Sunday, June 24, 2012

First podium for Schumacher, Alonso wins to lead championship

First Podium for Schumacher after his return to F1 racing

Fernando Alonso wins for the second time this season. In an eventful race in the Spanish Grand Prix 2012 at Valencia today, Fernando Alonso won the race, followed by Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus. Michael Schumacher of Mercedes scored a podium for the first time since his come back in 2010.

Mark Webber who started at 19th, drove an incredible race to finish at 4th position just 0.9 seconds behind Michael Schumacher. Webber's team mate Sebastian Vettel who started in Pole retired in lap 24. Nico Hulkenberg of Force India was 6.3 seconds behind Webber and scored teh 5th position. Nico Rosberg of Mercedes scored the 6th position. Paul di Resta of Force India came in 7th. Jenson Button of McLaren came in 8th followed by Sergio Perez of Sauber in 9th and Pastor Maldonado of Williams in 10th.

On Lap 56, Maldonado made contact with Lewis Hamilton who was at that time on 2nd position pushing Hamilton to the barriers. The resulting incident pushing Maldonado to the back and he ended at 10th position. The incident will be investigated later.

There were accidents galore in the race.
In the lap 9, Charles Pic of Marussia lost a portion of his front wing when he hit the rear of Narain Karthikeyan's HRT car. Kobayashi had hit Senna resulting in Senna to pit with a tyre puncture. This incident will be investigated later. On Lap 28 Vergne and Kovalainen made contact. On Lap 34 Massa and Kobayashi had made contact resulting in Massa getting a tyre puncture.

The Stewards handed Pastor Maldonado a 20 second post race penalty for the collision with Lewis Hamilton. Maldonado had spun and rejoined the track clumsily hitting Hamilton thereby putting him into the wall. The stewards deemed that Maldonado had failed to rejoin the track in a safe manner. This post race penalty promoted Bruno Senna of Williams into the 10th place. Daniel Ricciardo moved upto 11th place from the 12th.

Similarly, Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber and Jean-Eric Vergne of Torro Rosso were investigated by the stewards. Kobayashi has been handed a five place grid penalty for the next race in Silverstone due to his collision with Massa. Vergne got a 10 place grid slot penalty for his collision with Heikki Kovalainen of Caterham. The collision was deemed serious and a fine of 25,000 euros was slapped on him too.

Michael Schumacher of Mercedes was also investigated following a complaint by Red Bull that his DRS flap was open during yellow flag period. Mark Webber who was tailing him had complained over radio that Schumacher's DRS flap was open. Red Bull had immediately lodged a complaint. However, on the basis of investigation, the stewards had determined that Michael Schumacher had sufficiently slowed down and hence  there was no penalty. So Mark Webber's dream of inheriting a 3rd place finish went up in smoke.

Final Positions in European Grand Prix 2012 after penalties

Grid Position Driver Team Points Gap
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 25
2 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 18 6.421
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 15 12.639
4 Mark Webber Redbull 12 13.628
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 10 19.993
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 8 21.176
7 Paul de Resta Force India 6 22.866
8 Jenson Button McLaren 4 24.653
9 Sergio Perez Sauber 2 27.777
10 Bruno Senna Williams  1 35.961
11 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 0 37.041
12 Pastor Maldonado Williams  0 54.63
13 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 0 1'15.871
14 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 0 1'34.654
15 Charles Pic Marussia 0 1'36.551
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari 0 1 Lap
17 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 0 1 Lap
18 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 0 1 Lap
19 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 0  2 Lap
Romain Grosjean Lotus Retired 40 laps
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Retired 33 laps
Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Retired 33 laps
Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Retired 26 laps
Not Started
24 Timo Glock Marussia 0 1Lap

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