Alonso Celebrates 'Emotional' European GF Victory
Ferrari’s Spaniard Fernando Alonso has moved 20 points clear in the 2012 Formula One drivers’ championship after winning the European Grand Prix from Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher in Valencia on Sunday.
On an incident-packed day, Alonso worked his way from 11th on the starting grid to win in Spain, while Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel stalled on the track midway through the race, and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton crashed out after contact with Pastor Maldonado on the final lap whilst jousting for third.
“This race is probably the best victory I have ever felt. In terms of emotions, nothing compares to this,” Alonso said after crying on the podium while his national anthem was playing in his home country.
Alonso did brilliantly early, moving into eighth from 11th by the second turn, before some fine driving had him working his way through the field on the notoriously difficult-to-overtake Valencia track.
“We had an amazing race, an amazing start. I remember six or seven overtakings we had. Today we had all the good factors and luck with us,” Alonso said.
Schumacher’s third place was his first podium since making his comeback to Formula One, with Hamilton and Maldonado late crash catching him by surprise.
“I didn’t think about a podium, not even at the end of the race,” said Schumacher.
“At the end I asked the guys where we finished and the boys told me that’s third. I can’t believe that, I didn’t expect it.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull’s Mark Webber moved into second in the overall standings, with a fourth-place finish. Webber is on 91 points behind Alonso on 111 points, while Hamilton (88), Vettel (85), Nico Rosberg (75) and Raikkonen (73) follow.
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