He'd done everything right. He'd taken a storming pole position against a resurgent Red Bull threat and in the process seen off his illustrious team-mate. He'd done enough at the start to stay in the fight at the first corner, which became an off-track shoving match he won, per the words of his team boss, in the style of a "rally driver". He'd prevailed there with a muscling move into the second turn and then led for 12 tours, staying out of DRS threat against the other Mercedes.
And then it all went wrong for Valtteri Bottas. At the start of the Eifel Grand Prix's 13th lap, the Finn locked up his right-front tyre heavily into the Nurburgring's first corner and slid off the road - his soft rubber ruined.
Lewis Hamilton wasted no time - he nipped around the outside of his team-mate at the long Turn 2 left-hander, and was through into a lead he would never lose. The chequered flag brought Hamilton's 91st Formula 1 victory, bringing him level with the legendary Michael Schumacher in the all-time win stakes.