But the defending triple world champion had to survive several spells of intense pressure to steer his Red Bull to victory in the German Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old German, who also had never won a race in the month of July, came home narrowly ahead of fast-closing Finn Kimi Raikkonen and his Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean.
Vettel’s win was his fourth this year and the 30th of his career and it lifted him 34 points clear of nearest rival, Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, in the drivers’ championship.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Vettel. “Kimi was pushing very close in the end, but I was pushing in every lap except from the ones with the safety car.
I enjoyed today and I could feel Kimi coming and it was quite close with Romain too, but we recovered and I am very happy the race ended after 60 laps — and not 61 or 62 laps.”
After the drama of four exploding tyre blowouts in last Sunday’s British GP, the race was run without similar incidents other than when an errant wheel flew off Webber’s car during a pit-stop and struck a tv camerman, Paul Allen, in the back.
No points for Force India
Meanwhile, Force India’s Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta failed to finish in the points at Nurburgring. Di Resta finished 11th while Sutil ended 13th. This is their second non-points finish this season since the Malaysian GP.