Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Live Event Coverage

Grand Prix from Europe // Formula 1 World Championship 2012

Published by Christine

Sebastian Vettel starts from pole position, but it is all the positions behind him that are going to provide interest in Valencia. With Mark Webber starting very near the rear of the grid, two Ferrari drivers in the midfield with a Michael Schumacher amongst them, plus Heikki Kovalainen starting ahead of two Toro Rosso cars, there is a lot to keep an eye on. The weather is looking hot and sunny, and it's all to play for in the championship standings. Bring it on!

As it happened: 2012 Europe - The Race

  • 12:00

    Hello there, welcome to the Factbyte Factbox for the European Grand Prix. How have you been?

  • 12:01

    The Valencia street circuit is not known for its exciting racing, but things so far this weekend are set up for an intriguing afternoon.

  • 12:02

    Sebastian Vettel is on pole position, his third P1 start of the year, with Lewis Hamilton beside him.

  • 12:02

    Mark Webber is way down the order, having fallen out of qualifying in the first session. He's got a lot of work to do today.

  • 12:03

    Both Ferrari drivers and Michael Schumacher start from outside the top ten - Alonso will need to make up a few places to impress the home crowds.

  • 12:03

    If you want a quick roundup of what happened in qualifying, here's a 60 second bulletin: https://sidepodcast.com/news/sebastian-vettel-secures-pole-position-european-grand-prix

  • 12:05
    Grid Position
    1Sebastian VettelRed Bull
    2Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
    3Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
    4Romain GrosjeanLotus
    5Kimi RäikkönenLotus
    6Nico RosbergMercedes
    7Kamui KobayashiSauber
    8Nico HülkenbergForce India
    9Jenson ButtonMcLaren
    10Paul di Resta
    Force India
  • 12:05

    Maldonado had a great qualifying session to start 3rd, particularly compared to Bruno Senna who lines up 14th.

  • 12:06

    TweetTweet from @MyCaterhamF1: One hour until it's go time in Valencia. The boys are fed and watered, the drivers are running through pre-race preparations & we're all set

  • 12:08

    Interview with Christian Horner: I think we’ve seen this year anything can happen. We’re starting with Seb in a good place but temperatures are high and climbing, so it’s going to be a race again it’s going to be important to get the strategy on the tyres right. We’ll see in a couple of hours if we’ve managed to achieve that... It’s tough, it’s tight and unpredictable. All of that makes it exciting at the moment.

  • 12:11

    Now we must discuss poor Timo Glock, who will not be racing today. He's suffering from a stomach illness and has been ruled out of the GP this afternoon.

  • 12:11

    The official statement from Marussia: "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."

  • 12:11

    TweetAnd Glock's side of things, @realTimoGlock: Thanks for all your tweets today! Feeling bit better but there is just no chance to race for me!Hard to make a decision to say no to"racing"

  • 12:12

    There's plenty of talk over the potential for an eighth different winner this weekend, although from Vettel's position, he could be the first to take two in 2012.

  • 12:14
    2012 Race Wins
    PosDriverTotal
    1Fernando Alonso1
    2Jenson Button1
    3Lewis Hamilton1
    4Pastor Maldonado
    1
    5Nico Rosberg
    1
    6Sebastian Vettel
    1
    7Mark Webber
    1
  • 12:16

    Force India were showing some great pace this weekend, but qualifying saw them struggle in a similar fashion to previous weekends.

  • 12:16

    On the driver's parade, Paul di Resta had this to say: "Quite disappointed with it, I think we had a better car. We showed a bit of potential in Q2 but unfortunately when it counted, we’ve given ourselves a lot of work to do today. We’ve come here with some different ideas, learning from Canada... since we’ve hit the track, we’ve been very competitive, so I hope that carries on today."

  • 12:17
    Circuit Data
    Valencia Street Circuit
    Local timezone+02:00 GMT
    First race2008
    Number of laps57
    Circuit length5.419km
    Race distance308.883km
    Start offset0.000km
  • 12:21

    Interview with Pastor Maldonado: "I will do my best. It will be very important to take some points and win the podium for us. I will attack and do my best to win. The strategy will be very important today. The car I feel very confident in as we've been very competitive in race pace. Looking forward to this race and wish all the best to the team.

    "I prefer to be P3 than P2 because there's a huge difference in terms of grip between the lines. That will be important at the race start, and to defend the position against Lewis. That's not easy, it will be a tough race for everybody. These conditions are really extreme, especially for the tyres."

  • 12:27

    Force India in the garageForce India make the finishing touches to the car before the grid opens in a few minutes, via @clubforce.

  • 12:30

    Pirelli have brought the soft and medium compounds to the circuit this weekend, and with searing temperatures, all eyes are on how the rubber will survive.

  • 12:32

    Pirelli soft and medium compoundsWatch out for the yellow (soft) and white (medium) sidewalls.

  • 12:34

    So, the pit lane is now open, the cars are firing up and piling out to make their way to the grid for final preparations.

  • 12:38

    The championship is incredibly close at the moment. With all these different winners, there is less than one victory's worth of points between the top five.

  • 12:38
    Championship Standings
    PosDriverPts
    1Lewis Hamilton88
    2Fernando Alonso86
    3Sebastian Vettel85
    4Mark Webber79
    5Nico Rosberg67
  • 12:45

    Interview with Mark Webber: "Unusual neighbours today, mate. That's what happens, when you drop the ball big time on Saturday afternoon, you're exposed. We had a difficult P3 and in quali 1 had no DRS. As you know, there's no rewind button. Can't take time back and there we are.

    "The straights are long but as you know the corners getting on to them, and the braking is pretty sandy offline... but let's see how the first few laps go and it's a long GP from there. It's not as bad as Monaco but it's not far off in terms of getting moves done.

    "I think when you're here, you're just trying to get your risk management right. At the front there's less risk and bit more precision involved. Here there's a lot more variability in what we're trying to achieve... Not trying to get too analytical about it, it's car racing. Let's hope there's another different winner today."

  • 12:46

    Interview with Heikki Kovalainen: "Personally, my qualifying has been very good the last year and a half. It didn't feel like a particularly good lap but as the car is getting better, the results are getting better. If I had a Red Bull, I should be on pole I think.

    "Probably two stops, I think one is not possible, maybe three, who knows."

  • 12:47

    Interview with Felipe Massa: "The race is long, difficult. The pace we have is not where we are starting. Let's really try to recover positions. I think we'll be doing between two and three stops."

  • 12:50

    Just about ten minutes to go now, I hope you've made your race winner predictions.

  • 12:50

    Paul di Resta is a bit more cagey about how many pit stops he'll be making: "We're very uncertain on that, and I think the rest of the grid is."

  • 12:52

    You might want some handy live timing as the race unfolds: http://www.formula1.com/live_timing/live_timing.html

  • 12:54

    Keep an eye on Heikki who, despite saying it wasn't a great lap, managed to qualify ahead of two Toro Rosso drivers on merit, and one Mark Webber who was struggling with a broken car. He starts 16th.

  • 12:56

    BBC fact: This race has never been won from lower than third on the grid.

  • 12:57

    Weather

    26°C

    Track44°C
    Humidity62%
    Wind speed2.4mps
  • 12:58

    Di Resta informed ahead of the formation lap that brake temperature is paramount to keep his rear tyres in contention.

  • 12:59

    Kimi Räikkönen also informed to cool his car on the way round - the teams are seriously worried about the high temperatures.

  • 13:00

    The tyre blankets are removed, the grid clears of bodies, and Sebastian Vettel leads the pack away on the formation lap.

  • 13:01

    All drivers starting on the soft tyres except Schumacher, Vergne and Webber who are opting for the medium.

  • 13:03

    Vettel makes it round to the grid once more, slowing to a stop in his P1 slot. The field line up slowly behind him.

  • 13:03

    Green flagRace started.

  • 13:03 Lap 1

    Vettel streaks away into the lead, Hamilton defended from Maldonado, as Grosjean gets past Pastor into third.

  • 13:04 Lap 1

    Button has dropped down to 13th after running wide at the start. Rosberg has also dropped from 6th to 10th.

  • 13:05 Lap 1

    Felipe Massa was momentarily sandwiched between the two Mercedes cars but moved ahead of Rosberg for 10th. Alonso is up to 8th and challenging Hülkenberg.

  • 13:05 Lap 1

    QuoteComment from Amy: so far i'm not bored, well done valencia.

  • 13:05 Lap 2

    Mark Webber has passed Kovalainen, who also lost a place to Ricciardo at the start as well. Webber in 17th now.

  • 13:06 Lap 2

    Grosjean is now hustling Hamilton for position, the McLaren having to go defensive as Vettel continues to pull out an early lead.

  • 13:07 Lap 3

    Maldonado pushes Kimi wide in an attempt to overtake, he is forced to give up the position dropping to 6th with Maldonado 5th.

  • 13:08 Lap 3

    Excuse Hamilton and Grosjean, they are too close for comfort. Look at Vettel's lead already!

    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    1stVET1:45.759
    2ndHAM+4.0
    3rdGRO+4.4
    4thKOB+5.0
    5thMAL+6.4
  • 13:08 Lap 3

    Race Control: DRS enabled.

  • 13:10 Lap 5
    Driver Positions
    PosDriver
    10Vettel
    20Hamilton
    3+1Grosjean
    4+3Kobayashi
    5-2Maldonado
    6-1Räikkönen
    7+1Hülkenberg
    8+3Alonso
    9+1Di Resta
    10+3Massa
  • 13:11 Lap 5

    Hamilton leads the train of cars, with Grosjean behind him being given the hurry up over the radio. For his strategy to work, he needs to pass the McLaren.

  • 13:12 Lap 6

    TweetTweet from @MercedesAMGF1: Both Nico and Michael within a second of MAS and BUT. DRS usable for the guys #F1 #Valencia

  • 13:13 Lap 6

    Over the team radio, Paul di Resta is told to lift and coast to reduce brake temperature and tyre degradation which is still too high. Only six laps in, too!

  • 13:14 Lap 7

    Felipe Massa is closing up behind Paul di Resta. The pair head round to start a new lap, and he's juuust not close enough to make a move yet.

  • 13:15 Lap 7

    QuoteComment from Stuart Taylor: Hamilton needs to be on a no stop strategy for this to work. He's almost a second a lap slower

  • 13:15 Lap 7

    Massa makes a move on the Force India but he's squeezed out, falls back, and now he's got all the hard work to do again.

  • 13:17 Lap 8

    Pérez is hustling Bruno Senna for position - the Williams is leading a train of cars for now.

  • 13:17 Lap 8

    Webber ran off track at turn two briefly but continued onwards.

  • 13:18 Lap 9

    Any second now, Vettel will push his lead into double figures. 10 seconds after nine laps is impressive.

  • 13:18 Lap 9

    At the back of the field, Charles Pic and Narain Karthikeyan come together with Pic losing the left endplate off his front wing.

  • 13:19 Lap 9

    We haven't seen any drivers in the pitlane yet, scheduled or otherwise, will Pic be the first?

  • 13:20 Lap 10

    Hamilton leads Grosjean over the swing bridge, the Lotus is close but just not close enough to make any difference.

  • 13:20 Lap 10

    Having said that, as they round the next few corners, he pulls alongside the McLaren, keeps his foot in and takes the position. Second place for Grosjean now.

  • 13:21 Lap 11

    Jenson Button becomes the first driver to pit, a super quick stop but he's dropping way down the order now.

  • 13:22 Lap 11

    Sergio Pérez has also stopped, an early pit visit for the Sauber driver who is more well known for his longer stints.

  • 13:22 Lap 11

    QuoteComment from Mark: Button on course for a 2577 stop race.

  • 13:23 Lap 12

    Button has rejoined down in 19th place, ahead of Pérez and behind Jean-Éric Vergne.

  • 13:23 Lap 12

    The Ferrari mechanics scramble together and it's Felipe Massa who dives in for his first stop of the day.

  • 13:23 Lap 12

    The medium compound goes on the Ferrari, and he rejoins ahead of Kovalainen in 16th.

  • 13:24 Lap 13

    Kimi Räikkönen is chasing down Pastor Maldonado, they're less a tenth apart as Kimi draws level, but outbrakes himself and drops back again.

  • 13:25 Lap 13

    Fernando Alonso overtakes Nico Hülkenberg for 7th place and is informed on the radio to "push as much as we can."

  • 13:26 Lap 13

    Sergio Pérez sets the fastest lap of the race so far, down in 19th place.

  • 13:27 Lap 14

    Räikkönen attempts another move on Maldonado, moving to the outside of a left-hander, carrying more speed through the corner and in front before the next right-hander. Pastor looks ready for a new set of tyres.

  • 13:27 Lap 14

    Petrov pits, and Lewis Hamilton also comes in for his first stop of the race.

  • 13:28 Lap 14

    Button overtakes Vergne for 16th position, the easiest overtake we've seen so far.

  • 13:28 Lap 15

    Meanwhile, a straw hat has blown in from the crowd and is being bounced around the track as it gets run over.

  • 13:28 Lap 15

    Kobayashi, Räikkönen, Maldonado and Hülkenberg all pit at the same time. Madness in the pitlane!

  • 13:29 Lap 15

    Kamui lost a position to Kimi in the stops there, the Lotus car leading the four drivers out of the pitlane.

  • 13:29 Lap 15
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverK Räikkönen
    TeamLotus
    Pit lane21.879s
    Stopped4.8s
  • 13:29 Lap 15

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Let's see if we can get a few cars while our tyres are still fresh, their tyres are getting old now."

  • 13:30 Lap 16
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverK Kobayashi
    TeamSauber
    Pit lane23.071s
    Stopped6.2s
  • 13:30 Lap 16

    Fernando Alonso pits from third position, a nice clean stop from Ferrari sending the Spaniard back out on the softer tyre right into the path of Kimi.

  • 13:31 Lap 16

    Kimi tries to keep the momentum up to make the pass, but Alonso keeps the position for now.

  • 13:31 Lap 16
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverF Alonso
    TeamFerrari
    Pit lane19.789s
    Stopped3.2s
  • 13:31 Lap 17

    The pit stop analysis shows Kobayashi's stop was over a second slower than Kimi's, whilst Alonso's was super fast to help him jump those positions.

  • 13:32 Lap 17

    Vettel comes in from the lead, with Grosjean following him in as well.

  • 13:32 Lap 17

    Vettel's stop was super easy, pitting from the lead and coming out in the lead. Di Resta is second having not stopped yet.

  • 13:33 Lap 17

    Grosjean dropped two places but Di Resta and Rosberg ahead have still to come in for their first stops.

  • 13:34 Lap 18

    A massive train of cars has formed behind Schumacher - six cars all the way down to Kobayashi and including the rising car of Mark Webber.

  • 13:34 Lap 18

    Alonso has passed Webber, although we only saw the first half of the move. It was probably a good one, who knows.

  • 13:35 Lap 18

    Grosjean passes Rosberg for third place.

  • 13:35 Lap 18

    Alonso makes his next move on Bruno Senna, this one we did get to see, round the outside. Next up on his list, Schumacher.

  • 13:36 Lap 19

    Hamilton is advised over the radio to save tyres at the places previously discussed, and he stroppily replies he's been doing it every lap.

  • 13:36 Lap 19

    Alonso has made it past Schumacher and is pulling out his own gap. It is definitely Schumacher holding everyone up.

  • 13:38 Lap 20

    There's a complete gaggle of cars all together, but Schumacher and Webber both extricate themselves and pit for the first time.

  • 13:38 Lap 20

    CrashRight rear puncture for Senna after a collision with another car and/or the wall.

  • 13:39 Lap 21

    Lap 19The cars, the cars, they are so close!

  • 13:39 Lap 21

    Senna was battling with Räikkönen. Kobayashi tried to make the most of the battle on the inside of Senna, but got crushed into the wall.

  • 13:40 Lap 21

    Senna's right rear hit Kobayashi's front wing. Debris litters the track.

  • 13:40 Lap 21

    Kobayashi lost control and smashed into the marker board, so some of that debris is polystyrene.

  • 13:41 Lap 22

    Senna made it back to the pitlane, and it's a tyre stop and a quick checkover by the team. He's back out on track, but currently last.

  • 13:41 Lap 22

    Sideways SennaSenna tipped sideways after his collision with Kobayashi.

  • 13:42 Lap 22

    It was a bit of a great save from Senna, who managed to control that spin and continued straight on to get back to the pits.

  • 13:42 Lap 23

    Alonso has made another move, this time on Di Resta. He's up to fourth now. Di Resta hasn't stopped yet so it could be the difference in tyres that made it look so easy. Or that Alonso is just on an overtaking spree.

  • 13:43 Lap 23

    Race Control: Incident involving Kobayashi and Senna under investigation.

  • 13:45 Lap 24

    Maldonado takes a vulnerable di Resta with ease and the Force India team are out in the garage to save the Scot's race.

  • 13:45 Lap 24

    Race Control: Drive through penalty for Senna - causing a collision.

  • 13:46 Lap 25
    Driver Positions
    PosDriverStops
    10Vettel1
    2+2Grosjean1
    3-1Hamilton1
    4+7Alonso1
    50Räikkönen1
    6-3Maldonado1
    7+6Massa1
    80Hülkenberg1
    90Button1
    10+5Pérez1
  • 13:48 Lap 26

    Vettel's lead is up to 20 seconds, but it's still relatively close behind him. Romain Grosjean puts in the fastest lap of the race so far - 1:44.451.

  • 13:48 Lap 26

    Bruno Senna takes his drive through penalty, gliding through the pit lane past his onlooking team.

  • 13:49 Lap 26

    Pérez and Petrov both pit for their second stops.

  • 13:50 Lap 27

    Jenson Button comes in for his second stop of the day, as Paul di Resta is informed he's probably the only driver attempting a one stop strategy.

  • 13:51 Lap 28

    We're about halfway through the race now, and no retirements as yet.

  • 13:51 Lap 28

    Yellow flagYellow flag.

  • 13:52 Lap 28

    Heikki Kovalainen has front left damage and Jean-Éric Vergne has damage to his rear right tyres. I suspect there has been a coming together!

  • 13:52 Lap 28

    Replays show the Toro Rosso making a pass and just jinked sideways into the Caterham that was holding position nicely.

  • 13:53 Lap 29

    Vergne's tyre is ripping itself to pieces as he makes it back to the pitlane.

  • 13:53 Lap 29

    SC BoardSafety car deployed.

  • 13:53 Lap 29

    BBC fact: Only the second time the Safety Car has appeared mid-race at this track. Last time was for Webber's flip.

  • 13:54 Lap 29

    Plenty of drivers take the opportunity to stop, and McLaren have a major fail that delays Hamilton for ages. A 14 second stop!

  • 13:54 Lap 29

    The front jack completely failed to lift the car up, a spare jack man comes in, and then they had trouble with the front left tyre as well. Troubles all round!

  • 13:55 Lap 30

    Vergne's tyre damageVergne throws damage all over the track, which is why the Safety Car is out.

  • 13:56 Lap 30
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverL Hamilton
    TeamMcLaren
    Pit lane31.081s
    Stopped14.1s
  • 13:56 Lap 30

    Race Control: Incident involving Vergne and Kovalainen under investigation.

  • 13:58 Lap 30

    TweetTweet from @KataHyde: Looks like Vergne needs to learn the size of his car... No kers and now a puncture for Heikki. Fingers crossed its uphill from here!

  • 13:58 Lap 31

    Vettel's mega lead has been closed up by the Safety Car, now there are just five seconds to second place Romain Grosjean.

  • 13:59 Lap 31

    Ricciardo is the only driver in the entire field who has not taken both mandatory tyres yet, so he must stop again. Currently running fourth with just the one stop to his name.

  • 13:59 Lap 31

    Vergne makes an appearance on the pit wall, headphones on, ready to watch the rest of the race from the garage.

  • 14:00 Lap 31

    Race Control: Lapped cars may now overtake.

  • 14:01 Lap 32

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: Now everybody is in the same conditions at the front of the race... Same tyres, same age

  • 14:03 Lap 33

    Another lap behind the safety car whilst the lapped cars sort themselves out.

  • 14:04 Lap 33

    Jean-Éric Vergne: "I don't know whose fault it is. I haven't watched the video, I prefer to watch it first. To me it looked like a racing incident, I don't want to say who is at fault, to me, I was in front. It's a shame not to finish the race, but it's our first retirement of the year."

  • 14:05 Lap 33

    TweetTweet from @MyCaterhamF1: So... after Vergne hit Heikki he had to box, rejoining with no issues and he's now unlapped himself under the safety car.

  • 14:05 Lap 33

    Green flagTrack is clear.

  • 14:06 Lap 34

    Vettel backed the cars up but didn't manage to scamper into the lead too much, he locked up into the first corner.

  • 14:06 Lap 34

    Fernando Alonso battles past Romain Grosjean into second place.

  • 14:06 Lap 34

    Yellow flagYellow flag.

  • 14:06 Lap 34

    Hamilton passes Räikkönen for fifth place.

  • 14:07 Lap 34

    It looks like Massa and Kobayashi came together.

  • 14:07 Lap 34

    Vettel has run off track, losing his lead. He's stopped on track!

  • 14:07 Lap 35

    Adrian Newey has his head in his hands on the pit wall, Vettel is out of the race. Alonso is leading the race.

  • 14:08 Lap 35

    Massa pits, his right front tyre has completely gone - no replay as yet to what happened. New front wing goes on the Ferrari, but there's a problem with the stop.

  • 14:08 Lap 35

    Another new tyre goes on.

  • 14:09 Lap 35

    The cars round the track to where Vettel's car is, the marshals are busy pushing the car off track, with speeding cars past them! Madness.

  • 14:09 Lap 36

    Finally a replay, Kobayashi smashed into the back of Massa. Also a replay of Vettel stopping, once out of the car, he threw his gloves away in absolute disgust.

  • 14:10 Lap 36

    Men at workMarshals at work, watching in horror as the cars fly past them!

  • 14:10 Lap 36

    Kobayashi is being pushed into the garage, the Sauber is out of the race.

  • 14:11 Lap 37

    Race Control: Incident involving Massa and Kobayashi under investigation.

  • 14:11 Lap 37

    Massa did make it back out of the pit lane and is currently last. We also saw some head-in-hands action from Rob Smedley as well.

  • 14:12 Lap 37

    So to recap. Alonso is leading, less than a second ahead of Grosjean. Hamilton third, with Kimi in fourth.

  • 14:12 Lap 37

    Race Control: Incident involving Hamilton under investigation - ignoring yellow flags.

  • 14:13 Lap 38

    Daniel Ricciardo currently sits in fifth, he has only stopped once so far and definitely has to stop again. Ooh, he does right now.

  • 14:13 Lap 38

    Vettel walks back towards the Red Bull garage through the pit lane, he waves sadly at the crowds who are both whistling, cheering and booing all at the same time.

  • 14:14 Lap 38

    As Ricciardo went into the pitlane, Mark Webber was pushed wide by Pastor Maldonado. Red Bull's sole remaining racer is now sitting 8th.

  • 14:15 Lap 39

    This time it's Alonso and Grosjean who are far too close together.

    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    1stALO1:43.754
    2ndGRO+0.7
    3rdHAM+2.5
    4thRAI+3.2
    5thMSC+6.8
  • 14:16 Lap 39

    Race Control: Drive through penalty for Karthikeyan - speeding in pit lane.

  • 14:17 Lap 40

    Sergio Pérez makes a move on Jenson Button for ninth place, the Sauber coming from a long way back and unable to hold the place. Button remains 9th for now.

  • 14:18 Lap 41

    TweetTweet from @Lotus_F1Team: Kimi under investigation for ignoring yellow flags. Did you see them? #EuropeanGP #F1 #LuckyNumber8

  • 14:18 Lap 41

    Mark Webber sets the fastest lap of the race with a 1:42.717.

  • 14:19 Lap 41

    Grosjean slows to a crawl out on track, keeping off the racing line as he looks for the gap in the wall.

  • 14:19 Lap 41

    Yellow flagYellow flag.

  • 14:19 Lap 41

    RadioTeam radio to Grosjean: "Okay, sorry, we have lost the alternator, nothing we can do."

  • 14:21 Lap 42

    Pérez has taken that position from Button, and somehow they have both passed Rosberg as well. Pérez up to 7th, Button 8th.

  • 14:21 Lap 43

    Petrov is up to tenth place now!

  • 14:22 Lap 43

    Webber is hustling Schumacher for position, they're currently outside the points with the Mercedes 11th.

  • 14:25 Lap 45

    Interview with Sebastian Vettel: "To be honest, we don't know what the problem is yet. I lost drive on the straight down to turn 17 and I had to give way to other people. Stalled, the engine switched off, there was nothing we could have done. It's not clear what was the problem, maybe a bit similar to what Mark had on Friday.

    "I think the Safety Car was not ideal for us, it might be that the retirement is in some regards also down to the Safety Car. It's a shame."

  • 14:26 Lap 46
    Driver Positions
    PosDriverStops
    1+10Alonso2
    20
    Hamilton2
    3+2Räikkönen2
    4-1Maldonado
    2
    5+3Hülkenberg
    2
    6+4Di Resta1
    7+8Pérez2
    8+1Button2
    9-3Rosberg1
    10+2Schumacher2
  • 14:27 Lap 46

    Schumacher just managed to overtake Petrov for tenth place, pushing Caterham out of the points.

  • 14:27 Lap 46

    Webber has also passed Petrov, dropping hims down to 12th, just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

  • 14:28 Lap 46

    Räikkönen is just 0.6 seconds behind Hamilton, he's looking to overtake the McLaren to move up to second. There's almost four seconds to Alonso in the lead.

  • 14:29 Lap 47

    Paul di Resta is doing a fine job as the only driver one-stopped. He's in sixth place at the moment, but has Sergio Pérez behind who is rapidly catching.

  • 14:30 Lap 48

    TweetTweet from @Lotus_F1Team: Alternator problem for @RGrosjean, so battery power for the fuel pump, no more bat juice, fuel pressure gone. No fuel, no go. #EuropeanGP

  • 14:30 Lap 48

    Yellow flagYellow flag.

  • 14:30 Lap 48

    Race Control: Five place grid penalty at next event for Kobayashi - causing a collision.

  • 14:31 Lap 48

    Petrov is circling without a front wing, replays show he outbraked himself into the corner, passed Ricciardo. The Toro Rosso tries to take the place back, hits the front of the Caterham and tips it into the air.

  • 14:31 Lap 48
    Fastest Pit Times
    L HamiltonMcLaren19.355
    J ButtonMcLaren19.640
    F AlonsoFerrari19.789
    S VettelRed Bull20.023
    M SchumacherMercedes20.041
  • 14:32 Lap 49

    McLaren have the two fastest pit times this race, despite their rather spectacular fail with Lewis Hamilton. Their revised procedures work when they work, but are ruinous when they fail.

  • 14:32 Lap 49

    Race Control: No further action regarding Hamilton.

  • 14:32 Lap 49

    Race Control: Incident involving Petrov and Ricciardo under investigation.

  • 14:33 Lap 50

    Both Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber ease their way past Jenson Button dropping the McLaren to tenth place.

  • 14:34 Lap 50

    Ricciardo and PetrovRicciardo and Petrov have a bit of a collision.

  • 14:35 Lap 51

    Alonso maintains his four second lead over Hamilton, whilst Räikkönen is dropping back slightly in third.

  • 14:37 Lap 52
    Retirements
    DriverReasonLap
    Jean-Éric VergneAccident29
    Sebastian VettelUnknown35
    Kamui KobayashiAccident36
    Romain GrosjeanAlternator41
  • 14:38 Lap 52

    Rosberg managed to get past Bruno Senna easily for 11th place, and he's now chasing Button for that final points position. 13 seconds between them.

  • 14:39 Lap 53

    Race Control: No further action regarding Ricciardo and Petrov.

  • 14:40 Lap 53

    Michael Schumacher has passed Sergio Pérez for 7th place, Mark Webber continues to tail the Mercedes by passing the Sauber as well.

  • 14:41 Lap 54

    Petrov is still racing as best he can, losing a place to Massa but then pushing to get it back again. Currently 15th.

  • 14:42 Lap 54

    Schumacher leads the way past Paul Di Resta. Wait for Webber to copy.

  • 14:42 Lap 54

    There he goes, Webber gets past the Force India easily enough. Mercedes and Red Bull sitting 7th and 8th, with Hülkenberg next.

  • 14:42 Lap 54

    Felipe Massa comes into the pitlane for the fourth time of the afternoon.

  • 14:44 Lap 55

    Hamilton made a small error, allowing Räikkönen alongside him. Wheel to wheel they headed down the straight, but he couldn't make it stick. A few corners later, the deal is done. Second for Kimi.

  • 14:44 Lap 56

    Hamilton immediately comes under pressure from Maldonado, who draws level down the home straight.

  • 14:44 Lap 56

    Incredibly, Hamilton keeps the position but Pastor is still up close. An HRT dives out the way (or runs wide) as they pass.

  • 14:46 Lap 56

    Lewis is struggling massively for grip, and as they head into the DRS zone he draws level again. Pulls round the outside at the next corner, neither driver gives up. Pastor's front tyre tips Hamilton into the wall!

  • 14:46 Lap 57

    Yellow flagYellow flag.

  • 14:46 Lap 57

    Maldonado is driving round track without a front wing, Hamilton's car sits at the side of the track, steaming.

  • 14:46 Lap 57

    Hamilton throws his steering wheel out of the car in absolute frustration.

  • 14:47 Lap 57

    Hamilton in the barrierHamilton in the barrier.

  • 14:48

    Chequered flagFernando Alonso wins the European Grand Prix!

  • 14:48

    Alonso wins in Spain, the crowd go wild. The two comeback Kings join him on the podium - Kimi Räikkönen second and Michael Schumacher third. His first podium since returning!

  • 14:50
    Race Winner
    DriverFernando Alonso
    TeamFerrari
    Race time1:44:16.649
    Race distance308.883km
    Average speed177.727km/h
  • 14:52

    Alonso has stopped the car out on track, he climbs out and waves to the crowd who go crazy. Is he low on fuel or not? He doesn't care, he's pumping his fist regardless.

  • 14:52

    Alonso lays a Spanish flag on track, the marshals gather clapping, and the man himself claps the crowd.

  • 14:52

    Doesn't he know there's a podium waiting for him?

  • 14:53
    Driver Positions
    PosDriverStops
    1+10Alonso2
    2+3
    Räikkönen
    2
    3+9Schumacher2
    4+15Webber
    2
    5+3Hülkenberg
    2
    60Rosberg2
    7+3Di Resta1
    8+1Button2
    9+6Pérez2
    10-7Maldonado2
  • 14:54

    Schumacher and Räikkönen are both making their pre-podium preparations, taking some water and using the towels. Alonso is still out on track. He may be waiting for a lift.

  • 14:55

    Both Schumacher and Räikkönen hug the Ferrari representative. Both have been previous Ferrari drivers, of course.

  • 14:56

    The Medical Car was dispatched to rescue Fernando Alonso and he has been delivered to the waiting media. It's a total scrum out there.

  • 14:56

    Finally Alonso gets to hug his fellow podium visitors. They are all exceedingly happy, which makes a refreshing change.

  • 14:57

    Alonso's taxiAlonso gets a lift, hope he remembered to tip the driver.

  • 14:57

    The podium ceremony eventually begins, with the national anthem bellowing out, and the three flags fluttering slowly into the air.

  • 14:59

    Alonso looks emotional but happy as the Italians sing their hearts out.

  • 15:00

    Alonso on the podiumAlonso, race winner.

  • 15:02

    TweetTweet from @MercedesAMGF1: YES YES YES!!! Brilliant Michael. What a drive. 3rd place, podium!! Well done Nico, P6. Brilliant end of the race for the boys #F1 #Valencia

  • 15:03

    Interview with Pastor Maldonado: "He tried to push me out of the track, and he didn't leave any room to stay and do the corner side by side. I jump over the kerb and couldn't avoid him. I don't know why he drove like that. He was completely lost, at that moment, I was getting very good pace. It's difficult to say but he tried a very aggressive movement on me."

  • 15:06

    Press Conference Quotes - Fernando Alonso: "Really difficult to express in words the feeling at the moment. Winning the home GP is something unique, a very special feeling. I had the opportunity in Barcelona 2006 with Renault, and I still remember that day perfectly. Now the same here in Valencia, with this special team Ferrari, with all the grandstands full of red colour, full of Spanish flags. Here now with Euro football championship also, a lot of Spanish atmosphere inside all of us. Feeling very proud to be a Spanish sportsman at the moment.

    "We had a problem in the car and we stopped it, it was the right place, maybe because we had two grandstands there, so it took a little bit of time to arrive. We had about eight or ten minutes of all the people saying things about me, saying congratulations and they want me to jump and fun and games. We enjoyed those minutes."

  • 15:07

    Press Conference Quotes - Kimi Raikkonen: "I think everybody had old tyres at that point. I had enough tyres to get past Hamilton in the last few laps but didn't have the speed today to challenge for the win. I got a good start but got blocked by Maldonado in the first right hander and lost a lot of places at the start. WE made a good recovery from that position, and had good fights with people. In the end, second place is okay, but of course not what we wanted."

  • 15:09

    Press Conference Quotes - Michael Schumacher: "I didn't actually think about a podium at all, neither at the end of the race, it was crossing the line when Iasked my guys where did we finish. I saw Webber's pit board and I knew I was one place ahead of that one. My guys told me it was third, podium. I couldn't believe it. You sort of lose count because I was pretty busy in the last stage of the race. I lost count at that stage.

    "It's those moments that you enjoy deeply, and it's a wonderful feeling to be back after such a long time. We were a couple of times close to it but finally it happened in a spectacular way. It was pretty exciting."

  • 15:11

    Press Conference Quotes - Fernando Alonso: "F1 is still unpredictable results, sport is about that. Sport is about up and downs. Yesterday we had a tough moment, we were sad not being in Q3 but you can never give up because anything can happen. In sport in general and more in Formula One. Anything can have a failure, in the race, there is a lot of things that we need to take care - there's the strategy, the start, the overtaking moves. When you put all these things in one thing, you have an F1 Grand Prix.

    We had an amazing race, an amazing start, some great fights, I remember six or seven overtakings which were close, we nearly touch each other. All these little moments can go the wrong side, you end the race in the wall, or you can be the winner at the end."

  • 15:12
    Championship Standings
    PosDriverPts
    1Fernando Alonso111
    2Mark Webber91
    3Lewis Hamilton88
    4Sebastian Vettel85
    5Nico Rosberg75
    6Kimi Räikkönen73
    7Romain Grosjean53
    8Jenson Button49
    9Sergio Pérez39
    10Pastor Maldonado30
  • 15:14
    Championship Standings
    PosDriverPts
    1Red Bull176
    2McLaren137
    3Lotus126
    4Ferrari122
    5Mercedes92
    6Sauber60
    7Williams45
    8Force India44
    9Toro Rosso6
    10Caterham0
  • 15:14

    TweetTweet from @Marussia_F1Team: P17 would have been good, so to come home P15 is a result we're happy with for Charles + we're back on the right side of HRT

  • 15:17
    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    1stALO1:48.930
    2ndRAI+6.4
    3rdMSC
    +12.6
    4thWEB+13.6
    5thHUL+19.9
    6thROS+21.1
  • 15:19

    So that sums up what turned out to be an incredibly busy European Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso became the first driver to pick up two wins this year.

  • 15:20

    Lots of disappointing retirements from drivers who had the potential to do well, but that led to some intriguing finishes.

  • 15:20

    Force India picked up some good points, and Webber did a great job to finish fourth after starting very near the back of the grid.

  • 15:23

    There was less field spread in Valencia this time out, the only driver escaping was Vettel and he was brought back in line by a safety car (and a subsequent retirement)!

  • 15:24

    We saw a Caterham up in the points briefly, showing some more improvements from them. Not quite to Red Bull standards yet, though, Heikki.

  • 15:25

    All in all, a surprisingly fab and intense race to tide us over until the British Grand Prix in two weeks' time.

  • 15:26

    Thanks for sticking with me through it all today, stay tuned to https://sidepodcast.com and http://f1minute.com for all the fun and games in between, and I'll see you next time!

  • 15:26

    Have fun, fact fans!

All content in the series Europe 2012




Sebastian Vettel starts from pole position, but it is all the positions behind him that are going to provide interest in Valencia. With Mark Webber starting very near the rear of the grid, two Ferrari drivers in the midfield with a Michael Schumacher amongst them, plus Heikki Kovalainen starting ahead of two Toro Rosso cars, there is a lot to keep an eye on. The weather is looking hot and sunny, and it's all to play for in the championship standings. Bring it on!
Caterham F1

Event start

13:00GMT +01:00

24 June 2012