Valencia Street Circuit complied with its negative reputation and didn’t provide the show from the first seven stages of the season, while KERS and DRS systems did not provide major opportunities for overtaking. In addition, Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari have opted for a similar strategy with three pit stops, the last stint being reserved for medium tires.
These things have contributed to a trouble-free race for Sebastian Vettel, who took advantage of the pole position won Saturday and past the finish line first without any real threat to its position during the 57 laps. The world champion had its sixth victory in eight stages and has increased the advance in the general classification.
Starting from the fourth position of the grid, Fernando Alonso has matched his best result this season after obtaining the second position. The Ferrari driver has passed Lewis Hamilton on the start line and later overtake Mark Webber in the last pit stop, after the two were originally overtaking each other during the race due to DRS system. Podium was completed by Webber, who could not approach Alonso in the last stint of the race, but the Australian has obtained the best result of his career at Valencia.
Over 30 seconds behind him, Lewis Hamilton crossed the finish line in fourth place. After losing two positions at the start and dropped to fifth place, McLaren driver has won a position in front of Felipe Massa at the first pit stop, but in the last half of the race was unable to keep up with the leading platoon.
Massa had to settle for fifth place, followed by Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP). The McLaren driver lost two positions at the start, returned on six in the first laps, but in the last part of the race couldn’t use the KERS system. Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) finished eighth and won 10 positions from the start due to a strategy with only two pit stops, while the last points at stake was won by Adrian Sutil (Force India) and Nick Heidfeld (Renault).
Sauber emerged once again into evidence for its tire management, as Sergio Perez made one pit stop, but this didn’t help to finish in points as the Mexican finished only 11th. Michael Schumacher finished 17th because of an incident with Vitaly Petrov at the beginning of the race, after which he was forced to make an extra pit stop to change the front wing.
Surprisingly, for a street circuit, European Grand Prix didn’t recorded any abandon, while Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in the race after he was timed in 1:41.852 on lap 53.
Valencia – Race Rankings and overall standings (Provisionally Race Results)
The European Grand Prix – Valencia Street Circuit, Spain
57 laps; 5.419 km (3.367 miles); Weather: Sunny
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h39:36.169 2. Alonso Ferrari + 10.891 3. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 27.255 4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 46.190 5. Massa Ferrari + 51.705 6. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1:00.000 7. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:38.000 8. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap 10. Heidfeld Renault + 1 lap 11. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 13. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 14. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap 15. Petrov Renault + 1 lap 16. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 17. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap 18. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 19. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault + 2 laps 20. Trulli Lotus-Renault + 2 laps 21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps 22. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps 23. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth + 3 laps 24. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 3 laps
World Championship standings, round 8: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 186 1. Red Bull-Renault 295 2. Webber 109 2. McLaren-Mercedes 206 3. Button 109 3. Ferrari 129 4. Hamilton 97 4. Renault 61 5. Alonso 87 5. Mercedes 58 6. Massa 42 6. Sauber-Ferrari 27 7. Rosberg 32 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 16 8. Petrov 31 8. Force India-Mercedes 12 9. Heidfeld 30 9. Williams-Cosworth 4 10. Schumacher 26 11. Kobayashi 25 12. Sutil 10 13. Alguersuari 8 14. Buemi 8 15. Barrichello 4 16. Perez 2 17. Di Resta 2