It was a tale of mixed fortunes at Red Bull.
While Sebastian Vettel cruised to victory, leading every lap, Mark Webber had an absolute shocker.
With a poor start, a slow pit stop and a terrifying crash with Heikki Kovalainen, Webber will be glad to see the back of the European Grand Prix weekend.
|Sebastian Vettel||Mark Webber|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’37.587 (-0.075)||1’37.662|
|Average race lap||1’45.782 (-3.09)||1’48.872|
Just the result he needed: Vettel out-qualified Webber for the first time since Shanghai and scored his first win since Sepang.
He led every lap of the way, his job being made rather easier by the safety car removing the Ferraris from the equation and Lewis Hamilton getting a penalty.
Hamilton relled off a couple of quick laps towards the end of the race but Vettel showed he had time in hand to keep the McLaren at bay.
Pipped to pole position by less than a tenth of a second – and that second-place starting position proved the beginning of his downfall. On a track where overtaking is supposed to be impossible Webber was passed by seven cars on the first lap.
Hamilton made too good a start from third for Webber to be able to crowd him out at the first corner. Fernando Alonso followed Hamilton through and Felipe Massa somehow got around the outside of the Red Bull at turn three.
Webber took a wide line into turn four which allowed Jenson Button to dive up the inside for fifth.
As they accelerated away Webber left Button behind but the McLaren driver and Robert Kubica went either side of Webber to demote him further. This slowed Webber further allowing both Williamses to take advantage, leaving him ninth.
After seven laps stuck behind Nico Hülkenberg Webber pitted, the team no doubt intending to bring him out in the ten-second gap between Kamui Kobayashi and Heikki Kovalainen. But the front left-tyre stuck on the car and he was stationary for at least an extra two seconds, meaning he came out behind Kovalainen.
Webber got very close to the back of the Lotus while slipstreaming to overtake it. Kovalainen braked earlier for turn 12 than Webber expected and he hit the T127 at massive speed, flying through the air and demolishing an advertising hoarding.
The car crashed down onto its roll hoop, flipped over and hit the tyre barrier hard. Remarkably, Webber climbed out of the cockpit and walked away.
Read more: Webber hits Kovalainen and flips (Video)
2010 European Grand Prix
- The physics of Webber’s Valencia crash
- Technical review: European Grand Prix
- Sauber “thrilled” by Kobayashi’s passes
- 2010 European Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Alonso retracts Valencia criticism
- FIA must learn from Valencia shambles
- Best finish of 2010 (Williams race review)
- Di Grassi shines (Virgin race review)
- Double finish at home (HRT race review)
- Buemi slips to ninth (STR race review)