Vettel wins thrilling German Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel German Grand Prix 2013 winner

Sebastian Vettel scored his 30th career victory in Formula 1 with a brilliant drive in the German Grand Prix.

The triple world champion resisted the pressure from the Lotus pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean to finally win in the month of July and at the Nürburgring.

As the Lotus drivers took turns to hound Vettel for most of the race, it looked unlikely that the championship leader would be able to cling on for victory, but Vettel ultimately managed to after a determined drive.

Polesitter Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes was swamped by the faster-starting Red Bulls off the line, as Vettel and Mark Webber moved into an immediate one-two.

Webber stayed right with his team-mate until the first pit-stops, when he was sent out before his right-rear tyre was fully attached.

The tyre shot off and hit a television cameraman further down the pitlane. The cameraman was taken to hospital for observation.

Hamilton lost ground with tyre graining as the race progressed, but Lotus moved in the opposite direction with lightning pace.

Grosjean ran 13 laps on softs in his first stint – far better than anyone else managed – and that jumped him from fifth to second.

Romain then chased Sebastian down, though he could not get closer than two seconds behind.

A safety car just mid-distance closed the field up and brought Raikkonen from 12 seconds down into contention.

The caution period was required after Jules Bianchi’s Marussia retired in a cloud of smoke and flames, and then began rolling backwards across the circuit after its driver had got out.

The leaders made their second pit-stops behind the safety car but could not make it from there to the end.

Grosjean was first to pit, with Vettel pitting on the next lap and staying ahead.

Raikkonen ran ten laps further then pitted for softs, allowing him to charge back past Grosjean, who obeyed a team order to not delay The Iceman, and then catch Vettel.

But the triple world champion had just enough in hand to hang on and win by a second.

Grosjean resisted a similar late surge from Fernando Alonso to keep third.

After not setting a lap time in Q3, this was a superb performance by Alonso. A complete contrast to his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, who spun out at the first corner just four laps in while running sixth.

Hamilton ended up fifth, passing two-stopper Jenson Button’s McLaren on the final lap.

Webber was brought back to the Red Bull garage and given a new wheel, then recovered from a distant last to seventh, just ahead of McLaren’s Sergio Perez.

Nico Rosberg could make little progress from P11 on the grid and finished ninth ahead of fellow countryman Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber.

Daniel Ricciardo faded from sixth in qualifying to P12, between the Force Indias of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil.

Williams appeared to have a shot at points for a while, before pit-stop delays hampered both its drivers.

So a fantastic race by Sebastian Vettel. Resisted the heavy pressure despite a KERS issue in the Red Bull. Makes up for that disappointing result in Silverstone a week ago.

German Grand Prix race results, after 60 laps:

1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault 1:41:14.711
2.  Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault +1.008
3.  Grosjean       Lotus-Renault +5.830
4.  Alonso         Ferrari +7.721
5.  Hamilton       Mercedes +26.927
6.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes +27.996
7.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault +37.562
8.  Perez          McLaren-Mercedes +38.306
9.  Rosberg        Mercedes +46.821
10.  Hulkenberg     Sauber-Ferrari +49.892
11.  Di Resta       Force India-Mercedes +53.771
12.  Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari +56.975
13.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes +57.738
14.  Gutierrez      Sauber-Ferrari +1:00.160
15.  Maldonado      Williams-Renault +1:01.929
16.  Bottas         Williams-Renault +1 lap
17.  Pic            Caterham-Renault +1 lap
18.  van der Garde  Caterham-Renault +1 lap
19.  Chilton        Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap

Not classified/retirements:

Vergne         Toro Rosso-Ferrari 22 laps
Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth 21 laps
Massa          Ferrari 3 laps

World Championship standings, round 9:                

1.  Vettel        157
2.  Alonso        123
3.  Raikkonen     118
4.  Hamilton       97
5.  Webber         93
6.  Rosberg        84
7.  Massa          57
8.  Grosjean       41
9.  Di Resta       36
10.  Button         33
11.  Sutil          23
12.  Perez          16
13.  Vergne         13
14.  Ricciardo      11
15.  Hulkenberg      7

1.  Red Bull-Renault          250
2.  Mercedes                  181
3.  Ferrari                   180
4.  Lotus-Renault             159
5.  Force India-Mercedes       59
6.  McLaren-Mercedes           49
7.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         24
8.  Sauber-Ferrari              7

Next race: Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring. July 26-28.

11 thoughts to “Vettel wins thrilling German Grand Prix”

  1. After resisting the Lotus pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean to win the German Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel says Nurburgring win a huge relief. has the news story.

    Sebastian Vettel says the pressure from the chasing Lotus drivers made his home win at the German Grand Prix “very special”.

    The triple world champion overcame Lewis Hamilton’s polesitting Mercedes at the start to lead, but had to resist a late charge from Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus to win in front of home fans at the Nurburgring.

    He said he was proud of his Red Bull team after a flat-out drive to victory by just one second.

    “It’s a great relief and a special day,” Vettel said. “It will take a little while to sink in, but I’m incredibly proud today, the team did a fantastic job for strategy and pitstops.

    “It was so difficult – I pushed every single lap but it’s so tough when you are on the edge. You cannot go over the tyres too much because then you won’t reach the end of the stint, and you have to get through traffic as quick as you can.

    “The safety car [for Jules Bianchi’s freewheeling Marussia] didn’t help us and Lotus was incredibly quick today.

    “They were taking care of the tyres a bit better and gave us a good run for our money, so I am happy it worked out.”

    Vettel also complimented Pirelli for eliminating the rear tyre failures that blighted the previous race at Silverstone.

    “They did a great job to bring a different rear tyre to this event and we didn’t have any failures throughout the whole weekend, so compliments to them,” Vettel added. “I hope it continues like that.”

  2. Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen missed out on race victory at the Nürburgring by making a pit-stop in the last ten laps. The Iceman later said that final tyre-change was not required. has the story.

    Kimi Raikkonen suspects he might not have needed the final pitstop that cost him the lead of the German Grand Prix.

    As rivals Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean came in with around 20 laps to go for new mediums, Raikkonen stayed out and assumed the lead for Lotus.

    But having last pitted during the mid-race safety car, Raikkonen ultimately stopped for softs 10 laps from the finish.

    He subsequently reclaimed second from Lotus team-mate Grosjean, but fell one second shy of catching Vettel for victory.

    “I could run longer and we had to think about if we should try to run until the end,” said Raikkonen.

    “But I had massive problem with the radio. I could hear the team but they couldn’t hear me, apart from at two corners.

    “I wonder if we should have gone to the end as the tyres were OK.”

    Raikkonen agreed with Vettel’s suggestion that the lead would have changed had the race been any longer.

    “It’s hard to know what would have happened in the next two laps,” said the Finn.

    “We had good speed. I think we would have had a big fight anyhow and probably passed him.

    “We tried everything we had and failed to win, but I think for the team we had a good race. We’ll keep trying.”

  3. Yet again the tyre graining played its part in the race that affected Lewis Hamilton’s race pace. The polesitter ended up in fifth and was left feeling downcast. has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton again criticised Pirelli’s tyres after failing to convert pole position into victory for the second race in a row in Germany.

    The Mercedes driver slipped from first to third due to a bad start and finished fifth, almost 27 seconds adrift of winner Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull.

    Hamilton said he was mystified by Mercedes’ lack of pace in the race compared to rivals Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari.

    “I have to hold myself back because I’ve got nothing positive to say about these tyres,” Hamilton said.

    “I don’t understand why we struggled so much on them, but that’s motor racing. The only positive is that we got some points.

    “It’s a shame because the team is working so hard and doing such a good job. Clearly we’ve got a good car, but for some reason it just doesn’t work on these tyres.”

    Hamilton said it “doesn’t help” that Mercedes will miss the forthcoming young driver test at Silverstone, after being banned for using its current car to conduct tyre testing for Pirelli after May’s Spanish Grand Prix.

    “Missing the test doesn’t help, but that’s the way it is,” he added.

    “We just have to keep pushing forward and hope and pray that this new batch of tyres works on our car.”

  4. A Formula 1 cameraman has been taken to hospital following an accident with Mark Webber’s Red Bull in the pitlane during the German Grand Prix.

    Paul Allen was hit on the left hand side by a wheel that had flown off Webber’s car during a botched pitstop.

    Allen was conscious throughout the accident and transferred immediately to the Nurburgring circuit’s medical centre.

    A statement issued by the FIA said: “He was treated at the circuit medical centre and then transported by helicopter to Koblenz Hospital.

    “The Briton has been kept there, under observation. Further information from the hospital will be provided as soon as it becomes available.”

    Webber recovered from the incident to finish seventh.


  5. McLaren’s Jenson Button was feeling angry and blamed the Caterhams in destroyed his race that cost him the chance to finish in the top five. has the news story.

    A furious Jenson Button blasted Caterham drivers Charles Pic and Giedio van der Garde for costing him a top-five finish in the German Grand Prix.

    McLaren had one of its strongest races of the season to get both cars into the top eight.

    Button lost fifth to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes on the final lap and blamed the Caterham drivers for not moving over quickly enough while being lapped in the closing stages.

    “They destroyed our race in terms of fighting for fifth place,” Button said. “They’re obviously racing for position, but when you get blue flags you have to move over.

    “It was disappointing and I’ve spoken to them both and they didn’t really think they did anything wrong.

    “Obviously we all have our different views, but when you’re fighting for position and you’re lapping someone you expect the backmarkers to move over.”

    Button and team-mate Sergio Perez both hailed the improvement McLaren made since last weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

    “I think we’ve had a good weekend and we’ve got everything we could out of the car,” Button said. “We haven’t put a foot wrong this weekend.

    “I think today was a great improvement over last weekend in Silverstone,” added Perez, who ran a different strategy to Button and finished eighth.

    “I had to go to the end of the race after the safety car on one set of tyres and I think I did the maximum I could do with the car.

    “The car today was performing much better and the pace today was very strong. So in that respect we can be very happy.”

  6. I watched it and thought it was OK at best.

    Lewis loosing the lead was a disappointment, but it was clear later on that he had no chnace of keeping the lead. In the temperatures of today the Merc just couldn’t cope.

    But the real shock was watching the loose tyre from Red Bulls Mark Webber bounce down the pit lane and hit the cameraman. He looked in big pain and so I hope he is OK. I think while everyone is saying there should be more done for the cameramen safety, wearing a helmet is not going to help. He had his back turned and unless your wearing armour, it’s going to hurt and going to damage the body. Red Bulls pit crew are exceptionally fast but it was comical watching this. The right rear guys struggled to get the wheel nut on. And without much a signal backed off from the wheel and the lollipop man let Webber go as is normal for him. But it took the front right hand guy to signal that something was wrong.

    But by then the wheel had come off and luckily it do so, so early. A second more and that wheel would have been a killer.

    Just as teams need to get their times down to 3 seconds or less, we must have a better conformation system that each wheel is secure. Three seconds REQUIRES an almost flawless system to let the lollipop guy it’s safe to release the car. He has to keep his eye on 4 wheels or arms in the air to say it’s OK AND if a car is not coming down the lane too close. Try doing all that in less than three seconds under that kind of pressure. Crazy and this needs to be taken care of well before making cameramen wear protective gear.

    Onto Kimi’s issue with his tyres for the final laps. Well this is Kimi and IF he thought his tyres were good enough to stay out, he should have done. The driver is in control and so he knows what the car is like and how the tyres feel.

    But anyway a great second place to keep him in touch with Seb winning his first home GP.

    The surprise drive was McLaren and Jenson Button. Of course they are still nowhere and fact we are surprised by him finishing 6th shows the car is still dire.

    So we wait for Hungary in 3 weeks. Is it me or are there a lot more 3 week breaks this year! But it’s of course Spa that everyone is looking forward to.

    1. Thanks for the reply invisiblekid and yes, it was a shock to see the bouncing tyre hitting the FOM (Formula One Management) cameraman. Luckily, he escaped without any serious injury but I agree safety should and will be the main issue in a crowded pitlane.

      I was watching the live broadcast on Sky Sports F1 and knew there was an issue with the tyre not fitting on properly. The Red Bull mechanic was waving his hand in fury that it wasn’t ready and yet Webber’s car was clear to go… The pit crew really needs to check that all four wheels are in place before setting the car back into the race. Sure, it’s around three seconds but you have to notice these things.

      As for Lewis Hamilton, such a shame that he went backwards after starting on pole position. The same old issue regarding tyre graining. You would think that 1,000km ‘secret’ test by Mercedes (and Pirelli) will sort out these performance issue.

      Kimi Raikkonen should have won this race. He was in the lead in the final stages of the German Grand Prix and yet Lotus decided to play safe and pit the Finn in with ten laps to the flag. It was a the safe option to avoid losing grip but it cost Kimi and the win at the Nürbrugring.

      And yet the best performance was McLaren and Jenson Button. To finish sixth is an impressive performance considering that this year’s car is not great. JB did complain about the Caterhams holding him up.

      So a fantastic achievement by Sebastian Vettel. Not only he had a KERS issue, he was able to fend off both Lotus drivers to take a home win. He has extended his lead in the championship now with the next race in Hungary. We have to wait until the end of the July to see it!

  7. Romain Grosjean says relief at the Lotus team’s return to form in the German Grand Prix outweighs any disappointment over defeat.

    Grosjean looked a likely winner in the middle of the race as he closed on Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull.

    Ultimately, the Frenchman was demoted to third as his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who switched back to soft tyres at a late final stop, came through to second.

    But Grosjean had no regrets about being kept on a more conventional strategy and losing out.

    “The first stint was amazing, seeing P1 on the board, and the car was working much better than we thought on option [soft] tyres,” he said.

    “After the first pitstop we were ahead of everyone else.

    “As a team we had to put different eggs in the same basket and choose different strategies.

    “It appeared Kimi’s one worked better. But it’s good to be back on the podium.”

    Grosjean, who had not scored points since his Bahrain Grand Prix podium, believes Lotus’s Nurburgring resurgence will carry into the upcoming races.

    “The summer is back on, which will help us be more consistent at the front,” he said.

    “Finally getting tyres and car working together is nice.”


  8. The cause of the spin from Felipe Massa was simply down to driver error and an issue with the Ferrari gearbox. has the details.

    Felipe Massa put his early spin in the German Grand Prix down to driver error, but says it was a gearbox problem that ended his race.

    The Ferrari driver spun at the first corner while running sixth on lap four.

    “I braked at the end of the straight and locked the rear wheels,” Massa said.

    “The car went sideways to the left and I corrected. Then it went sideways to the right and I spun.”

    He said he was then impossible to engage the right gear, stranding him in the run-off and ending his race.

    “I was in fifth gear, I tried to go into first to go on, and the gear was not going in,” Massa explained.

    “I was stuck in fifth gear. I tried to go and the engine revs went down because it’s difficult to lift off in fifth gear.

    “I tried with a lot of throttle but it was not possible.”

    Massa’s team-mate Fernando Alonso went on to finish fourth.

  9. As for his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard admits the team’s overachieved in the German Grand Prix. has the news story.

    Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari’s decision to qualify and start on medium-compound Pirellis allowed him to overachieve in the German Grand Prix.

    The Spaniard finished fourth, just 7.721 seconds behind race winner Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull and within two seconds of third-placed Romain Grosjean’s Lotus.

    But despite coming close to the podium, he believes that the Ferrari did not have the pace to challenge for such a strong finish without opting for an alternative strategy.

    “It was a very good strategy, it gave us the possibility to fight for the podium,” said Alonso when asked about the decision to start on mediums after the race.

    “We were not quick enough today, we didn’t have the pace and even with that we fought for the podium and were very close to the leading group.

    “It’s hard for me to imagine that if we started fifth and did soft, medium, medium, medium, I would have finished five seconds behind them or fought with them because we are slower and they will pull away.

    “We were fighting with them because of the strategy.”

    Alonso started the final lap just over seven-tenths of a second behind Grosjean, but lapped over a second slower than the Lotus driver and then stopped on the slow-down lap.

    But team principal Stefano Domenicali confirmed that these were unrelated and that Alonso had simply lost time on the final lap once he realised it was not possible to pass the Lotus.

    “At the end, we stopped because we wanted to make sure that we had the fuel needed for the regulation [sample],” said Domenicali.

    “The fact he was not able to catch [Grosjean] on the last lap was not connected to the fuel.”

  10. Red Bull has been fined €30,000 by the FIA for releasing Mark Webber unsafely from the pitstop that led to a cameraman being injured during the German Grand Prix.

    Webber’s right-rear wheel detached during his first stop on lap eight of the race at the Nurburgring.

    It bounced down the pitlane and struck cameraman Paul Allen, who was later taken to hospital.

    Red Bull re-fitted a wheel to Webber’s car and the Australian returned to the race to finish seventh.

    His team will now pay a financial penalty for the incident, but Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the most important thing was the wellbeing of the injured cameraman.

    “It is a horrible feeling because your immediate concern is for that individual and you hope that he will be alright,” said Horner.

    “I initially thought it was a Mercedes mechanic, but very quickly I was updated by FOM that it was one of their cameramen and that he was on his way to hospital.

    “They kept me updated during the race with their findings. The most important thing is that he is OK, it must be shocking for his family to see something like that.”

    The team chose not to tell Webber what happened so he could focus on the rest of his race.

    Horner said Red Bull would now investigate what went wrong at the pitstop.

    “We need to understand what has happened and why the wheel wasn’t located at Mark’s stop,” he added.

    “Most importantly the cameraman is fundamentally OK. Obviously that was our primary concern.

    “It is a timely reminder that the pitlane is still a pretty dangerous place to be.”

    The FIA has also fined Force India €5,000 for releasing Paul di Resta into the path of Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne during his first stop on lap five of the race.


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