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“Jornada fantastica” for Fernando



31 MAR - 03 APR 2016

Venue: Valencia

Circuit Length: 5.419 Km

Laps: 57

Lap Record: 1:38.683 = 197.687 km/h - Timo Glock (Toyota) 2009

2012 Results:

Pole Position: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Renault); 1:38.086

1st: Fernando Alonso (Scuderia Ferrari) 1:44:16:649

2nd: Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus Renautl) 6.4s behind

3rd: Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) 12.6s behind

Fastest Lap: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 1:42.163

“Jornada fantastica” for Fernando

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso ended Formula One’s record run of different winners to take the championship lead by 20 points in a dramatic European Grand Prix under blue skies in Valencia.

Alonso, who took victory less than 24 hours after his national soccer team secured their place in the semi-finals at Euro 2012, picked up a Spanish flag to wave on his victory lap giving his home crowd every reason to celebrate.

"The stands were full of colour and Spanish flags. I am feeling very proud to be Spanish at the moment. This is possibly the best victory I have ever had," he said in the post race press conference.

Alonso was joined on the podium by Lotus Renault’s, Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes driver, Michael Schumacher.

The largely processional race at the Harbour side venue was turned upside down when Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso collided with Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham on the 27th lap, prompting the deployment of the safety car. This closed the field until the 34th lap, when racing started again.

Alonso started from 11th place on the grid and found himself up to third when the safety car was deployed. He was running second to reigning World Champion and early leader Sebastian Vettel when the 24-year-old Red Bull driver coasted to a stop by the side of the track on lap 34 of the 57 lap race.

The frustrated German said his team were not sure exactly what had caused the problem but suggested the safety car period may have had something to do with it.

"The engine stalled, the engine switched off and there's nothing that we could have done," he said.

"There is not much we could have done better today. It's just reliability. We all work on the limit and so does the car so, surely it's a shame, but I think up to that point we did everything right. Perfect pitstops, perfect start, perfect race. I think everyone has seen what would have happened."

The Spanish crowd erupted as the Ferrari driver took the lead in his second home race for the season en route to his 29th career victory.

Lotus Renault’s Romain Grosjean retired from second place on lap 40 with a suspected alternator problem in what could have been a podium finish for the Frenchman, promoting Hamilton to P2 with 17 laps to go.

Grosjean’s Lotus Renault teammate Raikkonen overtook Hamilton for P2 in the closing laps as Hamilton struggled with tyre wear and rear grip. As Maldonado also attempted a pass on the McLaren driver, the two came together putting Lewis into the wall with only one lap to go.

With Mark Webber on his tail, Schumacher took his first podium of the 2012 season and the first of his F1 comeback making him the oldest man on the rostrum since Australia’s Sir Jack Brabham in 1970.

Webber overcame DRS problems in practice and qualifying that saw him start from P19 to finish fourth behind Schumacher putting him in second place in the World Championship on 91 points.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg clung on for an excellent fifth place finish, but Di Resta lost sixth to Rosberg on the final lap. Jenson Button had yet another low-key race to eighth in the second McLaren, holding off Perez as Maldonado limped home in 10th without his front wing after the collision with Hamilton.

The Venezuelan was followed home by his Williams partner Bruno Senna, who got a drive-through penalty for a collision with Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi. Senna later inherited his team mate's single point when stewards added 20 seconds to Maldonado's race time over his clash with Hamilton.

Webber’s compatriot Daniel Ricciardo survived a collision with Caterham's Vitaly Petrov to take 12th ahead of the Russian and team mate Kovalainen. That became 11th after Maldonado's penalty.

Alonso now leads the championsahip on 111 points, from Webber on 91. Hamilton is third on 88 and Vettel on 85, as Rosberg moves to fifth on 75 and Raikkonen to sixth on 73.

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