It's medium and soft compounds on the menu today, with the white sidewall on the medium tyre and the yellow on the softs.
Daniel Ricciardo put in another good qualifying performance, to secure sixth place on the grid, whilst Felipe Massa outqualified Fernando Alonso - a rare occurrence.
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.
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.
|Local timezone||+02:00 GMT|
|Number of laps||67|
Tweet from @MyCaterhamF1: Both cars now on their way to the grid. Radio checks taking place between drivers and engineers as the cars circulate
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.
Here are some statistics for turn 8, the big hairpin.
|(forecast data from Brembo)|
|Maximum pedal load||130kg|
Interview 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!"
Tweet 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"
Interview 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."
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.
On the grid, mechanics are crawling around Lewis Hamilton's car. There may be a smoking brake in there somewhere. Slightly concerning.
Interview 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."
Interview 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."
Less than five minutes to go now, last minute preparations going on before the mechanics have to clear the grid.
There are two DRS zones this weekend, just after turn 11 as sector two begins, and just after turn 15 - the home/finish straight.
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.
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.
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.
Tweet 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.
Team radio to Webber: "At the start, if you get wheel slip, hold the throttle."
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.
It's a good start from Webber, as Hamilton loses his lead to BOTH Red Bulls.
Hamilton is down to third into the first corner and both Lotus cars are pressuring him now.
Massa has got ahead of Ricciardo, as Alonso remains in position in eighth.
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.
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.
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.
Paul di Resta has fallen down a couple of places, back behind his teammate Adrian Sutil, 14th place for the Brit at the moment.
Vettel hasn't managed to break the DRS in the early stages, the gap to Webber is 0.8 but growing.
Yellow flags as Felipe Massa has stopped at turn one. DRS disabled.
That's race over for Massa before it even begins. On the pit wall, Rob Smedley disconnects himself with some angry movements.
Team radio from Massa: "The engine went off."
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.
That looked like a textbook case of unsafe release - Vergne nearly missed his pit box as there was a Force India in the way.
Sutil, van der Garde and Bianchi all pit.
Incident involving Vergne and Di Resta will be investigated after the race - unsafe release.
Grosjean gets on the radio telling them he's "much faster than Kimi". I can't see them doing much about that, though!
Lewis Hamilton pits and Esteban Gutiérrez follows him in.
A good three second stop for Hamilton, he returns to the track in tenth place, and crucially in some clear air.
Sebastian Vettel comes in to the pit lane, handing the lead of the race to Webber.
Sergio Pérez has also stopped. These are early stops but everyone is reacting to everyone else.
Vettel returns to the track in seventh place, ahead of Nico Rosberg who is ahead of Lewis Hamilton. He retains the theoretical lead, then.
Webber is called into the pit lane, and Kimi Räikkönen follows him in. Grosjean leads the race!
It's a looong stop for Webber, and as he pulls away a wheel bounces off and hits someone in the pit lane.
Team radio to Webber: "Switch off the engine, please."
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".
They've pulled Webber back to his pit box.
Webber rejoins the race, he's down in 21st place behind Max Chilton.
Incident involving Mark Webber will be investigated after the race - unsafe release.
Team 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."
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.
Fernando Alonso pits for another set of mediums. Romain Grosjean still continues to lead the race, he's doing well on those soft tyres.
Rosberg is still in front of Hamilton, he's had his own radio message to advise him of the "different race" situation.
Grosjean comes into the pits, which puts Vettel back in the lead.
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).
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.
Grosjean has passed Button now to move into actual second place.
Romain is also setting the fastest lap of the race so far, a 1:36.757. Where is this pace coming from?
Nico Rosberg finally pits, from eighth place. He returns to the track in 15th.
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).
Hülkenberg stops, a neat clean performance by the pit crew, and he's off again in 13th place.
Team radio from Hamilton: "I have no grip, man. These tyres are not holding together very well."
Kimi Räikkönen passes Lewis Hamilton, and Alonso swoops in behind the Mercedes to try his own overtaking attempt.
Team radio from Lewis Hamilton: "These drivers are on different tyres to me, man."
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Yellow flags as a Marussia is spewing smoke, it sparks up into flames as Bianchi hurriedly exits the car.
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.
Safety 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.
Pit stops all around. Vettel, Grosjean, Räikkönen and Alonso from the front. Pérez, Sutil, Di Resta and Rosberg from the midfield.
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!
Replays show Nico Rosberg battling a Force India all the way into the pit lane, and then following it all the way out again.
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.
Interview 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."
I didn't actually know Vergne had stopped, but yes, he has retired from the race. The third retirement so far.
Driverless Marussia gone rogue.
Mark Webber has been allowed to unlap himself, preparing for the Safety car to come in.
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.
Everyone throughout the field is on medium tyres at this point.
The Safety Car is in, racing is back underway.
Grosjean locks up into the final few corners, allowing Vettel to streak ahead. Kimi closes in.
|P Maldonado||vs.||S Pérez|
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.
Webber's next target is Esteban Gutiérrez, a few defensive moves from the Sauber keep the Australian behind for now.
Out front, Sebastian Vettel is extending his lead, it's around the one second mark now.
Kimi Räikkönen sets the fastest lap of the race so far, and he's hunting down his teammate for second place.
Rosberg told to lift and coast to reduce temperatures, it's hot work out there.
Grosjean responds with a fastest lap of his own.
|Sector 1||M Webber||269kph|
|Sector 2||S Vettel||220kph|
|Sector 3||M Webber||250kph|
|Speed trap||P Di Resta||305kph|
The top three runners are so close together now, this could be mega.
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.
Team radio to Hülkenberg: "Do you think 12 more laps on that set will be possible?"
"No, I doubt it. No."
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.
Team radio to Di Resta: "No concern over rear tyre life."
Nico Hülkenberg clearly couldn't do more 12 more laps, he dives into the pit lane for a fresh set of rubber.
Nothing has changed at the front, Vettel still leads the two Lotus drivers. The gap to Räikkönen may have extended a little.
Mark Webber pits from 16th place, Giedo van der Garde also pops into the pitlane.
Tweet from @F1TotalOfficial: #Hamilton has a hard time behind #Hulkenberg, same as #Webber behind #Gutierrez. Those #Sauber boys are hard to overtake today! #GermanGP
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.
Romain Grosjean ruins the game, and pits from second place.
Sebastian Vettel pits from the lead, leaving Kimi Räikkönen out in P1.
Vettel returns to the track ahead of Grosjean. Meanwhile, Kimi is out front trying to put in some speedy laps to make the difference.
Drivers who have only stopped once include Jenson Button, currently third, Pastor Maldonado in 8th and Valtteri Bottas in 13th.
Vettel is tucked up behind Hamilton now, but the Red Bull sets the fastest lap of the race so far.
Vettel bustles past Hamilton for fourth place. He's got Button three seconds ahead of him, who has only stopped the one time.
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.
Nico Hülkenberg passes Rosberg, which puts the Mercedes pair next to each other on track again.
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.
Jenson Button pits, which lets Vettel through to third place. Button rejoins in sixth.
Kimi Räikkönen removes the question marks by pitting from the lead of the race. Fernando Alonso also comes in for his final stop.
A great battle for seventh place going on, including Pastor Maldonado until the Williams driver pits for his second stop of the day.
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.
Fernando Alonso puts in the fastest lap of the race so far - 1:33.468.
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.
Grosjean gets some radio to instruct him not to get in the way of his teammate. One second between the two at the moment.
It looks like Sutil is having some troubles, he's just been passed by both Hülkenberg and Rosberg in one lap.
Valtteri Bottas pits, all eyes on the right front wheel gun.
Rosberg manages to overtake two cars in one corner there, Bottas and Ricciardo, moving up to tenth and into the points.
Bottas in the pit lane, couldn't see exactly what the problem was, but the mechanics were just staring at the car.
Kimi has passed Grosjean now. The gap to Vettel is two seconds, and there are just four laps left to go.
Fernando Alonso is closing up to Romain now, the Ferrari in search of a podium finish.
Button is on the radio complaining about trouble with the backmarkers.
Two laps to go, Vettel is pushing on to the finish, Kimi is closing in but does he have enough time?
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.
Sebastian Vettel wins the German Grand Prix!
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.
Fernando Alonso parks his Ferrari at turn one, it looks like he's run out of fuel.
Vettel is ecstatic on the radio, winning his home race, despite "they gave me a run for the money."
Alonso hops on the back of a bike, waving to the crowd as he gets a lift back to the pits.
Tweet 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
Vettel enters the green room, claps Räikkönen on the back, lots of smiles as they down some water.
Tweet 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
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.
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!
The trophies are handed out, Vettel can't stop smiling as he waits for the champagne moment. There it is. Champaaaaaagne!
Kai Ebel takes to the podium for the post-race quotes. There's plenty of German talk for the home crowd.
And so that's it. Another Vettel win, another close fought race, and thankfully one without the tyre trouble we saw last week.
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.
There's another three week break now, before the Hungarian Grand Prix leads us into the summer break.
As ever, stay tuned to https://sidepodcast.com and http://f1minute.com 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
Filed under Lap by lap coverage
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