Sebastian Vettel finally won his home grand prix in Germany as he resisted big pressure from Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean at the Nurburgring.
As the Lotus duo took turns to hound Vettel for most of the race, it looked unlikely that the Red Bull driver would be able to cling on for victory, but he ultimately managed to after a dogged drive.
“I could run longer and we had to think about if we should try to run until the end. 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. It’s hard to know what would have happened in the next two laps. 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.”
Pos Driver Team 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 3. Grosjean Lotus-Renault 4. Alonso Ferrari 5. Hamilton Mercedes 6. Button McLaren-Mercedes 7. Webber Red Bull-Renault 8. Perez McLaren-Mercedes 9. Rosberg Mercedes 10. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 11. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes 12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 13. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 14. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 15. Maldonado Williams-Renault 16. Bottas Williams-Renault 17. Pic Caterham-Renault 18. van der Garde Caterham-Renault 19. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth DNF. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari DNF. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth DNF. Massa Ferrari World Championship standings, round 9: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 157 1. Red Bull-Renault 250 2. Alonso 123 2. Mercedes 181 3. Raikkonen 116 3. Ferrari 180 4. Hamilton 99 4. Lotus-Renault 159 5. Webber 93 5. Force India-Mercedes 59 6. Rosberg 84 6. McLaren-Mercedes 49 7. Massa 57 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24 8. Grosjean 41 8. Sauber-Ferrari 7 9. Di Resta 36 10. Button 33 11. Sutil 23 12. Perez 16 13. Vergne 13 14. Ricciardo 11 15. Hulkenberg 7
Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd: “We had a pretty good last stint of the race, but the cars are close on performance so it’s difficult to overtake. Maybe some more laps would have helped us, but the race is only 60 laps so you have to do your best with that. After my first stop I was stuck behind a Mercedes for a while, but once I was past the car was pretty good. After the safety car three of us were able to pull away, but we were too close on speed to change the order. It was a good day for the team. Of course, we wanted to win; we couldn’t, but we did score the most points here. The warmer temperatures definitely helped us, so let’s hope for some more hot weather in Budapest.”
Romain Grosjean – 3rd: “After some difficult races, everything went right today and it was pretty special when I was leading the race and returning to the podium is naturally a good thing. My car felt great on the first stint with the soft tyres and it’s clear that the summer weather really suits us. Hopefully we’ll have a long summer now in Europe! Letting Kimi past at the end of the race was the sensible thing to do as we were on different strategies and he had more of a chance of going for the win than I did at that point. We didn’t know which tyre would be the best at the end of the race, so we didn’t put all our eggs in one basket.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “That was a very good race from the team which validates all the hard work which has been going on back at Enstone, so we thank everyone at the factory for their efforts. After three difficult weekends, being on the podium was exactly what we needed. We need to continue like this to make up for lost ground in both championships. The E21 worked very well today and both Kimi and Romain drove superbly. We had a good strategy from the pit wall, some fantastic pit stops, and were it not for losing some time behind both Mercedes, it’s possible that we could have won today. I think we’ll have to ask Pirelli to keep this weekend’s specification of tyres for the rest of the season.”
Alan Permane, trackside operations director: “We’re very happy to be back on the podium again after a short spell of bleak races. Both cars ran faultlessly from start to finish and it did look like we could be able to take the fight to Sebastian [Vettel] but ultimately we didn’t quite manage it. Kimi was held up by Lewis [Hamilton] after his first pit stop but came back fighting at the end of the race. Romain did a fantastic job managing his first set of tyres which enabled him to make some great gains. We did consider running Kimi on a two-stop strategy but we could see the tyre performance dropping. We expected slightly more performance from his final set of soft tyres, but he was right with Seb at the end.”
Video: post-race Sky Sports interview, NBCSport’s interview, BBC interview