Tag Archives: European GP

European Grand Prix stats and facts

The 2011 European Grand Prix set a new Formula 1 record for most finishers in a race – 24. It is also the first time that every car has finished a race since Monza 2005. Here are more stats and facts from this weekend:

  • Sebastian Vettel has now set a new record for the best start to an F1 season, with 6 wins and 2 second places in the first 8 races.
  • This was Vettel’s 13th front row start in a row, which has run from Singapore 2010 to the present. This is one more than Michael Schumacher (1994 Europe – 1995 Germany). The current record holder is Ayrton Senna with 24 front row starts in a row (1988 Germany – 1989 Australia).
  • Similarly, this was Vettel’s 10th consecutive podium finish, one more than Jim Clark, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Michael Schumacher (twice) or Lewis Hamilton ever achieved.
  • If Sebastian gets a likely podium in Silverstone, then he will match Lewis Hamilton (2007) for 9 podiums in a row from the start of the season.
  • Jenson Button has now finished 101 races in the points out of 197 starts, the 6th highest in F1 history.
  • Vettel has scored 93% of his possible points so far this season. The record for an entire season is 84.71% by Michael Schumacher in 2004.
  • Oddly enough, this is only the second “triple” (pole, win, fastest lap) that Vettel has achieved. The previous feat was Silverstone 2009. He was one lap away from a Grand Slam (lead every race from pole with fastest lap), but Felipe Massa led for one lap during the pit stops. Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso are the only two drivers on the grid to have achieved a Grand Slam.
  • Out of 459 racing laps, Vettel has led 368 of them. The safety car has driven 40 laps (all of which can be added to Vettel’s and the total’s tallies), with the closest rival, Jenson Button, having only led 31 laps. Teammate Mark Webber has yet to lead a lap this year.
  • While Jaime Alguersuari has been knocked out of Q1 in the last 2 races, he has bounced back to finish 8th on both occasions.
  • With the record amount of finishers in a race, Narain Karthikeyan has the unenviable record of being the only F1 driver to have finished 24th.
  • Only Fernando Alonso and Vitantonio Liuzzi have outqualified their team-mates at every race so far this year.
  • This was the 50th points-scoring finish in a row for Renault engines – a record that spans back to the inaugral Valencia GP in 2008.

Points standings after European Grand Prix

Driver Standings

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


Pastor Maldonado

Timo Glock



Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 295
2 McLaren-Mercedes 206
3 Ferrari 129
4 Renault 61
5 Mercedes GP 58
6 Sauber-Ferrari 27
7 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 16
8 Force India-Mercedes 12
9 Williams-Cosworth 4
10 Lotus-Cosworth 0
11 Virgin-Cosworth 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0

Vettel dominates European Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel took his 6th Grand Prix victory of the year at the European Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso was 2nd, ahead of Mark Webber. Lewis Hamilton struggled in 4th, while Massa and Button were 5th and 6th. Jaime Alguersuari impressed by finishing 8th. Here is the full report:

At the start, the Red Bulls held their lead into the first corner, while Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa challenged Mark Webber. Both Ferraris sweeped past Lewis Hamilton, who slipped to 5th.

Jenson Button, who had been pushed down to 7th, began to pressurise Nico Rosberg for 6th place. However, the Mercedes’ superior traction managed to hold the McLaren off, despite Jenson’s use of DRS.

The move finally came in a non-DRS zone. Nico struggled for grip at the first turn, allowing Button to squeeze past at Turn 2.

The traditional routine of Vettel tearing off into the distance quickly slipped away – after only 6 laps. Both Ferraris began to reel Mark Webber in, but the DRS proved to be ineffective on the straights.

Nick Heidfeld was the first to put on a second set of options, followed soon by Kamui Kobayashi. With Hamilton down in 5th, McLaren decided to pit him early. Mark Webber dived into the pits the following lap, also taking on more options.

On fresher tyres, Hamilton breezed past Michael Schumacher. Vettel and Alonso pitted, with Fernando failing to jump past Webber. A broken front wing for Schumacher dropped him to the back of the field, after a collision leaving the pit lane with Nick Heidfeld.

Heidfeld continued while Schumacher pitted, and the Renault soon passed Sergio Perez for 10th. The Mexican was the only driver not to have stopped, and on the same lap he was overtaken by Rubens Barrichello.

Mark may have been challenging Sebastian for the lead, but being held up in the high-speed section by a Hispania dropped him back by 2 seconds. This allowed Alonso to move right up behind Webber, and on Lap 21 Fernando scythed past the Red Bull on the back straight.

After burning out another set of tyres, Hamilton stopped again on Lap 25. It was obvious that the McLaren was on a 3-stopper, but the rest of the field didn’t react for several more laps, ensuring that Lewis was out of sync with the rest of the field.

Webber pitted on Lap 29, aiming to undercut Alonso. Fernando pitted a lap later, but a poor in-lap resulted in the Ferrari losing 2nd to Mark. Vettel pitted, and emerged in front of the group behind. Felipe Massa, who hadn’t stopped yet, ended up holding up Webber and his teammate, before he stopped the following lap.

Jaime Alguersuari, by making only one stop after 40 laps, had silently moved his way up to 7th place. However, his rear tyres soon began to suffer degradation in the hot conditions, and Nico Rosberg soon found a way past the Toro Rosso.

Mark Webber was the first to take on the medium tyres, followed by Lewis Hamilton. Interestingly, the medium tyre held up well for the first few laps compared to the worn softs the other frontrunners were using.  Unfortunately, Mark failed to get his front tyres up to temperature, and soon began to fall away from Vettel.

Ferrari held back for a few laps, then stopped Alonso on Lap 46. A quick stop ensured he emerged ahead of Webber, but the Ferrari’s tendency to struggle on primes came back to hurt Alonso. Vettel pitted 2 laps later, and the struggling Ferrari failed to close in on Sebastian.

This continued on until the end, and Vettel had a considerable lead by the time he crossed the finish line. Alonso survived the dreaded primes to finish second, 5 seconds ahead of Webber. A 3-stop strategy failed to move Hamilton any higher than 4th. Massa and Button were 5th and 6th, with Jaime Alguersuari taking 4 points in 8th, the same result as 2 weeks ago.

Unfortunately the race failed to live up to expectations after the drama of Canada, with Vettel further extending his championship lead. Interestingly, this was the first race in Formula 1 history to have 24 finishers, the previous record being 23, at the Chinese Grand Prix earlier this year.

Vettel takes 7th pole of the year in Valencia

Sebastian Vettel took his 7th pole position of the year at qualifying for the European Grand Prix today.

The Red Bulls locked out the front row, with Mark Webber one tenth of a second behind. Lewis Hamilton was 3rd, and Fernando Alonso 4th. Here is the full report:


Fernando Alonso cancelled his first run early on in the session. Sebastian Vettel set a 1.39.9, half a second faster than his teammate.

Alonso’s first fast lap was 2 tenths off the Red Bull, despite several mistakes in the last corner. Button went 3 tenths faster than Vettel, while Lewis Hamilton remained in the pits.

Lewis eventually went out, and swiftly took the top spot, but the Mercedes cars struggled, with Rosberg 1.5 seconds away in 7th, and Schumacher another 6 tenths off..

Perez, Maldonado, Buemi and Alguersuari all waited until the final 5 minutes to set their laps. Sergio lept up to 4th on the softer tyres but was quickly replaced by Buemi. Jaime went 9th, and Pastor took 5th.

With a few minutes to go, eyebrows were raised as both Mercedes drivers and Felipe Massa felt the need to take on soft tyres in Q1. Schumacher went 2nd, with Rosberg 4th. Kamui Kobayashi escaped the drop zone, moving into 16th.

Surprisingly, Massa could have been knocked out of Q1 if he hadn’t taken on the new tyres. His newer soft rubber easily moved him into 1st.

Jarno Trulli ruined his final run by spinning at the final corner. Jaime Alguersuari was the casualty of Q1, while Mark Webber was incredibly close to a shock exit, finishing only 16th.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Jaime Alguersuari

19) Heikki Kovalainen

20) Jarno Trulli

21) Timo Glock

22) Vitantonio Liuzzi

23) Jerome D’Ambrosio

24) Narain Karthikeyan


Felipe Massa was first out on the soft tyres, setting a 1.38.5. Alonso beat his teammate by 6 tenths, but Vettel was quick to take back first spot.

However, the red flags were soon thrown, as Pastor Maldonado’s Williams was stranded out on track. This ruined several laps, most notably Felipe Massa’s, as he was on his 3rd lap on the same set of tyres.

Once the session resumed, both Kamui Kobayashi and Rubens Barrichello locked up at the final corner, ruining two laps and their sets of tyres.

The top 5 drivers remained in the pits for the final few minutes. Adrian Sutil pushed Vitaly Petrov out of 10th place, while Paul di Resta failed to improve from 12th.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Vitaly Petrov

12) Paul di Resta

13) Rubens Barrichello

14) Kamui Kobayashi

15) Pastor Maldonado

16) Sergio Perez

17) Sebastien Buemi


Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were the only drivers who left the pits as the session started. Alonso seta 1.37.4, while Massa was 4 tenths further off.

Lewis Hamilton improved by 0.07 seconds, while Vettel smashed the 1.37 barrier, setting a 1.36.975.

Nico Rosberg was 1.2 seconds off the Red Bull’s time. With 2 minutes to go, all drivers bar Nico left the pits for one final run.

Mark Webber was the first to set his time, but failed to unseat his teammate, going 2nd. Alonso gave up on his final run, followed swiftly by Vettel. Massa only went 5th, so pole position went rather easily to Vettel.

Neither Nick Heidfeld or Adrian Sutil went out in Q3 at all.

Top 10 results:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1:36.975

2) Mark Webber – 1:37.163

3) Lewis Hamilton – 1:37.380

4) Fernando Alonso – 1:37.454

5) Felipe Massa – 1:37.535

6) Jenson Button – 1:37.645

7) Nico Rosberg – 1:38.231

8 ) Michael Schumacher – 1:38.240

9) Nick Heidfeld – No time

10) Adrian Sutil – No time

Alonso takes control in Valencia second practice

Alonso was the fastest man in second practice

Alonso was the fastest man in second practice

Fernando Alonso set the pace in second practice for the European Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was the first driver of the weekend to break the 1m.38s barrier, setting a 1.37.968 halfway through the session. His lap time came despite a heavy lock up at the final corner.

Lewis Hamilton was second, holding off Sebastian Vettel in 3rd. Both Renaults managed to get into the top 10 again.

Paul di Resta was restricted to 7 laps, after his car was repaired following Nico Hulkenberg crashing the Scot’s Force India in FP1.

However, he managed 7 more laps than Jaime Alguersuari, who spent the entire session in the pits with an engine problem.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1.37.968           35
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1.38.195   0.227   26
 3.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1.38.265   0.297   31
 4.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1.38.315   0.347   30
 5.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1.38.443   0.475   32
 6.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1.38.483   0.515   30
 7.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1.38.531   0.563   26
 8.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1.38.981   1.013   33
 9.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault                1.39.040   1.072   35
10.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1.39.586   1.618   27
11.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1.39.626   1.658   31
12.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1.40.020   2.052   34
13.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1.40.301   2.333   34
14.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1.40.363   2.395   7
15.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1.40.454   2.486   32
16.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1.40.531   2.563   37
17.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1.42.083   4.115   34
18.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault          1.42.156   4.188   39
19.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault          1.42.239   4.271   25
20.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1.42.273   4.305   21
21.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1.42.809   4.841   36
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth           1.44.460   6.492   29
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1.46.906   8.938   16

Double DRS remains for Valencia

Two seperate DRS zones will be used in Valencia

Two seperate DRS zones will be used in Valencia

Two uses of the Drag Reduction System zones are to be retained for the European Grand Prix in Valencia. However, the use of only one detection point is also to remain.

The detection area will be 130 metres before Turn 8. However, in this weekend’s case, the two DRS zones will be further away from each other. The first activation area starts 285 metres after Turn 10, and is expected to last for the rest of the back straight.

The second zone occurs after a series of slow corners, 35 metres after Turn 14. While the end points have not yet been announced, it is suspected that this zone will also run the length of the second back straight.

While it eventually didn’t come to light because of the rain, the use of double DRS in Canada caused concern among many, amid fears that a driver who used DRS to pass could easily move away at the next activation zone.

Here in Valencia, where rain is a minimal possibility, and the DRS zones are further apart, this risk will be amplified.

Thoughts on the European Grand Prix

I remember, back in 2009, when the European Grand Prix weekend was approaching, I decided not to bother watching the race at all. Not even the highlights. I decided that even if the slightest bit of racing action occurred, then I would pick up on it later online, and I would therefore spare myself an hour and a half of monotonous racing. And I turned out to be right.

What a difference a year makes.

The 2010 European Grand Prix was one of my highlights so far this year, not entirely because of the exciting race itself, but because nearly every F1 fan -myself included – believed the race would be awful. I am delighted to say that we were all wrong, and for the first time Valencia gave us quite a good race.

Kamui Kobayashi's pace and last-gasp overtakes were the highlights of the race for me

Kamui Kobayashi's pace and last-gasp overtakes were the highlights of the race for me

When the paddock moved from Montreal to Valencia, the main thought was that since tyre degradation wasn’t a problem here, then the racing here would be nowhere near what we saw in Canada 2 weeks ago. This turned out to be wrong, as we realised that the 2010 rule changes, especially the refuelling ban, had fuelled the racing excitement today, and not tyres like we had (rather, hadn’t) expected.

Even in the first lap, I was surprised by the quality of racing we saw. Lewis Hamilton nearly took the lead, and damaged his car for being too optimistic. Mark Webber fell all over the place, dropping to 9th. Robert Kubica put in an early pass on Jenson Button for 5th. After this, on Lap 10, we saw what was easily the worst crash of the year, with Mark Webber backflipping his car and smashing into the barriers. It was a miracle that he walked away without injuries.

With this, the safety car was out, and strategies were made more complicated, another reason why we saw a more exciting race than we would have thought. This also gave an opportunity to Kamui Kobayashi, who had started 18th on the harder tyre, and could now jump up the field while everyone else pitted.

Once the safety car pitted, it emerged that even Jenson Button could not keep up with Kobayashi, as the Japanese driver was getting the most out of his risky strategy. From here until the end of the race, after Hamilton’s penalty, Kobayashi’s pace was a joy to watch, and showed us why he was signed up for 2010. It also proved that his Brazil and Abu Dhabi 2009 drivers were certainly no fluke.

Apart from this, there weren’t as many overtakes as we would have hoped, but it was certainly an improvement over the monotonous drone of 2008 and 2009.

Driver of the race – Kamui Kobayashi: Proved that when he is given the opportunity, he will always take it. He pulled off some great moves, at a track well-known for it’s difficulty to overtake on. Still a star for the future in my book.

Driver of the new teams – Karun Chandhok: This award isn’t how I wanted it to be, since practicallt every other driver for these 3 teams were taken out early, or held up the frontrunners whilst battling among themselves. This leaves only Chandhok and Senna as the drivers who drove a clean race, and since Karun was ahead of Bruno, he gets the award for this race.

Best rookie – Kamui Kobayashi: Call me opportunistic, but in my opinion he’s still a rookie until the final few races. Like I said, a risky strategy paid off for him, and a fantastic overtake on Alonso at the end was the icing on the cake.

Best team – Sauber: This award is intended for the team that performs above its potential, or was clever in its strategies. Sauber certainly did that, and if it wasn’t for the 5-second time penalties after the race, it would have been a double-points finish for the struggling team.

Least impressive – Fernando Alonso: I’m going to get a lot of stick for this. Yes, he was massively hindered by the safety car, and I took that into account. But, he really should have put some effort into passing Sebastien Buemi and the others, rather than moan about it after the race. That doesn’t get you extra points.

European Grand Prix stats and facts

Sebastian Vettel took his 7th Grand Prix win of his career in the European Grand Prix today. Here are more stats and facts from today’s race:

  • His 7th Grand Prix win puts Vettel in joint 34th place overall, alongside Juan Pablo Montoya and Rene Arnoux, and ahead of drivers like Ralf Schumacher and Gilles Villeneuve.
  • This was Red Bull’s 10th constructor’s win, putting them level with Alfa Romeo, and ahead of Mercedes, although they have only been competing in F1 for 3 years total.
  • Also, it was Vettel’s 10th pole position, ahead of John Surtees and Ricardo Patrese.
  • Vettel became only the third driver to win from pole this year, alongside Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton.
  • Amazingly, this is only Jenson Button’s 3rd fastest lap of his career. The other two were in Malaysia and Turkey 2009. This puts him only 1 behind Sebastian Vettel.
  • This is the 13th race that Red Bull have had a car on the front row after qualifying.
  • I found this one out today – Jenson Button hasn’t started on the front row since Turkey 2009.
  • If you believe in it, this would be Lotus’ 500th race, although you could argue it was only their 9th.
  • With their 1993-2005, 2006-2009 seasons included, Kamui Kobayashi got Sauber above the 500 points mark today. They now have 501.
  • This is the first time that the safety car has been deployed in Valencia.
  • Michael Schumacher’s finish of 15th is the worst of his entire career. Amazingly though, it is only the 9th time in his entire career that he has been classified in a race outside the points.
  • After Mark Webber’s retirement, now no driver has scored points in every race this year.
  • Robert Kubica is now the only driver in the field to have completed every single lap this year.

If you know any more, leave a comment.

European Grand Prix in pictures

Sebastian Vettel won the European Grand Prix today, after a very exciting race. Here are the pictures from today:

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Alonso furious, Ferrari calls race a “scandal”

Fernando Alonso dropped to 9th after the safety car

Fernando Alonso dropped to 9th after the safety car

Fernando Alonso blasted the result of the European Grand Prix, calling it “unreal and unfair” after the safety car incident where he dropped from 3rd to 9th place, while Lewis Hamilton overtook the safety car and managed to keep his position, after a delayed drive-through penalty decision.

After the race, Fernando said:

"I think it was unreal this result and unfair as well.

We respected the rules, we don’t overtake under the yellows and we
finish ninth. That is something to think about.

It completely destroyed the race. Hopefully we can move forward
because after the victory of Vettel and podium for McLaren ninth
place is very little points for us.

We need to apologise to the 60 to 70 thousand people who came to
see this kind of race.

They gave a penalty already to Hamilton but it was too late – 30
laps to investigate one overtake."

Ferrari were similarly furious, describing the race as a scandal. Felipe Massa, Alonso’s team-mate, fell to 15th place and never recovered after the safety car. A team statement on their website read:

"A scandal, that’s the opinion of so many fans and employees who are
all in agreement: there is no other way to describe what happened 
during the European Grand Prix. The way the race and the incidents 
during it were managed raise doubts that could see Formula 1 lose 
some credibility again, as it was seen around the world."

First of all, they are both certainly correct in being furious at Lewis Hamilton, who managed to get away with overtaking the safety car, whether it was intentional or not. Meanwhile Alonso, who never broke the rules once, fell to 9th. The reason Hamilton didn’t lose any positions because of his drive-through is because the stewards took far too long to issue the penalty, by which time Lewis was able to create a large gap to stay ahead of Kobayashi after his penalty.

However, I must say that they are completely over-reacting when it comes to being annoyed about the safety car itself. Sometimes, drivers and teams lose out or benefit from the safety car deployment, and this cannot be avoided. I mean, look at Mercedes. Michael Schumacher fell to the back of the grid, and do you hear him whinging as loud as Ferrari? It is true that Schumacher wasn’t even in a points-scoring position, but it’s just an example.

Also, if Ferrari were to gain massively from the safety car, I doubt the other teams would complain as loudly as they would (Barrichello’s win in Germany 2000 springs to mind). In this case, when they lose out, they should just start thinking about how to get back up the field, but Fernando couldn’t even get past Sebastien Buemi.

While Ferrari are in the right, they need to learn that whining and over-reacting like this isn’t going to get them anywhere.