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. Wednesday 1 April 2015

  2. 07:32

    Gallery: Best photos from the Malaysian GP

    F1
  3. Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Malaysia 07:14

    Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Malaysia

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

    F1
  4. Video of the Day: Vettel's radio message 05:08

    Video of the Day: Vettel's radio message

    Listen to Sebastian Vettel's radio transmission as he celebrates victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

    F1
  5. Tuesday 31 March 2015

  6. 16:23

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  7. Video: Domenicali on future of formula racing 15:07

    Video: Domenicali on future of formula racing

    Stefano Domenicali, President of the FIA Single-Seater Commission, discusses the future of formula racing.

    F1
  8. Unchanged grid for Long Beach ePrix 12:30

    Unchanged grid for Long Beach ePrix

    For the first time this season, Formula E's 20-strong grid will remain unchanged between races. Scott Speed, who narrowly…

    FE
  9. Feature: Malaysian GP's key questions 12:07

    Feature: Malaysian GP's key questions

    Prior to last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, GPUpdate.net posed five key questions for the second round of the season at the…

    F1
  10. Five F1 teams confirmed for Goodwood 10:48

    Five F1 teams confirmed for Goodwood

    Five Formula 1 teams have been confirmed on the line-up for this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed. World Champion team…

    F1
  11. Rossi to star at Goodwood Festival of Speed 10:21

    Rossi to star at Goodwood Festival of Speed

    Valentino Rossi will make his first appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year. The MotoGP legend will attend the…

    MotoGP
  12. Record-breaking Márquez targets Austin recovery 09:02

    Record-breaking Márquez targets Austin recovery

    World Champion Marc Márquez says he and Repsol Honda can recover at the next round of the MotoGP season at the Circuit of the…

    MotoGP
  13. Video of the Day: Rosberg's Sepang blog 05:16

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's Sepang blog

    A downbeat Nico Rosberg discusses the Malaysian Grand Prix as he reflects on his podium place at Sepang.

    F1
  14. Monday 30 March 2015

  15. Malaysian Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 16:44

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Sebastian Vettel surged clear to return Ferrari to the top step at the Malaysian Grand Prix as Mercedes was beaten for the first…

    F1
  16. Sauber rues 'missed opportunity' for points 14:29

    Sauber rues 'missed opportunity' for points

    Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn says her squad missed out on an opportunity to add more points to its tally as neither…

    F1
  17. Renault heartened by Ferrari success 12:41

    Renault heartened by Ferrari success

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says that the company must keep pushing as Ferrari's victory in the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  18. Video: Grand Prix of St. Petersburg highlights 11:38

    Video: Grand Prix of St. Petersburg highlights

    Watch highlights from the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg as Juan Pablo Montoya took the win.

    Indy
  19. Wolff: Ferrari victory 'good' for Formula 1 11:22

    Wolff: Ferrari victory 'good' for Formula 1

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that Sebastian Vettel's triumph at the Malaysian Grand Prix is positive for Formula 1, as…

    F1
  20. Ericsson believes seventh was possible 10:50

    Ericsson believes seventh was possible

    Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson believes that seventh place was possible for the squad in Malaysia, had he not spun out of…

    F1
  21. Rossi revels in 'one of the best races' 09:12

    Rossi revels in 'one of the best races'

    Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi described his victory in the season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar as one of the best races of his…

    MotoGP
  22. Arrivabene urges Ferrari to maintain progress 08:30

    Arrivabene urges Ferrari to maintain progress

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene says the squad must remain realistic, despite claiming its first victory in almost…

    F1
  23. Video of the Day: Get ready for Long Beach 05:17

    Video of the Day: Get ready for Long Beach

    Formula E stays in the United States for round six of its inaugural season – the Long Beach ePrix.

    FE
  24. 01:23

    Championship standings after Malaysia

    F1
  25. Sunday 29 March 2015

  26. Montoya outduels Power to take St. Pete victory 23:16

    Montoya outduels Power to take St. Pete victory

    Juan Pablo Montoya held off team-mate and pole-sitter Will Power to win the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St.…

    Indy
  27. Pedrosa reveals arm injury, considering future 22:30

    Pedrosa reveals arm injury, considering future

    Honda's Dani Pedrosa says he is considering his options after revealing that he has been suffering with an arm problem for over…

    MotoGP
  28. Rossi beats Dovizioso in Qatar thriller 19:51

    Rossi beats Dovizioso in Qatar thriller

    Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi claimed victory in the opening round of the MotoGP season in Qatar as he beat Ducati's Andrea…

    MotoGP
  29. Video: Will Power's record St. Pete lap 17:06

    Video: Will Power's record St. Pete lap

    Enjoy Will Power's record pole-winning lap for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

    Indy
  30. 16:02

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Sepang

    F1
  31. Räikkönen achieves 'maximum' after puncture 15:20

    Räikkönen achieves 'maximum' after puncture

    Kimi Räikkönen says fourth position was the best result possible after he sustained a puncture during the early stages of the…

    F1
  32. McLaren drivers say pace 'a nice surprise' 13:41

    McLaren drivers say pace 'a nice surprise'

    Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button say that McLaren-Honda's raw pace during the Malaysian Grand Prix came as "a nice…

    F1
  33. Verstappen delighted with maiden points 12:59

    Verstappen delighted with maiden points

    Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen expressed his satisfaction after becoming the youngest ever points scorer in Formula 1…

    F1
  34. Ferrari Chairman hails 'incredibly hard work' 12:44

    Ferrari Chairman hails 'incredibly hard work'

    Sergio Marchionne praised the "incredibly hard work" of his Ferrari team after Sebastian Vettel took victory in the Malaysian…

    F1
  35. Kvyat: Hülkenberg clash a racing incident 12:12

    Kvyat: Hülkenberg clash a racing incident

    Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat played down his contact with Force India rival Nico Hülkenberg during the Malaysian Grand Prix, which…

    F1
  36. Brake issues hampers Maldonado at Sepang 12:09

    Brake issues hampers Maldonado at Sepang

    Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado was forced to retire from the Malaysian Grand Prix with a brake issue, as his and the squad's…

    F1
  37. Rosberg wants improved communication 12:05

    Rosberg wants improved communication

    Nico Rosberg has urged Mercedes to improve communication after he came home a distant third in the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  38. Merhi elated by maiden Formula 1 finish 11:54

    Merhi elated by maiden Formula 1 finish

    Formula 1 debutant Roberto Merhi expressed his joy after he was able to finish his first ever race in the sport as he came home…

    F1
  39. Hamilton: Ferrari too fast for us today 11:42

    Hamilton: Ferrari too fast for us today

    Lewis Hamilton has admitted that Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari were simply "too fast" to deal with during the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  40. Sepang extends Formula 1 deal to 2018 11:22

    Sepang extends Formula 1 deal to 2018

    Sepang will continue to play host to the Malaysian Grand Prix after organisers agreed a new deal to remain on the Formula 1…

    F1
  41. Vettel 'speechless' after first Ferrari win 11:16

    Vettel 'speechless' after first Ferrari win

    Sebastian Vettel said claiming his first victory for Ferrari during Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix initially left him lost for…

    F1
  42. 09:59

    In full: Malaysian Grand Prix race result

    F1
  43. Vettel breaks Mercedes run with Sepang win 09:54

    Vettel breaks Mercedes run with Sepang win

    Sebastian Vettel claimed his first victory for Ferrari as the team pulled off a two-stop strategy to beat Mercedes, which had…

    F1
  44. 07:46

    Follow the Malaysian Grand Prix live!

    F1
more news