Alonso wins action-packed European Grand Prix

Alonso wins action-packed European Grand Prix

24 June 2012 – Fernando Alonso has become the first two-time race winner of 2012, winning the European Grand Prix in Valencia from 11th on the grid. After Sebastian Vettel retired, having previously held a 20-second lead, Kimi Räikkönen stole second place from Lewis Hamilton, who then crashed while battling with Pastor Maldonado. The incident helped Michael Schumacher seal a first podium result since returning to Formula 1.

Grosjean moved up to third as the red lights went out
On Saturday, Vettel achieved a hat-trick of Valencia pole positions and was aiming for a similar result in today’s race. With another blue sky on offer, the increased temperatures were expected to throw up a number of variables, but eventually the track surface was only two degrees hotter than 24 hours ago. Instead, a mixture of pit-stop strategies, on-track incidents and the deployment of the Safety Car would be the greatest influences.

A clean start saw Vettel pull away from Hamilton, stretching out a very comfortable advantage until his pit-stop on Lap 15; he duly remained in the lead when leaving the pits. Behind, Romain Grosjean had grabbed third place off the line before pulling a superb move on Hamilton around the outside of Turn 12. The Safety Car was then deployed when Jean-Éric Vergne drove into Heikki Kovalainen, leaving both drivers with punctures.

Unbelievably, Vettel ground to a halt when the race restarted on Lap 27, possibly because of an issue which built up under Safety Car conditions. To the delight of the Spanish crowd, Alonso – who has just overhauled Grosjean in an aggressive move at Turn 2 - now led the race, having previously jumped Kimi Räikkönen in the pits and made on-track overtakes on Nico Hülkenberg, Pastor Maldonado, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher and Paul di Resta, who was the only man to stop once.

On the run-up to the race weekend, Romain Grosjean had been tipped as a favourite by many; now running second, he possessed fresher tyres than Alonso and was looking to mount a challenge. However, the Franco-Swiss suffered an alternator failure and stopped at the back of the marina on Lap 41. It was at this point that Schumacher dived into the pits for fresh tyres before building up a remarkable recover drive.

The race featured a number of mishaps. First, Bruno Senna and Kamui Kobayashi made contact at Turn 7, as the Williams driver moved towards the Sauber and pitched himself into a dramatic spin; Senna was duly given a drive-through penalty. Now out of contention thanks to a broken front wing, Kobayashi received a penalty of his own for driving into the Ferrari of Ferrari Massa while coming off the swing bridge. Another man in the wars was Daniel Ricciardo; after Vitaly Petrov’s three-stop strategy failed to pay off, losing a points position, the Russian was clipped by the Australian at Turn 14, with the latter flying into the air.

In the closing stages, Alonso led and controlled the pace as second placed Hamilton’s tyres began to fall off the cliff. Kimi Räikkönen, making up for some of the disappointment suffered by Grosjean, stole the position at Turn 12. Maldonado, who had started third and ran in the top five for most of the race, then attacked in the same place on the penultimate lap; halfway alongside Hamilton but given little space at Turn 13, the two cars touched as the McLaren flew into the barriers – an incident not dissimilar to that of Monaco 2011. A furious Hamilton was left to walk back to the pits as Maldonado, with a broken front wing, finished tenth.

With impressive pace in the closing stages, Schumacher had fought his way up to sixth as he and Mark Webber passed Nico Hülkenberg shortly before the chequered flag; the Hamilton-Maldonado collision allowed the pair to finish third and fourth, marking Schumacher’s first rostrum result since the Chinese Grand Prix of 2006. As Hülkenberg recorded a career-best finish, Nico Rosberg set a string of fastest laps to shoot from 11th to sixth place in the final minutes of the race. The Safety Car scuppered Paul di Resta’s day, with Jenson Button scoring only four points for eighth. Sergio Pérez managed ninth for Sauber as team-mate Kobayashi was handed a five-place grid penalty for the next race at Silverstone.

Alonso’s 29th F1 victory means he is the man who ends the run of seven different victors at the start of the 2012 campaign. He last won on home turf for Renault, having celebrated victory six years ago at the Circuit de Catalunya. As the championship lead changes yet again, he now carries a 20-point lead over Mark Webber, whose own amazing drive saw him reach fourth from 19th on the grid.


The 2012 Formula 1 season continues with Round 10 at Silverstone, the home of British motor racing, in two weeks’ time

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 28 August 2015

  2. Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message 05:23

    Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message

    Mercedes partner BOSE covers radio tranmissions in the latest part of its 'Sounds of Formula 1' series.

    F1
  3. Thursday 27 August 2015

  4. 18:26

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  5. Alonso expects 'completely different' second half 17:59

    Alonso expects 'completely different' second half

    Fernando Alonso is predicting a "completely different" performance from McLaren-Honda over the second half of the season, as the…

    F1
  6. Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops 15:12

    Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are likely to take grid penalties at the Italian…

    F1
  7. Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat 14:24

    Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat

    Robin Frijns has set his sights on securing the vacant race seat at Andretti for the upcoming Formula E campaign, but says…

    FE
  8. Video: IndyCar drivers preview Sonoma finale 13:02

    Video: IndyCar drivers preview Sonoma finale

    IndyCar drivers preview this weekend's season finale at Sonoma, which takes place under a cloud following Justin Wilson's death.…

    Indy
  9. Mallya confident of keeping Hülkenberg 10:42

    Mallya confident of keeping Hülkenberg

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says he is "quite confident" of retaining Nico Hülkenberg's services for the 2016 season…

    F1
  10. Chilton reveals Haas F1 discussions 09:37

    Chilton reveals Haas F1 discussions

    Former Marussia racer Max Chilton has revealed that he has held discussions with the arriving Haas F1 Team over a potential…

    F1
  11. Kvyat to demo Formula 1 car in Russia 08:22

    Kvyat to demo Formula 1 car in Russia

    Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat will showcase Formula 1 machinery in his native Russia on Sunday. Kvyat is set to get behind the…

    F1
  12. Video of the Day: Hamilton's summer holiday 05:06

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's summer holiday

    Take a look at what Lewis Hamilton got up to during his summer break away from Formula 1.

    F1
  13. Wednesday 26 August 2015

  14. Crutchlow pens new two-year LCR deal 14:35

    Crutchlow pens new two-year LCR deal

    British rider Cal Crutchlow has secured his MotoGP future until the end of 2017 after signing a new two-year deal to remain with…

    MotoGP
  15. Lorenzo sees 'great opportunity' at Silverstone 13:28

    Lorenzo sees 'great opportunity' at Silverstone

    Jorge Lorenzo says he sees a "great opportunity" for himself and Yamaha at this weekend's British Grand Prix, as he looks to…

    MotoGP
  16. Video: Repsol Honda's British GP preview 12:36

    Video: Repsol Honda's British GP preview

    Repsol Honda looks ahead to this weekend's British MotoGP Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit.

    MotoGP
  17. Chilton: Closed cockpits in five to 10 years 11:43

    Chilton: Closed cockpits in five to 10 years

    Former Marussia driver Max Chilton is certain that Formula 1 will adopt closed cockpits in the future, and expects the switch to…

    F1
  18. Feature: Belgian GP's key questions 11:21

    Feature: Belgian GP's key questions

    Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Spa-Francorchamps, GPUpdate.net posed five questions and pondered the outcomes.…

    F1
  19. Vettel defends Ferrari's Belgian GP strategy 09:46

    Vettel defends Ferrari's Belgian GP strategy

    Sebastian Vettel has spoken out in defence of Ferrari's strategy at the Belgian Grand Prix, insisting that the decision to…

    F1
  20. Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Belgium 07:27

    Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Belgium

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net's race-by-race series, Story Behind the Shot, continues throughout…

    F1
  21. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Downforce 05:23

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Downforce

    McLaren highlights how much downforce is generated by a modern Formula 1 car.

    F1
  22. Tuesday 25 August 2015

  23. 18:18

    Photos: FE pre-season testing – Day 6

    FE
  24. Prost heads e.Dams 1-2 on final test day 18:11

    Prost heads e.Dams 1-2 on final test day

    Nicolas Prost edged out team-mate Sébastien Buemi in a Renault e.Dams 1-2 on the final day of pre-season testing at Donington…

    FE
  25. 16:20

    Photo gallery: Justin Wilson (1978-2015)

    Indy
  26. Toro Rosso remembers 'true racer' Wilson 15:07

    Toro Rosso remembers 'true racer' Wilson

    Toro Rosso has paid tribute to Justin Wilson, who raced for the team in Formula 1 under its previous guise of Minardi, after…

    F1
  27. Smith extends Tech 3 deal through 2016 14:16

    Smith extends Tech 3 deal through 2016

    Bradley Smith has extended his contract with Tech 3 Yamaha through 2016. Smith made the step up to MotoGP with Tech 3 after…

    MotoGP
  28. Ferrari doesn't want 'fight' with Pirelli 13:19

    Ferrari doesn't want 'fight' with Pirelli

    Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says the outfit does not want to get involved in a "fight" with Formula 1 tyre supplier…

    F1
  29. Horner on Renault: 'Business as usual' 12:43

    Horner on Renault: 'Business as usual'

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has insisted that it is "business as usual" with engine supplier Renault, amid speculation…

    F1
  30. Video: Wilson triumphs at Texas in 2012 11:47

    Video: Wilson triumphs at Texas in 2012

    Look back at Justin Wilson's triumph at the Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, his last IndyCar victory.

    Indy
  31. Motorsport pays tribute to Justin Wilson 10:38

    Motorsport pays tribute to Justin Wilson

    IndyCar and the wider motorsport community have been paying tribute to Justin Wilson, following the news of his passing on…

    Indy
  32. Remembering Justin Wilson, 1978-2015 08:16

    Remembering Justin Wilson, 1978-2015

    Justin Wilson died aged 37 on Monday evening after succumbing to injuries sustained in last weekend's IndyCar race at Pocono.…

    Indy
  33. Video of the Day: Formula E Tokyo run 05:04

    Video of the Day: Formula E Tokyo run

    Ex-F1 driver Sakon Yamamoto demonstrates a Formula E car around the streets of Tokyo in Japan.

    FE
  34. Justin Wilson succumbs to head injury 02:17

    Justin Wilson succumbs to head injury

    IndyCar driver Justin Wilson has died from a head injury sustained in Sunday's race at Pocono. Wilson was struck in the head…

    Indy
  35. Monday 24 August 2015

  36. 19:37

    Photos: FE pre-season testing – Day 5

    FE
  37. Bird on top as final Formula E test begins 19:34

    Bird on top as final Formula E test begins

    DS Virgin Racing driver Sam Bird clocked the quickest time as the final Formula E pre-season test got underway at a cold and wet…

    FE
  38. Wilson remains in coma with severe head injury 18:06

    Wilson remains in coma with severe head injury

    IndyCar has confirmed that Justin Wilson remains in a coma in hospital after he sustained a severe head injury during the…

    Indy
  39. Belgian Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 16:40

    Belgian Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton led home a Mercedes 1-2 while Lotus' Romain Grosjean returned to the podium. Here…

    F1
  40. Vandoorne delighted with home victory 16:04

    Vandoorne delighted with home victory

    GP2 Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne says it was "special" to claim his fifth Feature Race victory of the year at his home race…

    GP2
  41. Wolff 'proud' of Mercedes triumph 14:50

    Wolff 'proud' of Mercedes triumph

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he was proud of his team as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg secured its seventh 1-2 finish of the…

    F1
  42. Räikkönen: We are doing the right things 13:35

    Räikkönen: We are doing the right things

    Kimi Räikkönen says that Ferrari is doing the right things as a team, but hopes that his luck will change across the remainder…

    F1
  43. Durán joins Trulli Formula E team 13:07

    Durán joins Trulli Formula E team

    Salvador Durán will join the Trulli Formula E team for the second season of the FIA's electric championship. Durán ranked…

    FE
  44. Rosberg says tyre situation 'not acceptable' 13:06

    Rosberg says tyre situation 'not acceptable'

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg says the tyre failures suffered by himself and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel in Belgium were "not…

    F1
  45. Stevens compromised by start contact 12:02

    Stevens compromised by start contact

    Manor Marussia driver Will Stevens says that his chances of beating team-mate Roberto Merhi in the Belgian Grand Prix were…

    F1
more news