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. Tuesday 19 September 2017

  2. 18:14

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  3. Rossi reports 'improved feeling' at Misano 18:11

    Rossi reports 'improved feeling' at Misano

    Valentino Rossi reported an "improved feeling" and a "more positive impression" as he tested for the second day in a row at…

    MotoGP
  4. In photos: Newgarden's path to the title 16:32

    In photos: Newgarden's path to the title

    IndyCar has a new champion in the form of Josef Newgarden after the American assimilated to Penske with ease, capturing four…

    Indy
  5. Aston Martin shows interest in engine supply 15:11

    Aston Martin shows interest in engine supply

    Aston Martin "might be interested" in becoming a Formula 1 engine supplier, depending on the make-up of the post-2020…

    F1
  6. In photos: Story of the Singapore Grand Prix 14:19

    In photos: Story of the Singapore Grand Prix

    Lewis Hamilton took full advantage of first-lap drama at Marina Bay to claim victory and move 28 points clear of title rival…

    F1
  7. F1 completes first 'truly live' 360º video trial 12:46

    F1 completes first 'truly live' 360º video trial

    Formula 1, in conjunction with technology partner Tata Communications, successfully completed the first test of "truly live…

    F1
  8. Video: IndyCar Sonoma extended highlights 12:02

    Video: IndyCar Sonoma extended highlights

    Watch extended highlights of IndyCar's title-deciding Grand Prix of Sonoma. Penske driver Josef Newgarden secured his maiden…

    Indy
  9. Sauber to revise procedures after Singapore 11:44

    Sauber to revise procedures after Singapore

    Sauber team boss Frédéric Vasseur says procedures will be revised after a "system error" compounded another challenging Grand…

    F1
  10. Pirelli reveals Malaysian GP tyre selections 11:24

    Pirelli reveals Malaysian GP tyre selections

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed drivers' selections for the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Red Bull and Ferrari going…

    F1
  11. Video: Verstappen on fitness in Formula 1 10:48

    Video: Verstappen on fitness in Formula 1

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen explains why a rigorous and meticulous training regime plays such a crucial role in the making of a…

    F1
  12. Magnussen praises F1 'for letting us race' 10:38

    Magnussen praises F1 'for letting us race'

    Haas driver Kevin Magnussen has praised Formula 1 chiefs "for letting us race" at the Singapore Grand Prix, after rain cast…

    F1
  13. Lowe: Stroll should be 'very proud' of drive 09:50

    Lowe: Stroll should be 'very proud' of drive

    Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says that Lance Stroll should be "very proud" of his drive to eighth in Singapore, marking…

    F1
  14. Hamilton: No reason to change approach 07:46

    Hamilton: No reason to change approach

    Lewis Hamilton says he will not change his approach to his title battle with Sebastian Vettel after opening a 28-point advantage…

    F1
  15. Video: Behind the scenes with Ferrari 05:40

    Video: Behind the scenes with Ferrari

    Go behind the scenes with Ferrari during last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

    F1
  16. Monday 18 September 2017

  17. Rossi tests at Misano to assess fitness 20:55

    Rossi tests at Misano to assess fitness

    Valentino Rossi completed a handful of laps at the Misano circuit on Monday to assess his fitness level ahead of a potential…

    MotoGP
  18. Newgarden: IndyCar title 'dream come true' 17:06

    Newgarden: IndyCar title 'dream come true'

    Josef Newgarden labelled his 2017 title as a "dream come true" after he was crowned as IndyCar's new champion by finishing…

    Indy
  19. Singapore Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 16:00

    Singapore Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Lewis Hamilton took a giant leap towards the title with victory on a circuit expected to favour Ferrari, after a dramatic first…

    F1
  20. Vandoorne encouraged by best result yet 15:24

    Vandoorne encouraged by best result yet

    Stoffel Vandoorne believes he was able to maximise the performance of his McLaren MCL32 as he claimed a career-best seventh at…

    F1
  21. Palmer overjoyed with first points of 2017 14:06

    Palmer overjoyed with first points of 2017

    Renault's Jolyon Palmer expressed his delight at capturing his first points of the 2017 campaign after finishing in sixth place…

    F1
  22. Renault-backed Aitken to get first F1 run 13:24

    Renault-backed Aitken to get first F1 run

    Renault Sport Academy member Jack Aitken will get his first run in Formula 1 machinery during a private test at the Circuito de…

    F1
  23. Pérez feels podium chance was missed 13:12

    Pérez feels podium chance was missed

    Force India's Sergio Pérez believes a podium opportunity slipped out of reach during the Singapore Grand Prix, before going on…

    F1
  24. Arrivabene insists Ferrari will not give up 11:58

    Arrivabene insists Ferrari will not give up

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has emphasised that the squad will keep fighting until the final lap of the 2017…

    F1
  25. Honda: McLaren found change difficult 11:25

    Honda: McLaren found change difficult

    Honda's motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto believes McLaren is a "systematic" company which can struggle to adapt to change, and…

    F1
  26. Red Bull feared Ricciardo gearbox exit 11:04

    Red Bull feared Ricciardo gearbox exit

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner says the squad feared that Daniel Ricciardo would have to retire from the Singapore…

    F1
  27. Video: IndyCar Sonoma race highlights 10:02

    Video: IndyCar Sonoma race highlights

    Watch race highlights from the final round of the IndyCar season at Sonoma as Simon Pagenaud takes victory, while Penske…

    Indy
  28. Wolff: Mercedes 'got a big slice of luck' 08:58

    Wolff: Mercedes 'got a big slice of luck'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has accepted that the team received "a big slice of luck" at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix…

    F1
  29. Video: How telemetry helps teams, fans 05:00

    Video: How telemetry helps teams, fans

    Formula E highlights the importance of telemetry in the all-electric series for teams and fans.

    FE
  30. 03:32

    Championship standings after Singapore

    F1
  31. 02:04

    Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Sonoma

    Indy
  32. Newgarden claims first career title at Sonoma 02:02

    Newgarden claims first career title at Sonoma

    Josef Newgarden may not have won the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, but his second-place finish to team-mate Simon…

    Indy
  33. Sunday 17 September 2017

  34. 18:02

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Marina Bay

    F1
  35. Bottas sets sights on Vettel in standings 17:59

    Bottas sets sights on Vettel in standings

    Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas has declared that overhauling Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the title standings is his next target…

    F1
  36. Alonso reckons podium finish was possible 17:42

    Alonso reckons podium finish was possible

    McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso reckons a podium finish was possible in the Singapore Grand Prix, had he escaped the first-lap…

    F1
  37. Räikkönen: Pointless to blame anybody 17:24

    Räikkönen: Pointless to blame anybody

    Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen has backed the decision of the stewards not to apportion blame for the opening lap collision at the…

    F1
  38. No further action over first-lap incident 16:52

    No further action over first-lap incident

    No further action has been taken over the first-lap incident involving Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen and…

    F1
  39. Sainz Jr. wanted 'perfect' weekend for STR 16:38

    Sainz Jr. wanted 'perfect' weekend for STR

    Carlos Sainz Jr. expressed his delight at delivering a "perfect" weekend for Toro Rosso in Singapore after confirmation that he…

    F1
  40. Horner: Verstappen critics need eye test 16:14

    Horner: Verstappen critics need eye test

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says anybody who blames Max Verstappen for the first-lap drama at the Singapore Grand Prix…

    F1
  41. 'I can't win the bloody thing!' - Ricciardo 15:57

    'I can't win the bloody thing!' - Ricciardo

    Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo joked that he "can't win the bloody thing" after he finished on the podium at the Singapore Grand…

    F1
  42. Hamilton wanted to race Vettel for win 15:47

    Hamilton wanted to race Vettel for win

    Lewis Hamilton says he wanted to race Sebastian Vettel for the win in Singapore, in the wake of the start melee, before…

    F1
  43. 15:17

    Championship standings after Singapore

    F1
more news