Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel after winning the 2013 Formula One German Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel claimed a battling first home win at the 2013 Formula One German Grand Prix, fending off a late charge from Kimi Räikkönen and the Finn’s Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean, who finished second and third respectively. After starting at second on the grid, Vettel quickly overtook pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG to take the lead before heading into the Nürburgring GP circuit’s first turn.
At this point, Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber had also passed Hamilton, setting up the Red Bull Racing duo for a strong race. Unfortunately for Webber, a problem with his right rear wheel saw the Australian pit early.
A fumble during the stop also saw the wheel come loose and roll onto the pitlane, hitting British cameraman Paul Allen. A few broken bones were reported, and Red Bull Racing was charged a 30,000 euro (approximately $38,470) fine for the offense.
This ended Webber’s chances of challenging for a win and allowed Grosjean to leapfrog into second and begin to put the pressure on Vettel. That pressure intensified when the safety car was called out following an engine failure on Jules Bianchi’s Marussia, allowing Räikkönen to catch up.
Near the end, Räikkönen closed to within a second of Vettel and most likely would have taken the lead due to his extra pace but he ran out of time and Vettel was first to cross the finish line.
“It was a tough race; it was one of the toughest for a long time,” Vettel said after the race. “I’m happy the race wasn’t two or three laps longer, as Kimi was a bit quicker towards the end. I’m very happy that it worked out and it’s very special.”
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished the race in fourth place, while his team-mate Felipe Massa had to retire on lap four after spinning off the track and stalling the engine. Fifth place went to Hamilton. The Briton’s car just didn’t have the pace and at one point he had dropped back to 10th place.
In sixth place was Hamilton’s old team-mate, Jenson Button of McLaren. And then it was Webber. Aided by Bianchi’s safety car session somewhat, the Australian raced past four backmarkers in a single lap and then powered through the order to eventually claim seventh place.
Behind him was McLaren’s other driver Sergio Perez in eighth, Mercedes AMG’s other driver Nico Rosberg in ninth and Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the top ten.
With his latest win, Sebastian Vettel now extends his lead in the 2013 Drivers’ Championship with a total of 157 points, with Fernando Alonso in second with 123 points and Kimi Räikkönen third with 116 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing now sits on 250 points versus the 183 of Mercedes AMG and 180 of Ferrari.
Teams now have a few weeks off before heading to Budapest for the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix.