Sebastian Vettel fended off a late charge from Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen to claim his first home grand prix victory at the sixth time of asking.
Going into this weekend’s race at the Nürburgring, Vettel’s best finish had been second place in 2009, his second full F1 campaign and first season with Red Bull. Since then the defending champion had slid sequentially backwards, last year’s fifth place coming after he was penalised for overtaking Jenson Button off circuit.
After FP1 was dominated by Mercedes, the afternoon session at the Nürburgring saw Red Bull Racing rise to the top. World Champion Sebastian Vettel finished on top of the timesheet with a time of 1:30.416, set just after the half-hour mark.
“I wasn’t so happy with the car this morning and Mercedes were quick, but in the afternoon we were in better shape,” said Vettel. “We’ll see, but so far I am happy.”
After a busy few days off-track, Mercedes began in Germany where they left off in Britain, displaying early dominance at the Nürburgring by taking the top two positions in the first free practice session.
Under overcast skies the first practice session at the Nürburgring proceeded under threat of a driver race boycott, should the tyre failures which blighted the British Grand Prix reoccur. With a new set of tyre safety precautions being enforced, the session passed without issue.