Sebastian Vettel candidly admitted following the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring that his Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber had been 'unbeatable' en route
to his maiden F1 triumph – as he acknowledged that his own chances of glory disappeared no sooner had the starting lights gone out.
Whilst the sport's youngest-ever grand prix-winner has more often than not had the measure of the driver in the sister Renault-powered RB5 during the 2009 campaign to-date, any hopes he may have had of delighting his home fans with a popular victory around the Eifel Mountains circuit to make it back-to-back successes after Silverstone were torpedoed when Webber proved to have the upper hand from the word 'go'.
Only fourth on the grid to the Australian's pole position, Vettel made a poor getaway and from thereon in found himself frustrated in the train of cars held up behind the third-placed McLaren-Mercedes of Heikki Kovalainen. Stuck down in sixth until his opening pit-stop, by dint of running longer than most of his rivals during both of his first two stints, the Heppenheim native nonetheless succeeded in moving up the order to second at the close, though he did find himself under some pressure from Ferrari's Felipe Massa along the way.
Never able to hold a candle to the runaway race-winner – who overcame a stop-go penalty for good measure as he drove his dominance home – the 22-year-old ultimately took the chequered flag ten seconds adrift to move past Brawn GP rival Rubens Barrichello into second spot in the drivers' title chase too. Whilst not a perfect day for him, it had, at least, he confessed, been a pretty good one – with a performance that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described as 'excellent'.
“Congratulations to Mark,” Vettel underlined. “He was unbeatable today – he was quicker than all of us, so he totally deserved to win. I'm very happy with the result, and in the end it was a good recovery. It was quite a bad start and I had all the KERS cars around me – I got passed by both the McLarens and even Felipe. It was quite difficult to start fourth and go into the first corner in eighth or something.
“I then struggled a lot with the soft tyres in the first stint and was in a lot of traffic. I could have gone quicker, but there was no way to pass Felipe, as he always used the special button when I was quite close. Therefore I was lucky to have the right strategy, as that pulled us back to second position but Felipe didn't stop pushing, so it was hard until the end of the race.
“We had to fight, but it's another one-two finish for the team and I'm happy. I'd be lying if I said I'm very pleased with second, as of course I wanted to win, but yesterday Mark did a better job and that's why today he totally deserves the win – it's a good fight between us, so I'm looking forward to the next races.”