And what a race it was. After a slow start with not much action and Sebastian Vettel in the lead, the 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe looked like it would end without much incident. All that changed at the half way point when the safety car was deployed after Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso collided with Heikki Kovalainen’s Caterham. From that point on all the action began with front runners Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean retiring due to mechanical issues. Home favorite Fernando Alonso drove a superb race to take the lead and stayed there till the end. He was chased by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen and Williams’ Pastor Maldonado. Lewis’ race came to an end on the penultimate lap when Maldonado drove into Lewis car and was able to limp past the finish line in 10th place.
All this action meant Michael Schumacher was bumped up to 3rd place and on the podium for the first time since his return to Formula 1. Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber drove the most stellar race and finished in 4th place after beginning in 19th position. Both the Force India cars also finished in the points with Nico Hulkenberg finishing in 5th position and Paul di Resta in 7th. They were split by Schumacher’s teammate Nico Rosberg. McLaren’s Jenson Button finished in 8th place, no small feat considering the tire degradation issues that he faced throughout the race. Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado rounded up the top 10. Here are the complete results of the race.
With this race, and with Vettel and Hamilton not finishing the race, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso now leads the drivers standings with 111 points. He is followed by Red Bull’s Mark Webber with 91 points and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton with 88 points. Here are the complete standings. Red Bull Racing still leads the constructors standings with 176 points followed by McLaren with 137 points and surprise surprise… Lotus-Renault with 126 points, aided by very consistent performances by both their drivers.
Formula 1 now heads to Silverstone for the 2012 Santander British Grand Prix to be held from July 6th to the 8th.