Sebastian Vettel says the pressure from the chasing Lotus drivers made his first home win at the German Grand Prix “very special.”
The triple world champion overcame Lewis Hamilton’s pole-sitting Mercedes at the start to lead, but had to resist a late charge from Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus to win in front of home fans at the Nurburgring.
He said he was proud of his Red Bull team after a flat-out drive to victory by just one second.
“It’s a great relief and a special day,” Vettel said. “It will take a little while to sink in, but I’m incredibly proud today, the team did a fantastic job for strategy and pit stops.
“It was so difficult — I pushed every single lap but it’s so tough when you are on the edge. You cannot go over the tires too much because then you won’t reach the end of the stint, and you have to get through traffic as quick as you can.
“The safety car [for Jules Bianchi’s freewheeling Marussia] didn’t help us and Lotus was incredibly quick today. They were taking care of the tires a bit better and gave us a good run for our money, so I am happy it worked out.”
Vettel also complimented Pirelli for eliminating the rear tire failures that blighted the previous race at Silverstone.
“They did a great job to bring a different rear tire to this event and we didn’t have any failures throughout the whole weekend, so compliments to them,” Vettel added. “I hope it continues like that.”