Nico Rosberg
2016 Formula 1 World Champion
Immaculate Alonso becomes first two time winner, comeback pair on podium
Scuderia Ferrari
Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 14.55.39
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Jun 2012   |  3:04 pm GMT  |  490 comments

Fernando Alonso became the first two time race winner in 2012 with a stunning victory in the European Grand Prix.

It was a very valuable win as both his main title contenders did not score points; Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel both fell by the wayside, giving Alonso the chance to open up a relatively big points lead. He has 111 points with Webber on 91, Hamilton on 88 and Vettel on 85.

After a dramatic final dash to the line, the two comeback kings got great results; Kimi Raikkonen finished second ahead of Michael Schumacher. It was Schumacher’s 155th podium and the first of his three year comeback.

Starting 11th on the grid, but with the advantage of new tyres saved from missing Q3 yesterday, Alonso gained three places off the start line, fought his way through the field in the opening stint, took the opportunity offered to him by another pit stop problem for McLaren to pass Hamilton. He passed Grosjean for second place then took the lead just after half way through the race.

The race looked to be Sebastian Vettel’s for the taking, the only time he had any company all afternoon was at the start and then mid-race, when the safety car was deployed.

But Vettel pulled off the track soon after the restart and into retirement.

“Difficult to express the feeling, winning a home Grand Prix, ” said Alonso. “It’s unique. To win here in Valencia with this special team, I’m feeling very proud to be a Spanish sportsman. It’s probably my most special victory.

“Yesterday we had a tough moment, we were sad not being in Q3, but we didn’t give up. Anything can happen, today we had an amazing race a good start, 6 or 7 overtakings. We have to enjoy this.”

On the grid, Schumacher, Webber, Perez and Vergne went for the medium tyres, a clear indication that they were planning a one stop strategy. But their decision to pull out of this and switch to two stops late in the race gave Webber and Schumacher great results.

At the start, Vettel got away well, with Hamilton in second, but Grosjean squeezed past Maldonado for third place. Button lost four places to 13th and Rosberg fell to 11th.

Grosjean attacked Hamilton, while Raikkonen had a go at passing Maldonado for fourth, the Finn went off the track but couldn’t get past.

Vettel put in a very strong opening couple of laps to be well clear of the DRS zone by the end of lap two and after seven laps he had an eight second lead over Hamilton.

With Grosjean feeling that he was losing time behind Hamilton, Lotus needed to review their strategy options. But Grosjean passed Hamilton for second place on lap 11 and set off after Vettel. Grosjean’s pass was around the outside after the DRS zone. Grosjean dropped Hamilton by almost two seconds on the first lap in clear air.

Kobayashi had got himself up to fourth place, while both Ferraris gained three places from their grid slot, with Alonso eighth in the opening stint and Massa 10th.

Raikkonen passed Maldonado on lap 13 for 5th place, a great move around the outside again. Both Lotus drivers were very committed in their moves.

Hamilton pitted for mediums, while the other front runners mainly went for another set of softs. Hamilton was suffering from overheating tyres.

Alonso rose to 3rd before his pit stop and he rejoined 9th, just ahead of Raikkonen, who had been two places ahead of him in the opening stint. Alonso passed Webber and then Alonso and Schumacher had a great battle, the Spaniard squeezing past on lap 19 using the extra grip of the new tyres.

Kobayashi made contact with Senna as he tried to come through on new tyres, it put Senna into a spin and Kobayashi needed a new nose.

On lap 24 Di Resta pitted for a set of medium tyres and rejoined 14th.

The top three cars were very spread out with Vettel over 20 seconds clear of Grosjean, who was almost 10 seconds clear of Hamilton. Approaching half distance Alonso started to reel in Hamilton.

On lap 29 the safety car was deployed for debris on the track from an incident between Vergne and Kovalainen. Grosjean, Alonso, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg pitted immediately. Hamilton had a problem with a front jack and another long stop meant that Alonso passed him, as did Raikkonen. Hamilton dropped to sixth place.


Vettel pitted a lap later and rejoined in the lead. Now all the front runners were on the same medium tyres of the same age, which threatened to take away from the drama of the final laps on varying tyres. Although Daniel Ricciardo kept the interest alive by staying out on very worn soft tyres after the restart.

At the restart Alonso forced his way past Grosjean for P2, a move which turned out to be a very important move as a few moments later Vettel pulled off the track with no drive to retire, leaving Alonso in the race lead. An overheating alternator was blamed for the retirement.

But Grosjean hadn’t given up on the idea of a race win. lap after lap he stayed with him, matching his lap times and biding his time.

Mark Webber had climbed to sixth, but in a few corners on lap 37 was passed by Maldonado, Hulkenberg and Di Resta. He was another driver who made a late second stop for soft tyres and made great use of them; ending up fourth, from 19th on the grid.

The stewards investigated Hamilton for passing under yellow flags, but cleared him. However they penalised Kobayashi for a collision with Massa, five grid places at the next race.

On lap 41 Grosjean pulled off the race track into retirement, leaving Hamilton in second place and Raikkonen third with Maldonado and Hulkenberg giving chase.

With 12 laps to go, the top three started to close up; Raikkonen was told that if he could get ahead of Hamilton he’d have a chance of winning as Lotus expected the Ferrari to struggle on the tyres at the end.

In the closing stages Di Resta on his one stop strategy was vulnerable as Schumacher and Webber went past him on fresher tyres. Schumacher had been trying to do one stop, but a late stop for soft tyres gave him a chance to attack in the closing stages.

Raikkonen attacked Hamilton with two laps to go and passed him for second place. Maldonado tried to follow the Finn, but Hamilton defended robustly despite rapidly fading rear tyres.

Hamilton refused to allow Maldonado through and as he resisted he and Maldonado collided, Maldonado coming back from outside the race track, in a move most commentators saw as Maldonado’s fault – putting Hamilton out of the race. The enmity between the two from last year was clear to see and won’t have been improved by this incident.

Maldonado saw it as Hamilton’s fault, “He tried to put me off the track,” he said. “He didn’t leave any room for me to stay on and do the corner side by side. I jumped over the kerb and I couldn’t avoid the accident. I don’t know why he drove like that. He was struggling too much with the tyres. He was completely lost and at that moment I was getting very good pace. He tried a very aggressive move on me.”

This allowed Schumacher to come through to take his first podium of the comeback.

Hulkenberg finished fifth, despite not having KERS from lap seven, which is quite an achievement when considering how important KERS is in both passing and defending.

EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX, Valencia, 57 laps
1. Alonso Ferrari 1h44:16.449
2. Raikkonen Lotus + 6.421
3. Schumacher Mercedes + 12.639
4. Webber Red Bull + 13.628
5. Hulkenberg Force India + 19.993
6. Rosberg Mercedes + 21.176
7. Di Resta Force India + 22.886
8. Button McLaren + 24.653
9. Perez Sauber + 27.777
10. Maldonado Williams + 34.630
11. Senna Williams + 35.900
12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 37.000
13. Petrov Caterham + 1:15.871
14. Kovalainen Caterham + 1:34.654
15. Pic Marussia + 1:36.565
16. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap
17. De la Rosa HRT + 1 lap
18. Karthikeyan HRT + 1 lap
19. Hamilton McLaren + 2 laps

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490 comments

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1

I said this in your thing a while ago. Fernando, YES! The perfect podium, past and present Ferrari drivers, I have being waiting for this all season. YES YES YES!

2

+1

3

It's only in quali that your car must make it back to the pits without aid.

4

One may not like Alonso,one may not like his

team,but which ever way you slice it he is

simply the best on the GRID period.

as for Mr Marsh remark if would be best to

get of the grass.

HE PASSED the chequered flag

5

Stats to date

=============

Podiums: FA4,LH4,KR3,SV2,NR2,RG2,JB2,SP2,MW1,PM1,MS1

Points Finishes (4+): FA8,MW7,LH7,KR7,SV6,NR6,PdR5,RG4,KK4,JB4,NH4,BS4

Longest podium streak (season): LH3,FA2,KR2

Current podium streak: FA1,KR1,MS1

Longest points finish streak (season)(3+): FA8,LH7,NR6,SV5,KR5,MW4,RG3,MW3

Current points finish streaks: FA8,NR6,KR5,MW3,SP2,JB1,PdR1,MS1,NH1,BS1

Retirements (not classified)(3+): MS5,RG4,KK3,CP3

6

What about leaving a ferrari out on track . Stewards opinion ?

7

To all of you: please see below answers to post #25.

8

I was wondering the same myself. I seem to remember at the Spanish GP that Hamilton was penalised for running out of fuel on the slowing down lap. So why did Alonso stop and, if he ran out of fuel, shouldn't he be penalised?

Note that I think Alonso drove an outstanding

race today and he gets my vote for driver of the day, so the comment is about fairness not favouritism.

9

when a driver wins a race he is supposed to go straight the the scales to be weighed and not supposed to come into contact with any other team member incase they add weight to the driver however alonso not only stopped on track and didn't make it back to poarc ferme he came into contact with other people and was able if needed to pick up extra weight from the track its 1 rule for 1 and any thing goes for ferrari as ever alonso should have had the race win taken off him

10

The rules are actually different between any practice session (inc. quali) and the race. The rule is that the cars are required to go back to the pits and provide a sample after every practice session, and quali is considered a practice session. No such rule about the race.

11

The getting back to pits with 1L fuel thing only applies in Quali I think

12

Alonso said afterwards that he was told to stop for a problem - it wasn't a shortage of fuel.

13

Hamilton's was in Q3 where cars gotta return to Parc Ferme. Alonso's was at the end of the race.

Strange rules I know, but then there you go lol.

14

I don't remember him saying he ran out of fuel?

I believe he said that there was a "problem" with the car.

Anyway there is a huge difference between qualifying and the end of the race: You can stop in a place and do a Monaco-Schumacher attempt at preventing someone from going pole.

15

Alonso said in press conference that they had a problem with the car, although I dont believe that.

What I do know is that is has been done many times in the race and not penalized, but Ive never seen it in Q3 until Hamilton did it back in barcelona.

16
hero_was_senna

I think it's to do with Hamilton stopping during qualifying, when a team could light-fuel a car for an advantage.

In the race, cars have a maximum limit for fuel available but they put less in for competitiveness.

The goal is to finish the race.

There has been times in the last 2 seasons that Button and Vettel have stopped just after the finish line.

17

After the race is over, there's no specific rule mandating return to parc ferme. There just needs to be enough fuel for the required sample, which is why we frequently see people stopping o track.

18

James can you help here

just to clear up this confusion

you only need the fuel after qualifying

once race has started parcfurme has finished the only rule applying after race is car weight and besides he finished all the laps on the race and brokdown halfway back

so he had fuel for the entire race distance

so no conspircies please he won because he finished first

another note though

Vettle was leading and lost cos of breakdown

but with 20 or so laps to go he might have got beat by Alnso in the end

highly unlickly I know but those final set of tyres might not have been as good as the first and 2nd set

James to you if you please

19

Yes, there's no problem with breaking down after the race, as long as he has enough fuel for FIA checks.

I doubt Alo would have caught Vettel, to be honest. The Red Bull was too fast and the strategy was perfect

20

There is no rule they must get back after the race, you can often see cara stopping at the end of the pit lane so they can be pushed back as they would not make it. Plus, it has not been released why alonso stopped exactly, it may not have been a fuel issue.

Alonso ran a brilliant race, and has been the most consistent and well deserving of this 2nd win out of all the drivers, so I don't think anyone should try and accuse him of cheating now. Hamilton was in a different scenario completely, so they cannot be compared.

21

The rule is the same at the end of the race as at any other time in the event, the car must have enough fuel to get back the pits.

It's likely, but not explicitly in the rules, that a car running out of fuel after the flag will get away with it under the force majuere exception.

22

Wasn't that many races ago Hamilton did the same in q3 for pole , and he was penalized , i recall excluded , at lest from that session ?

Wasnt fuelled for the trip. Lucky for Alonso there was two safety cars or he would not have made chequed flag.Great drive though. Deserved WIN !!

23

It has been done many a time by drivers, and will be done many time again, often because of not enough fuel, but that means it was perfectly done by the team, surely?

24

Alonso's drive was, for me, the best drive I have seen from him or anyone else this year. Bravo sir!

As a vetran Hamilton fan, i'm gutted for him and furious with Maldonaldo, he had an option to turn left as DC said and instead decided to have an accident. Maldonaldo does not have the manners for modern day F1. He radiates agression in a very negative and unsportsman-like way in my uninformed opinion.

25

Maldonado is still in his 2nd season, a rookie. If Senna or Ricciardo made the mistake, people would be a lot harsher on Hamilton for not being more careful around a rookie. (But I do agree with others that if positions were reversed, the Our-Hammy-Brigade would still be fuming at Pastor).

And that's the point: he's a rookie. He still makes mistakes, and he is still learning.

Even the most experienced drivers have made seriously dangerous moves and questionable decisions-- from Alonso ignoring the yellows after Web's accident in Brazil (and having an even bigger accident) to Schumi vs JV (1997) or vs RB at Hungary.

The guy is talented, and massively backed. He'll be around forever. But hey, every spot needs a villain! (It's just surprising that Pastor looks the part so well!)

26

Please!! If the same thing happened with Maldonado on the inside and Hamilton on the outside all you guys would have been pissed that Maldonado did not give Hamilton room even though he got his nose in front before the corner. Hamilton gave Kimi enough room to go race in the exact same corner, but he drove Maldonado off the track.

Maldonado did the same thing to Kimi a couple of times during the race where he did not give him enough room, so he deserved it, but seriously Hamilton should have left Maldonado enough room to make the corner and shouldnt have pushed him out.

I am not a big fan of Pastor, but he was my hero for taking Hamilton out the way he did!!!! Result - Alo, Rai, MSc - Couldnt get better

27

Mate, I think you got lost on your way over to Crash.net.

My hero for taking another driver out? There's partisan and then there's just tribal.

28

video of romain overtaking lewis :

http://youtu.be/RlbpkLGIBPM

video of pastor overtaking lewis : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBEyWbX7znU

onboard video of pastor overtaking lewis (pastor never turns into lewis):

http://youtu.be/_so6sx6KiS8

29

If pastor was so sure he was going to hit Hamilton he most definitely knew he would take substantial damage as well and I don't think he wanted to lose out on a sure fire 3rd or 4th place even. Maybe the rules need to be tweaked like in gp2 where even if just the front wing of another car is alongside, you have to leave him enough room. You should be allowed to block but when the car is still behind you, not when he is alongside and is about to pass you. In this case, Maldonado was ahead of Hamilton just before they turned into the corner.

30

Quote 1: "I am not a big fan of Pastor, but he was my hero for taking Hamilton out the way he did!!!"

Quote 2: "I don’t condone taking a driver out intentionally".

See what you did there? What did Maldonaldo think would happen when his car hit Hamilton's? Because he did know he was about to hit him.

31
Romeo - MEX in USA.

Seriously ??? What world are you in ?? This is no MAD MAX. I am not a Hamilton but I am a F1 fan. Dammed Hugo Chavez.

32

I don't condone taking a driver out intentionally and I don't think that pastor did so in this case. He was shoved onto the kerb and any racing driver would keep his foot down if he was forced onto painted or not so grippy Tarmac off the track just as Hamilton did in Bahrain.

If nico hadn't moved Hamilton would have taken him out in that situation and again here I don't mean he would have "intentionally" taken him out but that is what we would have ended up with with both cars out of the race or substantial damage at least.

33

He is your hero for taking a driver out? That sort of comment rarely gets any air-time on this website. It is a ridiculous thing to say. No F1 fan wants to see a driver 'taken out', and that goes for all the drivers.

I am a long time Hamilton fan but Alosno drove brilliantly to win. I am not keen on Vettel but I would never want to see him taken out of the race, never, for any reason. It's dangerous for a start!

34

Something seriously wrong with Maldonado's attitude I think. Other drivers make errors leading to contact, but they are honest mistakes. Maldonado has a history of deliberately turning into people. I think it was in FP3 in Monaco where he deliberately turned into Perez- I think he was penalized? And then last year - I can't remember the race - it really looked like he turned into Hamilton on purpose out of anger right after they had an on-track incident. And now this- he was angry that Hamilton pushed him off track so he barged right into him.

35

Oh, the irony of it all!!

EVERY SINGLE comment being made about Maldonado and his comportment towards Hamilton, the "innocent" is EXACTLY the same as those being made about Hamilton last year.

Of course, where Hamilton fans were defending his "aggressive driving style" last year, in effect forgiving him, this year they are the first to condemn Maldonado for making the same moves against Hamilton.

As "they" say, what goes around, comes around!!

36

Phil Maddocks, you're getting confused with two different incidents. Fareed is refering to the incident at Spa, where Maldonado pole-axed Hamilton. Very deliberate and very obvious.

There's plenty of calculated nastiness in F1, I'm sure, but you don't see road rage with anyone other than young Maldo.

I think it is because his backers provide so much of Williams's funding that he feels he owns the team - or at least owns the car he drives. We all know that Williams had severe funding issues, so he's in a powerful position versus Frank.

37

Firstly, last year at Monaco it was Hamilton turning into Maldanado, with agreeance from the stewards and a just penalty to Lewis.

However, this time, yes, I believe Maldanado was probably to blame for the incident, although Lewis could have left him the room, as it was pointless Lewis fighting for it as he would only lose it the following lap. But saying this is terribly wrong, Maldanado did not deliberetely crash into Lewis, there was no where else for him to go after he had made the decision, he tried to turned left, but the curbs were just too high and the floor of the car got stuck on them and threw him in a straight line.

In simple terms, Maldanado has had some good races, and like all drivers, has made some mistakes, he will learn from these and mature greatly, like Lewis has done over the last 12 months.

38
Romeo - MEX in USA.

YES - MALDONADO IS DANGEROUS. 20 seconds penalty !?!?!?!? Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi were not so fortunate, however, after they were adjudged to have been the guilty parties in separate collisions and given ten and five-place grid penalties for the British GP respectively.

39

Agreed... He should have had a penalty for next race

40

But it was not Maldonaldo that cost Hamilton the win, it was how own pit team yet again. Had they not decided to film another episode of carry-on Piting, Hamilton would have been ahead of Alonso and inherited the race win (he was ahead beofore the latest bungling.

At some point the man at the top has to take responsibility. The man at the top is Whitmnarsh. The team may well have lost it for Hamilton already? What is the point of the driver coming back stronger than ever if the team are so far below par?

41

Roy Hodgson for McL manager. He's working on penalties.

42

Dave C etc - The tyre argument does not hold true. Leading a race put's different demmands on the tyres than following or defending. There is no way to say Hamilton could not have won that race as he would have been driving in a different position with different priorities.

43

I can't agree more. Hamilton is driving superbly this season and Mclaren are failing to support him as a top team should. Look at Alonso, he's also driving superbly but the key difference is that Ferrari as a team are performing magnificently. with teh exception of the gamble at Canada, they are taking a few calculated risks and it's paying off. Mclaren are just making silly mistakes.

44

Yes Lewis would have inherited the lead. But did you see how his tyres fell away 2 laps from the end? After Seb and Romain retired, it was either going to be Fernando or Kimi for the win.

45

Actually Hamilton could not havewon the race under any circumstances, even Schumacher and Webber might have got him on the final lap, Alonso was reeling him in just before the safety car, obviously Vettel and Grosjean would have easily beaten him and coz of his tyre issues Maldonado would have beaten him and also Kobayashi if it wasn't for Senna, and Raikkonen beat him fair and square on the track, if anything cost Hamilton today was his lack of pace.

46

You could also argue that Hamilton's tyres went off at such a speed that he would have struggled to hold Alonso off. Running out front would have helped the situation, but in truth the McLaren never got close to Alonso and then he was unable to hold on to second place.

47

Totally agree!

48

Two wrongs (Maldonado and Hamilton) don't make a right.

49

Yes but 3 rights do make a left!

50

err... that's fine then because there was only one wrong. Is anyone seriously going to suggest that it's ok to drive straight back onto the track and into another car, regardless of why thye are off the track?

51

Good old school unexpected dramatic car or engine failure.

Unfortunate for Vettel, but I've missed those. These cars are almost too reliable sometimes.

53

I've just been thinking the same thing. Is too much reliability a bad thing? I think it can be. An unexpected car failure can inject a shot of drama into a race like nothing else.

Think of Senna at Monza in '89, or Hill at Hungary in '97. This is a bit of theatre that maybe has no equivalent in other sports.

54

Think Schumi Suzuka 2006 - for the championship!

55

The interesting thing was, it wasn't exactly a high attrition race. Plenty of cars finished, but the retirements included a lot of the frontrunners, including the unexpected reliability problems of Vettel and Romain Grosjean, as you mentioned.

56

I must say I'm with you on that one. Am essentially missing refueling and tire-war as well.

57

I'm not missing refueling at all. Back then strategies were more or less fixed on Saturday. Now drivers and teams can and must be flexible. Then virtually no passing was done on track as the drivers would simply wait for the fuel strategies to work through and any passing was done in the pistop stage. Now there is much more incentive to make the pass on the track.Then there was no competition at pit stops as the time the cars was stopped was fixed by refuelling time, not the pit crews' skill in changing tires as quicly as possible.

However, I would like to see changes to the Pirellis- tires gowing off a cliff is not a great spectical as the driver really has no chance to defend when it happens. So make them wear more evenly, and let drivers make a choice about making more or fewer stops and have a chance to make it work, rather than having no idea when and if the cliff will be reached.

58

I'm right there with you about the tires -

- it's rather turning me off from F1 to see overtakes on defenseless drivers. I wish to see drivers competing at the very best of their abilities, not hindered by having to nurse their equipment along.

59

Schumacher didn't miss them problems all season. It's how f1 shud be.

60

I think McLaren is quite happy with just the tire changes....since they cannot even handle that

61

Refuelling would give them more time to change the tyres 😉

62

To a racing fan watching, is there a more crushing moment than seeing your driver retire from a dominating lead due to technical issue? It's just one of the emotions motor racing serves up. And we have not had it served up in a long while. I just wanted to point that out.

63

That's the very reason - and you put it so well - I'm missing engine failure retirements as well, I should have pointed that out. That I'm missing refuelling and tire-wars as well was sort of irrelevant to your original comment, sorry bout that.

64

What race, neither of my guys won (both DNF'd) but I can't help but be happy from this result. What a great day for Spain!

65

… and I wasn't even planning to watch this race. I'm glad I did. What a beautiful day! Both for Alonso & Schumi!

Michael, Spa is waiting for you! The battle of the Ardennes is gonna be awesome between Michael and Kimi!

66

+1. Cant wait for Spa.

67

Yeah, truly beautiful - from a racing point of view - to see Alonso, Kimi and Schumi on the podium, for once Michael had things go his way since his return.

As for Spa, I really hope Schumi has a great race - although I'm an Alonso fan - as I will be going to the Belgian GP this year, my first ever experience at a race.

Going to be a Hell of a race, let alone season.

68
hero_was_senna

Let me get this right, 1 podium after 2 seasons and 8 races this year, and now he's going to be racing for a win in Spa?? I'd offer odds for that one...

69

Getting ahead of yourself, right now Kimi and Michael are struggling even against their uninspiring team mates, maybe they are over the hill now, at Spa if it's cool then a 3 way Vettel Alonso Hamilton battle will be on the cards.

70

I think the incident between Lewis and Pastor shows the difference in mentality between "older" drivers and newer drivers. A lap earlier, Kimi had a chance to overtake Lewis in the exactly the way Pastor did a lap later, but instead of forcing himself past Lewis, he gave him room at that point and overtook him a couple of corners later, respecting the fellow driver. Pastor had no such respect for Lewis and consequently destroyed both his own and Lewis' race.

71

Looking at the collision in isolation, it was Maldonado's fault. He was off the track with plenty of space, but chose to drive back onto the track and into a collision. However, scoring no points was Hamilton's fault. With the benefit of my armchair experience - and he will probably agree with the benefit of hindsight, he should have let Maldonado go. There was no way he could withstand Maldonado for two more laps with his tyres in that state. He should have thought of the points and focussed on finishing with some, rather than focussing on trying to hold position and risking retirement. I'm a big Hamilton fan and was very disappointed with his result. Although I do like Alonso so it was not all disaster.

I'm also very scared of the upgraded Red Bull in Vettel's hands. This year has been great, but based on yesterday's performance, it looks as though the rest of this year could be like 2011 again. A 20 second lead before half way point?!?!?!?! Oh dear oh dear.

72

The Mclaren team has all the data and the luxury to analized the lap times other drivers are doing.... if I was the team principal I would tell Lewis, to defend from Kimi, but not from Pastor M. the team knew Pastor was faster than Lewis, and should of told him to let him go and keep the points... pastor was at least 20 seconds behind 3 laps from the end, what on earth was mclaren thinking, inform the dammed driver the situation and tell Lewis to let it go, more important are the points, specially when Vettel was out... the driver just can't do everything, I mean tactics and championship numbers while driving.... I feel he was left alone, and let down by his own team.

Just in case, if Mcalren told Lewis to back off, and he did not comply, then there is a major mistrust inside the team, stupid team times 3.

I said it before, I will say agian, Martin Withmarsh should go, he has proof to me, that he can ruin a good team, come on, can't he get the pit stops right?... can't he fix a process as simple as a pit stop, if he is not capable to do that, then how is he able to run a team?... I don't know, doesn't make sense to me, go away Martin W. and somebody else should be in there. MHO.

73

The question here is, would he listen a do what he is told? I don't think so. Don't want to start a new row here but Hungary 2007 set a very bad precedent in the Mclaren/Hamilton relationship.

74

I'm not so sure that Hamilton had to let Pastor pass. There was just over a lap left and there is every possibility that he could have held off, knowing that Alonso was winning would have meant that Hamilton needed to maximise his points. Letting Kimi past is a different matter because there were enough laps left for Kimi to pick his moment so Hamilton knew he couldn't fight it.

75

This is the most intelligent comment on this saga.

Yes it was Maldonado's fault...

But if Lewis wasn't smart enough to let PM go past and consolidate his own points total, instead of making a fight out of the inevitable, then his team certainly should have told him.

If the team did tell him but LH chose to ignore it, there's something serious going on and we will see LH in Webber's seat next year.

76

Team, driver or team principal, you expect yourself or your team to yield within minutes away from the flag?

If I were in any of those positions mentioned above I'd also fight like crazy to keep the position I have. Hamilton isn't the type of driver who'd give up without a strong fierce fight. It's that kind of character that makes his driving and racing so damn exciting.

77

+1

If I were Lewis my contract talks would ride on the demand for Whitmarsh and/or Sam Michael going. Which I can't see happening. Here's hoping to

Lewis going to Red Bull next year!

78

With all due respect sir he drove from a position with all his wheels off the track into the side of Lewis. Have a look at the angle the two cars are when they collided.

79

Lewis drove maldonado out of the track and thats why Maldonado had the fault in the pure incident. But originally it was Lewis who drove Pastor out of the track, watch the apex hamilton took on turn 12 that moment. As Ive watch the angle the two cars collided, watch the apex hamilton took 😛

80

I'm a fan of Lewis, but I have to lay the blame for that one at his feet. He could have walked from that race with 4th place, but instead got zero. Robust defending is one thing, but he didn't leave Pastor enough room, forcing him into the situation which ended up with Lewis in the wall.

After stating several times that consistency will win the championship, this was a clear case of the red mist descending over his eyes.

As for the failure of Seb's Red Bull with its floor and audibly off throttle blowing [mod] engine, all I can say is "Sometimes, Karma is a bitch."

81
hero_was_senna

Alonso in Canada lost places from leading and finished fifth.

He didn't fight pointlessly, because he knew he was not able to fight.

Hamilton in Valencia lost everything because he hasn't become this new Hamilton, he has curbed his enthusiasm but is still prone to incidents.

I said weeks ago, that Hamilton wasn't driving as his old self, he has tried to change his style consciously, not subconsciously as experience supercedes ambition.

Ok, so Maldonado has been found culpable, yet Hamilton had been passed by Raikkonen at the same corner but didn't drive him past the limit of the track, yet he drove Maldonado off the track and Maldonado isn't exactly renowned for his clear thinking temperament in battle..

Whoever is to blame, Hamilton has cost himself a significant amount of points that could prove critical. I like the fight of the guy, but there are times you wonder why he makes it so difficult. I mean, Mclaren are already doing that for him.

Regarding Alonso. Absolutely sensational, proof if ever were needed this man is the best.

82

What Karma? Seb done a solid job in a LEGAL car, would have won easily, got robbed, so did Grosjean, what Karma are you talking about? The only Karma was Maldonado on Hamilton, it's been long overdue, expect more from them 2, Alonso for the title now.

83

My understanding is that off-throttle exhaust blowing is illegal this year. If Seb's car was legal, then what was the all too familiar exhaust note clearly audible whenever he lifted off the 'go' pedal?

84
Spinodontosaurus

Maldonado could have braked, or heaven forbid turned left, after being squeezed off the track. Instead, he ACCELERATED towards the next corner and tried to take it almost as if he was oblivious Hamilton was there.

I simply cant even begin to understand how anyone can view it as Hamilton's fault.

85

Yes, how dare Pastor to even attempt to pass Our Lewis.

May his golden countenance shine down upon us from a top the podium for ever more!

Taz be praised!

86

'Hero' below pretty much summed it up.:-)

87

Pastor seems to react to anyone coming past by driving into them. We've seen it time and again. Kimi could see he was about to do that at the start and backed off: it could have been the first race incident with both of them off.

Smart of Kimi to let him go, although that gave Grosjean space to move ahead.

I recall Grosjean not being that smart couple of races back and as a result, he and Mal had an early bath and 0 points.

88

'Pastor seems to react to anyone coming past'.....

Coming past????

90
Romeo - MEX in USA.

+2

91

Poor Hamilton. Another catastrophe. Reminds me so much of Andy Murray he must have a lot of Scottish blood in him.

92

Like Murray in that he can't keep his head and makes mistakes because of it?

93

This was the fault of lewis. It was very clear that lewis purposely tried to put maldonado off the track instead of leaving him room, look at the hand movement of lewis, it is very clear. In the kimi incident lewis left room and kimi chose to wait. In the maldonado incident lewis did not leave room and puposely tried to push maldonado out of the track making a collision inevitable

94

I have to disagree, I have watched the replay a number of times and Maldonado had, at the very least, a majority of his car alongside Hamilton. According to the interpretation of the rules by Charlie Whiting, when you find yourself in this situation you must leave room for your opponent.

Hamilton pushed Maldonado off the track, that was most certainly Hamilton's fault.

Maldonado did come back to the track in an unsafe manner, that was Maldonado's fault, but I think he may have an argument that he didn't have time to react (not saying it is a 100% valid argument, just a plausible one).

Now comes the tricky part... Does Maldonado let another driver do that to him? Does a young driver, trying to assert himself in F1 let Hamilton push him around? Of course not! Even if Maldonado is handed a penalty in the next race for coming back on the track in an unsafe manner it was worth it for him. He has put everyone on notice that he won't be pushed around on track.

95

Agreed.

The letter of the rules cannot be disregarded. Pastor was alongside, then Lewis took the line, pushing Pastor off (NOT leaving the 1 car width).

Both should have been more patient. But the 1-car-width-rule has made this a racing incident, rather than a something egregious.

96

Excellent observation shane. The is a legal maxim of spanish origin which says "he who is the cause of the cause of the evil caused is the cause of the evil caused" The root cause of the accident was lewis putting maldonando off the track, maldonado could have kept his line in the track and the collision would have happened, he chose to avoid it at that instance, but as he re-entered he seems to have wanted hamilton to give him room which hamilton did not(hamilton was well within ihis rights not to at that point), Therefore looking at the collision in itself it would look like maldonandos fault, but this whole thing started earlier in the corner where hamilton pushed maldonado out of the track, thus, a big part of the blame should go to hamilton.

97

Not until he was pushed wide........Oh sorry, JOKE!

98

Yes, but he was off the track....

99

Well I guess the stewards sorted this one out! Fior what its worth both David Hobbs and Steve Matchett on Speed felt that it was Hamilton in the wrong. I tend to agree and let's face it Hamilton ain't no angel. Either way who cares FORZA Ferrari baby! Ah, y viva Alonso c@r@jo!

100

Lewis was ahead in the corner, he didn't need to leave room. Pastor should have backed out and cut the chicane. He wasn't ahead enough to allow himself to get alongside on the outside going through the corner.

I think with Kimi, he was further ahead going into the corner.

Lewis maybe could have been more pragmatic but I don't think he would have expected Pastor to continue trying to drive around him after going off the track!

101

I believe both of them are guilty, they seem bot quite childish, Maldonado didn't need to force the overtaking there as he was much faster, could have overtaken Hamilton few kerbs ahead, and Hamilton which was much slower could have let him go, as Alonso did in Canada with few more drivers(far more clever!!)

102

I support Jed on his opinion. Maldonado was clearly faster than Lewis and he had the outside line and he could of easily took the corner but Lewis pushed him out of the track, if you see the replay Hamilton took a much wider apex than older entries into the same corner. After Maldonado was off the track, Lewis didnt give him room to rejoin the track and it was Maldonado's fault the crash with Hamilton, but all the incident was originated by Hamilton.

As you guys are all british and blind Hamilton fans sometimes I doubt your judgement, but anyways I watched the replays manytimes and thats my belief.

103

Err...watch again. Maldonado was already off the track when he drove into Lewis.

104

That is your opinion, Sir, and you're entitled to it, but let me say that I'm much opposed to it and so seems the majority.

105

Sorry, but that's just not true. Whether you think Lewis was right or wrong in leaving enough space (I think he had the corner and left enough room, but who knows what the stewards think), you can't drive off the circuit and come back onto it at a 90% angle like Maldonado did. He could have braked or turned left, instead he just drove into an inevitable accident. He should get the same punishment as Vergne for the next race.

At the end of the day though, it doesn't matter what happens - the damage has been done and Alonso will get maximum reward for probably the drive of the season so far, Vettel's retirement notwithstanding.

106

You've got to be kidding ! Lewis left him room going in then Pastor tried to squeeze through on the inside over the kerb. That was just not on. Then he had the option to pull in alongside or behind, but instead aggressively take the lead from off the track- clear as day - Stupid!!

107

@ Jed that's absolutely ridiculous to blame Lewis if Maldanado had any sense he would have backed out of that move and pass Lewis later in the lap... Maldanado was off the track the rules do say you can't impede another driver when rejoining the track... Maldanado has had plenty of classless moves and never takes responsibility for his mistakes he's a maniac

108

I'm sorry Jed, but completely disagree. Everyone, all throughout the race, were taking the racing line and forcing people who were trying to overtake to back out of the move. Lewis did nothing different and Maldonado, instead of backing out drove straight into the side of Hamilton from being 4 wheels off the track!

Lewis has been at fault in the past but not this time

109

Disagree, Lewis gave Romain room, but none for Pastor after the red-mist descended.

When being overtaken, a driver must leave a cars space between him and the white line (regardless of the racing line). That's a stupid rule, but it's the same for everyone and fully applies in this situation, as Lewis took his normal racing line through the corner, he cut across Pastor (who was alongside entering the corner) and didn't leave and room, forcing Pastor off the track.

That Pastor tried to regain and ploughed into the side of Lewis is beside the point (rookie anger).

The penalty is appropriate as the his was off the track because of Lewis' actions (and deference to the stupid rule).

110

How did you get all that posted so quick James? Wow.

Awesome grand prix, loved every minute. Thanks again to Pirelli for giving us racing like this 🙂

... and Valencia, never a dull moment at this track is there?

111

This must be the first race in Valencia that was not boring. Amazing result, very happy for Fernando but also for the comeback duo and especially Michael.

112

Vettel and Grosjean were unlucky, but what a drive and result for Alonso. His two main rivals DNF, and a win at his home GP. Alonso had another great start, had good pace, and made some good passes especially on Grosjean at the restart.

Glad to see Micheal get his podium at last, with a very good final stint. Good result for Kimi but thought he should have got by Hamilton earlier.

Not sure make of the Lewis/Pastor incident. But with a tight championship battle, Lewis probably should have been a wiser when defending from someone like Pastor who’s not exactly known for his finesse on the racetrack.

Another poor race from Button, considering both Alonso and Webber started behind him. Time for McLaren to focus on Lewis for championship maybe?

113

It's up to the stewards to penalise Maldonado until he gets it into his thick head about how to drive. It isn't up to Hamilton to let him through just in case the guy decides to drive into him. Lewis wasn't squeezing Pastor into a wall or onto gravel or grass, there was plenty of tarmac there for him to cut across and rejoin behind, where he probably would've got him eventually.

114

Thats fine, but the stewards penalising Maldonado won't give Hamilton any points.

He doesn't have too let Pastor through, but he doesn't have defend so robustly with a driver who is known to have poor race craft with worn tyres, as it's likely to end in a collision.

Pastor can afford DNF's, Lewis, if he wants to win another championship cannot. Todays incident no matter who was in the right and who was in the wrong, hurt Lewis a lot more than it hurt Pastor.

115

"Lewis, Pastor is faster than you. Do you understand..?"

116

That is what Jimmy C is saying, there should be a heavy penalty for PM to demonstrate that the driving was not acceptable.

Frank Williams must be very very upset, PM has thrown away big points a few times this year.

117

What a race, so action packed and it was down to the last lap with all kinds of overtakes and incidents. Shame for lewis, got assassinated by Maldanado, I feel he should have stuck behind Lewis gear box then overtake in him without risking all his hard earned williams points. Overall great drive from Alonso, bring on the next race. And another congrats to the veterans Kimi and Schumi, seems the wise heads went through and the young fast guns (Seb, Lew and Gros) all had a DNF..

118

Kimi is Kimi, but I think he is disappointed because he was dreaming of coming back and blitzing the field with the promise that Lotus showed in winter testing.

I guess he wanted to get one back at Ferrari for firing him, and show the world that he can go off, do rallying and nascar for a couple of years, then come back and beat the world's finest.

I get the feeling that there is a little bit of resentment in Kimi - he just wants to be Kimi, but the media expect him to be someone he is not. And he is out to prove to the world that he does his talking on the track.

119

As a fan I have been uncomfortable watching Kimi's interviw. He can't even get himself to do 10 min of interviews after a race that he got 2nd. What's up with that?

He needs to show some respect towards the media who is trying to bring all these bits of news for us, the fans.

Probably he wanted to go and have a nap..like DC said. To me, it looks like Kimi doesn't respect this sport.

120

the best respect kimi can provide to this sport is by racing with fairness~~~ which he did, and arguably the most fair driver on the grid now, nth more!!

121

There is a reason why they call him the ice man, Kimi will never change. There are a lot of issues off the track that have been documented in the media about this personality and wild antics. The fact remains he is a great talent and fun to watch behind the wheel.Its these subtle differences that bring fun and all sorts to the sport. The sport itself can be questioned in terms of ethics but as a motossport fan the current mixture is proving this will be a vintage season. Maybe if Kimi spoke in Finish he would express himself a little bit more...my persnoanl opinion.

122

I understand everyone has its own personality. I don't expect him to smile and be cheery just because he speak with the media.

My problem is that it looks like he doesn't appreciate the efforts of the team and the fact that he got a very good result compared to others which their car broke down or crashed. They give him a car which is capable of winning and so far he had 2 second places, but he's looking so dissapointed.

How does that look to those people at Lotus who work long days to get the car faster and faster?

What satisfaction they get when one of their drivers gets second after a long race, but he looks so dissapointed and can't even praise their hard work.

123

Another week, another McLaren pitstop mess up. They just don't miss an opportunity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Hamilton should never have been put in a position to have to fend off the taxi driver from Caracas. Maldonado can't drive and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near an F1 race.

Ron Dennis should have been at the race. Whitmarsh is hopelessly out of his depth. He commands no respect, hence the mechanics misbehaving, slacking off and generally behaving like there's a substitute teacher in charge.

Either that or they are sabotaging Hamilton on purpose. Because I've never heard of such a string of pit stop incompetency in F1. Not even close!

124

sarcosuchus: Wow, there's nothing derrogatory about referring to Maldonado as "the taxi driver from Carracas," right? Regardless of your contempt for a Latin American driver, the guy is FAST and whooped everyone's ar$k in Catalunya!!!! Like it or not, we will be seeing lots of Pastor at the front!! There was plenty of blame to go around here and they both paid dearly.

125

The jack was faulty. Jack man had no chance, but no good dwelling on the ifs and buts.

126

You have a point! Time for them to go back to basics again, and look at the issue.So far its looking like the kit is giving them massive problems in terms of pit stops...Its been so bad this year the Mclaren pits stops have become a show on their own. Some how these problems used to be at williams,and since the transfer of a certain Sam, Mclaren pit stops have been droping in standars and Willaims have been improving.

127

Hamilton's problems were a result of excessive tyre wear, the pitstop problem played no part in the final outcome. Yes, the problem with the jack cost him a number of places, but the net result (after the retirements of SV & RG) was second place.

It would be interesting if you could expand on your "mechanics misbehaving, slacking off and generally behaving like there’s a substitute teacher in charge" theory.

128

Thank you Cliff for a modicum of proportion, in addition to Madonado, there are some hot-heads on here too!

129

+1 on the expansion of the theory of "mechanics misbehaving, slacking off and generally behaving like there’s a substitute teacher in charge".

Mechanical failures such as what happened with the jack not lifting happen.

The issue of wheel nuts no going on correctly is either a product, mechanical or a technique problem from the mechanic, but to say it is from lack of focus or professionalism is, I think, a bit harsh.

130

Disastrous race for Lewis.

First his team once again tried to ruin his race (I can't remember seeing simple mechanical jack failing sometime before... in the last 15 years), then Maldonado finished it (well, they both might have been wrong... want to see what stewards will say).

Regardless, somehow the fight for championship became harder for Lewis.

131

Pathetic from Jenson too. 3 or 4 of the his WDC rivals DNF'd today and Jenson only finished 8th. He needs a holiday.

132

Huh? Didn't Jens engineer this result for himself? 😀 lol.

133

WDC rivals? What championship are we talking about. Surely not the 2012 one.

134

Today was a missed opportunity for Jenson. Oh well, how did his triathalon turn out, what?

135

jenson and massa were just unlucky to pit a few laps before the safety car. everyone in front of them pritty much got a free pit stop.

136

Wow! I was not expecting that from Valencia! It had its lulls like most races, but the peaks had extraordinary action. So many stories!

A great race, which can be best illustrated by the extreme high and low emotions of many of the drivers: with Alonso and Schumacher ecstatic, and Vettel and Hamilton furious! I’m sure Grosjean is fuming too but probably still has that smile glued to his face!

It was looking to be a Vettel classic walkover (I had him as being the first double winner on the competition on this site). After the safety car I was rooting for Grosjean to win. Both drivers were deeply unlucky with their failures. The Lotus certainly looked the quickest race car and I think out of all their chances this season, this was the race they were the strongest and probably should have won but for various incidents: namely Grosjean being held up by Hamilton early on; losing out to Alonso on the restart (great positioning at the final corner from Fernando there); and finally the gearbox. Surely Lotus must get a win before year’s end.

Fantastic win for Alonso in front of his home crowd though; you can never count him out. He’s driven perfectly this year and maximised every race (apart from Canada’s strategy miscue). I think he’s the most intelligent racer out there. Great strategy for Schumacher and Webber too to claim such strong finishes and a Schumacher finally get his podium!

Poor, poor Hamilton though. Another McLaren pit stop mess ultimately cost Lewis the win, since he’d otherwise have been ahead of Alonso and not had to suffer Maldonado’s incompetencies. I was all ready to praise Pastor for a well-earned podium but seriously, the guy has pace and talent but his race craft leads a lot to be desired for and is not up to F1 standard. He’s just too aggressive and doesn’t appear to think at all. It was 100% his fault. He came from off the track to smash into Lewis for Pete’s sake! He hadn’t got enough ahead to make the move and considering Lewis’s tyres had gone it would have been an easy overtake on the next straight if he’d thought and been patient. Pastor isn’t striking me as having the most intelligent racing brain. Fuming!

137

I agree with much of what you said, however, Alonso would have caught Hamilton and passed him on the track if McLaren didn't have their jack issue in the pitstop. The Ferrari is much better on it's tyres and the McLaren wasn't fast today. 3rd or 4th was the best Hamilton could do today, the win was never in the cards.

138

Is Alonso the luckiest driver out there, 30s deficit to leader wiped from safety car and then inheriting a win from Vettel's issues for the third time.

139

Yes...the same safety car that screw is WDC in 2010.

140

You gotta be there to be lucky. He was right there when the luck came. Had he been in a position lower than where he was, he wouldn't have won it.

141

Remember that when the safetycar came out Alonso was 3'rd. He started 11.th which mean that he had overtaken 8 cars. On a track known to be difficult to overtake on. And who's to say that Alonso did'nt have the late race speed, and tyre management to take victory from Vettel. We'll never know, but Alonso drove a great race, and luckily got maximum reward due to Lewis and Sebastian's retirements.

142

Foad 3:24pm: Exactly.

143

Yes and the most skilled out there as well!

144

fortune favours the brave

145

Not in Hamilton's case. We've had countless examples over the last 3 years.

146
William Wilgus

'To finish first, you must first finish.'

147

Well then you could argue all the drivers who finished are super lucky Vettel retired, but what's the point? It's part of racing. It's better to say how unlucky Vettel was.

All you can do is comment on what Alonso did do. And he deserves a lot of praise for getting to the position he did. Great start, lots of overtakes, including the important one of nailing Grosjean at the restart, irrespective that Grosjean followed Vettel into retirement.

Vettel was unlucky not to win but that doesn't directly imply Alonso was lucky in winning the race.

148

He did amazing work to be in that postion! Luck helped him a lot today, but he met it more than half way!!!

149

One valid way to summarize it.

But on the other hand lets be honest, plenty of drivers got wins due to race events. That's motor racing as they say.

Also, think of entertainment value. Had Vettel won all these comments from around the world would be summarizing the exact lap on which their freshly painted walls dried.

150

You make your own luck. He got into a position to take advantage.

151

"Hamilton refused to allow Maldonado through and as he resisted he and Maldonado collided"

Sounds like somebody thinks Hamilton was at fault. Strange view considering Maldonado was well behind and not even on the race track, and had driven just about every other driver off the track in every passing move he made previously

152

I said to my partner about 10 seconds before the incident that Lewis needs to watch for Maldonado as he'd been very agressive all afternoon.

153

If you only look at the last 0.5 seconds Pastor was behind yes.

However Maldonado was actually AHEAD going into the corner and certainly alongside so Lewis should have left him a cars width. Instead, he drove him off the track creating the circumstances which led up to the collision itself.

Lewis started it, not least by weaving all over the track for at least a lap before that. Call it 50/50, call it no penalties, hope either of them learn something.

154

I tend to agree with your view but the bottom line is that even if is MAL fault HAM should be smarter...look at what ALO did in Montreal when he knew that he was poweless with no tires left? That is why in my opinion ALO is that cut above HAM.

155

You're the only poster to get it right so far!

Nobody has considered that it is TWO corners, almostlike a chicane. Maldonado was alongside Lewis going into the first (right-hand) part, but as they turned in, Lewis allowed his car to drift out to the left,so Maldonado had nowhere to go except over the white line.

He then had his floor on the raised red & white kerb, so braking would have been difficult even if he wanted to be behind Lewis again.

What was the decision-making time? A couple of tenths, perhaps. Ideally, Maldonado should have backed off, but would likely have spun.

Even more ideally, Lewis would not have moved so far left & given room as he did with Kimi earlier.

But these guys are RACERS & it's not in their nature to concede. Unfortunately, it was Lewis who had the most to lose.....& he did.

156

Based on the precedences set this season, Lewis didn't have to leave him room. Maldonado did the carbon copy thing to everyone else in the race, luckily for him they were all against people who didn't decide to drive into him.

If it is as you say, then there would have been no penalty for Maldonado, but guess what!

157

Well there wasn't a penalty really, all they did was equalising MAL and HAM's result, which seems fair.

If they'd really thought he was at fault they'd have done what they did with the other 2 incidents.

158

You're reading into things there I think.

159

Agree totally, Maldonado needs to bee reprimanded.

Kimis race was compromised, Webber wisely avoided him and while drivning off track and dan back into Hamilton. The guy is a loose gun and should be told to calm down. He is no Senna, hus style of drivning is quite ugly.

160

Lewis threw aways points fighting Maldonado, when his car wasn't up to it. That's what matters at the end of the day.

161

Like DC said in the BBC commentary, you can't just surrender every time someone like Maldonado comes at you, you'll get scared off the race track at every turn.

If we were 2 races from the end of the season I'd be more inclined to agree with you, but Hamilton was entitled to defend his position without fear of being punted off the race track by someone who had 4 wheels over the white line.

162

@nathhulal

I very much doubt the fact DC is British had anything to do with that comment, I doubt he would say anything different about any other driver.

And look at the incident, Lewis didn't push him off the track, he was over half a car length in front and was perfectly entitled to take the corner. Pastor had all 4 wheels off the track and kept his foot in. The race stewards agree that he was in the wrong and game him a penalty.

Lewis in Monaco was going for a pass and messed it up, he got penalised for it and rightly so. What Pastor did in Valencia was just idiotic and ruined both their races. I think he got off very lightly for deliberately driving into the side of another driver from off the track.

163

This time it was Mal's fault. However let's not get carried away with how fair LH is!

164

Like DC said in the BBC commentary, you can’t just surrender every time someone like Maldonado comes at you, you’ll get scared off the race track at every turn.

>> well a British Pundit is paid by British TV channel to defend a fellow Briton. So DC was doing, just what was expected of him.

By your logic "you can’t just surrender every time someone like Maldonado comes at you, you’ll get scared off the race track at every turn"

Same can be said in defense of Maldanado, Lewis has bullied him off the track in qualifying at Spa last year, ruined the Venezuelan's race in Monaco last year. Maybe Pastor chose this race to convey the same message to Lewis, that just because you are F1 champion, and you drive for a front running McLaren team, doesn't entitle you to push other drivers off the track.

I am not justifying what pastor did, but the only other option he had after Lewis pushed him off the track was to keep going to the left over the kerbs in run-off area and ruin the floor of his own car and suffer DNF.

I suppose Pastor just chose to convey Lewis what the stewards are scared to do, after Lewis played the color card after Monaco last year.

Immature decision by both 25 something drivers, goes with the territory.

165

Compare it with the Grosjean overtake, and you'll see how it should be done - and also how Hamilton is aggressive, but in the end fair.

If you're a racing driver, you can't make it too easy for your opponents overtaking, especially with only two laps to go.

If Maldonado was really too fast to hold off, why did he not back off and make the pass in the DRS zone ?

166

What's the saying, quit whuile you're ahead Maldo is a brawler and had the faster car. Lewie should have settled for points.

167

If you’re a racing driver, you can’t make it too easy for your opponents overtaking, especially with only two laps to go.

>> By that logic, why did Lewis chose otherwise with Kimi on previous lap? His car was not in position to defend on previous lap and it was the same with Pastor trying to get past him.

Lewis was having the situation we see at least one driver per race in final laps of the race this season. The tyres are not there to give any traction and the driver starts falling off, ala Alonso in Canada and Kimi in China. Smart thing is let drivers pass and try to salvage situation.

Just because the driver in the tow is Pastor, the rules of game don't have to change suddenly.

Discretion is better part of valor, this lesson is for "both" young turks I say

Immaturity on both sides.

168

So it's Lewis' fault that Maldonado drove into the side of him? He should have pulled over and waved him by? He did the exact (and completely fair) thing to Kimi the lap before and Kimi did the smart thing and waited for a better moment.

169

LD01, so a driver is not eligible to fight if the car's tyres ain't up to it?

I don't think anyone in the world expects and wants Lewis to give up as long as it has fuel in it. Rather than Lewis giving way, Pastor could have passed him at any other part of the circuit rather than right there and then taking both out since he has a better car anyway.

170

Second LD01's comment and sentiment. Lewis had more at stake here, and in the previous lap, he let Kimi through without much resistance (since his rear tyres were not in the position to defend). However, with Pastor chasing him ( in a faster car), their history seem to have clouded Lewis' judgement, and he kept pushing Pastor out of track.

If Pastor indeed had kept driving to the left, all he would have ended up was going over the sleeping police kerbs in the run off area and destroying the floor of his car (and hence DNF), so he chose to turn right and get back on the track along with Lewis, and he was a passenger once the corner kerb was below his car, you can see in replays, his steering input was not changing the car direction.

So it was Lewis, who had brain fade after showing sense in letting Kimi pass in previous lap.

171

He's entitled to race hard, especially defending his position in the last 2 laps. And who knows? He may have been so busy at the wheel he did not know it was "it's never my fault" Maldonado behind him. I wouldn't put it past McLaren not telling him.

If it does come down to a mere handful of points at the end of the season, the first party to take blame should be the team, not Lewis.

172

Didn't say it was Lewis' fault.

However he 'raced hard' against a notoriously aggressive driver, who he has history with, when his car's tyres were dead. It's not a matter of retrospect. He was always going to loose the place, just look at the previous half a lap. Lewis' car could barely stay straight.

Look at the last races were top drivers cars tyres have 'gone off the cliff'. They've conceded of pitted. No point in wrestling the car as you'll take more out of the types and are likely to go off / hit a wall or another car.

Halfway through an incredibly tight championship is not the time to throw all caution to he wind. Whatever penalty Maldonado deservedly gets, will it matter at the end this season if Lewis or McLaren miss out by 10 points on a WDC / WCC?

173

Hamilton and Maldonado did not "collide"

Instead Maldonado crashed into him from off the track. Should be a heavy penalty. Disgraceful driving.

174

Just read that Maldonado blames Hamilton entirely for the incident!!! Is this guy for real?!?! Maldonado should've backed out of that move, or tried to keep a tighter line out ... he drove to the right! 100% his fault, and I can't believe there's been no post-race time penalty, plus grid-penalty at next race (it was as ill-judged a move as Kobayashi's, surely).

Agreed with others that Hamilton shouldn't have defended as robustly as he did, should've let him go and keep his speed up vis-a-vis those behind Maldonado who were also closing.

And again with an abominable pit-stop! I don't think Hamilton had the pace to win today, but he should've been ahead of Alonso out of those pit stops, and surely wouldn't have been passed into turn 1 like Grosjean was.

Unlucky day for Vettel and Grosjean. Vettel had this one in his pocket until his car blew up.

175
Bring Back Murray

Maldonado shouldn't have driven into Lewis and taken them both out but why was Lewis fighting for the position so hard in the first place when his tyres were completely destroyed. He was asking for trouble, especially against Maldonado. He'd still have taken home a half decent points total and made up ground on Vettel.

So frustrating though wasn't it, especially as he'd already been through that dodgy pit-stop and managed to avoid any penalty for not slowing down under the yellows.

Lewis needs to forget about this quickly and come back fighting again at Silverstone

176

So the answer, when you are a lap or so away from the flag, is to lift off to let someone through just because the tyres have gone off? "After you sir, you are clearly quicker than me and deserve the points more..."

177
Bring Back Murray

"So the answer, when you are a lap or so away from the flag, is to lift off to let someone through just because the tyres have gone off?"

Jimmi C, I'm all for having people race for position but didn't you see how much Lewis was sliding around a lap or two before Maldonado challanged him? (After Lewis had the major lock up) Lewis ended up going out all guns blazing to defend against an extremely aggressive driver (in Maldonado) in a car that Lewis was barely able to control himself. And look where it all ended up. At the end of day 5th place is still a good save - I personally don't think it was worth fighting over the 4th place in this instance.

178

JimmyC - Wasn't that Lewis's answer for Kimi Raikkonen on the previous lap??

179

It's called judgement. Some drivers have it, some don't.

180

If it's inevitable he will pass then yes, that's exactly what you do. Holding him up for half a lap costs you even more time which might let MORE people catch you.

The key is to give yourself the best possible result. Staying ahead of Maldonado was not possible, getting 4th by letting him go WAS.

181

I don't think he was saying he should have let him through but maybe been more pragmatic - though when it's was for a podium you're even more likely to want to do everything you can to hold the place.

Having said that, I believe it was 100% Maldonado's fault. Terrible driving. It was Lewis's first defence of him too so I don't think he did anything wrong in putting up his defence.

182

Agree, but as a Hamilton fan, part of me says LH should have backed off recognizing Maldonado's hotheadedness and the state of the championship (he would have finished 4th with valuable points)- even though Lewis was in the right. You might be in the right, but you wouldn't want to argue with someone that has a lot less than you to lose.

183

That's not an uncommon view from the neutral too. Maldo was in the wrong and had no steering once he got onto the kerb, but Lewis could have taken a view. He probably would have been top 5 if he'd let him go

184

Maldonado...that guy is crazy, I'm serious. He needs to get kicked out of f1 before he causes someone serious harm.....he's dangerous.

185

I agree with remengo, this kind of situations is what puts ALO above HAM.

186

Why Lewis didn't back off as Fernando did in canada? the situation was exactly the same, and I do not think that Alonso was scared of any driver yesterday......Maldonado selfentitlement will not disappear if he is 3 seconds faster in a single lap.

187
TheGreatTeflonso

I completely agree James. They were side by side, Hamilton chose to close the door, so Maldonado had to go over the kerbs and almost off track. That was Hamilton's first aggressive move, his second was taking the next racing line without giving Maldonado any room. He should have realized Maldonado was pushed onto the kerbs and left room because any driver may struggle on the kerbs. The robust defense was pointless anyway because Maldonado would have easily taken him and Hamilton should have focused on saving his tyres. Two wrongs don't make a right, avoidable accident from both in my opinion.

188

I am with James Allen on this one. We have seen every race this season, one driver for sure sufffers the "Pirellis going off the cliff" ailment in dying stage of race. We have seen in previous races where Kimi and Alonso, wisely chose to let the faster cars behind them pass them and salvage the situation, by collecting whatever points they could get.

Lewis too chose to let Kimi pass without any fight. But with Pastor, adrenalin seemed to have taken over the Briton and he kept pushing the faster Pastor after Pastor's car was half way through.

Pastor had nothing to lose here ( we know the range of penalties the stewards hand off and that too inconsistently). The Venezuelan had two choices either keep going towards left ( what Vettel expected Karthikeyan to do in Sepang was considered wrong by majority fans), Pastor's problem were those bumpy kerbs in run off area that would have destroyed his floor and gave him DNF or worst airborne ride. His other choice was to avoid those kerbs and trying to get on the track by taking right. So he had not much option here. And as analyzed on the TV replays once his car hit the corner kerb, he was pretty much passenger and had no control on his car.

So Lewis made a wrong choice and now has a DNF to show for it.

189
hero_was_senna

Only have to look at Alonso's 5th place in Canada to see how he would have driven...

190

James, Maldonado's car has brakes, right?

191

Also Hamilton should have expected Maldanado to try to get back on track and left some room. Instead he tried to take the perfect line for the next corner. This is where others like Alonso, Kimi, Button are smarter and leave a margin for error, thus are less likely to fall victim to such incidents. People can say all they wannt that it was primarily Maldonado's fault, but it does'nt matter cos Lewis was also a big loser.

192

I don't know James,I dont think any driver in Lewis position would just pull over- Just look at how many laps Pastor blocked Kimi .At the end of the day Pastor effectively cut the corner anyway and would have had to give that place back to Lewis under the regs. He came straight back at Lewis - made no attempt to merge.

193

I'm all for Lewis playing it cool and looking at the long game, but you have to draw the line somewhere surely? Were his tyre's in that much a worse state than Maldonado's that a pass was inevitable round Valencia?

194

James, it'd be interesting if you discuss where Hamilton would likely have finished in the Strategy Report. I think a lot think he would have finished 4th but Schumacher and Webber only finished 6 seconds or so behind Raikkonen, and Hamilton was dead slow at the end. So I think Schumacher and Webber may well have had him too, pushing Lewis back to 6th. Is that the likely event?

195

I disagree, James.

If you allow a driver to intimidate you out of defending a position - particularly this close to the end of the race - he's going to make stupid moves like this every time.

(If there had been 10 laps to go, I might agree with you.)

Maldonado's sense of entitlement reminds me of Schumacher, but without the outstanding talent, and engaging personality...

196
Bring Back Murray

I think I've just replied to Jo Lgas with exactly the same context as you have!

197

Great race. Lots of passing. Great to see Alonso (at home) and the comebackers on the podium. Feel for a couple of of the DNF's but them's the breaks guess. Nice recovery for Webber from 19th.

I know there are mixed views about whether the effect of the tryes is artificial, but there has sure been a lot happening the the final 10 laps a few times this year. Got to be good for the ratings?

Looking forward to the next race already.

198

This gran prix will be called classic for so many reasons!

199

All credit to Charlie Whiting for making it happened. If not for the safety car, the flood-gates of chaos wouldn't have opened. All we had after the safety car was organized mayhem and the stewards ( I guess on smoke or bio-break), drivers were passing under yellow, wrong drivers given drive thrus (Senna), Drivers given penalties for wrong infraction ( No contact between Kamui and Massa, it was either Redbull or STR car on his inside that punctured Massa), No explanation of why leading car had DRS open under Yellow ( Wasn't Schumi ahead of Webber, when Yellow flag were waved for Lewis DNF?)

All the hard work of Charlie, and Stewards contributed to "Not Typical Valencia Race"

200

Great race, Alonso showed pure emotion on the podium. What a drive, from 11th to finish first. I wonder how long before Massa is replaced. It was so significant to see Alonso crossing the finish line to take victory, and Massa following him behind, an entire lap down. Nice to see Raikkonen and Schumacher on the podium as well.

201

If I have the math right, Alonso now has 10 TIMES the points Massa does--10X--one order of magnitude. Not quite half way through now. Ferrari really need to think now I would say.

202

Did you watch the same race as everyone else?

Massa was so far behind because he made his second pit stop just before the safety car came out, compared to Fernando and the other front runners who pitted under the safety car and then while recovering got pushed off by Kobayashi, who gets a five place penalty for his efforts at the next race. It's accepted Massa had an awful start to the season and really struggled, however he was less than two hundreds behind Alonso in Q2 and like his team mate gained three places at the start.

I think it's important to be fair to people and right now Massa is doing a pretty good job since Monaco. He just isn't getting any breaks, a bit like MS all season or Lewis and Vettel today.

203

Here, here. Massa got caught out by pitting just before the safety car. He was running 7th before his stop and having a great race.

204

To Massa's credit, he was having a decent race until the incident with Kobayashi.

205

Truth or Less - With your kind permission, I would like to borrow your phrase "Did you watch the same race as everyone else?"

Massa was running 6-7th when safety car was deployed and he was in the group of drivers running 5-9th when the race restarted.

Blake S - I don't think Kamui caused Massa's puncture since Kamui had passed Massa on restart, I saw Massa get a nudge from either Webber or Ricciardo that caused puncture and forced pit stop. The Sky commentators started talking about the Blue car and then other incidents followed and Massa's puncture was not discussed after that. All we heard later that Kobayashi was handed penalty.

Kobayashi (and Alonso) were right behind Senna ( and both might have contributed to his spin by a tap on rear), but for weird reasons Senna got penalty for that incident. Crazy chaotic race....

206

KING ALONSO!!

very fortunate win for him, but he's absolutely relentless. As happy as I am that either VET or HAM didn't finish, i feel for hAM's mechanics!! They keep on shooting HAM on the foot.

207
hero_was_senna

Disagree.

He overtook Grosjean for 2nd after the safety car period, but through strategy and some beautiful over-taking, he was3rd at that point anyway, from 11th.

It was lucky that Vettel broke down, but this has happened so often in F1.

It was less than halfway, a suspected over-heating alternator failed, yet Webber had no problem and he was in traffic all afternoon.

Alonso completely deserved the victory. The team and the man are performing brilliantly.

It's everybody else that has to raise their games.

208

"i feel for hAM’s mechanics!! They keep on shooting HAM on the foot."

Shouldn't you feel for Hamilton's foot ?

209

It would have been nice to hear all the above from you in the radio commentary.

210

I'll be back behind the mic in Silverstone

211
Mike from Colombia

Thank God your back James.

Poor Jaime Alguesuari has had to do two people's jobs over the last couple of grand prix.

212

What was Maldonado doing? He went off the track... as Hamilton had the racing line even though he was slower, yet Maldonado came off the racing line, and pushed Hamilton off? When is this guy going to get it. So inconsistent yet shows some great pace. Hamilton was definitely fading, all he needed to do was wait until the DRS zone and save up all his KERS for that. Shame.

213

It's been a very long time since an F1 race has given me so much emotion. Bravo Ferrari, and epic, epic Alonso, a true national hero. Avanti!

214

Well, who would have thought the European Grand Prix in Valencia would be such an interesting and eventful race.

I was expecting a bit of a procession.

It sure is shaping up to be a real corker of a GP season.

cheers

215
David Selway-Hoskins

Phew, who said time travel is impossible, it must be 2004 or something!

216

2005 with Kimi-Alonso-Schumi doing team swap before climbing the podium.

2004 from Imola perspective where JPM who was half car ahead of Schumi on outside and Schumi pushed him off the track and JPM was handed off penalty. Stewarding is still at same levels as back then, random is the best way to describe it

217

What a fantasticly exciting race. James, have you heard anything about Michael being investigated for passing under yellow?

218

According to Ross Brawn, he himself double-checked the data personally and confirmed that Schumacher stopped using DRS 30m before the yellow flag zone, so he's confident there won't be a penalty, according to the BBC.

219
hero_was_senna

Yet video footage shows it was open in the DRS zone...

220

Webber is saying in the TV pen "We'll see if we can go from 4th to 3rd in next hour or two"

221

Oh dear, that'll be a shame. I'm a RedBull supporter, but it was great to Schumi up on the podium.

222

Won't happen - Ross Brawn confirmed MS closed the DRS 30 metres before the yellows.

223

James what is procedure for stoping on track and runing out of fuel, shouldnt that be the same rules as per qualifying(we know how that one finished for Hamilton). In my view this is worse than Hamilton even though amount of fuel wouldnt decide the winer but still rules should be applied the same. I think he stoped on purpose where he stoped because marshals on that spot had that doll ready for him which tells me it was already preplaned, F1 turned into a circus with few ppl pulling strings trying to create fake excitement and I realy dont think Pireli's are doing any good to the racing because this year it is them who control the race, I know tyres are always factor in racing but this year Pireli is actualy controling the races(I dont think they can control to individual driver but certain cars are benefiting from the Pireli).I would realy like to know whats gonna happen with ALonso's win, are they gonna be fair and deal with it as they dealt with Hamilton or just forget he stoped on the track...Thanks in advance...

224

Pre-planned? So they all knew Fernando was going to win and kept it a secret all weekend?

225

Alonso said after the race that he hadn't run out of fuel. He was told to stop the car by his pit, presumably for a problem shown on his telemetry.

226

If you allowed to park you car in qualifying, everyone would be doing it. Everyone would just put enough fuel in for the lap. Plus it is a hazard as others could still be on track on qualification runs.

The difference between doing it between Qualification and Race is that in the race once you pass the finish line the race is over.

227

few people creating fake excitement..

how can you even think like this....... Dude he won his home grand prix and its all natural....

228

Lol with F1 everything has purpose and nothing is done by guessing pls don't tell me that politics are non existent in F1, Rosberg won I would still be saying the same and as for the tyres they Pireli have way to much of a deciding factor this year however tyre imporance had been it should n ot be deciding the outcome just look at the teams no one is realy happy about. You all seem to miss the point that the rule is flawed, no fuel no sample no race win I dont know if I can make it any easier to understand my point was not fake excitement but to point out the flaw no matter who won and once again 1lap worth of fuel is nothing in real life but its worth something in race, I'm still convinced they couldnt save enough during the race so hence the stop...

229

Have you not seen race winners stop at the pit exit after the race instead of driving a victory lap. This happens all the time. No matter how many times you say it I still think it is becauyse Alonso won and not Hamilton and that is why you don't like this.

230

Did Rosberg not do the same this year when he won? Nothing happened, I think.

231

The only rule regarding fuel after the race is that they must have enough for a sample. It's not that uncommon to see a car stopping on the slowdown lap and no one's been penalised for it before. I didn't see Alonso take the doll so that's probably just a marshals mascott or something.

And you're wrong about the tyres, they're brilliant. Why is that preserving tyres is an excepted part of motorsport except in F1?

232

In the chaos that followed, he could have pocketed some marbles before weigh-in. But wait he was directly driven to podium and there was no weigh-in 🙂

233

They showed him being weighed just behind the podium before they went out...

234

Show me another motorsport that has intentionally designed their tyres to go off.

Preserving tyres and preserving manipulated tyres is not the same thing.

235

The rule regarding fuel only applies to practice sessions (including qualifying). Race you can stop; with many drivers in the past having done this. As for the "stop on purpose" nonsense, don't be ridiculous, he won his home grand prix and was overcome with emotion so stopped by the largest grandstand. Everyone has the same issue with the tyres, and in fact Ferrari suffered at the last race so again your comment makes absolutely no sense. Which certain cars are you referring to?

So finally, nothing will happen with alonso's win because it was entirely within the rules. Unlike hamilton.

236

Right so. Sorry to say, Leali reasoming of below is truly faulty.

237

Just to clarify when I said "unlike hamilton" before, I meant in relation to when he stopped previously and was given a penalty, not the incident with Maldonado. That was entirely maldonado's fault. I don't think Hamilton deserved the penalty in the former instance either (and certainly not the severity), but it was unfortunately against the rules which are clear, so mclaren were penalised. In fact the rule was created after mclaren did it in the first place, and they've done it about once a year since! Bit silly really. Whether the rule needs extending to cover races is a matter for the FIA, but everyone races to the same principle so they could all do it if they wanted. Plus, a small amount of fuel is going to make a bigger difference in quali than in the race....

By the way, I wasn't referring to your comment Leali when i stated "you can't fault his drive". That's just a general comment about the race, and how great it was - the fact it was a reply was probably misleading.

Cheers,

238

Ps. fantastic win for fernando (albeit with some luck) but you can't fault his drive. Great race.

239

No i never faulted his drive, he drove best to his ability but stoping where he stoped just look at the footage, its done the same way Lorenzo and Rossi do in motoGP they have designated place where they do away with ceremony same as this but thats beside the point, you see in practice they demand you come under your own power and have designated amount of fuel for parc ferme ok now you go to the race and they run out of fuel but they stop on the track because they wont have the fuel saved for sample, now why it irritates me is its 1. done on purpose(dont forget teams know down to the freaking deciliter not liter of how much fuel they gonna use) 2. it is manipulating the race result because had they use their own car they wouldnt have the fuel for sample therefore FIA wouldnt be able to confirm and say yes Alonso drove with legal fuel(I dont care which driver is at stake) so to have one set of rules for quali and diffferent for the race is stupid because in F1 even a 1L of fuel CAN make a difference). For the end just to say I'm not Hamiltons fan but now I realy feel for the guy and those ppl that commenting and saying that Hamilton is at fault I suggest you get a set of good glasses, he raced hard but everyone forgets that all this decisions drivers make in the heat of the moment but Maldonado is one of those who can best be described as V8 Supercar driver mentality because this kind of driving is actualy allowed in V8's(they allow you "gently" push someone out of the way or enough to make his car unstable so one can gain place just because they feel they are faster). Hopefully James chooses to cast his opinion, I know this happened in the past but I think they should draw the line because whether is 1ml or 1L it is manipulating.

240

James,

Was it you who did the post race interview with the podium guys.

I heard "3 former Ferrari World Champions"

Alonso is yet to win WDC with Ferrari right ;-)?

241

I heard that too. Myabe he hadn't filled his quota of a dozen commentary mistakes per race. No disrespect intended, but, I reckon he's hopeless. Why can't we have two real motorsport fans doing the broadcast? Bring back Alan Jameison.

242

With respect, I think Croft is pretty decent.

243

No David Croft today. I'll be doing it at Silverstone

244

Excellent !

245

An amazing race. Is this the same circuit where overtaking was not possible? I would like to know what is the difference because a lot of the overtakes were without drs. Maybe the tyres?

As a sidenote, james, you dont need a best driver poll this time. FA could get easily get 100% votes. Honestly, even if you are a Hamilton or Vettel fan you have to vote for FA today

246

Seriously James,

there is no point doing the "who's your driver of the day" survey... 😉

Probably better to do a "which was your favourite moment of the race" survey.

247

Also I feel sorry for Hamilton for another botched pitstop, but I think he should let pass a maldonado. Maldonado had a lot more speed and with two full laps being overtaken was a done thing. Trying to fight could only led to disaster (specially with maldonado). Look FA approach last race better being overtaken when you are way slower than lose the whole race

248

Agreed. What was Hamilton's engineer doing? He should have told Hamilton in no uncertain terms to not decent Maldonado. Think of the long game. If his engineer didn't warn him, Hamilton rightly should be furious with him.

249

So happy that Williams have send Sam Michael to the Wokings team. 2009 season Williams team more than thrice fumbled on Nakajima's pit stops when the Japanese driver's pitstop, when he had a point scoring chance. But well it doesn't matter if cock-ups happen to you if you are Non-British, Non-European pilot (in that order). Massa had Ferrari butter finger his pitstops in first six races in 2011 season. Fans only start worrying if Lewis/Jenson start getting impacted by Pitstops cockups 🙂

Selective memories and selective publicity, beauty of F1 😀

250

Webber went from 19th to 4th... there are always several contenders

251

Great race. That is the reason why Alonso is the best!

Good to see Raikkonen and Schumi on then podium too.

I'm loving this championship!

252

+1

Alonso's laps 17-19 were epic. Great race all round and prob my most fav three drivers on the podium.

253

I was going to vote for Grosjean for his attacking moves in the first couple of corners, but then Alonso gave him a absolute master-class lesson in F1 driving after the SC.

254

As a Ferrari fan, I am absolutely and immensely astonished by the win!

I did not even want to watch the race knowing that Alonso starts 11th in Valencia where overtaking is as easy as in Monaco.

He had a great start from P11 to P8, was managing his tires properly,made some spectacular overtaking maneuvers when he was unleashed into the clean air. He also managed to do a superb race restart and overtake Romain . Last 10 laps were really tough to watch, having memories of Canada,but it did not happen.

Clearly he was helped by some bad fortunes of Vettel, Hammilton and Grosjean (I am very sorry for them), but he did everything right.

You thing you need to learn in life - enjoy the moment, because everything changes:-) So yes, Ferrari doesn't have the fastest car and there is no 2nd driver to help Alonso, but seeing him leading the championship now is unbelievable achievement, you must agree.

Congratulations to Kimi and Michael and very sorry for Vettel, Hamilton and Grosjean.

In my eyes, Vettel has the highest chance of winning the championship. Apparently Red Bull now has the blown floor....and it looks like to be legal:-)

255
hero_was_senna

"He also managed to do a superb race restart and overtake Romain

Clearly he was helped by some bad fortunes of Vettel, Hammilton and Grosjean (I am very sorry for them), but he did everything right."

I have chosen these 2 quotes for obvious reasons.

He overtook Grosjean... so Grosjean breaking down didn't help him and whatever you may think, Grosjean wouldn't have been pressuring Alonso for the remainder of the race, Alonso was already moving away from him.

Hamilton, had his race ruined by Mclaren once again, yet last year Mclaren, Mercedes and Red Bull were all fantastic at pit-stops. Ferrari was generally slower.

For 2012, Ferrari has moved the game on, and the others have to react, so imagine the pressure when they know tenths of a second could see their guy lose a place, that's when problems happen.

The only good fortune to fall Alonso's way was Vettels retirement, yet no-one spoke so dismissively of Hamilton's win in Abu Dhabi last year after Vettel's tyre punctured.

256

Great race from Alonso, brilliant win.

I've noticed that Maldonado is a very difficult driver to go wheel to wheel with, he doesnt like giving other drivers space, as seen with his start move on Raikkonen and with Hamilton at the end.

257

Wow, what an incredible race. Romain's move on Lewis was pure class. Alonso's drive was masterful throughout. Really nice seeing the interaction between him and the fans after the win.

My driver didn't make it to the podium, but this race reminds me why I love F1!

258

Id gotten so used to seeing front runners no longer stop with a mechanical failure. Big surprise.

259

Fantastic drive by Alonso; controlled aggression on full display. He came off a big winner with Vettel and Hamilton coming to grief. Heads have to roll at McLaren; how many points have they lost Hamilton this season?

260
William Wilgus

How many points has Hamilton lost Hamilton this season?

261
hero_was_senna

None, but he lost plenty for himself last year...

262

I know you really didn't think about this one before posting it.

263

Erm... None??? Lol!

This year Hamilton has lost Hamilton NO points! The incident with Maldonado was not his fault and there definitely isn't any other occurrences??!!

264

Maybe the pit crew chewed up his rear tyres too.

265

Not many surely. And today's incident was a indirect consequence of another bad McLaren pit stop. Though to be balanced, they did do some very fast stops today.

266
Bring Back Murray

Hamilton Hamilton Hamilton.

Come on, Vettel was out. OK you wanted to minimise the loss to Alonso and know you're a natural racer but you didn't need to race Madonaldo so tightly like you did with dead tyres. You would still have taken a dencent enough points haul, and consitency is the key this season.

I hope these points don't come back to haunt him late in the season.

Alonso - well, any kind of written words would simply not be able to do this man justice.

267
hero_was_senna

Best since Senna

269

You mean since Prost

270

What a fabulous drive Fernando ! The best drive in 2012 and thoroughly deserved - the emotion he showed afterwards highlighted just how much it meant.

I think Lotus we're a bit slow in the first pot stop on Kimi as this have great track position to Fernando. I think that was the major turning point for Fernando's chances.

Webber drove a great race also to get to 4th ( maybe 3rd).

I cannot believe Maldonados shunt of Hamilton that deserves 5 grid spot penalty at Silverstone. Lewis fought fair and gave him room on the approach (right hander) to the chicane but Pastor tried to push through on the left when he went off track ! Then to come back on as he did was reckless to say the least which cost them both the race (avoidable incident had common sense prevailed)

Would be pleased to hear if Schumacker had DRS open on yellow as I dont think it was seen on the live coverage.

271

Surely this was a fantastic race with a lot to comment about. First of all Alonso was simply fantastic, a bit lucky and also the driver of the day! Secondly, reliability was a key in this race: two Renault engines didn't make it. Thirdly - coldbloodedness - we all know how aggressive Hamilton is, and what a hot head Maldonando is ... well the outcome was probably inevitable. This is surely one significant difference between Alonso and Hamilton: they are great drivers but Alonso calculates better - in Canada in the last laps he knew he couldn't take the podium and so grabbed some points. In Valencia Hamilton was in a similar situation but tried at all costs to defend a podium finish ... he finished up with nothing!

272

Hamilton needs to take a leaf out of Di Resta's book.

When he can't fight he cedes position and maximises his opportunity to score points instead of crashing out!

273

Amazing race. Even without any of the incidents Alonso was doing a fantastic job. It's hard to pick a Driver of the Day; Alonso had a great overall race, Vettel dominated until he had car problems, Webber came 4th from waaaaay back.

This race was a massive contrast to last year's race in Valencia, very, very exciting - even when Vettel was dominating.

Alonso never gives up, such an admirable quality to have in a driver. Also quite happy to see Kimi and Schumi on the podium.

274

Yer.. pretty hard pick. Fernando and Alonso not sure which is better heh 😀

275

Dullencia was the exciting! I just saw a pig fly by my window. What a drive from Alonso! The result for him reminded me of Korea 2010.

276

When I was a kid, as a massive Senna and then Damon Hill fan, I hated Schumacher. Even when I became a neutral after Damon retired, I was always glad to see that Ferrari retire or be soundly beaten.

Yet, this second time around, I've really warmed to him. I don't know if this is just my imagination but he seems a different person in front of the camera; somehow more relaxed and engaging whilst still perfectly capable of playing the pantomime villain (such as nearly driving Barrichello into a pit wall.) It's almost like his first stint was his 'proper' career and this time around he's just doing it because he's bored of sitting around at home doing the dishes.

I'm delighted that he got a podium today after all the luck he's had recently. I hope, and I can't believe I'm saying this, that he gets one more win as well.

Also; surely there will be a penalty for Maldonado after today. With the lack of gravel or walls, he had yards of tarmac to skirt across and then rejoin behind Hamilton (where he probably would've eventually got him.) To just drive into the side of him... it's ridiculous. Given what happened to him today, I thought Lewis was incredibly calm in the post-race interviews, even if his steering wheel took a bit of abuse.

277

I was a Hakkinen fan back in the day so Schumacher was the anti-christ, but I've found myself warming to him and cheering him on.

He's racing for pleasure. Can't fault the man. I hope he continues for a few seasons yet, there's more yet to come.

278
Michael Grievson

Surely Maldonado should get a penalty for that move. Other drivers today got them.

279

I'd say FIA should just strip him of his superlicence for such an sportsmanlike behaviour

280
michael grievson

Glad to see he got a penalty. Its a bit rich of him to spend the race running other drivers off the track, only to complain when it happens to you

281

James,

Just before the Hamilton \ Maldanado incident,Rosber was around 4.5 seconds behind Button.However at the end he ended up ahead of both Button and Direta.

I believe he overtook them both under Yellow flags.Any news on that yet?

282

I was about to ask that as well, to nico looked like he overtook under yellow flags.

283

What an extremely stressful race. I have been waiting for this moment for 6 years and it came out of no where phew...

284

That was a fantastic race, and my goodness, who gave a F1 license to this guy pastor Maldonado. He has wrecked both their chances and should be suitably punished by a harsher penalty, as I heard Steve slater saying the idiot of the day goes to pastor from jean Eric Vergne.

285

What nobody is talking about -- the race was won / lost in the pits.

First round of pit stops:

RAI: 21.879

ALO: 19.790

RAI's stop was more than two seconds slower than ALO's. And ALO came out ahead of RAI by less than 0.5 seconds after the first round of pit stops on lap 15.

286

True. But then again Alo made a couple of quick, decisive moves when both he and Rai pulled up behind Webber and three other cars. Alo managed to pass all of them before Rai could even get passed Webber.

Things like that that get you into a position to win a race when the opportunity comes.

287

Actually, if you scroll back you will see that must of RAI pitstops were slow throughout the season. And since GRO pit stops aren't any better, i would conclude that Lotus does not have the best pit stop process.

288

Super interesting. Thank's for this info!

289

Read my comment

290

Fernando -THE GREAT- has done it again! Relentless, astonishing and inspirational!

Even without Vettel's retirement you could still see that Fernando gonna be in the fight for the win. He had charged on, on every single lap. Ferrari seemed to have low tyre deg today which was key for them. Fernando "simply" did the rest. Bring on Silverstone. Hopefully low temperature will slow down RBR and level the field.

291

I think the actual incident between Hamilton and Maldonado is Maldonado's fault.

But you have to question Hamilton's wisdom in trying to fight a hot-headed driver like Maldonado in the first place. I have no doubt that had Vettel or Alonso been in Hamilton's place, they would have given up the place to Maldonado and get valuable points for the championship.

Hamilton once again proves that he is the least-thinking driver among the three.. Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton

292

Not really he gave Pastor room and still ended up with him on his side pod . It was just impetuous stuff from Pastor!

293
hero_was_senna

Did he? Really?

The previous lap, Lewis and Kimi had gone round the corner side by side, both within the tracks white lines.

With Maldonado, into the braking area they were side by side and yet Hamilton eased Mad-one across the white line and "off track" after the initial apex.

Whether we saw Pastor have a red mist moment, or loss of control, Lewis moved right and opened up his approach to the next corner which is when Pastor vaulted the kerbs and took Lewis out.

294

Pure conjecture.

295

Smells like a duck...

296

I'm still wondering whether I was really watching Valencia today. I've always thought that track is definitely fun and interesting to drive on the XBox, but just doesn't seem to produce good races. Hah. Not so any more, this was a good one.

Driver for the day poll is for tomorrow I suppose but failures of the day is for now. Essentially, anything starting with M.

McLaren: What is it with those pitstops? Srsly.

Massa: Lonso wins. Massa finishes a lap behind. It's not like Lonso's in a Ferrari and Massa in a Fiat, is it?

Maldonado: Luckily the incident was replayed a few times so I could hav a good look. So sure Hamilton was not generous with leaving room, but Maldonado was in the wrong there I think. Hamilton clearly agreed when he threw his steering wheel out of the car so hard it could have killed someone..

297
William Wilgus

Something about Massa being involved in a collision, perhaps?

299

Well done Alonso and Ferrari, brilliant. What an engaging race and mesmerising drive by Fernando.

300

The race was quite good but I am absolutely gutted for Vettel. He didn't put a foot wrong and did a fantastic race.

I don't think Maldonado should take the blame for the collision with Hamilton. He was trying to stay on the track but Hamilton didn't want to give him one car length of space and paid the ultimate price.

I hope Schumacher gets to keep his 3rd place. Keeping my fingers crossed. I am still waiting to see the report on Hamilton's yellow flag incident.

Vettel was robbed of his win, and the wrong driver won.

301

In 2010 ALO was robbed of WDC and the wrong driver won. Luck cannot be with you always.

302

Alonso was not robbed of the WDC in 2010. He didn't have the basic skills to overtake a rookie - Petrov. The right man went on to win that year.

303

The same right man that didnt lead the championship till that point?...sure a worthy champion. I do like your fairness and neutral point of view.

304

If Maldonado really believed that Hamilton unfairly forced him off the track (& I don't), the correct course would have been to complain to the stewards, not deliberately T-bone Hamilton.

If Hamilton was in the wrong, he would then have been penalised.

And he wasn't 'trying to stay on the track'. He left the track completely before driving into Hamilton.

Maldonado's behaviour was simply inexcusable.

305

The main problem I have with a race like this is the disadvantage handed to some and the advantage handed to others the guys who do really well at the start are robbed of there good work and the ones who don't do so well are given the opportunity to jump way up the field. I think the safety car system should be done away with in favour of running a yellow flag period where each driver has to run at a set lap time. This would be a fair system that would eliminate fake race results like today and Canada 2011.

306

So what if some marshalls die in the process.