Hamilton takes the German Grand Prix

July 20, 2008 at 2:27 PM

HOCKENHEIM, Germany, July 20 (UPI) -- Lewis Hamilton won Sunday's German Grand Prix auto race by driving his No. 22 McLaren Mercedes 5.5 seconds ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr.

To get his fourth Formula One victory this season, Hamilton had to overtake the German with seven laps remaining.

He had dominated the race in its early stages, but bypassed a pit stop chance after a Timo Glock crash disabled the safety car.

The move cost Hamilton his 16.9-second margin over Ferrari's Felipe Massa with 31 laps left.

Later, he re-established his momentum and won the race with a strong finish.

"I would have much preferred to have come in earlier (for my second pit stop) but the way it worked out I knew I had a lot of work to do," Hamilton said.

Massa, Nick Heidfeld and Heikki Kovalainen completed the top-five finishers.

Hamilton assumed the lead in the F1 standings with 58 points to 54 for Massa.

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