Ferrari started both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa on the medium tyres due to concerns over how well the soft compound would last in the high temperatures that were forecast for today’s race.
Several drivers did pit very early: three drivers came in on lap four and four more on the next lap. But unfortunately for Ferrari all of them were behind Alonso on the track.
So instead of the front runners having to pit early and come out in traffic, several of them were able to wait a few laps longer and come out in clear air. Lotus had particularly good tyre life on the sorts – Grosjean was still on his when Alonso made his first pit stop while running on mediums.
Another interesting strategic scenario played out later in the race when Lotus had both their cars right on Vettel’s tail with 20 laps remaining. Pitting for mediums, pitting for softs or staying out could all have been valid options for them at this point.
Lotus split their strategy, bringing Grosjean in for mediums in an attempt to undercut Vettel. Now Red Bull were faced with a conundrum: pit and cover Grosjean to go for the win, or stay out and cover Raikkonen (and Alonso) to minimise the damage in the championship?
They chose the former and won the day, but it was far from a sure thing, particularly as Vettel was struggling with a temperamental KERS. Raikkonen chased him down using soft tyres later in the race, but the Red Bull driver hung on by a margin of one second.
German Grand Prix tyre strategies
The tyre strategies for each driver:
|Stint 1||Stint 2||Stint 3||Stint 4||Stint 5|
|Sebastian Vettel||Soft (7)||Medium (17)||Medium (17)||Medium (19)|
|Kimi Raikkonen||Soft (8)||Medium (16)||Medium (25)||Soft (11)|
|Romain Grosjean||Soft (13)||Medium (11)||Medium (16)||Medium (20)|
|Fernando Alonso||Medium (12)||Medium (12)||Medium (25)||Soft (11)|
|Lewis Hamilton||Soft (6)||Medium (16)||Medium (23)||Medium (15)|
|Jenson Button||Medium (21)||Medium (26)||Soft (13)|
|Mark Webber||Soft (8)||Medium (15)||Medium (15)||Medium (22)|
|Sergio Perez||Soft (7)||Medium (17)||Medium (36)|
|Nico Rosberg||Medium (16)||Medium (8)||Medium (24)||Soft (12)|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Medium (17)||Medium (20)||Medium (12)||Soft (11)|
|Paul di Resta||Soft (4)||Medium (20)||Medium (36)|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Soft (5)||Medium (13)||Medium (22)||Medium (20)|
|Adrian Sutil||Soft (5)||Medium (19)||Medium (19)||Medium (17)|
|Esteban Gutierrez||Soft (6)||Medium (16)||Medium (19)||Medium (19)|
|Pastor Maldonado||Medium (21)||Medium (29)||Soft (10)|
|Valtteri Bottas||Medium (22)||Medium (32)||Soft (5)|
|Charles Pic||Soft (4)||Medium (20)||Medium (10)||Medium (25)|
|Giedo van der Garde||Soft (5)||Medium (14)||Medium (19)||Medium (21)|
|Max Chilton||Soft (8)||Medium (12)||Medium (6)||Medium (11)||Medium (22)|
|Jean-Eric Vergne||Soft (4)||Medium (18)|
|Jules Bianchi||Soft (5)||Medium (13)||Medium (3)|
|Felipe Massa||Medium (3)|
German Grand Prix pit stop times
Red Bull performed the best and worst pit stops of the German Grand Prix.
Their first stop of the day, for Vettel on lap seven, was the best of the race. But their attempt to replicate it for Mark Webber on the next lap went disastrously wrong. The right-rear wasn’t fitted properly and for the second time this year Webber lost a wheel after a pit stop. This time it came off in the pits and an unfortunate cameraman was struck by it.
Williams were also in deep trouble in the pits. Both drivers lost significant amounts of time (in excess of ten seconds each) with slow front-right tyre changes, and Valtteri Bottas also had a problem at the opposite end of the car at another stop.
Pastor Maldonado had been running seventh prior to his last pit stop, and this calamity ended Williams’ hopes of ending their 2013 points drought in their 600th race.
Here’s how long each driver’s pit stops took:
|Driver||Team||Pit stop time||Gap||On lap|
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||18.979||7|
|2||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||19.118||0.139||41|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||19.846||0.867||5|
|17||Adrian Sutil||Force India||19.910||0.931||5|
|18||Mark Webber||Red Bull||19.921||0.942||38|
|19||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||19.952||0.973||18|
|21||Mark Webber||Red Bull||19.991||1.012||23|
|23||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||20.039||1.060||24|
|24||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||20.196||1.217||40|
|26||Adrian Sutil||Force India||20.204||1.225||24|
|35||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham||20.545||1.566||38|
|36||Paul di Resta||Force India||20.547||1.568||4|
|40||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham||20.974||1.995||19|
|46||Paul di Resta||Force India||21.483||2.504||24|
|47||Adrian Sutil||Force India||21.799||2.820||43|
|48||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham||21.900||2.921||5|
|52||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||23.147||4.168||4|
|56||Mark Webber||Red Bull||162.042||143.063||8|
2013 German Grand Prix
- Third Driver of the Weekend win for Vettel
- Down-to-the-wire German GP gets positive rating
- 2013 German Grand Prix team radio transcript
- 2013 German Grand Prix fans’ video gallery
- FIA to bring forward 2014 pit lane safety rules
Images ?é?® Lotus/LAT, Red Bull/Getty