Sebastain Vettel experienced the pressure he can expect if Kimi Raikkonen joins him at Red Bull next year, as the Finn pushed him all the way to the finish of the German Grand Prix.
In the end the reigning world champion beat the 2007 title holder to the chequered flag by one second, to win his home race for the first time.
"It's a great relief," Vettel admitted as he savoured one of the sweetest of his 30 career victories.
"There were high expectations, especially when you have a good car, but we never let that get to our head and it feels very sweet now to have succeeded at last. It's a privilege to have a home grand prix, so I'm incredibly proud today.
"I had to push every lap, and it's so tough when you are on the limit while still trying to look after the tyres and get through traffic. Lotus were incredibly quick and gave us a good run."
There were no further problems with Pirelli's tyres after the changes the Italian company introduced here, but the race was marred by a nasty incident on the ninth lap when Red Bull released Mark Webber before his right rear wheel had been properly secured.
As it bounced down the pit lane it struck cameraman Paul Allen on his left-hand side, knocking him to the ground. He remained conscious and was taken by helicopter to Koblenz Hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken shoulder and cracked ribs.
Later there was a more light-hearted moment on the 24th lap which, nevertheless, could had been very dangerous.
On the 22nd lap Jules Bianchi had parked his Marussia with mechanical problems on the rise to the NGK chicane, where momentarily it caught fire, and two laps after the Frenchman had abandoned it there the red and black car began to roll slowly back down the hill, across the track.
Mercifully, nobody was approaching at the time, but the safety car was deployed.
Lewis Hamilton had a tough race after dropping from pole to third by the first corner before finishing fifth.
German Grand Prix, Final Positions: 1 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1hr 41mins 14.711secs, 2 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus F1 Team 1:41:15.719, 3 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus F1 Team 1:41:20.541, 4 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:41:22.432, 5 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:41:41.638, 6 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren 1:41:42.707, 7 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:41:52.273, 8 Sergio Perez (Mex) McLaren 1:41:53.017, 9 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:42:01.532, 10 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Sauber-Ferrari 1:42:04.603.
World Championship Standings: 1 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 157pts, 2 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 123, 3 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus F1 Team 116, 4 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 99, 5 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 93, 6 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 84, 7 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 57, 8 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus F1 Team 41, 9 Paul di Resta (Gbr) Force India 36, 10 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren 33.