Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Valencia, 2012

Top ten pictures from the European Grand Prix

2012 European Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ten great pictures which tell the story of the European Grand Prix weekend.

Timo Glock, Friday practice

Timo Glock, Marussia, Valencia, 2012

Marussia only had one driver in the race: the unwell Timo Glock pulled out after practice.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Friday practice

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Valencia, 2012

Windy conditions on Friday caught a lot of drivers out: locked wheels and trips across the run-off were a common sight. Here Jean-Eric Vergne trashes a set of Pirellis.

Romain Grosjean, qualifying

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Valencia, 2012

Lotus targeted an improved performance in qualifying and Romain Grosjean delivered fourth on the grid, edging team mate Kimi Raikkonen by eight-thousandths of a second.

In the race Grosjean was pressuring Fernando Alonso for the lead when his alternator failed, leaving Raikkonen to take second.

Sebastian Vettel, qualifying

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012

The Red Bull featured a series of changes including revised rear exhaust exits. Sebastian Vettel wielded it to great effect, claiming pole position by over three-tenths of a second.

He dominated the race for 33 laps until his Renault engine’s alternator failed, much as Grosjean’s did a few laps later.

Start, European Grand Prix

Start, Valencia, 2012

As the cars file into the tight first corner, Grosjean squeezes past Pastor Maldonado for third place.

The drivers who went on to finish first, third and fourth are back in the midfield and, in Mark Webber’s case, among the tail-enders.

Fernando Alonso, European Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012

Speedy pit work was one of the ingredients in Alonso’s rapid rise through the field. The reliably quick Ferrari crew helped him get ahead of Raikkonen and Hamilton during the race.

Lewis Hamilton, European Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Valencia, 2012

In the build-up to the race Hamilton remarked on how McLaren hadn’t upgraded their car as quickly as their rivals. This was borne out in the opening stages of the race as he watched Vettel pull away at well over a second per lap.

The Canadian Grand Prix winner hit trouble late in the race when his tyres went off: Raikkonen passed him cleanly, but an impatient Maldonado bundled him into the barriers and out of the points for the first time this year.

Nico Hulkenberg, European Grand Prix

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Valencia, 2012

Force India admitted they ran their tyres too hot. But despite that, and a Kinetic Energy Recovery System which was not working for most of the race, Nico Hulkenberg brought the car home fifth for his best career finish to date.

Michael Schumacher, European Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Valencia, 2012

With 13 laps to go Michael Schumacher was down in 11th place – only one place higher than he’d started.

But a late second pit stop gave him the benefit of fresher rubber late in the race and he ripped through the field, passing Vitaly Petrov, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Sergio Perez and both Force Indias.

Finally the Maldonado/Hamilton collision promoted him to third place for his long-awaited first podium finish since his comeback.

Fernando Alonso, European Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012

But the day belonged to Alonso and his ecstatic Ferrari team. He charged through from 11th to win, taking a 20-point lead in the drivers’ championship.

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Image ?? Marussia, Red Bull/Getty images, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Red Bull/Getty images, Red Bull/Getty images, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Sahara Force India F1 Team, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo