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German Grand Prix: David Tremayne: Vettel breaks home duck

Three time Guild of Motoring Writers Journalist of the Year Award winner David Tremayne casts his eye back over the German Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel broke his home duck…
In his latest exclusive feature on Crash.net, David Tremayne - three time Guild of Motoring Writers Journalist of the Year Award winner and multi-award winning F1 author - takes a look back over the German Grand Prix, where Sebastian Vettel managed to secure his first victory on home soil…

The German GP began with lingering doubts over Pirelli's tyres and fears of a GPDA drivers' boycott if further problems arose, but in the end it was business as usual for Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull.

The only new things were that he finally won his home Grand Prix, and broke the curious jinx that had hitherto prevented him from winning a race in the month of July.

The work that Pirelli did in creating revised 2013 tyres with Kevlar belts instead of steel, was outstanding given the limited time since the previous Sunday. And the manner in which the FIA quickly adopted and mandated the tyre company's new diktat on tyre usage was exactly what the situation needed.

Teams could no longer reverse the direction of the rear tyres to improve longevity, nor run as much as four degrees of rear camber or tyre pressures as low as 14psi; the new figures respectively were 2.5 and 16, though obviously tyre pressures increase as the tyre heats up.

It's fair to say that the Nurburgring doesn't impose anything like the cornering loads that Silverstone does, but there were sighs of relief all along the pit lane when the 22 drivers amassed more than 1200 troublefree laps on Friday.

But the race did raise other issues: cameraman Paul Allen was hit by Mark Webber's errant right rear wheel during the Australian's first pit stop, for which Red Bull was fined 30,000 euros for unsafe release; and then after catching fire and being abandoned, Jules Bianchi's stricken Marussia rolled slowly back down the hill before the NGK chicane and across the track.

Thankfully, Paul is recovering in hospital in Koblenz with collarbone and rib injuries, while the Marussia didn't hit anyone or anything. But as Martin Whitmarsh was quick to point out, there is no room for complacency, in the pit lane where speed limits have made things safer, or out on the track.

Despite Vettel's predictable win it was an interesting race in which he was under pressure for much of it, struggling for part of the time with a momentary malfunction of his DRS which reacted to a reboot.

by David Tremayne



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