Formula 1

Start determines result of Red Bull’s German GP

3 Mins read

It was a case of another pole position for Sebastian Vettel but another failure for the German to convert a good qualifying into a race win. However, the German did finish third in his home grand prix, ahead of his two main title rivals in the McLarens.

Vettel was overtaken by the two Ferrari drivers off the line, and it was this run down into the first corner that determined where he finish the face.

“Normally we have very good starts, so I'm not really sure what happened today,” he said. “I had quite a lot of
grip, I dumped the clutch, but got bogged down, so the first five to ten metres of the acceleration were poor. I was lucky I didn’t stall the engine, but I lost the momentum so I knew that it would be very tight with Fernando who I was already side by side with.
“There was no way I could stay ahead of him and then I was surprised to see Felipe coming from the left. But, after that we still had a good race. The closer I got to the car in front, I began to feel tyres losing grip and starting to grain, but I think for most of the race the Ferraris were probably a tenth or two quicker than us. It was difficult to keep up the pace.
“Towards the end we were able to push again a little bit. We finished third and I think we can be proud of that. We achieved our maximum today and I was very pleased to be on the podium.
“It's very special for me at my home Grand Prix, it's great to see the people here and to be on the podium – to see everyone cheering is very nice and emotional.”
Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber had a disappointing day. He started fourth but was overtaken off the line by Lewis Hamilton, and then passed in the pit stops by Jenson Button. The Aussie eventually finished sixth.
“I enjoyed the first part of the race and had a good scrap with Lewis,” Webber said. “He didn’t look too comfortable
on the option tyre and I was getting held up a bit. When I came in for a pit stop, I thought Lewis might come in at the same time, but he stayed out a lap longer. In the end, the guys did a very good job, but we came back out in traffic.
“It was a little bit of a gamble to try and jump Lewis and we lost a bit of track to him. Jenson tried a different strategy and went longer and unfortunately was able to jump me.
“After that we had an oil consumption problem, so we had to concentrate on getting the car to the end. I wasn’t in the main fight today, but I’ll be back. It's competitive at the front and that’s how it should be, so we’re looking forward to the next race.”
Team principal Christian Horner said that the opening lap determined the race result from today’s point of view, and he also critical of Ferrari’s tactics.
“Today's race was dictated by the start,” he said. “Unfortunately Sebastian didn't get away cleanly and ended up on the right-hand side of the track. Massa got a good run on the left and we emerged from Turn one in P3 – that's what shaped the race as far as Sebastian was concerned.
“With Mark, we took a calculated risk with the pit-stop. After that, he got caught up behind Rosberg, which cost him a bit of time and allowed Jenson to jump him. From there he did an excellent job in nursing an oil system issue that he managed well to the end of the race to score some important points.
“It was surprising what happened with the Ferraris, it looked to be a team order with the cars switching position. If so, it's a shame for Formula One and the fans that they were deprived of a race between the two Ferrari drivers today.”
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