The German soaked up huge pressure from the Lotus duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in the final part of the race and it meant Vettel had to work hard for the win – unusual for the triple world champion.
Speaking in a team statement after the race, Vettel shared his mixture of emotions after taking the win: “It was a tough race,” he admitted. “It was one of the toughest for a long time. I’m happy the race wasn’t two or three laps longer, as Kimi was a bit quicker towards the end. I’m happy that it worked out and it’s very special.”
He added that it’s “special to race at home and get so much support” as they only race in 19 countries and he is “privileged” to be able to race on home soil. Ge added: “I had a good start and then just focused on every single lap during the race. You don’t really think about where you are while you are racing, you can’t allow your mind to drift.”
He admitted that he really soaked in the parade lap, celebrating the win with the fanatical fans: “But when the flag came out and the race was over, I really let myself enjoy the parade lap and saw a lot of people in the grandstands cheering and waving flags. These pictures will remain in my head for a long, long time.”
Team-mate Mark Webber had a difficult race after being released from his first pit stop with a loose rear wheel which strayed clear of the car and hit a cameraman. The team was fined but the Aussie admitted that he didn’t know about the consequences of the loose tyre: “I knew we had lost the tyre in the pit stop of course, but not that someone got hit by it. That’s bad and I hope he is okay, that’s the main thing.” He added that the race was “a bit of a nightmare” but he had an “excellent start” and was in a strong position leading up until the first stop.
He added: “We lost a lot of points today and a chance to challenge for the win, but there’s no rewind button now.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic