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GP Week : Issue 186
sebastian Vettel took out two birds with one stein with his win at the Nurburgring on sunday. Not only did he finally shake off the hoodoo of taking victory at his home grand prix, but also broke his duck of a points vacuum during the month of July – a mid-year epoch that has proven elusive to the three-time world champion. “It's a great relief and a special day,” Vettel said after the race. “It will take a little while to sink in, but I'm incredibly proud today, the team did a fantastic job for strategy and pit stops.” While welcome, Vettel’s home win did not come easily, with the Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and Roman Grosjean both challenging the lead Red Bull driver on occasion. Another lap and Raikkonen may well have been within DRS range at the fall of the flag – a fact that wasn’t lost on Vettel. "It was so difficult!” said an exhausted Vettel. “I pushed every single lap but it's so tough when you are on the edge. You cannot go over the tyres too much because then you won't reach the end of the stint. We lost KERS for a couple of laps so it was very difficult but fortunately the system recovered and it's very useful to defend properly.” The triple world champion admitted that the inter vention of the Safety Car may have played into the hands of the opposition, but had to concede that Lotus had upped their game since Melbourne, irrespective of the new Pirelli tyre construction “You have to get through traffic as quick as you can,” said Vettel. “The Safety Car didn't help us, and Lotus was incredibly quick today. ... They were taking care of the tyres a bit better and gave us a good run for our money, so I am happy it worked out.” Vettel was also at pains to point out the spectacular job Pirelli had done in bringing the new tyre construction to Germany. A one week turnaround to produce 1,000 tyres did not go unnoticed and Sebastian was quick to give the Italian manufacturer their due. “They did a great job to bring a different rear tyre to this event and we didn't have any failures throughout the whole weekend, so compliments to them,” he said. “I hope it continues like that.” Vettel breaks his duck 29 GPWEEK.com // 29 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> GERMANY