European Grand Prix (Valencia) 2011 – Race Report

After two exciting Grand Prixs, the Valencian race proved to be extremely uneventful. With only a hand full of overtakes and absolutely no retirements (the fourth such race in the sport’s history) it’s fair to say this one is going to get ranked pretty low on my race list for this season. Anyway, on with the report:

The Top-10

Sebastian Vettel drove to another unchallenged victory. Fernando Alonso was the only one to make a notable rise from fourth to second, overtaking Webber once and passing him again on the latter’s pit stop. Mark Webber drove an otherwise solid race to finish third.

Lewis Hamilton drove practically unchallenged to finish fourth and with his team-mate Button finishing sixth, it was a good day for McLaren. Felipe Massa defended his fifth position and Nico Rosberg drove a solid race to finish seventh, which was a slight reconciliation for the nose-dive experienced by his team-mate.

The most impressive rise was made by Jaime Alguersuari of Toro Rosso from position 18 on the start to eighth on the finish line. Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld completed the top-10, swapping places from the start to finish ninth and tenth respectively.

The Golden Pineapple Award

The returning Sergio Perez didn’t seem to have the easiest time at the start of the race, but in the end he made an excellent rise with only one pit-stop. It’s sad he couldn’t reach points but at least his 11th place shows the man has fully recovered from his Monaco crash. Better luck next time, amigo.

Back of the Lot News

Both Vitaly Petrov and Michael Schumacher fell behind during the race. Petrov had a lousy start and after Schumi made his first pit-stop, Vitaly ran over his front wing in the corner and set the seven-time champion behind. Schumi suffered the indignity of finish only 17th with Petrov only able to give Kamui Kobayashi (who wasn’t in his best form) a run for his money to finish 15th.

Williams continued their unfortunate trend from the beginning of the season. Though Barrichello rose to 12th he wasn’t even close to scoring points. Pastor Maldonado had an early pit stop which dropped him into the back-lot and he wasn’t able to recover, finishing 18th ahead of the new team drivers.

There were no new developments as far as the new teams are concerned. Lotus finished 19th and 20th. After D’Ambrosio caught up with Vitantonio Liuzzi, the Virgins finished 21st and 22nd, ahead of the Hispanias, as usual.