Vettel holds off Raikkonen for home grand prix win

Vettel holds off Raikkonen for home grand prix win

Formula 1

Vettel holds off Raikkonen for home grand prix win


Sebastian Vettel finally won his home grand prix in Germany as he resisted big pressure from Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean at the Nurburgring.

As the Lotus duo took turns to hound Vettel for most of the race, it looked unlikely that the Red Bull driver would be able to cling on for victory, but he ultimately managed to after a dogged drive.

Polesitter Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes was swamped by the faster-starting Red Bulls off the line, as Vettel and Mark Webber moved into an immediate 1-2. Hamilton lost further ground with heavy tire wear as the race progressed.

Webber stayed right with his teammate until the first pit stops, when he was sent out before his right-rear wheel was fully attached.The errant wheel then struck a cameraman, who was treated at the medical center for undisclosed injuries and transported to a nearby hospital.

While Mercedes’ fortunes ebbed, Lotus moved in the opposite direction. Grosjean ran 13 laps on softs in his first stint — far better than anyone else managed — and that jumped him from fifth to second. The Frenchman then chased Vettel down, though he could not get closer than two seconds behind.

A safety car just mid-distance closed things up and brought Raikkonen from 12sec down into contention. The caution period was required after Jules Bianchi’s Marussia retired in a cloud of smoke and flames, and then began drifting back across the circuit on the chicane approach after its driver had got out.

The leaders made their second stops behind the safety car but could not make it from there to the end. Grosjean was first to pit, with Vettel reacting on the next lap and staying ahead.

Raikkonen ran 10 laps further then pitted for softs, allowing him to charge back past Grosjean (who obeyed a team order to not delay the Finn) and then catch Vettel. But the world champion had just enough in hand to hang on and win by a second. Grosjean resisted a similar late surge from Fernando Alonso to keep third.

Alonso’s Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa spun out at the first corner just four laps in while running sixth. Hamilton ended up fifth, passing two-stopper Jenson Button’s McLaren on the last lap.

Webber was brought back to the Red Bull garage and given a new wheel, then recovered from a distant last to seventh, just ahead of McLaren’s Sergio Perez. Nico Rosberg could make little progress from 11th on the grid and finished ninth ahead of countryman Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber.

Daniel Ricciardo faded from sixth in qualifying to 12th, between the Force Indias. Williams appeared to have a shot at points for a while, before pit stop delays hampered both its drivers.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTSGerman Grand PrixNurburgring, Germany;Classified:Pos  Driver        Team         1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault            2.  Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault                         3.  Grosjean       Lotus-Renault                         4.  Alonso         Ferrari                               5.  Hamilton       Mercedes                             6.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes                      7.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault                      8.  Perez          McLaren-Mercedes                      9.  Rosberg        Mercedes                             10.  Hulkenberg     Sauber-Ferrari                       11.  Di Resta       Force India-Mercedes                 12.  Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari                   13.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes                 14.  Gutierrez      Sauber-Ferrari                       15.  Maldonado      Williams-Renault                     16.  Bottas         Williams-Renault                     17.  Pic            Caterham-Renault                    18.  van der Garde  Caterham-Renault                     19.  Chilton        Marussia-Cosworth                    DNF. Vergne         Toro Rosso-Ferrari                   DNF. Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth                    DNF. Massa          Ferrari                              World Championship standings, round 9:                Drivers:                    Constructors:              1.  Vettel        157        1.  Red Bull-Renault          250 2.  Alonso        123        2.  Mercedes                  181 3.  Raikkonen     118        3.  Ferrari                   180 4.  Hamilton       97        4.  Lotus-Renault             159 5.  Webber         93        5.  Force India-Mercedes       59 6.  Rosberg        84        6.  McLaren-Mercedes           49 7.  Massa          57        7.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         24 8.  Grosjean       41        8.  Sauber-Ferrari              7 9.  Di Resta       36       10.  Button         33       11.  Sutil          23       12.  Perez          16       13.  Vergne         13       14.  Ricciardo      11       15.  Hulkenberg      7              All timing unofficial