section, catching it before he completely loses control of the car. Opens his radio channel to ask angrily "why the [bleep] didn't you put me on the soft?" As the second tyre in Pirelli's dry tyre range for the weekend, it would take longer to get up to temperature (crucial for performance) than the soft tyre.

Lap 28: Norris' McLaren grinds to a halt after experiencing a dramatic loss of power. A second Virtual Safety Car is enforced to safely remove his car from the circuit.

Ferrari uses that moment to pit Leclerc for soft tyres. He emerges in P2, ahead of Bottas.

Lap 29: Hamilton comes into the pits just as the VSC comes to an end. It's a slow stop, as the left-front takes a while to go on, but the Mercedes driver emerges in the lead.

As his pit-stop is taking place, Leclerc aquaplanes off at the final corner and smashes into the wall. His radio message is a long bleep, followed by a loud "NO".

The proper Safety Car is deployed to clear Leclerc's car. As Hamilton gets to the same point of the race track, he spins off the circuit and towards the wall. He avoids damage serious enough to warrant an instant retirement, but has to crawl into the pits with a damaged front wing. He enters the pits on the wrong side of a bollard, against the regulations.

Mercedes is not ready for Hamilton, who emerges in fifth position after 50 seconds stationary.

Bottas briefly leads but is the only man on track now on dry tyres. He slips and slides into the pits to go back to the intermediate tyre, emerging in third position behind the well-placed Hulkenberg.

Lap 33: Order ahead of restart is: Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Albon, Hamilton, Sainz, Raikkonen, Vettel, Gasly, Giovinazzi, Kvyat, Magnussen, Grosjean, Russell, Stroll

Lap 34: Verstappen comfortably leads away at the restart. Gasly muscles his way past Vettel for eighth at Turn 1.

The stewards confirm a five-second penalty for Hamilton after entering the pits on the wrong side of a bollard. Hamilton is struggling for grip behind Albon.

Lap 35: Hamilton asks Mercedes if his car is damaged. Team tells him they are investigating.

Lap 36: Hamilton finally gets past Albon for third. Bottas drops back a bit in fight with Hulkenberg after failing to make a move stick at Turn 1.

Lap 40: Hulkenberg, having just been relegated behind the two Mercedes drivers, slips off the circuit at the final corner, his car aquaplaning off the circuit and into the barrier.

Lap 41: The Safety Car is deployed to clear Hulkenberg's car.

Lap 42: Verstappen pits from the lead for fresh intermediate tyres. Mercedes keeps both drivers out -- Hamilton asks why, as he has a penalty to serve and would have only dropped behind Albon.

Lap 45: As the Safety Car is confirmed to be coming in, Racing Point calls Lance Stroll in for dry tyres on a track which still appears to be too wet for them.

Order ahead of restart is: Verstappen, Bottas, Hamilton, Kvyat, Sainz, Albon, Raikkonen, Giovinazzi, Vettel, Grosjean, Magnussen, Russell, Stroll

Lap 46: Verstappen comfortably holds lead at restart.

Lap 48: Mad dash for dry tyres. Everyone except Stroll pits, briefly promoting the Racing Point driver into the lead. Verstappen catches him before end of the lap. Hamilton serves five-second penalty and emerges in 12th position.

Lap 50: Hamilton asks Mercedes: "How has this gone so bad!?"

Lap 52: Kvyat passes Stroll for second position.

Lap 53: Hamilton spins wildly at Turn 1, somehow avoids an instant retirement, but is forced to pit again after damaging tyres. He rejoins in 14th.

Lap 54: Vettel passes Albon for fifth position.

Lap 56: Haas teammates Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean bump wheels while vying for position at the hairpin. Both cars continue without major damage.

Lap 57: Bottas spins out at Turn 1 while chasing Stroll for third position, losing the rear of the car and slamming into the barrier. He is instantly out of the race.

Another Safety Car is deployed to retrieve his car. Hamilton pits from last place for another set of dry tyres.

Lap 58: TV replays show Mercedes boss Toto Wolff slamming his fist on the desk in frustration.

Lap 59: Order ahead of final restart is: Verstappen, Kvyat, Stroll, Sainz, Vettel, Albon, Gasly, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Giovinaizzi. Magnussen, Kubica, Russell, Hamilton.

Lap 60: Verstappen holds the lead easily. Vettel passes Sainz for fourth at the hairpin.

Lap 62: Verstappen sets fastest lap of the race, which will give him an extra point at the end of the race.

Vettel passes Stroll for third place.

Gasly hits Albon while fighting for sixth place, drives into run-off area to retire with a punctured tyre. Albon keeps running.

Lap 63: Vettel takes second position from Kvyat with ease on the long run to the hairpin.

Lap 64: Verstappen crosses the finishes line to win, ahead of Vettel and Kvyat.