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Race highlights - Germany 2013 - Sebastian Vettel wins a hard-fought home race at the Nürburgring

Published by Christine

F1 race action in Germany
Credit: Mark Thompson

There were soaring temperatures over the Nürbugring today, and beautifully sunny skies, under which played out a slightly chaotic and intriguing race. Although the winner was a familiar and slightly frustrating face, it was a close fight to the finish, and there were a lot of battles throughout the field to hold interest.

From passing moves into the very first corner of the race, to an errant Marussia deciding to participate minus its driver, there was a little bit of everything to spice up the afternoon in Germany.

If you missed any of the action, or simply want to remind yourself what happened, then this Factbyte Factbox replay of the action lap by lap should be just what you're looking for.

As it happened: Germany 2013 - The race

Event Highlights

  • Sebastian Vettel defends victory to the line from the two Lotus drivers.
  • A Red Bull pit stop problem sees Webber drop down the order, and an errant wheel hit a cameraman in the pit lane.
  • Jules Bianchi's Marussia catches fire mid-race, forcing the Frenchman from the car and out of the race.
  • McLaren get their first double points finish since Spain.
  • 12:30

    Hello there, welcome back to the Factbyte Factbox, today we're all about the Nürbugring, as we approach the German Grand Prix.

  • 12:31

    We've got Lewis Hamilton on pole position ahead of two Red Bulls and then two Lotus drivers. There's lots to prove and a lot to play for out there this weekend.

  • 12:32

    If you aren't aware already, the FIA have put in place some specific pressure, camber and left/right instructions so that we shouldn't see a repeat of the tyre problems of last week.

  • 12:33

    Medium and soft compoundsIt's medium and soft compounds on the menu today, with the white sidewall on the medium tyre and the yellow on the softs.

  • 12:34

    Daniel Ricciardo put in another good qualifying performance, to secure sixth place on the grid, whilst Felipe Massa outqualified Fernando Alonso - a rare occurrence.

  • 12:34
    Qualifying Battle
    FerrariQualified Ahead
    F Massa3
    F Alonso6
  • 12:34

    Jenson Button and Nico Hülkenberg round out the top ten, they didn't bother setting times in the final qualifying session, preferring to save rubber for race day.

  • 12:35

    Towards the rear of the field, Charles Pic was the best of the backmarker teams, but has taken a five place gearbox-related penalty, so now starts last.

  • 12:35
    Circuit Data
    Local timezone+02:00 GMT
    First race1984
    Number of laps67
    Circuit length4.574km
    Race distance306.458km
    Start offset0.000km
  • 12:36

    TweetTweet from @MyCaterhamF1: Both cars now on their way to the grid. Radio checks taking place between drivers and engineers as the cars circulate

  • 12:38

    I know I said this last week, but Williams are celebrating their 600th race this weekend. I think this one actually is their 600th. Not sure what last week was about. Promise not to mention it next race as well.

  • 12:39

    Here are some statistics for turn 8, the big hairpin.

    Braking Analysis
    Turn 8
    (forecast data from Brembo)
    Initial speed276km/h
    Final speed123km/h
    Stopping distance76m
    Braking time1.48s
    Maximum deceleration4.84g
    Maximum pedal load130kg
    Braking power1,865kw
  • 12:42

    QuoteInterview with Jenson Button: "The car was working alright, I think we were four tenths off the quickest in Q2, it was all very close. If we'd run on the option tyre in Q3, I think we would have been with Ricciardo. It would have been quite a nice sweet Saturday, but whether it's the right thing for Sunday, I don't know. We'll find out in two hour's time!"

  • 12:43

    TweetTweet from @virtualstatman: "Vettel has only gained 2 places on lap 1 all season but hasn't lost any. Webber has lost 4+ positions on 3 different occasions"

  • 12:45

    QuoteInterview with Paul Hembery: "Sometimes people say, the tyres only last six or seven laps, isn't that good? Here you'll see more of the strategy. Ferrari have taken a different road, Nico may start on the medium and should come together with the front group.

    "We're very confident we're not going to have the issues here."

  • 12:46
    2013 Race Wins
    1S Vettel3
    2F Alonso2
    3N Rosberg2
    4K Räikkönen1
  • 12:47

    The German national anthem plays out - two pianos, two singers belting out the patriotic theme. One is wearing white at a black piano, the other black at a white piano. How chequered flag of them.

  • 12:49

    On the grid, mechanics are crawling around Lewis Hamilton's car. There may be a smoking brake in there somewhere. Slightly concerning.

  • 12:50

    @Marussia_F1Team: Here's @maxchilton having a quick debrief about his laps to the grid

  • 12:52

    QuoteInterview with Nico Hülkenberg: "It's a lot hotter than yesterday, maybe a question mark about what the tyres will do. I think I'm on the right start tyre, I'm confident we've got the pace, I think we'll have a good race.

    "Very excited, pretty much a full house, nice to see them all on the parade lap."

  • 12:54

    QuoteInterview with Thank God for Bob: "It's going to be a strategic race, we're a little bit unknown, these tyres have never done a full race distance before, the temperatures are higher than before, so there'll be some strategic thinking on the pit wall."

  • 12:56

    Less than five minutes to go now, last minute preparations going on before the mechanics have to clear the grid.

  • 12:57

    There are two DRS zones this weekend, just after turn 11 as sector two begins, and just after turn 15 - the home/finish straight.

  • 12:59



    Wind speed4.4mps
  • 12:59

    It's worth keeping an eye on Mark Webber, who is infamous for not getting off the grid in a timely fashion. Sitting directly behind him is Romain Grosjean, who is infamous for... well, you know.

  • 13:00

    The tyre blankets are off and carried away as the grid clears. The engines start to roar into action, and Lewis Hamilton leads the pack away on the formation lap.

  • 13:01

    There's also talk of a fuel leak on polesitter Hamilton's car before he headed out to the grid - a couple of dramas there before the race has even begun.

  • 13:02

    TweetTweet from @pirellisport: Starting on the white medium tyre are: ALO, MAS, BOT, MAL, HUL, ROS, BUT. All others have opted for the yellow soft tyre.

  • 13:03

    Team radioTeam radio to Webber: "At the start, if you get wheel slip, hold the throttle."

  • 13:04

    They're back on the grid now, Hamilton waiting patiently as the field forms up behind him. The Caterham and Marussias pull into position and attention turns to the lights.

  • 13:04

    Green flagRace started.

  • 13:04 Lap 1

    It's a good start from Webber, as Hamilton loses his lead to BOTH Red Bulls.

  • 13:04 Lap 1

    Hamilton is down to third into the first corner and both Lotus cars are pressuring him now.

  • 13:05 Lap 1

    Massa has got ahead of Ricciardo, as Alonso remains in position in eighth.

  • 13:05 Lap 1

    Down the order Giedo van der Garde is hustling a Williams for position. There's some dust as well, as Gutiérrez ran wide and disturbed the ground off track.

  • 13:06 Lap 2

    So, Vettel leads Webber as they round the final corner and start the second lap. Hamilton is third, still under pressure from the Lotus two behind him.

  • 13:06 Lap 2

    Sergio Pérez makes a move on teammate Jenson Button into turn one to move up to ninth. Alonso is next in line for him, as Pérez streaks away from Button.

  • 13:07 Lap 3

    Race controlDRS enabled.

  • 13:08 Lap 3

    Paul di Resta has fallen down a couple of places, back behind his teammate Adrian Sutil, 14th place for the Brit at the moment.

  • 13:09 Lap 3

    Vettel hasn't managed to break the DRS in the early stages, the gap to Webber is 0.8 but growing.

  • 13:09 Lap 4

    Yellow flagYellow flags as Felipe Massa has stopped at turn one. DRS disabled.

  • 13:10 Lap 4

    That's race over for Massa before it even begins. On the pit wall, Rob Smedley disconnects himself with some angry movements.

  • 13:10 Lap 4

    Team radioTeam radio from Massa: "The engine went off."

  • 13:11 Lap 5

    Jean-Éric Vergne, Paul di Resta and Charles Pic all pit - perhaps anticipating a safety car. Di Resta is released into the path of Vergne, they just managed to avoid contact there.

  • 13:12 Lap 6

    That looked like a textbook case of unsafe release - Vergne nearly missed his pit box as there was a Force India in the way.

  • 13:12 Lap 6

    Sutil, van der Garde and Bianchi all pit.

  • 13:13 Lap 6

    Race controlIncident involving Vergne and Di Resta will be investigated after the race - unsafe release.

  • 13:13 Lap 6

    Grosjean gets on the radio telling them he's "much faster than Kimi". I can't see them doing much about that, though!

  • 13:14 Lap 7

    Lewis Hamilton pits and Esteban Gutiérrez follows him in.

  • 13:14 Lap 7

    A good three second stop for Hamilton, he returns to the track in tenth place, and crucially in some clear air.

  • 13:15 Lap 7

    Sebastian Vettel comes in to the pit lane, handing the lead of the race to Webber.

  • 13:16 Lap 8

    Sergio Pérez has also stopped. These are early stops but everyone is reacting to everyone else.

  • 13:16 Lap 8
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverS Vettel
    TeamRed Bull
    Pit lane18.979s
  • 13:16 Lap 8

    Vettel returns to the track in seventh place, ahead of Nico Rosberg who is ahead of Lewis Hamilton. He retains the theoretical lead, then.

  • 13:17 Lap 9

    Webber is called into the pit lane, and Kimi Räikkönen follows him in. Grosjean leads the race!

  • 13:18 Lap 9

    It's a looong stop for Webber, and as he pulls away a wheel bounces off and hits someone in the pit lane.

  • 13:18 Lap 9

    Team radioTeam radio to Webber: "Switch off the engine, please."

  • 13:19 Lap 10

    Race done for Webber. It was a cameraman who was knocked down, flat on his back, and the medics are looking after him straight away. Ted Kravitz reports he is sitting up and "looks essentially okay".

  • 13:19 Lap 10

    They've pulled Webber back to his pit box.

  • 13:20 Lap 10

    Webber rejoins the race, he's down in 21st place behind Max Chilton.

  • 13:20 Lap 11

    Race controlIncident involving Mark Webber will be investigated after the race - unsafe release.

  • 13:21 Lap 11

    Team radioTeam radio to Rosberg: "Really need to push on now, Grosjean is about to pit and he'll come out in front of you if you don't close the gap to Hülkenberg."

  • 13:23 Lap 12

    Hamilton radio urges the team to take into account that Rosberg is not fighting the same race as him, he's being held up, and there's an ominous looking Räikkönen behind him.

  • 13:24 Lap 13

    Fernando Alonso pits for another set of mediums. Romain Grosjean still continues to lead the race, he's doing well on those soft tyres.

  • 13:24 Lap 13

    Rosberg is still in front of Hamilton, he's had his own radio message to advise him of the "different race" situation.

  • 13:25 Lap 13

    Grosjean comes into the pits, which puts Vettel back in the lead.

  • 13:26 Lap 14

    Grosjean comes out in third place, behind Button who hasn't stopped yet. That puts him net second, as Hamilton is still down in fifth (he's finally passed Nico).

  • 13:27 Lap 15

    Kimi Räikkönen easily sails past Rosberg, but almost fails to brake into the next corner. The gap remains close as they move into another DRS zone. It's not long enough for Nico to pull it back. Kimi keeps sixth place.

  • 13:28 Lap 15

    Grosjean has passed Button now to move into actual second place.

  • 13:30 Lap 16

    StopwatchRomain is also setting the fastest lap of the race so far, a 1:36.757. Where is this pace coming from?

  • 13:31 Lap 17

    Nico Rosberg finally pits, from eighth place. He returns to the track in 15th.

  • 13:31 Lap 17

    There are only four drivers who haven't stopped yet, Button, Hülkenberg and the two Williams drivers (who, incidentally, are following each other around 8th and 9th).

  • 13:33 Lap 18

    Hülkenberg stops, a neat clean performance by the pit crew, and he's off again in 13th place.

  • 13:33 Lap 19

    Team radioTeam radio from Hamilton: "I have no grip, man. These tyres are not holding together very well."

  • 13:34 Lap 19

    Kimi Räikkönen passes Lewis Hamilton, and Alonso swoops in behind the Mercedes to try his own overtaking attempt.

  • 13:35 Lap 19

    Team radioTeam radio from Lewis Hamilton: "These drivers are on different tyres to me, man."

  • 13:37 Lap 21

    Fernando Alonso is now hassling Lewis Hamilton all the way round the track, he pulls alongside the Mercedes, tries to do what Kimi did, but doesn't quite have the speed to make it stick.

  • 13:38 Lap 21

    They are ducking and diving around each and every single corner, Hamilton is defending as best he can, and Alonso needs to keep in mind his championship challenge. It can't be long though.

  • 13:39 Lap 22

    Jenson Button pulls into the pit lane for his first stop of the afternoon. Out on track, Alonso is still pushing for position but he STILL can't make it stick!

  • 13:40 Lap 22

    He keeps trying to go round the outside of the Mercedes, DRS is ineffective here, and they're both just costing each other an awful lot of time.

  • 13:41 Lap 23

    Lewis Hamilton gives up on the fight, pits from fourth place and that lets Alonso through. A set of mediums go on the car, he'll have to stop again so it's a three-stopper for Lewis.

  • 13:42 Lap 24

    Yellow flagYellow flags as a Marussia is spewing smoke, it sparks up into flames as Bianchi hurriedly exits the car.

  • 13:43 Lap 24

    DRS is disabled as the car is off track but only just, and in a difficult position. The fire is out as Bianchi walks away dejectedly.

  • 13:44 Lap 25

    Race controlSafety Car deploed. A tractor moves in to retrieve the car, but the Marussia rolls away all by itself, ACROSS THE TRACK. Thankfully no one is nearby, and the car rolls off to the other side, and is stopped by a marker board.

  • 13:44 Lap 25

    Pit stops all around. Vettel, Grosjean, Räikkönen and Alonso from the front. Pérez, Sutil, Di Resta and Rosberg from the midfield.

  • 13:45 Lap 25

    Flames on the Marussia when it was stopped on one side of the track, before it took it upon itself to cross the track to the other side!

  • 13:47 Lap 26

    Replays show Nico Rosberg battling a Force India all the way into the pit lane, and then following it all the way out again.

  • 13:48 Lap 26

    A delay during Valtteri Bottas' pit stop as the front right tyre won't come off. Lots of seconds lost until eventually they get the errant rubber off and replace it.

  • 13:48 Lap 26

    QuoteInterview with Jean-Éric Vergne: "We had a problem, couldn't continue the race unfortunately. Two laps before I came in, it's a shame. It's the second time in a row I end the race like this, hopefully I have better luck in the next race."

  • 13:49 Lap 26

    I didn't actually know Vergne had stopped, but yes, he has retired from the race. The third retirement so far.

  • 13:49 Lap 27

    Driverless Marussia gone rogue.

  • 13:50 Lap 27

    Mark Webber has been allowed to unlap himself, preparing for the Safety car to come in.

  • 13:52 Lap 28

    Grosjean informed they are sticking to plan A, but are worried about the tyres. He pitted the same time as Vettel, which helps, but has Räikkönen behind him, the gap closed due to the safety car bunching up the pack.

  • 13:53 Lap 28

    Everyone throughout the field is on medium tyres at this point.

  • 13:56 Lap 29

    Green flagThe Safety Car is in, racing is back underway.

  • 13:56 Lap 30

    Grosjean locks up into the final few corners, allowing Vettel to streak ahead. Kimi closes in.

  • 13:57 Lap 30
    One to Watch
    P Maldonadovs.S Pérez
  • 13:58 Lap 31

    Mark Webber managed to pass three cars in the first few corners, and he's passed Valtteri Bottas as well. The safety car has worked out well for him, but lots of work still to do.

  • 13:59 Lap 32

    Race controlDRS enabled.

  • 14:00 Lap 32

    Webber's next target is Esteban Gutiérrez, a few defensive moves from the Sauber keep the Australian behind for now.

  • 14:00 Lap 32

    Out front, Sebastian Vettel is extending his lead, it's around the one second mark now.

  • 14:01 Lap 33

    Kimi Räikkönen sets the fastest lap of the race so far, and he's hunting down his teammate for second place.

  • 14:02 Lap 33
    Driver Positions
    11S Vettel2
    23R Grosjean2
    31K Räikkönen2
    44F Alonso2
    54J Button1
  • 14:02 Lap 33

    Rosberg told to lift and coast to reduce temperatures, it's hot work out there.

  • 14:02 Lap 34

    Grosjean responds with a fastest lap of his own.

  • 14:03 Lap 34
    Top Speeds
    Sector 1M Webber269kph
    Sector 2S Vettel220kph
    Sector 3M Webber250kph
    Speed trapP Di Resta305kph
  • 14:04 Lap 35

    The top three runners are so close together now, this could be mega.

  • 14:05 Lap 35

    Replays show Webber outbraking himself to streak past Gutiérrez, but unable to slow down into the corner, he runs wide and relinquishes the position again.

  • 14:06 Lap 36

    Team radioTeam radio to Hülkenberg: "Do you think 12 more laps on that set will be possible?"

    "No, I doubt it. No."

  • 14:07 Lap 36

    Sergio Pérez gets past Pastor Maldonado, getting better drive out of the first corner and going round the outside into the second. He moves up to eighth place.

  • 14:07 Lap 37

    TweetTweet from @MyCaterhamF1: Slow puncture rear left brings @Charles_Pic1 for an unexpected stop

  • 14:08 Lap 37

    Team radioTeam radio to Di Resta: "No concern over rear tyre life."

  • 14:09 Lap 38

    Nico Hülkenberg clearly couldn't do more 12 more laps, he dives into the pit lane for a fresh set of rubber.

  • 14:10 Lap 38

    Nothing has changed at the front, Vettel still leads the two Lotus drivers. The gap to Räikkönen may have extended a little.

  • 14:10 Lap 39

    Mark Webber pits from 16th place, Giedo van der Garde also pops into the pitlane.

  • 14:11 Lap 39

    TweetTweet from @F1TotalOfficial: #Hamilton has a hard time behind #Hulkenberg, same as #Webber behind #Gutierrez. Those #Sauber boys are hard to overtake today! #GermanGP

  • 14:13 Lap 40

    The ebb and flow at the front of the pack has changed again, with Kimi closing in and Grosjean backing off a bit. Fernando Alonso silently moves into the fight as well.

  • 14:13 Lap 40

    Romain Grosjean ruins the game, and pits from second place.

  • 14:15 Lap 42

    Sebastian Vettel pits from the lead, leaving Kimi Räikkönen out in P1.

  • 14:16 Lap 42

    Vettel returns to the track ahead of Grosjean. Meanwhile, Kimi is out front trying to put in some speedy laps to make the difference.

  • 14:18 Lap 43

    Drivers who have only stopped once include Jenson Button, currently third, Pastor Maldonado in 8th and Valtteri Bottas in 13th.

  • 14:19 Lap 44

    Vettel is tucked up behind Hamilton now, but the Red Bull sets the fastest lap of the race so far.

  • 14:20 Lap 45

    Vettel bustles past Hamilton for fourth place. He's got Button three seconds ahead of him, who has only stopped the one time.

  • 14:21 Lap 45
    Gap Analysis
  • 14:22 Lap 46

    Grosjean managed to sneak past Lewis Hamilton just before the Mercedes driver dived into the pit lane for his third stop of the afternoon. Lewis rejoins in 11th.

  • 14:22 Lap 46

    Nico Hülkenberg passes Rosberg, which puts the Mercedes pair next to each other on track again.

  • 14:24 Lap 47

    Of the front runners, we know that Vettel and Grosjean don't need to stop again. Ahead of them, Alonso and Button have to stop again to use all compounds. Race leader Kimi Räikkönen is a question mark.

  • 14:25 Lap 48

    Jenson Button pits, which lets Vettel through to third place. Button rejoins in sixth.

  • 14:28 Lap 49

    Kimi Räikkönen removes the question marks by pitting from the lead of the race. Fernando Alonso also comes in for his final stop.

  • 14:30 Lap 51

    A great battle for seventh place going on, including Pastor Maldonado until the Williams driver pits for his second stop of the day.

  • 14:31 Lap 51

    Meanwhile, the two McLaren drivers are scrapping for position again, Jenson Button cuts back on the inside into turn one and passes Sergio Pérez for fifth.

  • 14:31 Lap 51

    StopwatchFernando Alonso puts in the fastest lap of the race so far - 1:33.468.

  • 14:32 Lap 52

    Williams have yet another problem in the pit lane, this time on Maldonado's car, as the right front is an issue again. The wheel is stuck, swapping guns makes no difference, eventually it gets going again.

  • 14:32 Lap 52

    Grosjean gets some radio to instruct him not to get in the way of his teammate. One second between the two at the moment.

  • 14:34 Lap 53

    It looks like Sutil is having some troubles, he's just been passed by both Hülkenberg and Rosberg in one lap.

  • 14:36 Lap 53

    Valtteri Bottas pits, all eyes on the right front wheel gun.

  • 14:37 Lap 55

    Rosberg manages to overtake two cars in one corner there, Bottas and Ricciardo, moving up to tenth and into the points.

  • 14:38 Lap 55

    Bottas in the pit lane, couldn't see exactly what the problem was, but the mechanics were just staring at the car.

  • 14:39 Lap 56

    Kimi has passed Grosjean now. The gap to Vettel is two seconds, and there are just four laps left to go.

  • 14:40 Lap 58

    Fernando Alonso is closing up to Romain now, the Ferrari in search of a podium finish.

  • 14:41 Lap 58

    Button is on the radio complaining about trouble with the backmarkers.

  • 14:42 Lap 58

    Two laps to go, Vettel is pushing on to the finish, Kimi is closing in but does he have enough time?

  • 14:45 Lap 59

    Hamilton is being encouraged to close up on Button, and into the first corner he makes a move - it doesn't quite work. He goes round the outside of the second, hanging on into the third until he gets the inside of the fourth. Huge overtake.

  • 14:45

    Chequered flagSebastian Vettel wins the German Grand Prix!

  • 14:46

    Räikkönen is right there with him but there just wasn't enough time to make the difference. Grosjean kept Alonso behind him for a double Lotus podium.

  • 14:46

    Fernando Alonso parks his Ferrari at turn one, it looks like he's run out of fuel.

  • 14:47

    Vettel is ecstatic on the radio, winning his home race, despite "they gave me a run for the money."

  • 14:47

    Alonso hops on the back of a bike, waving to the crowd as he gets a lift back to the pits.

  • 14:50
    Driver Positions
    11S Vettel3
    22K Räikkönen3
    32R Grosjean3
    44F Alonso3
    5-4L Hamilton3
    63J Button2
    7-4M Webber3
    85S Pérez2
    92N Rosberg3
    100N Hülkenberg3
  • 14:51

    TweetTweet from @F1onNBCSports: Statement from the FIA confirming that the cameraman who was hit by the wheel is under observation at the local hospital but conscious #F1

  • 14:51

    Vettel enters the green room, claps Räikkönen on the back, lots of smiles as they down some water.

  • 14:52

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Two different strategies for Paul and Adrian didn't bring points, but it was a great effort by both and the team - brilliant pit stops today

  • 14:53

    The three make their way onto the podium, a double thumbs up from Grosjean, a brief wave from Kimi, and some fist pumping from Vettel. He does one of those jumps on the top step too.

  • 14:56

    McLaren up into the points again, with a good finish by Button for sixth place and a climb of five places by Pérez to end up eighth. That will help them a lot!

  • 14:57

    The trophies are handed out, Vettel can't stop smiling as he waits for the champagne moment. There it is. Champaaaaaagne!

  • 14:59

    Kai Ebel takes to the podium for the post-race quotes. There's plenty of German talk for the home crowd.

  • 14:59

    And so that's it. Another Vettel win, another close fought race, and thankfully one without the tyre trouble we saw last week.

  • 15:00

    Lots of best wishes to the cameraman who was hit by a stray wheel, and hopefully the stewards will sort themselves out and start giving out penalties at the right time.

  • 15:01

    There's another three week break now, before the Hungarian Grand Prix leads us into the summer break.

  • 15:01

    As ever, stay tuned to and for all the news and views you'll need in between, and I will see you back here in three week's time!

All content in the series Germany 2013