Fresh off all of the Canadian chaos F1 returned to Europe over the weekend for the European Grand Prix, which actually takes place in Valencia, Spain to be exact. Naturally due to the location, there were a ton of Fernando Alonso fans in the house. In fact there was so much red in the stands you’d might think they were in Italy instead of Spain. No matter what place Alonso was in when ever he drove by a grandstand the crowd did the wave! It was a pretty awesome sight to see. Unfortunately, he got shut out of the front row during qualifying. When it got down to Q3 Lewis Hamilton and the two Red Bull cars put laps together that just barely edged out Alonso. When Q3 finished Sebastien Vettel got pole position in a spectacular fashion by breaking the course record with his lap of 1:36.975. Mark Webber completed the Red Bull front row lock-out with a 1:37.163, and Lewis Hamilton got the third spot next to Fernando with a lap of 1:37.380.
Once the race got started Vettel did what he does best and ran away from everyone (hes starting to get really good at that). So the real battle was happening behind him between Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, and Fernando Alonso. For a breif moment it looked like Webber had something for Vettel but Mark’s battle with Lewis slowed him down. This is exactly what Fernando Alonso hoped for as he closed in on the Brit and the Aussie. Hamilton started to suffer serious tire issues and could not keep up the fight with Webber. This allowed Alonso to pick off Hamilton and then later on he took down Webber for 2nd spot which gained an uproarious reaction from the crowd. Unfortunately, Fernando did not have anything for Sebastien as the young champion built up a 10 second gap while the others were battling behind him. Vettel eventually went on to take the victory and officially lead every lap while Fernando Alonso came in second and Mark Webber took third spot with Hamilton taking fourth.
Vettel’s win at Valencia significantly increased his points lead. His grand total as of now is 186 while the closest behind him is a tie between Mark Webber and Jenson Button who both have 109 points each. With the season at the half-way point can Hamilton, Webber, Alonso, or Button catch up to the young German and turn the championship into an actual fight? I guess we have a whole half of a season to find out but it really is starting to look like Vettel’s championship to lose.
[Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images]