Photo: AP

With his second win in the last three races, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen used the German Grand Prix to prove once again that he represents the next great era of Formula One. But while the young driver’s performance was impressive, Sebastian Vettel’s unbelievable climb from a 20th place start to a second-place finish stole the spotlight.

All in all, it was one of the best German GPs ever, and one of the best races to date this season. The fans and commentators seem to agree.

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Vettel’s Ferrari suffered an intercooler problem yesterday and wasn’t able to qualify, which pushed him back to a last-place start. But a series of spins, slides and crashes on the wet pavement combined with a few penalties pushed a lot of would-be contenders back.

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Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc all suffered severe setbacks. Hamilton finished in 11th after a crash and a penalty, while Hulkenberg, Bottas and Leclerc crashed out. That also made room for Daniil Kvyat to secure third place, which is only the second time Toro Rosso has made it onto the podium.

Mercedes’ dominance, it seems, isn’t as unshakeable as it appeared to be early in this season. Verstappen has consistently proven to be an insanely capable driver (today was his seventh win, ever) while Vettel’s performance today was unbelievable.

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I know critics say F1 has become too boring and predictable. I think this season is proving them wrong—it’s hard to imagine anyone foreseeing Verstappen, Vettel and Kvyat standing on the podium today.