The F1 grid visited Fernando Alonso’s hometown over the weekend for the 2010 European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain. Since F1 started visiting Valencia the races have always been more than eventful. This year was no exception! Things started out normal enough, with Sebastien Vettel on the pole and the McLaren cars not far behind. However, when the lights went out things immediately got dicy. First Vettel got into Hamilton at the first corner and damaged Hamilton’s front left tire. Lewis fought with some severe vibrations until he was able to get into the pits and have his crew address the problem.
The real fireworks came just after the halfway point of the race. Mark Webber was barreling down on an off-pace Hekki Kovalainen. Hekki knew that he was off the pace and attempted to make room for Mark to go by but, Mark already picked the path he would take and Hekki crossed it. The resulting collision had Webber nearly flipping over in mid-air before landing right side up. Luckily Webber was just shaken and stirred but not seriously hurt.
Mark Webber/Hekki Kovalainen incident:
This nasty incident naturally brought out the safety car and that is when things really got interesting. As the safety car came out the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felpe Massa followed instructions per the rules and lined up behind the car, slowing down. Lewis Hamilton actually passed the saftey car which is a big no-no. As the race went on the race stewards announced that Lewis would face a drive through penalty. But Lewis’ pace was so fast and he was so far ahead that despite having to take a leisurely cruise through the pit lane he did not lose a single position. Ferrari was furious about this had have been spouting off about it ever since.
While all this drama was going on Sebastian Vettel was busy putting a 14 second gap on the rest of the pack. The young German kept things smooth and drove his Red Bull Racing Renault to a victory, making him the third different winner in Valencia in the last three years. Lewis still remains the leader in the points but with Mark Webber’s accident Sebastien was able to pass his teammate in the points standings. Good job Sebastien! You can check out the race re-cap by the SPEED trio.
[Photo: Andrew Hone/Getty Images]