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2007: Formula 1 all at sea in Nürburgring deluge

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, extreme wet weather at the 2007 European Grand Prix

The European Grand Prix held on this day in 2007 at the Nürburgring started as a dry race. However, within seconds of the lights going out the heavens opened and chaos ensued.

Red Bull's David Coulthard was the first to skate across the gravel at turn five. However he was just the first of many to find conditions becoming instantly treacherous. Within minutes, anyone on slick tyres was finding it impossible to stay on track. There was a veritable river flowing across turn 1, which caught out Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Adrian Sutil and Nico Rosberg, Scott Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, in the gravel at turn 1 at the 2007 European Grand Prix

Super Aguri's Anthony Davidson just managed to avoid joining them in the world's most expensive temporary car park. Hamilton kept his McLaren running and rejoined the race after the crane hoisted him clear of the wet gravel.

Spyker driver Markus Winkelhock had been the biggest beneficiary of the chaos. Making his first Formula 1 race start, he had cleverly cleverly switched to wet tyres at the end of the warm-up lap before the start. It meant he was leading the race by over 30 seconds by the time the safety car came out.

Spyker, Markus Winkelhock leads the race behind the safety car at the 2007 European Grand Prix

Inevitably the race was soon red flagged, for the first time since the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix. When the race resumed the rain had stopped and Winkelhock was swiftly dispatched. The race was won by Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen from McLaren's Fernando Alonso. The second Ferrari of Felipe Massa completed the podium.

Red Flag at the 2007 European Grand Prix

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