Jun.27 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel declared on the radio he is “back on track” after winning Sunday’s European grand prix.
“Germany one, England nil,” grinned third-placed Jenson Button, before leaving the FIA press conference to watch Germany score the first goal for real as the countries battle for World Cup survival in South Africa.
With his win, pole sitter Vettel snatches third place in the world championship – behind both McLarens – from his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, who escaped unhurt from a frightening backflip crash.
Caused by the Australian striking the rear of Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus, the crash mirrored one during the earlier GP2 race, in which Josef Kral was hospitalised.
Some figures, including David Coulthard, slammed Kovalainen’s decision to race Webber’s much faster car, but Lotus technical boss Mike Gascoyne said on Twitter that the Finn was “pissed off with Webber”.
“For all those saying we should not have defended from Webber, when it is for position on track we race,” Gascoyne insisted. “Always.”
The race was also controversial for other reasons. Hamilton finished second after a drive-through penalty for overtaking the safety car, while Fernando Alonso did not make the illegal pass and finished just ninth.
“It is really unfair, it is like no penalty,” Alonso’s race engineer Andrea Stella told the angry Spaniard by radio during the race.
And nine drivers – Button, both Williams, both Renaults, both Force Indias, Sebastien Buemi and Pedro de la Rosa – are under investigation by the stewards for driving too fast on their pitstop in-lap while the safety car was out.
If penalised, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi – finishing behind four of the investigated drivers – could be the big winner, after finishing seventh with an unique race strategy that saw him make a very late single pitstop.
By performing impressive late-race passes on Fernando Alonso and Buemi, meanwhile, the Japanese also rekindled memories of his stirring late debut for Toyota last year.