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European Grand Prix: Alonso stuns with victory; Raikkonen, Schumacher complete star studded podium

alonso_winsFernando Alonso took the chequered flag for Ferrari as he won a wonderful, eventful European Grand Prix to the delight of his home fans at Valencia. In a race that had a bit of everything, Alonso was opportunistic, put in the fast charge when he needed it, pulled off the overtaking manoeuvres and stayed out of trouble in the chaos around him to take a memorable victory especially having started outside the top 10. Kimi Raikkonen was second for the Lotus in a considered drive that bodes well for his and Lotus’ future. It was great delight for Michael Schumacher as he clinched the final podium place in his first podium since his return.

It could all have ended so differently had it not been for a safety car incident and a spate of retirements that followed it. Sebastian Vettel who was on pole had stormed ahead and was cruising with Romain Grosjean in second place well ahead of Hamilton who was in third at that stage. But Vettel was forced to retire and surrendered his lead to Alonso in the process. Grosjean followed suit a few laps down the road and Hamilton came together with Maldonado late in the race to crash out of a probable podium place.


Alonso picks up memorable win in Valencia, Massa disappoints again

A supreme Fernando Alonso won the European Grand Prix in Valencia today, with a climb up the order from eleventh on the grid and that will surely be remembered as one of the greatest Formula 1 victories. The Scuderia Ferrari driver thus takes back the lead in the Drivers’ classification, after a bravura display, attacking from lights to flag. Joining him on the podium were Kimi Raikkonen, second for Lotus and Michael Schumacher third in the Mercedes.

Felipe Massa however had an unlucky afternoon: after a lightning getaway off the line, making up two places, the Brazilian suffered with a lack of balance on the car and also was on the receiving end of an aggressive move from Sauber’s Japanese driver, Kamui Kobayashi. He pitted to change the damaged nose and joined the back of the group, eventually coming home sixteenth.


Schumacher takes first podium since 2006 at European Grand Prix, Rosberg finishes a respectable 6th

Michael Schumacher registered his best finish since his comeback to the sport, snatching the final spot on the podium in Valencia with a strong drive at the European Grand Prix. His third place finish today was his first podium since the Chinese Grand Prix of 2006. It was a welcome return to the podium for the 7 time world champion, who has encountered more than his fair share of bad luck during the races so far this season. His teammate made it good points haul for the Mercedes team as Nico Rosberg drove a series of quick laps towards the end of the race to snatch a strong 6th place on the line from Paul di Resta in the Force India.

The leading Mercedes of Nico Rosberg had a bitterly disappointing qualifying session as he could only manage 6th place on the grid. Rosberg claimed Hamilton had impeded his final run in Q3 and was fuming with the stewards' decision to let the Briton go scot-free. Michael Schumacher did not make it into Q3 and qualified his Mercedes in a humble 12th place. The lap times were incredibly close though as Schumacher missed the cut into Q3 only by a scant 0.068 s.


Golden Opportunity lost for McLaren as Hamilton bumped out of European GP; Button ends in a lowly 8th place

The McLaren team was left fuming as Lewis Hamilton was bumped out of the European Grand Prix by Pastor Maldonado in the dying moments of the race. Maldonado attempted an ill-fated overtaking move into a corner where there was no more room left and he drove straight into the McLaren, costing Lewis Hamilton what looked certain to be a podium finish. Jenson Button salvaged some points for McLaren as he finished the race in 8th place.

The McLaren team had championship leader Lewis Hamilton qualifying on the front row of the grid in second place. Hamilton was delighted with his front-row start praising his team for changes to the car set-up between FP3 and qualifying making the car quick. Jenson Button qualified in 9th place, just four-tenths behind his fellow Briton, but that was sufficient to spiral him down the grid. Button had cause to be optimistic as he had qualified better than he had done in Monaco or Canada. The decision to revert to Hamilton’s car set-up bore fruit for Button, aiding his progress to the 5th row of the grid.


Maldonado blows podium opportunity in Valencia with moment of madness, Senna brings home his Williams in 10th place

Pastor Maldonado could have finished on the podium in Valencia, had it not been for a rush of blood as he took out the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton with just 2 laps to go. The incident resulted in the race stewards penalizing the Venezuelan by giving him a drive-through penalty which converts to a time penalty of 20 seconds to his race time. As a result Maldonado dropped down the final classification from 10th place to finish outside the points in 12th. The race was a case of missed points for the Williams team as Maldonado lost his cool when he needed it the most. Maldonado’s penalty however promoted teammate Bruno Senna to 10th place in the final results, earning the Brazilian a championship point.

Pastor Maldonado's fondness for Spanish circuits was on display again as he drove a sublime lap to qualify in 3rd place. The Venezuelan went fastest for a brief moment in Q3 but his time was beaten, nevertheless it was a very strong position for the race. His teammate Bruno Senna showed flashes of pace throughout the weekend but could not string a quick lap together to qualify in 14th place.


Force India enjoys rich haul of points in Valencia as Hulkenberg finishes 5th and Di Resta 7th

The Force India team converted a potentially strong weekend into an excellent points scoring race at the European Grand Prix in Valencia. Nico Hulkenberg finished the race in a strong 5th place while teammate Paul Di Resta made it a double points scoring day for the team, crossing the line in 7th place.

There was an air of disappointment in the Force India camp despite both Nico Hulkenberg and Paul Di Resta qualifying with ease in the top 10. The team caught the eye this weekend as Hulkenberg qualified in 8th place, with Briton Di Resta in 10th place. The fast natured streets of Valencia however brought out the team's most convincing performance of the season thus far.


Heart breaking European GP for Grosjean, Iceman Raikkonen takes commendable 2nd place

The Lotus team encountered contrasting fortunes today as Romain Grosjean battling for the race lead suffered an engine blow-up with less than 10 laps to go. The Frenchman looked supreme till his engine gave up on him, but teammate Kimi Raikkonen made the most of some late retirements in the race to bring home his E20 in a strong 2nd place.

The Lotus team showed their E20 could fly, after they finally got the track temperatures they were yearning for. Romain Grosjean carrying the weight of expectations as the next phenomenon from France drove his Lotus absolutely on the limit in his final run to qualify in 4th place. His teammate Kimi Raikkonen also found the sweet handling spot on his car as he was right behind Grosjean in 5th place at the end of qualifying. The Red Bulls and McLarens expected a big race threat from the black and gold cars.


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