Former F1 champions Alonso, Kimi and Schumacher rule in Valencia: Force India have their best day this season

It rarely happens in Formula ,1 that the sound of an F1 car is overshadowed by the roar of the crowd. It happened today in Valencia. Ferrari’s No 1 driver, Fernando Alonso was more than happy to win in front of home crowd. After 8 races, Alonso is the first driver to win two grand prix’s this season (other win was in Malaysia) and he now tops the driver’s points table. Along with him, on the podium, were other former champions, Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher, yes Schumi finally gets on the podium this season.

Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton (especially) would want to forget this race. Vettel, the winner here for the last two seasons, had to retire when he was leading with a good 20 seconds on lap 35 due to engine stalling.

Vettel says, “We don’t know what happened yet. I lost drive and then the engine stalled and switched off. We don’t know what the problem is. Maybe it was the same problem Mark had on Friday. The safety car was not ideal for us and it might be that the retirement is in some regards down to the safety car. So yeah, it’s a shame.”

Romain on the other hand, was getting nearer and nearer to the new race leader – Fernando Alonso. But unluckily for him, his car’s alternator gave up, due to which he had to retire in the 41st lap. Romain said, “The car stopped, the engine stopped and I think it was because we had an alternator problem. The race was going perfect, we had a good start and it was a good performance. I thought I would get my first win because we were looking quicker than Ferrari. I am disappointed I didn’t get the chance to overtake.”

Lewis Hamilton could have won today’s race, only if he didn’t have that poor pit stop and didn’t crash into sidewall, courtesy Maldonado, ending his race just 2 laps before the chequered flag. Lewis was so visibly angry that he threw his steering wheel down on the track. After the race, Lewis said, “Big congratulations to Fernando. It was a tough day for us, but that’s life. You have to deal with it. We were a long way off winning today.”

Force India had their best day this season as their drivers, Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta finished 5th and 7th respectively, garnering 16 points in total for their team. Meanwhile, Timo Glock withdrew from today’s race. His team said, “The Marussia F1 Team can confirm that Timo is unable to compete in today’s race. Timo received medical guidance yesterday afternoon and his symptoms suggest that he is suffering from an intestinal infection. He has been advised that it would be unwise for him to race given the severity of the complaint and that he should focus instead on recuperating.”

Alonso said, “This is the most emotional win of my career, it is unexpected. It is a difficult time for Spain with the economic problems, and we knew we had to give something back. The win was not in our predictions, but we enjoyed it when we did it. We were lucky with some overtaking, because the moves were risky and aggressive, but they go for you sometimes.”

Michael Schumacher, said: “I didn’t think about a podium at all. I asked my guys at the end of the race where I finished and when they told me third, I couldn’t believe it. You lose count of where you are, it was busy at the end of the race.”

Kimi Raikkonen, said: “I think everybody had old tyres by the end, but I had enough tyres to get past Hamilton – but I didn’t have the speed today to challenge for the win. I made a good start but I was blocked by Maldonado so I was a bit behind, but made a good recovery from that position had some hard fighting and overtaking. But second place was not what we wanted.”

Button said, “Twelve years of experience doesn’t help you this year. I tried moves here and there and nothing worked out, but the car felt reasonably good in the race. The strategy was fine, but we didn’t have any luck.”

2012 Formula One European Grand Prix Final Results

1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari (5)
2 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault (8)
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes (RET)
4 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault (7)
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes (12)
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes (6)
7 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes (11)
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes (16)
9 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari (3)
10 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault (13)
11 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault (17)
12 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari (14)
13 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault (19)
14 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault (18)
15 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth (20)
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari (10)
17 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth (RET)
18 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth (RET)
19 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (1)
RET Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault (2)
RET Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault (4)
RET Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari (9)
RET Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari (15)
RET Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth (RET)

Note – Figure in brackets , is the position of the respective driver in the previous race.

2012 Formula One European Grand Prix Final Qualifying Results

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault (1)
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (2)
3 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault (17)
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault (7)
5 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault (12)
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes (5)
7 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari (11)
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes (13)
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes (10)
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes (8)
11 Fernando Alonso Ferrari (3)
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes (9)
13 Felipe Massa Ferrari (6)
14 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault (16)
15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari (15)
16 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault (18)
17 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari (14)
18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari (20)
19 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault (4)
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault (19)
21 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth (21)
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth (24)
23 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth (23)
24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth (24)

Note – Figure in brackets, is qualifying position of the respective driver in previous F1 race this season.

2012 F1 DRIVERS’ STANDINGS after European Grand Prix

1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari – 111
2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault – 91
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes – 88
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault – 85
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes – 75
6 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault – 73
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault – 53
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes – 49
9 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 39
10 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault – 30
11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes – 27
12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari – 21
13 Michael Schumacher Mercedes – 17
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes – 17
15 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault – 15
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari – 11
17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari – 4
18 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari – 2
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault – 0
20 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth – 0
21 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth – 0
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth – 0
23 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault – 0
24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth – 0

2012 F1 CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS after European Grand Prix

1 Red Bull – 176
2 McLaren – 137
3 Lotus – 126
4 Ferrari – 122
5 Mercedes – 92
6 Sauber-Ferrari – 60
7 Williams-Renault – 45
8 Force India-Mercedes – 44
9 Toro Rosso STR Ferrari – 6
10 Caterham-Renault – 0
11 Marussia-Cosworth – 0
12 HRT-Cosworth – 0

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