Bayer draws leaves Hamburg in trouble
Mladen Petric gave Hamburg the lead with a penalty in the 40th minute, but a goal from Andre Schurrle soon after the break earned Leverkusen a point which keeps them in the hunt for a place in the Europa League.
Hamburg, meanwhile, are just two points above the drop zone with Thorsten Fink's side looking to preserve the only ever-present record in the top flight of German football.
Sami Hyypia and Sascha Lewandowski were taking charge of their first game as Leverkusen's caretaker-coaches following the dismissal of Robin Dutt last Sunday and they recalled former Germany captain Michael Ballack to the side.
Things started well for Leverkusen too with Hamburg goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny called upon twice early on, first to punch the ball away from Stefan Kiessling and then to deny Michal Kadlec's curling direct free-kick in the 11th minute.
Hamburg then took charge with Marcus Berg twice using his chest to good effect, first to set up Marcell Jansen and then to set up himself, but the target was missed both times.
Referee Wolfgang Stark then gave them a hand as he adjudged Gonzalo Castro had deliberately blocked Jansen's cross with his arm. Petric took the invitation to sweep Hamburg in front from the spot five minutes before the break.
Kadlec almost stunned Hamburg just before the half-time whistle, but Drobny made a save with his left foot to deny him.
Drobny then made an even better save low to his right to push Simon Rolfes' shot wide after less than half a minute of the second half.
The new Leverkusen coaching team's team talk must have done the trick as they levelled in the 55th minute through Schurrle.
Robert Tesche's goalline clearance ricocheted off the head of Heiko Westermann, against the underside of the crossbar, and the Germany international was on hand to nod the loose ball in from close range.
Rolfes tested Drobny with a header at one end before Bernd Leno was called into action to push Dennis Aogo's free-kick wide with his fingertips at the other end, but despite the efforts of 48,000 fans urging the home side forwards, they were unable to find a way through with both sides having to settle for a point.