German Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel benefited from biding his time to claim a podium finish from the back row of the starting grid.
Racing at his home Grand Prix, Vettel was forced to start the race from 20th after retiring from qualifying with a turbocharger issue.
Moving up to 14th place on the opening lap, he gradually made his way into the points-paying positions, running in the top ten for much of the event.
Being one of the earlier drivers to take slick tyres when track started drying out, Vettel moved up to fifth place when Valtteri Bottas crashed out from fourth, bringing out the final safety car.
From there, Vettel scythed his way up to second place to complete a fine comeback, saying after the race that he was glad to ‘survive’ the wet weather and progress in the drying conditions.
“I was not so happy in the beginning. I was very happy with the first lap, and then I was saying ‘come on I need to make some progress here, or the race will go out of my hands’,” said Vettel.
“Obviously a lot of it was about surviving and pushing in the right moment and at the end, when it started to dry up and become mixed conditions, I really started to feel confident.
“The first corner was really tricky, a lot of people went off, but I thought there was where I have to hammer it, because I felt good, I always managed to have good speed in the DRS, close the gap for the second corner, then get in range for the back straight. Then, it was quite straightforward to pass, so I was very pleased with that.
“It was definitely a long race with a lot of decisions to make, and I guess most of them were right. Some of them were late but, overall, I’m very happy.”
The result is Vettel’s first podium finish since the Canadian Grand Prix, and his first in Germany since taking a victory at the Nurburgring for Red Bull Racing back in 2013.