Monday, June 27, 2011

V is for Valencia Victory by Vettel

Photo Credit: Nissan Infiniti USA

Presiding on a hot Sunday, the third European Grand Prix on the Valencia 25-turn street course

Coming into the European Grand Prix, motor racing fans previously watched the 2011 Formula 1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel perform a rare misstep at the Montreal street course. Getting loose at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix, Vettel slid his Red Bull-Renault allowing Jenson Button to pass for the top podium position. By taking pole on Saturday qualifying, Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team were ready to immediately set aside the final laps of the Canadian Grand Prix.

As the green lights dimmed to start the 2011 European Grand Prix, Vettel's Red Bull-Renault dash out in front of his teammate Mark Webber. For 57 laps, the German Sebastian Vettel drove flawlessly on the Spanish Sunday afternoon negotiating the Valencia 3.367-mile street course.

Chasing down the second Red Bull-Renault, the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso flew at his home grand prix. Starting 3rd, the Spaniard Alonso navigated by Webber on lap 21 using the DRS wing enhancement heading into turn 12. The Ferrari took second place at this point of the European Grand Prix but lost it through a pit stop exchange. As Alonso fell behind Webber on lap 29, The second member of the Scuderia Ferrari team Felipe Massa experience a race-hindering pit stop. On lap 30, Massa's Ferrari pit crew were slowed by a wheel nut getting jammed in a tire changing air gun. Taking over 8 seconds to change Pirelli racing slicks, the #6 Ferrari was displaced from the 4th place running Lewis Hamilton.

Into the European Grand Prix's latter stage, Fernanado Alonso's Ferrari regained the runner-up spot with a combination of the Spanish driver's considerably fast pace and other circumstances that slowed the #2 Red Bull-Renault. Through the final laps, Mark Webber was instructed by Red Bull team engineers to short shift through the gearbox's lower 3 gears. An attempt to ease the volatile state of the transmission, the maneuver slowed the Australian's pace late but allowed the Red Bull-Renault to soldier on to the third and final podium spot.

Unlike the carnage-filled Canadian Formula 1 race, every car that started the European Grand Prix crossed the finish line. The only moment of true anxiety in the race occurred when the Lotus-Renault GP driver Vitaly Petrov and the 7-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher collided on lap 15. Following the race, Michael Schumacher responded to the race changing incident saying "I saw Petrov quite late, even though I was aware that he was coming, and tried to brake as late as possible and go round the corner with him. But when I wanted to draw back, I locked the front wheel and slipped into him, which was clearly my mistake." Vitaly Petrov finished 15th in the race while Michael Schumacher (who needed to attend pit road for a replacement front nose and wing assembly) came across the finish line 17th.

Repeating the 2011 grand prix race domination shown by the reigning Formula 1 champion, Sebastian Vettel took his Red Bull Racing team to victory for his 6th time in the 8 races currently run on the world tour. As Vettel sailed to the European Grand Prix, he extends his lead in the 2011 Formula 1 driver championship by 77 points over the nearest position. The 2011 European Grand Prix did cause a shift in the second-place spot of the Formula 1 driver points. Mark Webber's 3rd place in the event gave him a enough points to tie McLaren's Jenson Button for the runner-up in the current standings.

Next for the Formula 1 tour is the July 10th British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
2011 European Grand Prix
Race Result

  1. 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing
  2. 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
  3. 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing
  4. 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren
  5. 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari
  6. 4 Jenson Button McLaren
  7. 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
  8. 19 Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso
  9. 14 Adrian Sutil Force India
  10. 9 Nick Heidfeld Lotus Renault GP
  11. 17 Sergio Perez Sauber
  12. 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams F1
  13. 18 Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso
  14. 13 15 Paul di Resta Force India
  15. 10 Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault GP
  16. 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber
  17. 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
  18. 8 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1
  19. 21 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus
  20. 20 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus
  21. 24 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin Racing
  22. 25 Jérôme D’Ambrosio Marussia Virgin Racing
  23. 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT F1
  24. 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1

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