Sebastian Vettel scores with Red Bull his first German Grand Prix victory
The German Red Bull driver snatched the lead at the start after out-dragging P1 starter and British Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton and fending off an unusual fast-starting Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber into the Nurburgring’s first corner. The Australian Red Bull driver was instructed by his team to"hold the throttle, if he gets a wheel slip". The British Mercedes AMG driver found himself in a Red Bull sandwich before reaching Turn 1.
The German triple Formula 1 world champion then controlled the pace as the first round of pit stops pushed French Lotus driver Romain Grosjean into a thought-provoking position as the Frenchman ran a long opening stint for Lotus.
The French Lotus driver Romain Grosjean lead from lap nine to lap thirteen after German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel had made his first of three stops, and resumed the hunt after that. Unfortunately, the Frenchman lost his advantage over his Finish team mate Kimi Raikkonen after a harmless moment on the 24th lap. Jules Bianchi’s Marussia came to a halt on the rise to the NGK chicane on the 22nd lap due to an engine failure, momentarily catching fire, which was efficiently extinguished by the marshals. Two laps
Generously, nobody was approaching the scene at the time, but the safety car was immediately deployed and did return to the pits until the end of the 29th lap, with racing resuming on the 30th lap.
The safety-car period impeded French Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, but helped Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber a lot. The Australian had been released too soon after his first pit stop on the ninth lap, and his right-rear wheel became detached, bouncing down the pit lane. It subsequently struck FOM cameraman Paul Allen on his left-hand side, knocking him to the ground. He remained conscious and was treated at the medical centre of the race circuit before being helicoptered to Koblenz Hospital for observation and further investigations.
The Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber lost a lap before restarting, but was waved past the safety car to make up that lap before the race was allowed to restart.
By that stage of the race, German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was closely followed by both Lotuses, and the breathtaking fight was about to be initiated. First it was French Lotus driver Romain Grosjean who launched the attack prior to his final pit stop on the 40th lap. German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel stopped on the 41st, leaving Finish Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen to build a lead until he stopped, for soft Pirellis, on the 49th lap. With both German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel and French Lotus driver Romain Grosjean on well-worn mediums, that clever dual strategy from Lotus should have proved decisive, but it took the Finn quite a while to catch and pass his team mate, who eventually let him pass by approaching the chicane on the 55th lap, after being instructed by the team that the Finn was faster.
Finish Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen gave it the best shot down and closed down a two-second gap, but he ran out of time to launch a final attack and Sebatian Vettel’s Red Bull crossed the line a second ahead of the Finn’s Lotus. It must be mentioned here, that the German Red Bull driver did the utmost to be outside the DRS zone of the Finish Lotus driver.
Behind them, Spanish Scuderia Ferrari Fernando Alonso did a stealthy race, which enabled him to chase French Lotus driver Romain Grosjean in the closing stages of the German Grand Prix. He had stayed on mediums for most of the race until taking softs on the 53rd lap for the last stint. At one stage it seemed very possible that he would pass the second Lotus, but Romain Grosjean did his best for a much-needed podium place for himself and to complete an all Renault engine podium.
British Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton had a tough race, in which he lost a lot of time being trapped behind the Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg, but he was as aggressive as ever as he catapulted himself back to fifth place, passing the two Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' of Sergio Perez, then Jenson Button, in the final stages of the 2013 German Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The old team of the current Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton was slowly finding back to its usual form with a great strategic race in which British Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button started on mediums, whereas his Mexican team mate Sergio Perez started on softs. The two raced each other wheel-to-wheel at some stages of the race, but it was the experienced Jenson Button who had the upper hand this time as he finished in sixth place. The Mexican Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Sergio Perez couldn’t resist the emerging Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber in the final laps, but finished eighth ahead of Mercedes AMG driver Nico Rosberg, whose qualifying miseries were reflected in a tough race which brought him home in front of his crowd in a deeply disappointing ninth place ahead of Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg, who showed top form. For the German Mercedes AMG driver it was a major setback after the superb performance a week earlier in Silverstone, where he finished on the top spot of the podium
Paul di Resta beat his Force India team mate Adrian Sutil on the latter’s home ground, leading home Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso which faded early. German Force India driver Adrian Sutil and Sauber’s top-form driver Esteban Guttierez were 13th and 14th respectively, with the Williamses of Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas before finished 15th and 16th.
Charles Pic brought his Caterham home in 17th place after a long fight with fast-starting team mate Giedo van der Garde, as Marussia’s Max Chilton was the final finisher. Besides Bianchi, The Scuderia Ferrari of Brazilian driver Felipe Massa retired after only three laps with an odd-looking swirl going into Turn 1, while Jean-Eric Vergne pitted his Toro Rosso on lap 22 with hydraulic problems and did not continue.
The result of the German 2013 Formula 1 Grand Prix week-end increases Sebastian Vettel’s point's score to 157 with Fernando Alonso on 123 from Kimi Raikkonen on 116, Lewis Hamilton 99, Mark Webber 93 and Nico Rosberg 84.
In the constructors’ Formula 1 standings, Red Bull have 250 to Mercedes AMG’ 183, with Scuderia Ferrari third on 180, Lotus on 157, Force India on 59 and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on 49 points.
Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber's unsafe release with the stray wheel was subsequently fined 30,000 Euros by race stewards. Force India, meanwhile, were given a €5,000 fine after releasing Paul di Resta into the path of Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne.
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