Sebastian Vettel took his first victory in the German Grand Prix after coming out on top in a battle directed by tyre strategy.
Having made a better getaway than poleman Lewis Hamilton, the two Red Bulls set the early pace, as it became clear that Lotus would be their biggest threat, the Enstone team able to make its tyres last longer than almost anyone else.
Romain Grosjean looked particularly feisty, keeping Vettel within DRS distance but never quite being able to catch and pass the German. When the Lotus pitted from second place on lap 40, Red Bull responded, but with one eye on the chasing Kimi Raikkonen, who retained a shot at victory until it became obvious that he would not be able to run to the end on his second set of medium Pirellis.
The Finn fitted the soft option tyre for a ten-lap sprint to the end but, having seen Vettel retake the lead during his stop, was only able to close in in second place by the flag, having just failed to get DRS assistance on the final lap.
Having allowed his team-mate through in pursuit of Vettel, Grosjean fell into the clutches of Fernando Alonso, who also made the stop for softs in the final stages, but managed to hold onto third place, while Alonso came home fourth ahead of Hamilton, who passed Jenson Button on the final lap to round out the top five.
Mark Webber's bid for another Nurburgring victory disappeared at the first round of pit-stops, when he was allowed to leave his stall without the right-rear being properly attached. The errant wheel went on to hit an FOM cameraman who, fortunately, escaped without serious injury. Webber came back from falling a lap behind to claim seventh place.
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