Formula 1 News

Vettel shrugs off doubts to coast to sixth win

The German was able to hold the attack from Alonso and Webber, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Sunday, June 26, 2011

VALENCIA, Spain, June 26, 2011 (AFP) - Defending Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel won the European Grand Prix here on Sunday to extend his lead in the overall standings with his sixth win in eight races.

His 16th career victory made him the first man to finish first or second in the opening eight races of a season in the history of the Formula One world championship.

The 23-year-old German dispelled any thoughts that his last lap error in Canada a fortnight ago which cost him victory would have an adverse effect on him as he coasted home in his Red Bull to beat Spain's Fernando Alonso in a Ferrari.

Vettel's Australian team-mate Mark Webber was third.

Vettel's victory saw him open up a huge 77-points gap in this year's title race. He now has 186 points after eight of the season's 19 events, ahead of nearest rival Briton Jenson Button on 109.

It was just the fourth time in Formula One history that all the drivers finished the race and first time since the Italian Grand Prix in 2005.

Great Britain's 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton for McLaren honoured his pledge to restrain his daredevil style and finish the race, taking fourth place.

Brazilian Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari and Briton Jenson Button, in the second McLaren, finished fifth and sixth.

German Nico Rosberg was seventh for Mercedes and Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari produced a stunning drive to take eighth for Toro Rosso with Germans Adrian Sutil ninth for Force India and Nick Heidfeld 10th for Renault.

"Ooooooh yes, baby!" screamed Vettel over his team radio after winning. "That is better than anything you can imagine this year. Yes. Yehhhh!

Vettel, whose other two finishes this year were as runner-up, produced the perfect riposte to those who felt he might buckle under pressure.Red Bull team chief Christian Horner paid tribute to Vettel.

"He just enjoyed this afternoon as you could see. He drove a fantastic race and he got everything right. It was just perfect."

On a sweltering early summer afternoon by the Mediterranean, Vettel produced a start to match the weather as the air temperature rose beyond 30 degrees Celsius and the track temperature hit the high-40's.

This signalled potential degradation problems for the tyres, but Vettel made light of any concerns as he pulled clear without any fuss to lead by 1.3 seconds at the end of the opening lap.

Both McLarens were slow to pull off the grid and gave the Ferraris of Alonso and Massa an invitation to attack. Webber, caught in a scarlet pincer move, managed to survive. That left him second behind the champion with Alonso third, Massa fourth and Hamilton fifth at the end of the opening lap, Rosberg also having started well to find his way past Button into sixth.

The 2009 champion, however, was not content to bide his time and found a way past the young German with a late-braking move into Turn Two that lifted him into the top six.

The positions pretty much stayed the same in a race lacking in the drama from Canada a fortnight ago with only Alonso's daring overtaking of Webber enough to send the home crowd into ecstasy.

Provisional results

POS.
GRID
CHG
PTS
No
DRIVER
TEAM
LAPS
TIME/RET
1
1
0
25
1
Sebastian Vettel
RBR-Renault
57
Winner
2
4
2
18
5
Fernando Alonso
Ferrari
57
+10.8 secs
3
2
-1
15
2
Mark Webber
RBR-Renault
57
+27.2 secs
4
3
-1
12
3
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren-Mercedes
57
+46.1 secs
5
5
0
10
6
Felipe Massa
Ferrari
57
+51.7 secs
6
6
0
8
4
Jenson Button
McLaren-Mercedes
57
+60.0 secs
7
7
0
6
8
Nico Rosberg
Mercedes
57
+98.0 secs
8
18
10
4
19
Jaime Alguersuari
STR-Ferrari
56
+1 Lap
9
10
1
2
14
Adrian Sutil
Force India-Mercedes
56
+1 Lap
10
9
-1
1
9
Nick Heidfeld
Renault
56
+1 Lap
11
16
5
17
Sergio Perez
Sauber-Ferrari
56
+1 Lap
12
13
1
11
Rubens Barrichello
Williams-Cosworth
56
+1 Lap
13
17
4
18
Sebastien Buemi
STR-Ferrari
56
+1 Lap
14
12
-2
15
Paul di Resta
Force India-Mercedes
56
+1 Lap
15
11
-4
10
Vitaly Petrov
Renault
56
+1 Lap
16
14
-2
16
Kamui Kobayashi
Sauber-Ferrari
56
+1 Lap
17
8
-9
7
Michael Schumacher
Mercedes
56
+1 Lap
18
15
-3
12
Pastor Maldonado
Williams-Cosworth
56
+1 Lap
19
19
20
Heikki Kovalainen
Lotus-Renault
55
+2 Laps
20
20
21
Jarno Trulli
Lotus-Renault
55
+2 Laps
21
21
24
Timo Glock
Virgin-Cosworth
55
+2 Laps
22
23
25
Jerome d'Ambrosio
Virgin-Cosworth
55
+2 Laps
23
22
23
Vitantonio Liuzzi
HRT-Cosworth
54
+3 Laps
24
24
22
Narain Karthikeyan
HRT-Cosworth
54
+3 Laps

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