European Grand Prix rated best race of 2012 so far

2012 European Grand Prix

Start, Valencia, 2012The first four races at the Valencia street track gave little cause for optimism about how good this year’s would be. They all ranked inside the bottom 15 races since F1 Fanatic’s ‘Rate the Race’ began in 2008.

But last week’s race, which saw Fernando Alonso clinch victory having started 11th, was rated the best of the year so far and the third-best so far.

Its average score of 8.784 is only behind last year’s Canadian and Chinese Grands Prix.

The race also saw Michael Schumacher make a late surge to claim his first podium since 2006, followed home by Mark Webber who had started 19th.

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say about the European Grand Prix – amid much surprise at just how good the race had been:

I can’t believe I’m saying this about this circuit, but what a race! One of the best this year in my opinion.

Despite the boring first half with Vettel’s dominance, the racing back behind him kept it exciting.
Travis Humphery

I am not sure if this is real, but this was best race of the season. In a way, it seemed to combine old school races full of retirements with recent overtaking wave.

DRS spiced things up enough, but not too much to have the moves completed easily. Plus this podium is just so six years ago.
Overwatch

S.J.M also reflected on the quality of racing:

That race was everything that we all wanted to see, proper racing, great overtakes, heartaches and ultimate triumph.

It’s taken Spain so long to have such an exciting race as good as that and probably will take a long time to reproduce one. Great stuff and if it’s a prelude to Silverstone, then I can’t wait!
S.J.M

Smifaye put the excitement down to strategy and qualifying:

There was some great racing due to different strategies, and with people like Webber and Schumacher out of place it was great to watch them come through the pack.
Smifaye

And Damon pointed out not everyone has had the same view of the Valencia track in the past:

As a long time fan of the Valencia street circuit, I couldn?t be more happy with the race.

This track is beautiful and offers great overtaking opportunities. Now you all know it!
Damon

Alonso’s post-race celebration was appreciated by many:

Lots of incidents, passing, talking points, a home winner and finally one of the greatest F1 celebrations in recent years.
TommyB

And the scale of Schumacher’s achievement was not lost on Bibah ru:

He stood on the podium in Piquet Snr, Senna and Prost’s generation, he stood on the podium with Hill, Hakkinen and Villeneuve, he stood on the podium in the generation of Alonso, Raikkonen and Massa and now he once more stood on the podium among the new kids like Grosjean, Vettel and Hamilton.
Bibah ru

What did you think of the European Grand Prix? Do you agree it was the best race of the year so far? Have your say in the comments.

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2012 European Grand Prix

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50 comments on European Grand Prix rated best race of 2012 so far

  1. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 3rd July 2012, 7:11

    Valencia is so boring. Nothing ever happens at Valencia.
    I thought this would never happen, but it did. When was the last time Valencia produced a more exciting race than the Canadian one? Never?

  2. callum (@095cal) said on 3rd July 2012, 14:03

    I still want rid of the track!

  3. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 3rd July 2012, 16:14

    If you told me at the start of the year that Valencia would be a serious contender for Race of the Year, I would’ve laughed you off (this in Year 2 of Pirelli AND DRS and neither helping last year’s race). How they pulled that off I will never know. And goodness knows if they can pull that off again.

  4. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 3rd July 2012, 16:35

    So Valencia needs two alternator problems and a safety car to be exciting? It’s like the promise of rain that never came true in Monaco. That race was boring!!!
    I’m fan of Vettel, and well, it pinched me when he retired, but I was still expecting some excitement when Grosjean started to attack ALonso,… just to see the same problem in his car :(, well I tried to keep my interest in the race, then Hamilton starts going pretty well… and the jack cracked. COME ON is that an entertaining race? It’s just full of FLAWS and MISTAKES. ANd to make things even worse, Maldonado crashed Hamilton in the last lap. I gave the race a SIX. (And I’m proud of it) PLEASE SILVERSTONE COME SOON!!!

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 3rd July 2012, 19:52

      I think I lean toward agreement with what you are saying @omarr-pepper…we are supposed to vote based on how entertained we were and how exciting we thought the race was. I am always entertained by an F1 race to at least some degree, and I’m always excited at the start not knowing how the first corner, let alone the race, is going to play out.

      Valencia for me was entertaining, but for the wrong reasons…a driver running away with the lead is not my preference, but nor is a safety car…at least this safety car bunched the field back up but I never like an interruption like that in a race. The two alternators and the PM/LH coming together, while adding to the entertainment, were unfortunate. Oh I know that’s racing and these things happen all the time, but it just seems to me that, as Omar puts it, if these things are needed to make for an exciting race, then we need to keep at the drawing board…

      Julian made an interesting point that if this was a race for the WDC then it would have been epic, but ‘if’ is the biggest word in the dictionary. It wasn’t for the WDC. And if it was, SV’s fans would have been hugely disappointed not to mention crying conspiracy at the safety car coming out, as would RG’s fans have been so let down by an alternator…perhaps many would have found it an anticlimactic way to end the season…LH would have had to do the same thing and risk everything to keep PM behind, only Whitmarsh would have backed him on it instead of second-guessing him in hindsight, and maybe many others would have understood LH’s refusal to relinquish the spot and PM’s desperation to take it in a no holds barred manner.

      So don’t get me wrong…I was entertained as always, so I don’t want to be labelled as whinging, but runaways, safety cars, broken cars, and DRS does take something away from it for me on most days. I was happy for FA nonetheless, and for NR who put in a blistering last 10 or 11 laps on spontaneously decided new tires to come 6th, within 10 seconds of MS, albeit both of them helped greatly by the losses of SV, RG, LH, and PM…

      I remain of the general feeling that the tires should be a little less ‘cliffy’ and DRS needs to go. While these two components exist, these races carry little asterisks for me as they carry too much weight in affecting the quality of the excitement level. Easy passes from DRS or from radical speed differences due to the tires are not that exciting nor as challenging as I think F1 drivers should have it. Of course the teams are challenged to nail setups and strategies to suit the tires, but once those tires are gone the drivers are practically passengers, as they are when being DRS’d by an approaching car.

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