Infiniti and Red Bull Racing maintained their lead of the Formula One World Championship today, after a solid performance in a thrilling German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.
Drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber both secured valuable championship points, with pole-sitter Webber finishing in third place and Infiniti Global Brand Ambassador Vettel in fourth.
As Webber endured a race-long battle for the lead with rivals Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, Vettel found himself further down the order than in previous races but managed a last-minute overtake on Felipe Massa to narrowly miss out on a podium finish.
The result means both drivers still sit first and second in the championship standings, with Infiniti-backed Red Bull Racing leading the Constructors’ table by 112 points.
Finish position: 4th, Start position: 3rd
“It was tough, a difficult race. In the beginning, it didn’t feel so bad but I made a mistake, which brought me back to fifth and from there it was a tough recovery. I think fourth was the maximum we could achieve today – it’s not satisfying, but you have to accept that others were quicker today. I didn’t feel good all weekend and didn’t have the pace that Mark did in the car. The pit-stop at the end was fantastic. You come into the pit lane behind the other car and into your box and you can’t wait to leave as soon as the boys have changed the wheels. As I came out it was nice to see the Ferrari still stationary – that was all down to the boys, they did a very good job. Both Felipe and I were battling for a lot of the race and we were both on the edge. We had a problem mid-race with the brakes, but we managed it well, so we can be happy with the recovery we had from that. Hungary is the next race, which is normally a good track for us, so we’ll see, but we have homework to do. McLaren and Ferrari were very quick in the race and we need to come back to the pace they have.”
Finish position: 3rd, Start position: Pole
“I’m disappointed not to get the win today – but it’s another good result. At the end we needed to try and do something a bit different; we led the middle part of the race, but we couldn’t get the tyre range around the pit stops to get the undercut on the second stop. I drove on the limit, but we were not quick enough and that was it. Lewis was able to cover us all the time and respond to my pace, so you couldn’t get the gap. He got a good start and mine wasn’t so good, but the starts aren’t key to the race finishes this year. I did pretty much everything I could today – it was very intense racing between the three of us at the front (Lewis, Fernando and Mark), I was pushing to the limit, but there wasn’t much more we could do to challenge for the victory. We’re a strong unit though – a good team and we’ll push on. We know what we need to do”
CHRISTIAN HORNER – Red Bull Racing Team Principal
“A fascinating race – obviously three and four from one and three on the grid isn’t really the result we were looking for, but it’s still a lot of points for both drivers. We got Mark into the lead at the first pit-stop with the undercut, but unfortunately on the second stop the undercut didn’t prove as powerful as we hoped and he dropped back to third. We looked at going longer on the last stint, but ultimately P3 was as much as we could achieve at the end. Sebastian had a spin early on and flat spotted the tyres quite badly, so we went as far as we dare with him and then he spent a lot of the race looking at Massa’s gearbox. It all came down to a race in the pit lane and our boys did a phenomenal job, nailed a fantastic pit stop and leap-frogged the Ferrari. There was a bit of excitement there and I think, as Sebastian said on the radio, he owns P4 to them today.”
Infiniti, the luxury performance brand from Japan, joined forces with Red Bull Racing for the start of the 2011 F1 season and features prominently on the RB7 cars driven by Vettel and Webber.
NEXT RACE: Hungarian Grand Prix, 31 July.