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Sebastian Vettel wins German Grand Prix as poor start and tyre problems see Lewis Hamilton finishing fifth

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Published: 8 July 2013


german gp


Sebastian Vettel drove to his first win at the German Grand Prix this weekend.


Despite driving half the number of races of Fernando Alonso, Vettel now has 30 wins to his record, just two fewer than the Ferrari driver. 


The reigning world champion took the win by one second over Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus F1 Team), with Romain Grosjean third, giving Renault power a clean sweep of the podium. It is the second podium lock out for Renault-powered drivers this season following the Bahrain Grand Prix in April.


Vettel took the lead of the Grand Prix at the start from pole sitter, Lewis Hamilton, with Mark Webber second. The two carved out a lead over the Mercedes until the first round of pit stops. However, Webber lost a wheel in the pits and dropped to the tail end of the grid, one lap down.


hamilton


The Australian nevertheless regained the lap under the safety car period caused by Bianchi’s stoppage, and from then on he had a spirited fight back to seventh overall.


Vettel, the two Lotus’ and Alonso circulated within seconds of each other in the first two stints, setting up a grandstand finish for the third round of pit stops. Grosjean pitted first, with Vettel a lap later, but Raikkonen stayed out for a further 10 laps, giving him fresher option tyres for the final push to the end. 


He caught and passed his team-mate five laps from the end and started to reel in Vettel, but the German held on until the end to win his fourth Grand Prix of the year. Grosjean resisted intense pressure from Alonso in the closing stages to secure his second podium of the season.



hamilton


Lewis Hamilton, who was doubtful before the race that he could hold off the Red Bulls, said: “That was really a tough race out there for us today. I didn’t have a great start and the Red Bulls were much quicker off the line, dropping me back to third. We really struggled with the second set of tyres which then compromised the rest of my race. It’s a real shame as the team are working so hard and doing such a good job. 


“We’ve clearly got a good car but for some reason, it doesn’t work in these hot conditions. We’ll keep working on it and the positive from today is that we were able to recover to fifth place with a good strategy and great pit stops, and we’re still second in the Constructors’ table. Hopefully we’ll have a better chance at the next race but, for now, there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us.”


hamilton


Rémi Taffin, Renaultsport F1 head of track operations, said: “We are delighted with that result, with Renault-powered drivers locking out the podium. Moreover they fought the entire way, even on the last lap. It’s the first triple podium we’ve had since Bahrain in April, and very welcome at this point in the season – well done to all the guys at Viry and Mecachrome, who are working extremely well with the chassis teams in Milton Keynes and Enstone.”


Ross Brawn was quick to send his thoughts to the cameraman who was struck by a wheel as it shot off Mark Webber’s car after the Australian left hit pit box.


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