Sebastian Vettel in control in Valencia

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 26th June, 2011 - 11:39pm

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Vettel made it six wins from eight for 2011

Vettel made it six wins from eight for 2011

Sebastian Vettel has returned to the top step of the Formula One podium in Valencia, winning his second consecutive European Grand Prix.

The German controlled the 57 lap race from pole position, eventually beating home local hero Fernando Alonso by 10.8s.

Mark Webber was third after falling back in the closing stages with a gearbox problem.

Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Jaime Alguersuari, Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld rounded out the top 10.

Webber had been lucky to hold onto his second place grid position at the first corner, with a fast-starting Felipe Massa backing out of an inside move at the last moment.

Alonso took advantage of the situation to pass his team-mate around the outside, before beginning a race long duel with Webber.

The Australian gained ground on his team-mate by pitting slightly earlier during the first two of three pitstops, but lost second to Alonso on the race track on Lap 21.

Webber then took back the position by making his second stop one lap earlier than the Spaniard, before losing it again on the third and final round of stops having struggled to get front-tyre temperature in the medium compound rubber.

It was a difficult race for McLaren, with Lewis Hamilton kicking off all three pitstop cycles, to the detriment of his long run pace.

The 2008 World Champion was still able to beat Massa home by 5.5s, with the Brazilian’s chances of taking the position late in the race dashed by a left-rear wheel issue at his final pitstop.

Jenson Button lost 12s to race leader Vettel in the first six laps alone after slipping behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in the opening corners, and fell further behind the top five late in the going thanks to a KERS issue.

Alguersuari’s second consecutive points finish came courtesy of a two-stop strategy – the ‘other’ local hero the only top 10 finisher not to choose a three-stop.

Sergio Perez was 11th after undertaking an even more ambitious one-stop strategy, eventually missing the points by less than seven seconds.

Michael Schumacher’s race was dashed when he made contact with the Renault of Vitaly Petrov at the first corner after his first pitstop – the incident requiring a new front-wing.

All 24 starters finished the race – the most ever finishers in a Formula One Grand Prix.

See below for the full race result

Pos Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid
1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 57 Winner 1
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 57 +10.8 secs 4
3 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 57 +27.2 secs 2
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 57 +46.1 secs 3
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 57 +51.7 secs 5
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 57 +60.0 secs 6
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 57 +98.0 secs 7
8 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 18
9 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 56 +1 Lap 10
10 Nick Heidfeld Renault 56 +1 Lap 9
11 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 16
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 56 +1 Lap 13
13 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 17
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 56 +1 Lap 12
15 Vitaly Petrov Renault 56 +1 Lap 11
16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 14
17 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 56 +1 Lap 8
18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 56 +1 Lap 15
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 55 +2 Laps 19
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 55 +2 Laps 20
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 55 +2 Laps 21
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 55 +2 Laps 23
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 54 +3 Laps 22
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 54 +3 Laps 24

See below for the championship points after eight races

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 186
2 Jenson Button 109
3 Mark Webber 109
4 Lewis Hamilton 97
5 Fernando Alonso 87
6 Felipe Massa 42
7 Nico Rosberg 32
8 Vitaly Petrov 31
9 Nick Heidfeld 30
10 Michael Schumacher 26
11 Kamui Kobayashi 25
12 Adrian Sutil 10
13 Jaime Alguersuari 8
14 Sebastien Buemi 8
15 Rubens Barrichello 4
16 Sergio Perez 2
17 Paul di Resta 2
18 Pedro de la Rosa 0
19 Jarno Trulli 0
20 Vitantonio Liuzzi 0
21 Jerome d’Ambrosio 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Timo Glock 0
24 Pastor Maldonado 0
25 Narain Karthikeyan 0

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