Sebastian Vettel was forced to rue his poor start, after the German lost out to the Ferrari duo in Germany.
The Red Bull driver failed in his attempts to squeeze Fernando Alonso down into turn one – a move which also allowed the sister Ferrari of Felipe Massa to slingshot into the lead.
Although the 23-year-old managed to stay in contact with the Ferraris for the majority of the race, he could not find a way past and was forced to settle for third, in front of his home fans.
Meanwhile, team-mate Mark Webber failed to capitalise on a risky pit strategy and found himself stuck behind both McLaren drivers.
Subsequently, the Australian was forced to settle for sixth place after his car developed an oil consumption problem.
Sebastian Vettel – 3rd: “Normally we have very good starts, so I’m not really sure what happened today. I had quite a lot of grip, I dumped the clutch, but got bogged down, so the first five to ten metres of the acceleration were poor. I was lucky I didn’t stall the engine, but I lost the momentum so I knew that it would be very tight with Fernando who I was already side by side with. There was no way I could stay ahead of him and then I was surprised to see Felipe coming from the left. But, after that we still had a good race. The closer I got to the car in front, I began to feel tyres losing grip and starting to grain, but I think for most of the race the Ferraris were probably a tenth or two quicker than us. It was difficult to keep up the pace. Towards the end we were able to push again a little bit. We finished third and I think we can be proud of that. We achieved our maximum today and I was very pleased to be on the podium. It’s very special for me at my home Grand Prix, it’s great to see the people here and to be on the podium – to see everyone cheering is very nice and emotional.”
Mark Webber – 6th: “I enjoyed the first part of the race and had a good scrap with Lewis. He didn’t look too comfortable on the option tyre and I was getting held up a bit. When I came in for a pit stop, I thought Lewis might come in at the same time, but he stayed out a lap longer. In the end, the guys did a very good job, but we came back out in traffic. It was a little bit of a gamble to try and jump Lewis and we lost a bit of track to him. Jenson tried a different strategy and went longer and unfortunately was able to jump me. After that we had an oil consumption problem, so we had to concentrate on getting the car to the end. I wasn’t in the main fight today, but I’ll be back. It’s competitive at the front and that’s how it should be, so we’re looking forward to the next race.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “Today’s race was dictated by the start. Unfortunately Sebastian didn’t get away cleanly and ended up on the right-hand side of the track. Massa got a good run on the left and we emerged from Turn one in P3 that’s what shaped the race as far as Sebastian was concerned. With Mark, we took a calculated risk with the pit-stop. After that, he got caught up behind Rosberg, which cost him a bit of time and allowed Jenson to jump him. From there he did an excellent job in nursing an oil system issue that he managed well to the end of the race to score some important points. It was surprising what happened with the Ferraris, it looked to be a team order with the cars switching position. If so, it’s a shame for Formula One and the fans that they were deprived of a race between the two Ferrari drivers today.”
Fabrice Lom, Renault, Principal Engineer Track Support: “What a difficult race. Sebastian had a bad start, which compromised his chances, so third was the best he could achieve against the Ferraris on this track. For Mark, it was a very difficult race. We had an oil system problem which we had to manage and we had to ask a lot of him, so that the car could get to the finish. He drove very well and did everything that we requested, so a big thanks to him for that. As a team we really deserved the points we got today; now we need to find a bit more performance to fight back for victory at the next races.”