Sebastian Vettel started alongside pole man Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber right behind in P3. The Red Bulls got the drop on the Mercedes as the lights went out.
“I didn't have a great start and the Red Bulls were much quicker off the line, dropping me back to third.” LH
With the soft tyres having a very limited life, pitstops started early. Seb came in on L7. That gave Mark clean air and a sniff of capturing the lead but his pitstop was a horror. He emerged a lap down.
“We had an excellent start and were in a great position leading up to the first stop with Seb, but we lost all of that. We lost a lot of points today and a chance to challenge for the win, but there’s no rewind button.” MW
Seb’s main rivals were then the Lotuses. Romain Grosjean had managed an unlikely long stint on the softs. He was second, with Kimi Räikkönen third.
“The first stint has been amazing. Seeing P1 on the board is always good. After the first pit stop Seb and myself were quite a long way ahead of everyone else.” RG
The bizarre sight of a driverless Marussia rolling backwards across the track called out the Safety Car. Vettel, Grosjean and Räikkönen all pitted. Grosjean then took mediums on lap 40, Seb on 41 but Kimi stayed out… until lap 49, leaving him 11 laps to do something amazing.
“As a team we had to put different eggs not in the same basket – with different strategies for Kimi and myself.” RG
“I think we try to cover [Grosjean] to make sure we stay ahead and we defend the lead because we saw that overtaking is quite tricky here.” SV
“I’m wondering if we should have done it, take a gamble and try to go to the end because the tyres were pretty OK. We decided to come in and fit the soft tyres.” KR
Räikkönen regained second with the acquiescence of his team-mate and then set about Seb. It was amazingly tense for the final laps – but Seb held on.
“We tried everything that we had and failed – but we did a good race and got both cars on the podium, so as a team we’re happy though obviously I lost more points to Seb in the championship.” KR
“Very happy that the race ended after 60 laps and not 61 or 62…” SV
Mark spent the last 30 laps scything his way through the field, passing Sergio Pérez on the final lap to snatch seventh. The points leave Seb with a 34-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship with 157 to Fernando Alonso’s 123, while Red Bull Racing power ahead in the Constructors’ battle with 250 to Mercedes 183 – and the final words should go to Vettel, finally a Germand Grand Prix winner.
“When you have a good car and for a couple of years you’ve had a good run, when you come to home soil people expect you to win. We never ever let that go to our head but it just feels very, very sweet to have succeeded.” SV