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Wednesday, Aug 20th

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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.


René Rast takes pole position in round 5 of Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup

At the return of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup to the Valencia Street Circuit, René Rast (Germany) takes up Sunday's race from pole position. At the wheel of Lechner Racing's 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup which is based on the street-legal lightweight 911 GT3 RS sports car, the title defender nailed the fastest time shortly before the end of the qualifying session. Securing the best time on the street circuit around the America's Cup harbour was a perfect birthday present for his team boss Walter Lechner Jnr.

Driving his team's newly prepared 911, René Rast, winner of this race in 2009 and 2010, was an unbelievable 0.592 seconds quicker than the second-placed Monaco winner from Great Britain Sean Edwards (Konrad Motorsport). In the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, which gains it appeal not least due its extremely tight competition and tough fights for positions, this gap is huge. Competing for VELTINS Lechner Racing, Norbert Siedler from Austria occupied third place another two-tenths of a second behind. The winner from Bahrain shares the second grid row with Frenchman Kévin Estre (Hermes Attempto Racing), who clinched second at Monaco.


Vettel romps home to Pole position in Valencia, Four different constructors in top 4

vettel_on_poleCometh the hour cometh the man, and up stepped world champion Sebastian Vettel. The German ace was at his dominant best taming the free flowing streets of Valencia to secure a hat-trick of pole positions under perfect racing conditions. Vettel set a blistering lap of 1.38.086 seconds to seal top place on the starting grid, with Lewis Hamilton a distant second for McLaren while Pastor Maldonado conjured a bit of magic to qualify in 3rd place. The Lotus duo of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen had a good session as they line up in 4th and 5th place respectively for tomorrow's European Grand Prix.

Vettel was delighted with his performance in qualifying today, sharing, “I think it was a great recovery from Q1 and Q2 today, as I didn’t feel entirely happy in those. It had been a good weekend leading up to qualifying, but conditions changed before Q1. However in the end we pulled it altogether. Everyone has worked very hard with preparing new parts for the car, which seem to be a step forward. Bringing new parts is not always straightforward, as we’ve seen. Often people try things on Friday, but then go back to their previous set up for the weekend. However this weekend we seem to have made a step forward, although we will give them a proper try tomorrow. We have been good here in previous years, so hopefully we can keep it up for tomorrow. The guys deserve that, they have worked hard all weekend.”


European GP: Button comes out on top in FP3, Lotus unleash potential to finish 2nd and 3rd

The McLaren of Jenson Button came up trumps in the final practice session in Valencia with a scorching 1.38.562 lap. The Briton was pursued by the Lotus duo of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen as they finished in 2nd and 3rd place on the timesheets. The Force Indias impressed once again as Nico Hulkenberg and Paul Di Resta were the 4th and 5th fastest drivers respectively.

The final practice session in Valencia began under perfect racing conditions, as drivers were instantly out to do an installation lap on the medium tyres. Valencia, with its varying temperatures is expected to throw a number of variables into the mix this weekend. The cooler than expected conditions on Friday were supplanted this morning by glorious temperatures expected in the Spanish city at this time of the year. Pirelli's soft –compound tyres degraded quicker than expected on Friday much to the disbelief of the entire paddock.


European GP Free Practice Wrap: Vettel blazes ahead to be fastest on Friday, Top 15 cars covered by a second

Two time defending European Grand Prix winner and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel threw down the marker on a supercharged Friday practice session at Valencia where the top 15 cars on the time sheets were separated by less than a second.

Vettel though was quick to play down the importance of being top of the charts on Friday, and shared, â€œWe have tried some new parts on the car today, but the lap times have not really allowed us to have a fair conclusion of them yet. It was important to have a clean practice today and I’m happy with what we did. The conditions will change again for Sunday I think; it was a bit cooler today, which will make a difference. It’s close between the teams and it’s not yet clear what the right strategy is for Sunday, hopefully we can make a step forward tomorrow.”


Q&A with Toyota Racing Team President Yoshiaki Kinoshita

TOYOTA Racing arrived at the Le Mans 24 Hours for its very first race expecting a challenge for its new TS030 HYBRID prototypes. A fine qualifying effort saw the #7 of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima take fifth place on the starting grid, but #8 managed even better. Anthony Davidson, who shared the car with Stéphane Sarrazin and Sébastien Buemi, took third place in qualifying to set up a dramatic race.

Throughout the opening hours, the two TOYOTA Racing cars used their hybrid system - which recovers energy under braking, stores it in super capacitors and releases it under acceleration for a significant power boost - to fight at the front of the field.


European GP Feature: Past & Present

After a brief visit to the Americas, the Formula One travelling circus returns to Europe and specifically HRT’s home country for the 2012 Formula One GP of Europe this weekend. Historically the European GP was an honorary title, created by the FIA’s predecessor and first awarded to Monza, home of the Italian GP in 1923. The European GP has been staged at five different circuits - Nurburgring, Brands Hatch, Jerez, Donington and at present on the streets of Valencia. The European GP is often the turning point in any Formula one season and a testament to this fact are the intensely fought races over the years.

Historical European GP’s


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