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Monday, 27 June 2011

Formula 1 - European Grand Prix 2011


In 2009 the Euro GP at Valencia had just one overtake on-track. Last year, it was only interesting when Mark Webber hit Heikki Kovalainen in a braking zone and did a back flip. This year? Normally I take ages to write a report on an F1 race. This is partly because of the way I construct sentences (they can be quite long), but it's also because the short-life Pirelli tyres, KERS and DRS have really helped spice things up a bit, letting the drivers overtake properly and giving everyone a lot more to watch/talk about. This weekend, however, continued Valencia's reputation for being really boring, especially compared to the rest of the season, and in particular after how the Canadian GP went down two weeks ago.

Basically, the Ferraris got fast starts, getting past both the McLarens. Nico Rosberg split the two McLarens for the first few laps, but Jenson Button got past him in one of the DRS zones (although it took longer than expected to pull the move off, due to the extra traction the Mercedes GP car had coming out of the previous corner). Vettel ran away from teammate Mark Webber in 2nd place and won the race. Alonso and Webber ended up racing eachother for 2nd place, swapping around during the pit stops, and Alonso ended up beating him. Michael Schumacher looked like he could mix it up with the McLarens, but after exiting the pits, Nick Heidfeld cut him up into turn 2 and broke his front wing, sending him straight back in the pits. He finished a dismal 17th place. Jenson Button's KERS stopped working, losing him around half a second a lap and allowing Lewis Hamilton past him, although Hamilton wouldn't make it much further, as he had to conserve tyres. He finished 4th.

There was some jostling for position further down, and some stubborn backmarkers, but that was basically it. One interesting fact is that this is only the third time in Formula 1 history that every single car which started the race has finished it. Here's a results/points table. Click to enlarge.

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