Formula 1 News

German Grand Prix: Driver by Driver

Kimi's late attack over Vettel wasn't enough, but Grosjean was able to defend his position over Alonso. Maybe Lotus is bouncing back for good.
Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8th, 2013 (F1plus/R Baillie).- After witnessing an exciting German Grand Prix, you'd be hard pushed to try and pick one 'driver of the day' after seeing some brilliant performances from both Red Bulls, the Lotus boys, the McLarens and Lewis Hamilton. However, for some drivers the German Grand Prix was a race to forget, so let's review each driver's race.

1. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing
The current world champion had a fantastic start off the line, getting ahead of Lewis Hamilton before reaching the first corner.

From then on he lead the majority of the race and fought hard to fend off Kimi Raikkonen who was rapidly closing in on him during the last part of the race.

Sebastian Vettel can go to bed tonight happy in the knowledge that he's finally won at his home grand prix and won a race during July.

2. Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus
After a few weeks of seeming to struggle with their pace, the Lotus boys seemed to be on top form around the Nurburgring, with the warm track temperatures benefitting their tyre management.

Raikkonen really came into his own during the final third of the race when a decision to pit for the soft tyres paid off, though unfortunately there weren't quite enough laps left for the Finn to catch race leader Vettel.

3. Romain Grosjean - Lotus
During recent weeks there's been a lot of speculation about whether Grosjean will stay at Lotus or not for the 2014 season and during the German Grand Prix the Frenchman showed that he is fully deserving of a place at the Enstone team.

He was certainly the quicker Lotus at the start of the race and was looking set for a second place finish until his team asked him to move aside to let Raikkonen through, who has a better shot at winning the world championship than Grosjean does.

4. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari
After the British Grand Prix Alonso commented that he would have to wait until the German Grand Prix to find out whether the car had truly taken a step backwards or not.

Judging by the Spaniards fourth place finish, the car isn't that bad at all, though Alonso has got a reputation for always getting the very best out of a car.

5. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
The polesitter probably didn't have the race he was quite expecting. His race got off to a poor start when both Red Bulls pulled of the perfect pincer movement, instantly knocking him into third place.

He then lost out on when he tried to undercut the Red Bulls and ended up rejoining the track in 10th place and spent part of the afternoon seriously struggling with the tyres and was at one point heard saying “These guys are on different tyres to me.”

Despite that, we saw him take part in some great battles between the likes of Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and former teammate Jenson Button.

6. Jenson Button - McLaren
Just last weekend McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh admitted they were shifting their focus to next years car, however around the Nurburgring the McLaren's seemed to be a little bit more like their former selves.

Button spent most of the race right up front in the action and finished in sixth place, though after the race he commented that he felt fifth would have been possible if the two Caterham's (who were a lap down) hadn't been fighting each other when he was trying to pass them.

7. Mark Webber - Red Bull Racing
The Australian had a brilliant start off the line and was able to make up a place going into the first corner and was looking strong during the first few laps of the race.

He pitted on lap 9 and was unfortunately released before his right rear tyre was secured, which meant as he pulled away the tyre came free and bounced down the pitlane injuring an FOM cameraman. Once he had been pushed back to his pitbox and had all four wheels secured, he rejoined the track in last place.

It was looking like it was going to be an incredibly difficult afternoon for Webber until the Safety Car was brought out, meaning Webber could unlap himself. From then on he worked to push his way through to field and managed to pick up a few points.

Both McLaren during the German GP.

8. Sergio Perez - McLaren

Like his teammate Button, Sergio Perez also had a good, clean afternoon out in Germany.

There were a couple of great battles between the young Mexican and his teammate and thankfully both of them seemed to have learned from the incident earlier in the year and passed each other without pushing each other off the track or complaining on team radio.

9. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes
After being caught out in qualifying and starting in 11th place, Rosberg was always going to have a difficult home grand prix.

Similarly to his teammate, the German was also suffering from tyre issues, this meant he couldn't keep up with the front-runners, though he was at least able to pick up some points.

Rosberg commented after the race that the team needed to try and understand the new tyres and said they would be working hard in the run up to the Hungarian Grand Prix, “We have to do a lot of work in the next weeks to make sure we arrive in Hungary in good shape.”.

10. Nico Hulkenberg - Sauber
For the second race in a row Nico Hulkenberg has been able to finish 10th place and pick up a point for his team.

Nico said following the race that the pace wasn't quite what he was expecting, nevertheless he was able to take part in a couple of interesting fights and even managed to keep Hamilton behind him for a few laps.

11. Paul di Resta - Force India
The Scotsman had an incredibly quiet afternoon, hardly been shown on our screens at all during the German Grand Prix.

Following the race Paul said that it looked as if he was on for a points finish until the last few laps when the tyres dropped off, leaving him prey to drivers on much fresher tyres.

12. Daniel Ricciardo - STR-Ferrari
Despite qualifying strong and starting the race in 6th place, Daniel Ricciardo spent the majority of the race in the midfield fighting to get into the points.

He later commented that he was pushing as hard as he could but was struggling for grip, “I did try to push more, but the car wouldn't take it and I began to lock the brakes and slide too much, as I didn't have enough grip.”.

13. Adrian Sutil - Force India
As with his teammate Adrian Sutil just didn't seem to have the pace necessary to compete with the frontrunners and stay in the points.

He also commented that he was suffering with the tyres that meant he had to change his strategy, “I struggled a lot with the tyres and had to convert from a two-stop race to a three-stop race”.

Not a good for Force India.

14. Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber
The highlight of Esteban Gutierrez's race was probably managing to hold Webber up for a few laps.

Guterrez struggled for pace and said that he was constantly fighting for position, which made it hard for the Mexican to try and move forward.

15. Pastor Maldonado - Williams
Williams were probably hoping for points on their 600th grand prix, and it looked like a possibility as Maldonado spent the majority of the race in the points.

Sadly the team missed out on scoring their first points of the year when there was an issue during Maldonado's final pit stop, which cost him places and points.

16. Valtteri Bottas - Williams
The Finn had issues getting off the starting line that meant he spent the first half of the race amongst the backmarkers.

He also suffered a slow pit stop, which meant he was unable to challenge for points.

17. Charles Pic - Caterham
The Frenchman was have a pretty good afternoon until a slow puncture forced him to stop a couple of laps after the restart meaning he rejoined in last place.

During the last few laps he was able to make up a few positions and pass his teammate Giedo van der Garde who was struggling on older tyres.

18. Giedo van der Garde - Caterham
At the start of the race van der Garde got away brilliantly and was even able to pass Vergne on the first lap and was in 15th place on lap 5.

He was also able to spend the majority of the race ahead of his teammate until the last few laps when he began to struggle with his tyres.

Despite losing out to his teammate, van der Garde felt he'd made a step forward with his tyre management, “My tyre management in the race improved a bit today and I've been working on it all weekend”.

19. Max Chilton - Marussia
The Brit had yet another quiet race which saw him finish in last place, which wasn't helped by rear tyre wear during the last few laps of the race.

Chilton remained upbeat after the race saying, “On the whole I was happy with my performance and speed today.”.

Jean-Eric Vergne - STR-Ferrari - DNF
For the second weekend in a row Vergne was forced to retire, last weekend it was damage to the car following a tyre failure and this weekend it was a hydraulic issue, meaning that he has now failed to finish four races out of nine.

After the race Vergne said he was struggling for pace and that it was a “weekend to forget”.

While he keeps reiterating that he's not feeling under pressure after hearing that he's in the running for Webber's seat at Red Bull, it must be frustrating to suffer bad luck two weeks in a row at such a crucial time.

Jules Bianchi - Marussia - DNF
On lap 24 Jules Bianchi pulled over at the side of the track with smoke and flames pouring out the back of his Marussia after suffering an engine blowout.

Bianchi escaped safely, however unfortunately the car did too and was seen rolling back across the track and finally came to a stop after crashing into an advertising board.

Felipe Massa - Ferrari - DNF
The past few race weekends haven't been easy for Felipe Massa after being involved in a series of incidents, unfortunately this race weekend was no different as he was forced to retire just five laps in.

The Brazilian was seen arriving at turn 1 sideways and after the race admitted that it was driver error which caused him to spin, however when he tried to rejoin the circuit he found the car was stuck in fifth gear, which ultimately ended his race.

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