Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 8th 2013 Contents A41
Monday, July 8, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
finally ended his July jinx by
claiming victory in the German
Grand Prix as he staved off a
grandstand finish from Kimi
Vettel went into his home race
at the Nurburgring never having
won a race in July in 12 previous
attempts during his Formula
But the 26-year-old three-time
world champion took the che-
quered flag by just a second from
Raikkonen to open up a 34-point
cushion over Ferrari s Fernando
Alonso who had to settle for fourth.
It was the 30th win of Vettel s
F1 career and his first in Germany,
and after suffering a transmission
failure just seven days ago at Sil-
verstone to give his rivals a glimpse
of a title chance, he has again
slammed the door.
Vettel never looked back after
beating Lewis Hamilton off
From the 29th pole position of
his career Hamilton s sole target
at the start was to keep himself
ahead of the Red Bulls.
But despite the short run-down
to the first corner, Hamilton found
himself sandwiched between Vettel
attacking to his right and Mark
Webber to his left.
Emerging out of the hairpin
Hamilton had dropped to third,
setting the tone for a ropey race
for the Briton, primarily as
tyre issues again plagued the Mer-
cedes, particularly with tempera-
Initially, it appeared as if strategy
would be crucial, with the top six
on the grid starting on the faster
soft Pirelli tyre, whilst the five cars
behind were on mediums.
Those on softs knew they would
have to make an early stop given
the rapid degradation of the rubber,
and sure enough a flurry of stops
began after just four laps.
Paul Di Resta was first in, but
upon his release almost collided
with the incoming Toro Rosso of
Jean-Eric Vergne, an incident the
stewards are to investigate.
Come the end of lap eight there
was another unsafe release---spark-
ing a second stewards investiga-
tion---but this time with more seri-
Webber s pit crew had trouble
fitting the right-rear wheel, and
as the Australian pulled out of the
pit box it worked loose and began
bouncing down the pit lane.
It unfortunately struck an
unaware cameraman on his back,
sending him sprawling, resulting
in a number of mechanics rushing
to his aid.
Following treatment the cam-
eraman, Paul Allen, is understood
to have suffered no serious injuries,
although he is currently in Koblenz
hospital under observation.
As he was initially tended to,
Webber s three-wheeled car was
rescued and pushed back to the
pit box by his mechanics, where
he was finally sent on his way,
albeit a lap down.
As the pit stops unfolded Gros-
jean proved to be a big winner,
with the Frenchman staying out
on his soft tyres until the end of
lap 13, and slotting into second
place behind Vettel.
Behind him, Hamilton began
complaining of a lack of grip with
his medium tyres, sparking a sec-
ond and ahead-of-schedule stop
after 22 laps.
It was shortly after Formula One
endured a Keystone Cops moment
after Marussia s Jules Bianchi had
parked his car on the grass fol-
lowing an engine blowout and
Just as a tractor was about to
remove the car from the scene, it
began to roll backwards across the
track just as the leaders in Vettel
and Grosjean came into view.
The wayward Marussia was
eventually stopped by an adver-
tising board on the other side of
the circuit, but the incident nat-
urally brought the safety car
The leaders took advantage,
sparking a flurry of pit stops, and
with the safety car s departure a
few laps later it appeared as if Vettel
would be caught by Grosjean.
Although Grosjean came within
0.5 secs of Vettel, he could make
no more headway, resulting in a
third change of tyres on lap 40,
that was covered by the world
Raikkonen, however, stayed out
until the end of lap 49, switching
to the soft tyres and an end-of-
race charge that saw him reel in
his team-mate five laps from home.
But he could do nothing about
Vettel at the death and is 41 points
shy in the standings.
Grosjean just held off Alonso for
third, the Spaniard the only Ferrari
to finish as Felipe Massa spun out
at the start of lap four.
Hamilton passed the McLaren
of Jenson Button on the final lap
to claim fifth, albeit he is now 58
points shy of Vettel.
"It s unbelievable!" was Vettel s
immediate remark following the
"I m very, very happy. Kimi
pushed hard at the end. They
(Lotus) tried to do something dif-
ferent by switching to a different
compound (with Raikkonen s
"I m just glad the race was 60
laps, and not 61 or 62. I m very
happy with this result and to win
Raikkonen appreciated the fact
he ran out of laps as he said: "We
managed to do pretty well.
"We obviously want to win, and
if the race had been longer then
maybe we would have a chance.
In the end the result is not ideal,
but it s pretty okay for us."
Team-mate Grosjean feels Lotus
made the right call in bringing him
in early for his third stop, despite
failing to challenge for the win late
"It s good, a good result for the
team, we had a strong race,"
Vettel ends home jinx
victory on home
soil. (AP PHOTO)
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