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. Monday 25 May 2015

  2. 01:12

    Championship standings after Monaco

    F1
  3. Sunday 24 May 2015

  4. Montoya wins thrilling Indy 500 21:41

    Montoya wins thrilling Indy 500

    Juan Pablo Montoya has won the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 in a back-and-forth battle with several cars, beating…

    Indy
  5. 18:02

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday in Monaco

    F1
  6. Button says points a 'hugely positive step' 17:40

    Button says points a 'hugely positive step'

    Jenson Button says scoring points in the Monaco Grand Prix marks a "hugely positive step" for the renewed McLaren-Honda…

    F1
  7. Renault 'going in the right direction' 17:30

    Renault 'going in the right direction'

    Renault believes that it is heading "in the right direction" after the brand recorded its best result of the season at the…

    F1
  8. Verstappen given five-place grid penalty 16:47

    Verstappen given five-place grid penalty

    Max Verstappen has been given a five-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix following his clash with Romain Grosjean in…

    F1
  9. 16:35

    Follow the 99th Indianapolis 500 live!

    Indy
  10. Vettel pleased to capitalise on Mercedes error 16:15

    Vettel pleased to capitalise on Mercedes error

    Sebastian Vettel expressed his satisfaction after capitalising on Mercedes' strategic error in the closing stages of the Monaco…

    F1
  11. Wolff apologises for Hamilton pit blunder 16:01

    Wolff apologises for Hamilton pit blunder

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has apologised to Lewis Hamilton for the pit blunder that cost him a near certain Monaco Grand Prix…

    F1
  12. Rosberg admits Monaco victory 'lucky' 15:38

    Rosberg admits Monaco victory 'lucky'

    Nico Rosberg has admitted that he was lucky to win the Monaco Grand Prix after the late drama involving team-mate Lewis…

    F1
  13. Video: Verstappen crashes out in Monaco 15:27

    Video: Verstappen crashes out in Monaco

    Max Verstappen dramatically crashed out of the Monaco Grand Prix after a collision with Romain Grosjean.

    F1
  14. 15:15

    In full: Monaco Grand Prix race result

    F1
  15. Rosberg wins in Monaco amid late drama 15:01

    Rosberg wins in Monaco amid late drama

    Nico Rosberg claimed a third successive Monaco Grand Prix victory after Mercedes controversially opted to pit team-mate and…

    F1
  16. 12:42

    Follow the Monaco Grand Prix live!

    F1
  17. 11:31

    Revised starting grid for the Monaco GP

    F1
  18. Video: Van Buuren, Bonifacio in huge crash 11:20

    Video: Van Buuren, Bonifacio in huge crash

    Meindert van Buuren and Bruno Bonifacio clash spectacularly during the FR3.5 race in Monaco.

    FR 3.5
  19. Jaafar takes maiden win in messy race 11:02

    Jaafar takes maiden win in messy race

    Jazeman Jaafar followed up his first pole in Formula Renault 3.5 with victory around the streets of Monaco on Sunday…

    FR 3.5
  20. Brundle positive over Pirelli's 18-inch tyre 08:47

    Brundle positive over Pirelli's 18-inch tyre

    Ex-Formula 1 driver turned television commentator Martin Brundle praised Pirelli's efforts after trialling the company's 18-inch…

    F1
  21. Video of the Day: Rosberg's Monaco tour 05:12

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's Monaco tour

    Nico Rosberg and David Coulthard go on a trip around Monaco ahead of the Grand Prix.

    F1
  22. Saturday 23 May 2015

  23. Di Grassi disqualified, d'Ambrosio gets win 20:34

    Di Grassi disqualified, d'Ambrosio gets win

    Lucas di Grassi has been stripped of his Berlin ePrix victory over technical breaches, promoting Jérôme d'Ambrosio to a maiden…

    FE
  24. 17:02

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Monaco

    F1
  25. Ricciardo feels miscommunication cost third 16:53

    Ricciardo feels miscommunication cost third

    Daniel Ricciardo believes a miscommunication from the Red Bull pit wall cost him a chance of claiming third place on the grid at…

    F1
  26. Di Grassi extends title lead with Berlin victory 16:44

    Di Grassi extends title lead with Berlin victory

    Abt driver Lucas di Grassi extended his Formula E championship lead with a comfortable victory in the Berlin ePrix on Saturday…

    FE
  27. Räikkönen expects to pay 'big price' 16:25

    Räikkönen expects to pay 'big price'

    Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen says he expects to pay a "big price" in the Monaco Grand Prix after qualifying back in sixth…

    F1
  28. Stanaway claims maiden GP2 win in Monaco 15:59

    Stanaway claims maiden GP2 win in Monaco

    Richie Stanaway took advantage of a slow start from pole man Raffaele Marciello to secure the first GP2 victory for both himself…

    GP2
  29. Sainz Jr. hit with pit lane start by stewards 15:48

    Sainz Jr. hit with pit lane start by stewards

    Carlos Sainz Jr. will start the Monaco Grand Prix from the pit lane after he was handed a severe penalty for missing the…

    F1
  30. Button sure he would have reached Q3 15:37

    Button sure he would have reached Q3

    Jenson Button is sure that he would have reached Q3 in Monaco, had he not been hindered by yellow flags at the start of his…

    F1
  31. Williams still targets double points finish 15:17

    Williams still targets double points finish

    Williams is still hoping to get both cars home in the points-paying positions in Monaco, despite a disappointing qualifying…

    F1
  32. Verstappen blames Q3 slump on tyres 15:09

    Verstappen blames Q3 slump on tyres

    Max Verstappen says he was unable to make an impression during the final qualifying phase in Monaco as his tyres "were not…

    F1
  33. Rosberg says he lost rhythm in qualifying 14:41

    Rosberg says he lost rhythm in qualifying

    Nico Rosberg has conceded that he lost his rhythm after Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton beat him to pole position in…

    F1
  34. Hamilton hails 'very special' Monaco pole 14:34

    Hamilton hails 'very special' Monaco pole

    Lewis Hamilton has described claiming pole position in Monaco for the first time during his Formula 1 career as a "very special…

    F1
  35. 14:23

    Monaco Grand Prix: Qualifying results

    F1
  36. Hamilton beats Rosberg to Monaco pole 14:11

    Hamilton beats Rosberg to Monaco pole

    Lewis Hamilton stormed to his first ever Monaco Grand Prix pole position during Saturday afternoon's qualifying session in the…

    F1
  37. 12:46

    Follow qualifying for the Monaco GP!

    F1
  38. Pirelli plans to bid for tyre supply renewal 12:18

    Pirelli plans to bid for tyre supply renewal

    Pirelli says it plans to bid to extend its stay as Formula 1's tyre supplier when its current deal expires at the end of next…

    F1
  39. 11:18

    Monaco Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    F1
  40. Vettel fastest, Räikkönen crashes in FP3 11:06

    Vettel fastest, Räikkönen crashes in FP3

    Sebastian Vettel comfortably led the Mercedes drivers during final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, while Ferrari team-mate…

    F1
  41. 09:47

    Follow final practice for the Monaco GP!

    F1
  42. Video of the Day: Hamilton chats with Henry 05:04

    Video of the Day: Hamilton chats with Henry

    Lewis Hamilton chats with Thierry Henry about winning and losing after their recent football match.

    F1
  43. Friday 22 May 2015

  44. 19:47

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
more news