It was a sweet weekend for Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel as he managed to finally put to bed his home race duck, coming home in first place to claim his maiden German Grand Prix win.
Vettel qualified well in second, pipped to pole by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who sat at the head of the grid for the second weekend in a row.
Vettel’s Red Bull teammate finished qualifying just behind him in third, while the Lotuses of Raikkonen and Grosjean produced a strong showing, snapping at the Red Bull’s heels in fourth and fifth respectively.
Our boys at McLaren made a decent fist of qualifying, with former World Champion Jenson Button coming home in ninth and young gun Sergio Perez claiming 13th on the grid.
Ferrari, however, must have been less than pleased with their Saturday performance as both cars couldn’t get near the front, heaping pressure on title contender Alonso, who qualified in eighth – one place behind teammate Felipe Massa.
To the race, and the three lead cars got away well, including Mark Webber, who despite qualifying well this season has not set the world alight off the line. Both Red Bulls mugged Hamilton thanks to some well-deployed strategic use of their KERS boost, with the Mercedes driver slipping back to third by the first corner.
Further woe was to come Hamilton’s way, as he eventually crossed the line in fifth, five places back of his starting slot.
The same was true for Webber. After a strong first stint, the Australian pitted for new tyres, but an error by the Red Bull mechanics meant he actually lost his wheel on pit exit.
The errant tyre bounced down the pit lane at speed, hitting a cameraman and braking his collar bone and two ribs – fortunately, that was the extent of his injuries, and no more serious damage was done. We wish him a speedy recovery.
This dropped Webber to last, but in his last season of F1, he put in a gritty performance to finish seventh and in the points.
At the front though, it was his teammate Vettel that commanded the race, which was run at a massively fast pace. Raikkonen and Grosjean improved on their qualifying positions, both Lotus drivers getting on the podium, finishing second and third respectively.
Alonso, too improved on a less than stellar qualifying, crossing the line in fourth and limiting the deficit to his title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
It was a much improved showing for our guys at McLaren, too. Button was on for a fifth place finish at one stage, only for a pair of battling Caterhams to get in his way when lapping them. This, combined with more worn tyres than those around him, allowed Hamilton to catch and overhaul the English driver.
Button was still happy with his race pace, while Perez finished two places back of Jenson in eighth, with both cars scoring solid points. It seems things are looking up over in Woking…
Did you watch the German Grand Prix among last weekend’s amazing festival of summer sporting events? What did you think of the race?
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