Website: http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2012/6/13498.html Posted as Individual.
Alonso triumphs in Valencia thriller 24 Jun 2012
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso scored a sensational victory for Ferrari – and Spain – in an action-packed 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe in Valencia on Sunday afternoon, despite starting only 11th. And on a day when neither Lewis Hamilton nor Sebastian Vettel finished, Alonso went back into a healthy world championship lead.
Podium (L to R): Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari, Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 and Andrea Stella (ITA) Ferrari race Engineer celebrate on the podium. F1 European GP Valencia Spain Jun 24, 2012.
For the first 34 laps Vettel and Red Bull owned the twisty track round the Spanish port. The German lit off from pole position and could not be challenged as Hamilton kept Romain Grosjean bottled up behind his McLaren. Grosjean finally found a way by Hamilton on the 10th lap, but the Lotus driver could not then do anything about Vettel as a largely processional race went past its halfway point.
But then Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso collided with Heikki Kovalainen’s Caterham on the 27th lap, prompting the deployment of the safety car on the 28th. It closed up the field until the 34th lap, when racing started again. Vettel immediately leapt back into the lead, but by the end of the lap his Red Bull was missing. It had coasted to a stop by the side of the track.
That wasn’t all. Alonso had steadily been moving up ever since the start, when he had jumped into eighth place. He was up to third when the safety car came out, but grabbed a place from Grosjean on the 34th lap when the race restarted and thus inherited the lead upon Vettel’s demise.
The Frenchman never gave up and kept the gap at less than a second, but just as a great battle came into prospect, he too suddenly slowed on the 40th lap and stopped by the side of the track with a suspected alternator failure.
That left Hamilton back in second place, delayed after yet another pit-stop drama, this time with the left-front wheel after the front jack appeared to fail. He was having to fend off a hungry Kimi Raikkonen in the other Lotus, who’d lost out to Williams’ Pastor Maldonado at the start and then spent the afternoon getting back into a challenging position. He finally got by Hamilton with three laps to go as the McLaren’s tyres were finished, but just didn’t have time to challenge the Ferrari.
Hamilton was under extreme pressure from Maldonado in the closing laps as the Williams driver closed in, but after running side-by-side for several corners they finally collided, Hamilton’s McLaren being pitched into the wall as at least 12 points disappeared.
All of that set the scene for Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher and Red Bull’s Mark Webber to come slamming through after late tyre stops, on the 44th and 38th laps respectively. They swept by Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Sauber’s Sergio Perez, then the Force Indias of Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg, before the demise of Hamilton and Maldonado elevated them to third and fourth places. For the German it was the first podium of his comeback, the first for a 43 year-old since Jack Brabham at Brands Hatch in 1970.
Alonso now has 111 points, from Webber on 91. Then come Hamilton on 88 and Vettel on 85, as Rosberg moves to fifth on 75 and Raikkonen to sixth on 73.
In the constructors’ chase, Red Bull have 176 to McLaren’s 137, Lotus’s 126, Ferrari’s 122 and Mercedes’ 92.
Read more Race – Alonso triumphs in Valencia thriller | www.formula1.com
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:44:16.649
2 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault +6.4 secs
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes +12.6 secs
4 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault +13.6 secs
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +19.9 secs
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes +21.1 secs
7 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes +22.8 secs
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +24.6 secs
9 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari +27.7 secs
10 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault +35.9 secs
Ret Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 40 Alternator
Ret Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 33 Alternator
Ret Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 33 Accident damage
Ret Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 26 Accident damage
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:38.086
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:38.410
3 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:38.475
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:38.505
5 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:38.513
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.623
Valencia Street Circuit
Having only joined the Formula One calendar in 2008, Valencia retains a novelty factor for drivers, teams and spectators alike. The city’s 5.4 kilometre (3.4 mile) street track winds its way around the recently reconstructed America’s Cup marina and, as is the case at Monaco, the Mediterranean provides a spectacular backdrop.
Number of Laps: 57
Circuit Length: 5.419 km
Race Distance: 308.883 km
Lap Record: 1:38.683 – T Glock (2009)
Valencia F1 Street Circuit
Valencia Destination Guide
Valencia or València is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with around 809,000 inhabitants in the administrative centre. The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and the largest on the Mediterranean Sea, with a trade volume of 4.21 million TEU’s. (Wikipedia)
Valencia is located on the Mediterranean coast about 350km east of Madrid and 350km south of Barcelona.
Valencia, Spain – aerial view
Did you know? Valencia is the home of one of Spain’s most famous dishes, paella.
The Moorish conquerors in medieval times are responsible for much of the architecture in the city’s Old Town, known as El Carmen. One of the most spectacular buildings in the city is the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, with its extravagantly sculpted exterior.
Valencia – Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas
To get a 360-degree view of the city, you can climb up the 207 steps of the octagonal Miguelete bell tower. From there, you can see all of the city’s most famous tourist attractions, including the Modernista market, which, with its 900 food stalls, is a food lover’s heaven.
Valencia – Modernista market
While on the subject of food, you might want to try an authentic version of the local dish, paella. For those on a budget, try eating at Chust Godoy (6 Calle Boix); for those looking for something more exclusive, Alejandro (15 Calle Amadeo de Saboya) is the place to go.
Spend a day at the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of the Arts and Sciences). This magnificent 350,000 square-metre building is stuffed with exciting displays, the highlight being its Oceanografic, or Water World.
Valencia – Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
Or, if you’re looking for something more physical, head to ‘La Tomatina’, a tomato-throwing festival. It takes place on the last Wednesday of August every year in the town of Buñol, which is just a short trip from Valencia.
Buñol – La Tomatina Festival