VALENCIA: Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso won a thrilling European Grand Prix, the Spanish driver becoming the first repeat winner of a wide-open season.
Alonso came home first ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus and third-placed seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, 43, of Mercedes.
The Spaniard drove a superb race from 11th on the grid and was extra pleased after recording the win in front of his home crowd. “I can’t express in words my feeling at the moment,” said Alonso. “To win my home grand prix is a unique feeling, and with the football I’m feeling proud to be Spanish right now.”
In a dramatic finale, Lewis Hamilton of McLaren crashed out after a final-lap collision with Pastor Maldonado of Williams, an incident that hoisted Schumacher into the top three to make him the oldest podium finisher since Australian Jack Brabham, in 1970, when he was 44.
Defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was forced to retire after dominating most of the race from pole position as also was his nearest challenger, Romain Grosjean of Lotus.
Mark Webber, who started 19th, came fourth for Red Bull ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.
Published in The Express Tribune, 25th, 2012.
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