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
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.