Bathgate’s Paul di Resta failed to score a world championship point for only the second time in the opening nine races of the Formula One season.
The 27-year-old, who started the German Grand Prix from 12th on the grid in his Sahara Force India, had to settle for 11th. “It’s obviously not where we wanted to finish,” Di Resta said, “but, in the end, I was a bit of a sitting duck simply because we’d lost grip with the rear tyres. I was fighting just to keep the car on the track over the closing few laps. I lost two places over the last four or five laps; I guess we underestimated exactly how much they’d drop off.”
Sebastian Vettel won his home race for the first time when he led from the first corner.
Starting from second on the grid behind the Mercedes of polesetter Lewis Hamilton, the Red Bull driver scorched ahead as soon as the five red lights went off. From there Vettel, the triple world champ, controlled the race, establishing a lead. The appearance of the safety car, though, following the retirement of Jules Bianchi’s Marussia, bunched the field up again.
Vettel and the Lotus of second-placed Romain Grosjean pitted, followed by Kimi Raikkonen’s third-placed Lotus.
The three battled to the end, with the Finn passing Grosjean with four laps remaining, but the former world champ eventually finished just a second behind Vettel. The German’s 30th career win, in just 110 races, saw him extend his world championship lead over Fernando Alonso to 34 points with the Spaniard finishing fourth in his Ferrari.
Hamilton, whose car struggled on the Pirelli tyres, finished fifth, just ahead of former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button. Mark Webber brought his Red Bull home seventh.
Meanwhile, Di Resta’s cousin, Dario Franchitti, came third as the IndyCar championship returned to the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania after 24 years.
It was a one-two-three for Franchitti’s team, Ganassi Racing, with Scott Dixon first and Charlie Kimball second – the team’s first podium sweep in any form of racing,
When Franchitti walked into the media centre, he mused, “Who saw that one coming?”