German GP - Sunday - Race Notes
Sebastian Vettel wins German GP
Sebastian Vettel won the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring today in his Red Bull-Renault, 1.0 seconds ahead of the late charging Lotus-Renault of Kimi Raikkonen in seconds, and his Lotus team mate Romain Grosjean in third, 5.8 seconds behind.
The victory is Vettel's 30th career win and first at his home grand prix. It is also Vettel's first win in mainland Europe for almost two years, since the Italian GP at Monza in September 2011.
Fernando Alonso (7.7s) in his Ferrari finished in fourth, followed by pole sitter Lewis Hamilton (26.9s) in the Mercedes GP in fifth, Jenson Button (27.9s) in the McLaren-Mercedes in sixth, Mark Webber (37.5s) in the second Red Bull in seventh, Sergio Perez (37.3s) in the second McLaren in eighth, Nico Rosberg (46.8s) in the Mercedes GP in ninth and Nico Hulkenberg (49.8s) in the Sauber-Ferrari finishes in the final points paying position.
Vettel (157) now leads the drivers championship by 34 points over Alonso (123), Raikkonen (118), Hamilton (118) and Webber (93 points), while Red Bull-Renault (250) leads Mercedes GP (181), Ferrari (180), Lotus-Renault (159), Force India-Mercedes (59), McLaren-Mercedes (49), Toro Rosso-Ferrari (24) and Sauber-Ferrari (7 points).
Charles Pic was given a five position grid penalty for a gearbox change and will start last.
A sunny dry race is expected.
Felipe Massa, Alonso, Button, Hulkenberg, Rosberg, Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas will all start on medium compound tyres, potentially giving them an advantage by being able to run a longer first stint. The rest of the field on the soft compound tyres.
At the start Vettel and Webber get a better start than pole sitter Hamilton into the first corner, followed by Raikkonen, Grosjean, Massa, Daniel Ricciardo, Alonso, Button and Perez. Rosberg runs in 12th.
On lap 2 Button and Perez go side-by-side into the first corner, Perez, on softer tyres, taking ninth place from his team mate.
On lap 3 Vettel pulls out a one second lead on Webber, and a two second lead on Hamilton.
On lap 4 Massa spins off and retires at the first corner. Vettel sets fastest lap at 1m37.4s.
Paul di Resta, Jean-Eric Vergne and Pic are the first runners to pit.
On lap 6 Ricciardo, Adrian Sutil, Guido van der Garde and Jules Bianchi pit, all switching to medium compound tyres.
On lap 7 Hamilton pits from third place, rejoining in 10th, behind his team mate Rosberg. Esteban Gutierrez pits as well.
Alonso is the first runner on medium tyres, 10 seconds behind Vettel.
On lap 8, Vettel pits from the lead, rejoining in seventh place ahead of the two Mercedes. Perez pits as well. Webber rejoins in last place.
On lap 9 Webber pits for his first stop - the team has a problem with the right rear tyre, and Webber is released before the changer is done. As Webber pulls away the wheel comes off, and bounces down the pitlane - hitting a cameraman, who appears to be alright. After getting him back to the pits Webber rejoins in last place. Raikkonen and Max Chilton pit as well. Grosjean takes over the lead and sets fast lap at 1m37.2s.
At lap 10, Grosjean leads Alonso by 9.6 seconds, followed by Button (14.2s), Vettel (14.7s), Hulkenberg (16.1s), Rosberg (17.8s), Hamilton (18.3s), Raikkonen (18.9s), Maldonado (23.6s) and Bottas (27.7s) in tenth place.
Hamilton is looking for a way past his team mate Rosberg in sixth place.
On lap 12 Webber sets fast lap at 1m37.1s.
On lap 13 Alonso pits from second place for another set of medium tyres, and rejoins in ninth.
On lap 14 Grosjean pits from the lead, running the longest on soft tyres.
Hamilton passes Rosberg into the first turn for fifth place.
Raikkonen also passes Rosberg, taking sixth place. Grosjean, in second place behind Vettel, sets fast lap at 1m36.7s.
On lap 16 Rosberg pits from seventh place for his first stop.
On lap 17 Hulkenberg pits taking another set of medium tyres. Button in third place still yet to make his first stop, along with the Williamses of Maldonado and Bottas.
On lap 19 Ricciardo makes his second stop for more medium tyres.
On lap 20 Alonso is closing on Hamilton in fifth.
At lap 20 Vettel leads Grosjean by 2.0 seconds, followed by Button (11.4s), Raikkonen (12.5s), Hamilton (16.0s), Alonso (16.4s), Maldonado (27.9s), Bottas (31.8s), Perez (32.2s) and Sutil (32.6s) in tenth place. Rosberg in 13th, Webber in 21st.
On lap 22 Button finally makes his first stop from third place, taking on another set of medium tyres. Maldonado pits as well from seventh.
On lap 23 Hamilton pits for his seconds stop for another set of medium tyres, rejoining in eighth ahead of Sutil.
On lap 24 Bianchi's engine fails and he retires at the side of the track in a cloud of smoke.
After Bianchi exits his car and just before the marshals arrive to push the car away - the Marussia rolls on it's own, and rolls across the track. Luckily no one is coming as it goes. The safety car is deployed.
Many drivers take the opportunity to stop for new tyres. Vettel, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Alonso, Perez, Sutil, Di Resta, Rosberg and Webber all pit.
Behind the safety car, Vettel leads Grosjean, Raikkonen, Alonso, Button, Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Maldonado, Perez, Sutil in tenth, Ricciardo, Di Resta, Rosberg, Gutierrez, Bottas, Van der Garde, Pic, Chilton and Webber in 19th place.
Vergne retires his Toro Rosso with hydraulic problems. Webber is waved by the safety car, and is now on the tail end of the lead lap.
At the end of lap 29 the safety car comes in and the race resumes. Vettel maintains the lead over Grosjean. Webber starts picking up places.
On lap 30, at half distance, Vettel sets fast lap at 1m37.5s and pulls out a one second lead over Grosjean. Webber is up to 15th place.
On lap 31 Vettel goes faster and sets a 1m35.8s.
On lap 32 Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m35.7s, and in third place is 1.9 seconds behind the leader.
Grosjean sets fast lap the next lap at 1m35.7s.
On lap 33 Hamilton closes on Hulkenberg in sixth. Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m35.6s. Grosjean and Raikkonen are closing on the leader Vettel. Grosjean within a half second behind.
On lap 36 Perez passes Maldonado for eighth place.
Hulkenberg continues defend the challenge from Hamilton.
On lap 38 Hulkenberg pits from sixth for tyres. Grosjean shadows Vettel in the lead.
On lap 39 Webber makes a tyre stop.
Word circulates in the pits that Vettel might be suffering from a KERS problem.
Hulkenberg on new tyres sets fastest lap at 1m35.6s.
On lap 41 Grosjean pits from second place. Ricciardo pits as well.
On lap 42 Vettel pits from the lead, the Red Bull coming out just ahead of Grosjean. Raikkonen takes over the lead. Gutierrez pits as well. Grosjean sets fast lap at 1m35.0s.
At lap 42 Raikkonen leads Alonso by 3.2 seconds, followed by Button (10.0s), Hamilton (12.7s), Vettel (15.2s), Grosjean (16.2s), Perez (20.6s), Maldonado (26.4s), Di Resta (28.4s) and Sutil (29.8s).
On lap 43 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m34.7s. Sutil pits
Vettel closes on Hamilton in fourth place.
On lap 45 Vettel passes Hamilton in turn 3. Hamilton then pits for another set of medium tyres, and Grosjean continues to chase Vettel.
On lap 47 Hulkenberg passes Rosberg for tenth place.
Raikkonen holds a 15 second lead over Vettel in fourth - Red Bull is wondering if the Finn can run to the finish without pitting again.
Hamilton passes his team mate Rosberg for tenth.
On lap 48 Button pits from third place, making his final stop and switching to soft tyres, rejoining in sixth. Rosberg pits from 11th, switching to soft tyres.
On lap 50 leader Raikkonen pits from the lead for soft tyres, second place Alonso pits as well taking soft tyres. Button sets fast lap at 1m34.2s. Vettel takes over the lead ahead of Grosjean, Raikkonen and Alonso.
On lap 51 Maldonado makes his second and final stop, the team having trouble changing the front left tyre.
Button passes his team mate Perez for fifth place.
At lap 51 Vettel leads Grosjean by 1.8 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (3.4s), Alonso (7.1s), Button (16.8s), Perez (19.2s), Hamilton (26.2s), Di Resta (29.0s), Webber (29.5s) and Bottas (38.0s) in tenth.
Raikkonen and Alonso charging on soft tyres, Alonso sets fast lap at 1m33.4s. Webber passes Di Resta for eighth place.
Lotus has told Grosjean that if Raikkonen catches him, to let his team leader past.
On lap 55 Grosjean lets Raikkonen past into seconds place - he trails Vettel by 2.5 seconds.
Hulkenberg and Ricciardo are fighting over 11th place.
On lap 56 Hamilton passes Perez for sixth place.
On lap 57 Raikkonen closes to 1.6 seconds behind Vettel. Alonso closes to under a second behind Grosjean.
On lap 58 Raikkonen closes the gap to 1.2 seconds from Vettel. Hamilton is closing on Button in fifth.
On lap 59 Raikkonen is 1.0 seconds behind. Hamilton passes Button on the outside of turn 2 to take fifth.
Raikkonen closes to half a second, but runs out of time at the chequered flag.
After the flag Alonso parks his car at turn 1, possibly out of fuel. Webber passes Perez for seventh place on the final lap.
Vettel wins the German GP for the first time, followed to the line by Raikkonen and Grosjean.