Vettel holds off Lotus challenge to win

LONDON - Sebastian Vettel finally ended the wait to win his home German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in a race that left Formula One again under the safety spotlight.

Red Bull's triple World Champion fended off the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen to win by one second and increase his lead in this year's title race with the Finn's team-mate Romain Grosjean third.

Seven days after the series of blowouts overshadowed the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and raised the prospect of a driver boycott in Germany, there were more safety issues.

Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber sparked the first incident when his right rear wheel worked lose at his first pit-stop on lap eight, bounced up and struck a cameraman, Paul Allen, on his left hand side.

The cameraman, from Formula One Management, was taken to the circuit's medical centre still conscious and then transferred by helicopter to Koblenz Hospital where he is being kept under observation.

Then on lap 24, Jules Bianchi parked his Marussia car on the grass as his Cosworth engine exploded into flames and plumes of white smoke, as the tractor arrived to tow it away, the car rolled backwards across the circuit. The safety car had to be deployed while the Marussia was eventually hauled away.

Vettel snatched the lead from the Mercedes of pole winner Lewis Hamilton and controlled the race from there to finally triumph in front of his home fans at the sixth attempt.

It was his fourth win of the season and 30th of his career. Vettel now leads the championship standings by 34 points from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who finished fourth, with Raikkonen seven points further adrift.

Hamilton snatched fifth place on the final lap from former team-mate Jenson Button but was left still searching for his first win for Mercedes. He is now 60 points behind Vettel. - The Guardian

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