F1 2013 Grand Prix of Germany: Hamilton blames tyres for result
PUBLISHED: 20:29 07 July 2013 | UPDATED: 21:30 07 July 2013
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton blamed his Pirelli tyres and the heat for his disappointing result in the 2013 German Grand Prix, after starting from pole position.
2013 German Grand Prix result
1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
3 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
4 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
5 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
6 Jenson Button (McLaren)
7 Mark Webber (Red Bull)
8 Sergio Perez (McLaren)
9 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
10 Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)
The 28-year-old Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 star from Hertfordshire battled through the field in the closing laps to finish fifth at the Nürburgring today (Sunday).
After starting from the front of the grid, 2008 world champion Hamilton finished two places outside the podium position, despite running as low as P10 just 15 laps from the finish.
“We’ve clearly got a good car but for some reason, it doesn’t work in these hot conditions,” said Hamilton afterwards.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag for his first German GP victory, with Lotus pair Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean joining him on the podium.
Hamilton claimed P5 with a passing move on McLaren’s Jenson Button in the first sector of the final lap of the race.
He made three pit stops during the race, on laps 6, 22 and 45, running option/prime/prime/prime tyres, with the best average pit lane time.
Hamilton said: “That was really a tough race out there for us today. I didn’t have a great start and the Red Bulls were much quicker off the line, dropping me back to third.
“We really struggled with the second set of tyres which then compromised the rest of my race. It’s a real shame as the team are working so hard and doing such a good job.”
"We’ve clearly got a good car but for some reason, it doesn’t work in these hot conditions."
Nico Rosberg’s ninth place, coupled with 10 points for Lewis, mean the Mercedes team remain second in the 2013 constructors’ standings.
Hamilton added: “We’ll keep working on it and the positive from today is that we were able to recover to fifth place with a good strategy and great pit stops, and we’re still second in the Constructors’ table.
“Hopefully we’ll have a better chance at the next race but, for now, there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us.”
Silver Arrows colleague Rosberg started from P11 on the prime tyre and was running in P16 on lap 49 at the start of his final stint on option tyres.
During the final 11 laps, the German gained seven positions and ran on the same pace as the leading cars.
The 2013 British GP winner said: “The car didn’t feel so nice to drive today. We struggled a lot with the rear tyres and that’s why we weren’t able to match the pace of the guys in the front.
“Even so, I had a bit of fun when I changed to the option tyres and could really push to at least score a few points.
“But we need to understand the new tyres a bit more because it seems that the new construction has shuffled things around, especially in these hot conditions.
FIA 2013 F1 World Drivers’ Championship
After German Grand Prix:
1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 157pts
2 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 123
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 116
4 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 99
5 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 93
6 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 84
7 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 57
8 Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 41
9 Paul Di Resta (Force India) 36
10 Jenson Button (McLaren) 33
“We have to do a lot of work in the next weeks to make sure we arrive in Hungary in good shape.”
Mercedes F1 principal Ross Brawn admitted tyres remain an issue for the team.
He said: “Today was a race of two halves for us. In the first part, we were once again overstressing the tyres – particularly on the prime compound – and our performance fell away as a result.
“However, as the temperatures cooled off a little and things settled down, both drivers had respectable pace and were able to fight their way back through the field.
“Lewis and Nico kept pushing until the final lap and were rewarded for their commitment and determination.”
Brawn added: “At one point it didn’t look like we would come away with much at all from this afternoon, so there has to be a certain satisfaction in saving 12 points today.
“We have said all along that there is still a question mark over our performance in hotter conditions, and today’s race showed that we still have work to do.
“We have made big steps forward since Bahrain and Barcelona, where we particularly suffered with hotter track temperatures, and our performance was much improved compared to those races.
2013 Team Standings
After 2013 German Grand Prix
1 Red Bull 250pts
2 Mercedes 183
3 Ferrari 180
4 Lotus 157
5 Force India 59
6 McLaren 49
“But we have not yet done enough to convert our Saturday pace into race-winning speed in all conditions on Sunday.
“The three-week break until Hungary will give us an opportunity to think about how we can make further progress on our tyre management as well as continuing to develop the core performance of the car.”
Team director Toto Wolff echoed Brawn’s comments. He said: “We had a real character-building afternoon here at the Nürburgring.
“Neither of the drivers could find any grip on the prime tyre in the first part of the race and it mirrored similar experiences we have had so far this season.
“We managed to recover in the second half, though, and our result was pretty respectable in the end given how things looked after the first 30 laps.
“Well done to both drivers for squeezing the maximum out of the car today.”
Wolff added: “After such a successful weekend in Silverstone, it feels a little bit like a night and day difference for us.
“We need to get our heads down at the factory, properly analyse our performance and keep working hard because we know that we will see similar temperatures in Hungary to what we experienced here.”