German Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen complains final stop cost victory

The Lotus driver stopped for a set of softs 10 laps from the finish and, despite reclaiming second from his team-mate Frenchman Romain Grosjean, he finished one second behind the victorious home hero German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.

Vettel victorious for first time on home soil as Hamilton slips from pole to fifth in action-packed German Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel broke his German Grand Prix duck by taking victory at the Nurburgring despite a late surge from Kimi Raikkonen.
But it was yet more disappointment for Lewis Hamilton who once again went backwards from pole position, only finishing fifth thanks to a last lap overtake on former McLaren teammate Jenson Button.
Hamilton’s chances of a win were thrown into jeopardy at the very first corner. The Mercedes man got a decent start but Sebastian Vettel got an even better one. And while Hamilton tried to squeeze Vettel into Turn One he lost momentum allowing Mark Webber to come round the outside. 
Sealed with a kiss: Sebastian Vettel claimed first in the German GP despite a late surge from Kimi Raikkonen
Sealed with a kiss: Sebastian Vettel claimed first in the German GP despite a late surge from Kimi Raikkonen
Vettel
Vettel
Vettel
Jump for joy: The Red Bull driver celebrates this first-ever win on home turf, breaking his Nurburgring duck

Championship standings

1. S Vettel (Red Bull)            157
2. F Alonso (Ferrari)             123
3. K Raikkonen (Lotus)         116
4. L Hamilton (Mercedes)      99
5. M Webber (Red Bull)         93
6. N Rosberg (Mercedes)      84
7. F Massa (Ferrari)              57
8. R Grosjean (Lotus)           41
9. P D Resta (Force India)    36
10. J Button (McLaren)         33
The net result was that Hamilton found himself in third by the second corner, Vettel just managing to stay ahead of Red Bull teammate Webber.
With the majority of the field having started on the option tyres, the rush to the pits began in earnest from as early as the end of lap 4. The dangers of the pit lane were demonstrated when Paul di Resta’ release came to the attention of the stewards, the Force India driver nearly collecting a Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso.
But that danger was nothing compared to the drama four laps later, when Mark Webber blasted away from his garage without his right-rear tyre attached. The wheel bounded down the pit lane, past the Mercedes and McLaren garage and straight into the back of television cameraman, knocking him flying.
Red Bulls: Sebastian Vettel, on home soil, leads team-mate Mark Webber in the early stages
Red Bulls: Sebastian Vettel, on home soil, leads team-mate Mark Webber in the early stages
Medical crews were quickly on the scene and the unfortunate cameraman was thankfully sitting up soon afterwards.  A press release named the cameraman as Paul Allen with early reports suggesting he had been transferred to hospital after suffering a cut head and a sore shoulder.
Back on the track, Romain Grosjean’s complaint that he was quicker than teammate Kimi Raikkonen given the Frenchman’s pace.
Meanwhile, Mercedes also had to get the message across to Nico Rosberg, having started on the harder tyre, not to hold teammate Hamilton much longer.
Hamilton eventually sneaked by into Turn One on Lap 14 but by then the damage had been with Grosjean profiting from the hold up to emerge from his first stop ahead of the Mercedes.
On lap 19 it went from bad to worse as the sister Lotus of Raikkonen swept by into fifth with Hamilton complaining to his team about the performance of his tyres. 
Line-up: Lewis Hamilton drives ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg (left) and Kimi Raikkonen
Line-up: Lewis Hamilton drives ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg (left) and Kimi Raikkonen
Leading by example: The Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber front the pack early on in the race
Leading by example: The Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber front the pack early on in the race
Next to breathe down Hamilton’s neck was Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari. Battle Royale ensued between the former McLaren teammates.
Hamilton was doing sterling work to keep the Spaniard behind, but in the end the decision was taken to switch to a three stopper, the Silver Arrows diving into the pits at the end of lap 22.
But what was turning out to be a very unlucky afternoon for the 2008 world champion took yet another unfortunate twist after Jules Bianchi’s Marussia burst into flames. The fire was out almost as soon as it had started, but inexplicably the stricken car, minus its driver, began rolling back down the track.
A safety car was the only option, and the leaders took full advantage by diving into the pits for their second stops meaning Hamilton, with more laps on his tyres was down in seventh.
Lightning: Vettel speeds past his home crowd at the Nurburgring
Lightning: Vettel speeds past his home crowd at the Nurburgring
The delay did play into Jenson Button’s hands, however. Having made his first stop way into the race at the end of lap 21, Button’s two stop strategy received a boost by the pedestrian laps behind the safety car with 2009 world champion handily placed in fifth.
The safety car stayed out for five laps, enough time for Webber, a lap down after his pit stop woes, to catch up with the back of the field.
Finally, at the start of lap 30, the field were racing again with Vettel maintaining his lead at the head of the pack.
But Hamilton was soon toiling yet again, Nico Hulkenberg somehow keeping his Sauber ahead of the Mercedes. 
Spinning out: Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa stops in his car on the Nurburgring circuit
Spinning out: Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa stops in his car on the Nurburgring circuit
And Vettel was not having things all his own way with Lotus duo of Grosjean and Raikkonen in close attention.
Finally, at the end of lap 38, Hamilton was free of Hulkenberg, as the Sauber changed tyres for the second time. Hamilton was making little impression on his next target, fifth placed Button with McLaren’s gamble on trying for a two stopper looking like a masterstroke.
At the front, Alonso was trying to get himself into the podium picture as Raikkonen, leaving his third stop for as long as he dare, emerging as the biggest challenger to Vettel’s hopes of a maiden win on home soil.
Indeed the German found himself in a tightly-fought dog fight Hamilton for three corners longer than he would have liked after making his third stop, which promoted Raikkonen to the lead.
Up in flames: Jules Bianchi's Marussia caught fire and a cameraman was hit by Mark Webber's tyre (below)
Up in flames: Jules Bianchi's Marussia caught fire and a cameraman was hit by Mark Webber's tyre (below)
Webber
Thoughts of a two stop strategy for the Finn disappeared at the end of lap 49 when both the Lotus and then the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso dived into the pits for soft tyres and a blast to the flag of the 60-lap German grand Prix.
The two men with three world titles between them were soon gaining on the man with a trio of championships to his name, Grosjean the only man standing between Vettel and the rapid closing duo of Raikkonen and Alonso.
But those fragile tyres on both the Lotus and Ferrari were soon past their best as the traffic played its part in the closing stages.
The order not to hold up Raikkonen was headed by Grosjean but with 5 laps to go a 2.5 second gap to Vettel was a bridge too far for the Finn even though he managed to get it down to a solitary second as they approached the final circuit.
Triumph: The win at the Nurburgring was Sebastian Vettel's first ever German Grand Prix victory
Triumph: The win at the Nurburgring was Sebastian Vettel's first ever German Grand Prix victory
Vettel
Hamilton, however, was not giving up the ghost and with the chequered flag being readied he powered his Mercedes past the McLaren of Button to take fifth spot.
‘They gave me a run for the money,’ said Vettel as he crossed the line. 
'It's unbelievable! 'I'm very, very happy. Kimi pushed hard at the end. They (Lotus) tried to do something different by switching to a different compound (with Raikkonen's third stop).
'I'm just glad the race was 60 laps, and not 61 or 62. I'm very happy with this result and to win in Germany.'
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.'
The win for Vettel was just what the doctor ordered following his retirement at Silverstone when his gearbox let go while he was on course for the victory. 
What better way to banish that disappointment than winning your home race for the very first time?  The smart money is on title No 4 for the triple world champion.

2013 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX


Melbourne
Race Date:17 Mar 2013
Circuit Name:Albert Park
First Grand Prix:1996
Number of Laps:58
Circuit Length:5.303 km
Race Distance:307.574 km
Lap Record:1:24.125 - M Schumacher (2004)

Rolex Australian grand Prix 2013




2013 FIA Formula One World Championship® Race Calendar

012013 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX (Melbourne)15 - 17 Mar
022013 FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX (Kuala Lumpur)22 - 24 Mar
032013 FORMULA 1 UBS CHINESE GRAND PRIX (Shanghai)12 - 14 Apr
042013 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX (Sakhir)19 - 21 Apr
05FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2013 (Catalunya)10 - 12 May
06FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2013 (Monte Carlo)23 - 26 May
07FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2013 (Montréal)07 - 09 Jun
082013 FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX (Silverstone)28 - 30 Jun
09FORMULA 1 GROSSER PREIS SANTANDER VON DEUTSCHLAND 2013 (Nürburgring)05 - 07 Jul
10FORMULA 1 MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2013 (Budapest)26 - 28 Jul
112013 FORMULA 1 SHELL BELGIAN GRAND PRIX (Spa-Francorchamps)23 - 25 Aug
12FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA 2013 (Monza)06 - 08 Sep
132013 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (Singapore)20 - 22 Sep
142013 FORMULA 1 KOREAN GRAND PRIX (Yeongam)04 - 06 Oct
152013 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX (Suzuka)11 - 13 Oct
162013 FORMULA 1 AIRTEL INDIAN GRAND PRIX (New Delhi)25 - 27 Oct
172013 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX (Yas Marina)01 - 03 Nov
182013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (Austin)15 - 17 Nov
19FORMULA 1 GRANDE PRÊMIO DO BRASIL 2013 (São Paulo)22 - 24 Nov

Jean-Eric Vergne Q&A: I’m focused on this season

Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silverstone, England, Thursday, 27 June 2013
Like Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and his own team mate Daniel Ricciardo,Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne is purportedly in the running for the Red Bull seat Mark Webber will vacate at the end of the season. Speaking exclusively to Formula1.com, Vergne discusses the possibility of stepping into the big league and reviews his season to date…

Q: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has hinted that it will be a three-horse race for the seat - the two Toro Rosso drivers and Kimi Raikkonen. What would you advise Red Bull do?
Jean-Eric Vergne: 
I would of course advise them to take me!

Q: Based on what reasons?
JEV: 
Because I have done the job everybody was expecting. I am quick and I am a racer that can win championships. I think I have shown in many races what I can do as my progression is steeply running north. Since last year I have improved massively. I feel I am improving at every race. 

Q: Would you say that the option to move to Red Bull Racing has opened up too early…at least too early in the season?
JEV: 
I don’t mind at all the point in time. In Formula One you have to prove yourself very quickly. That is what you have to understand immediately once you’ve made it into an F1 cockpit. But to be honest I am not thinking too much about this possible Red Bull Racing option. I don’t want to lose my focus. I am with Toro Rosso at the moment and want to do a good job with them.

Q: But if the call from Red Bull Racing comes, you of course would be ready…
JEV: 
Of course. 

Q: If a decision falls in favour of Raikkonen it is a completely different matter. But between you and Daniel it will be a decision based on the belief that one will have a steeper performance curve in the future than the other. What does that mean for the remaining races - a flat-out war?
JEV: 
War is probably too much but of course you always want to beat your team mate, so from this point of view nothing will change.

Q: But it’s not about points. The reward would be a Red Bull cockpit. Doesn’t that change everything?
JEV: 
Thinking like this is the best way to fall. 

Q: But for one it could mean a seat at Red Bull and for the other it may be the highway, if Toro Rosso stick to their policy of keeping youngsters two seasons?
JEV: 
These are questions I don’t ask myself. I am racing for Toro Rosso at the moment and we are doing the job people want to see in the team. And next year there is a new car. I don’t know. At the moment I only focus on every single race and don’t want to ask myself more questions. 

Q: Every good result must hurt the other’s chance of moving to Red Bull. How do you cope with that?
JEV: 
I don’t care. He (Ricciardo) can have good result. My tyre exploded in Silverstone otherwise I would have had a good result myself. It doesn’t change my life. It doesn’t change my career. Everybody knows it and the people in the team know what I could have done. So that’s it. I am racing for myself and not anyone else. 

Q: So no difficult situation at all?
JEV: 
No, because I don’t think about it. Of course I would love to race for Red Bull Racing as they have the best car and as a driver you always want to be in the best car. But I am not thinking about next year. I am thinking about the here and now and it is there where I want to do the best job possible. And then let’s see what happens. Something always good has happened to me by thinking in this way so I will stick to it. 

Q: The car has made a huge leap forward compared to last season. Would you say that you have got the optimum out of your chances so far?
JEV: 
Sure a good car helps. It always makes more of an impression to be at the front of the standings, even if the standings is something of a double-edged matter. You can do a fantastic race with a not-so-fast car and end up in P15. You do the same race with a front-running car and you end up on the podium. That’s the reality. 

Q: Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost is a very good mentor to his young drivers. Is he talking to you about the current situation of possible career changes?
JEV: 
He speaks a lot with me. We have a really good relationship. He would like to keep me should it not work with the Red Bull cockpit - and I would like to stay, as Toro Rosso is a team that is improving massively.

Q: What happened to you today in qualifying? Daniel made it to P6 and you ended in P16?
JEV: 
We have tried something with the tyres on my car and not on his. We split the two cars to be on the safe side with at least one car. 

Q: What will that mean for the race? Will you keep today’s changes?
JEV: 
No, because what we’ve tried today on my car you can only do in qualifying so for the race I expect to have a good performance. So I am not stressed about the qualifying and not stressed about the race performance tomorrow. 

Q: Is the Nurburgring a track that can bring out the best in you?
JEV: 
Ha! It is a track that I don’t mind. It is neither a fantastic track for me, nor a really bad track. I simply don’t mind it.

Exclusive Kimi Raikkonen Q&A: No deadline for 2014 decision

With his contract at Lotus expiring at the end of this season and a vacancy at Red Bull opening up following Mark Webber's confirmation he will leave at the end of the year, Kimi Raikkonen has been the talk of the paddock over the last week. We caught up with Raikkonen to find out his thoughts…

Q: Kimi, in 2009 Ferrari seemed like they couldn’t wait to get you out of their cockpit but three and a half years down the road you are now the hottest thing in an overall in the paddock. Are you surprised about your huge increase in popularity? 
Kimi Raikkonen: 
No, actually I’m not. Last year when I came back was not too bad and this year has been pretty okay. Things change quickly in Formula One. There have been many reasons for what happened in the past - but it is the past. Now let’s see what happens in the future. 

Q: But it seems there’s something like a Kimi-mania at some teams at the moment…
KR: 
…no, I am just doing my own stuff and obviously there are some people who like it. (laughs) I am only trying to do the best for myself and the team.

Q: When will you make a decision about where you will race next year?
KR: 
I have no idea. I will obviously decide at a certain point but there are still a lot of things that have to be right and good things always take time. I have no deadline. 

Q: You have frequently said that you feel comfortable at Lotus. What does ‘comfortable’ mean to you?
KR: 
I want to do what I want. That’s it.

Q: Do you think you will have that luxury if you move somewhere else?
KR: 
I have no idea. I have only been at some teams. Each team is different and you always have good things and sometimes there are bitter pills attached to it. There is no perfect world…

Q: But personal freedom seems very dear to you…
KR: 
…yes, and I have always looked to get the maximum in that respect. But yes, at some teams you have a little more to do than at others. It largely depends on the sponsors. The important thing for me is that I can do my stuff and that has not been different in the past and will not change in the future. 

Q: People dismiss lightly that money could be a decisive factor for you but, on the other hand, it is no secret that money makes the cars go round. What role could a well-stocked piggybank play in the decision process?
KR: 
The money is one part of it but there is also another side to the coin. Whatever the decision will be, it will be very similar to what the situation is now in terms of the ‘piggybank’.

Q: Do you still dream of another title?
KR: 
That’s why we are here. If it doesn’t happen this year we will try again in the future. It is always the aim to win races and championships. If it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen, but at least we keep trying. 

Q: Hand on your heart. Is the title still on your agenda after all these years you’ve been in Formula One racing?
KR: 
Of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. 

Q: You seem to have a good time here so why break your back?
KR: 
Ha, I would have an even better time not racing! (laughs) 

Q: What factor could play to Red Bulls advantage? Adrian Newey?
KR: 
There is not just that one thing. I think there are things that matter with regards to racing and also some that are outside of racing. And it is never one thing that makes me make a decision. It’s the overall package. As surprising as this might sound, I look at the details! (laughs)

Q: Some teams would kill to get Adrian Newey on their payroll and you could be given the chance to drive his car…
KR: 
…I’ve raced cars that he has designed! At Red Bull they want me but I have other choices - so time will tell. 

Q: It wouldn’t be a surprise if those teams that develop engines and chassis have an advantage over the others in 2014. But obviously the two teams that do - Ferrari and Mercedes - are probably not an option for you. Could you therefore deduce that Red Bull might be closer to Renault than Lotus and would that be a factor in your considerations?
KR: 
Stop, stop! I have no idea what they are doing at Red Bull. The only thing that I know is that Lotus is very close with Renault and they are working fantastically together. I don’t think that there is any difference between how the teams work together with Renault. They are very fair, so these considerations are not affecting my decision. 

Q: How much will the friendship between you and Sebastian Vettel play a role?
KR: 
It plays no role in the decision.

Q: What is relevant to your decision?
KR: 
The decision has to be made in light of a bigger picture and not on single things. There are so many aspects that have to be considered. But one thing I can say is that right now I don’t know myself how the die is cast. 

Q: Will you sit down with advisors and management to make the decision? Or wake up one morning and know which contract you will sign?
KR: 
I will make the decision. And if it is good or bad I will be the one to blame. I can live with it, as it has been my choice. 

Q: What do Sebastian and you both find so exciting in badminton?
KR: 
It is a nice sport for practice. And I have to do something… 

Q: Niki Lauda is quoted as saying that if you don’t move to Red Bull you are a mouse not a man. Does his viewpoint surprise you?
KR: 
No, because it is normal for him to talk. (laughs) He can talk what he wants and I know him a little to know what he thinks. 

Q: Will you make a return to the podium this weekend?
KR: 
Obviously it hasn’t been too bad today, if you compare it to the previous three races. Hopefully we can challenge for a podium tomorrow. 

Q: Have you been worried about the performance of the E21 in the last three races? 
KR: 
No. We just had some issues at the last races but we should have been on the podium in Silverstone. So the speed is definitely there.

Q: So you aren’t worried about a development slowdown?
KR: 
No. Never.

FIA eases restrictions on F1 race driver roles in young driver test

Formula 1 race drivers will not be restricted to exclusive tyre work at the young driver test, following a clarification from the FIA.
After a number of racers questioned the value of taking part in the Silverstone test on July 17-19 because they could not work on car set-up, motor racing's governing body issued a note to teams at the Nurburgring about what is and is not allowed.
Although the original stipulation still stands that race drivers can only take part in the test if they are not involved in car developments, the FIA has agreed that racers taking part will now be allowed to work on car balance with the new tyres.
A spokesman for the governing body told AUTOSPORT: "We can confirm that, as only one specification of tyre will be available for the test, it will not be necessary for the teams to satisfy us that race drivers are taking part for the sole purpose of testing tyres for the appointed tyre supplier."
Following discussions in the Sporting Working Committee meeting at the Nurburgring on Wednesday, it has already been agreed that race drivers can only take part in one full day of testing.
Teams do, however, have the option of splitting their race driver mileage into two half-days.
Jenson Button was one of several drivers who had questioned the value of taking part of the test if he was not allowed to even work on car set-up, which had appeared likely before the FIA clarification.
"If it is just running one type of tyre then it is not tyre testing, it is just running around - so I don't think I will do it," said the McLaren driver. "I have driven Silverstone enough."
McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said that despite the FIA clarification his outfit was still unsure about which drivers it would run.
"I don't know yet," he said. "Let's get through this weekend and work out if it is useful to have race drivers there, or we just do the test with the test drivers.
"They don't need any laps around Silverstone to learn the track, so it is what they [the racers] can contribute."
Pirelli has revealed that it will be bringing two different compounds to the test, with three sets of hard tyres and two sets of medium tyres available per car per day.