Alonso thrills, Schumi back

  • AFP, Valencia
  • |
  • Updated: Jun 25, 2012 01:38 IST
  • Fernando Alonso

    Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium at the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia after the European Formula One Grand Prix. AFP/Jose Jordan

  • Fernando Alonso

    Fernando Alonso became the first driver to win more than one race this year and also regained the championship lead. AFP Photo

  • Fernando Alonso

    Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium at the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia after the European Formula One Grand Prix. AFP/Rafa Rivas

  • Michael Schumacher

    German driver Michael Schumacher celebrates on the podium at the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia after the European  Grand Prix. AFP/Rafa Rivas

  • European Grand Prix

    (L to R) Lotus F1 Team's Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Mercedes' German driver Michael Schumacher celebrate on the podium at the Valencia Street ...

  • Sebastian Vettel

    Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel steers his car during the European Formula One Grand Prix at Valencia street circuit, Spain. AP/Alberto Saiz

  • Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen

    Caterham F1 Team's Vitaly Petrov and Caterham F1 Team's  Heikki Kovalainen drive at the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia during the European Grand Prix. AFP/Rafa ...

  • Pastor Maldonado

    Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela drives during the European Grand Prix at the Valencia street circuit. Reuters/Miguel Vidal

  • Romain Grosjean

    Lotus F1 Team's Romain Grosjean drives at the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia during the European Formula One Grand Prix. AFP/Jose Jordan

  • European Grand Prix

    McLaren Mercedes' Jenson Button, Mercedes' Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg drives at the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia during the European Grand Prix. AFP/Rafa Rivas

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso thrilled home fans by winning an incident-packed European Grand Prix in Valencia on Sunday to take the overall championship lead and become Formula One's first repeat winner of the season.

The Spaniard was joined on the podium by two former Ferrari champions - Kimi Raikkonen second for Lotus and Michael Schumacher third for Mercedes.

The victory lifted Alonso, who had started 11th on the grid, to the top of the standings with 111 points, 20 clear of Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber, after eight of 20 races.

It was the 29th career win for Alonso, who won his two titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/6/25_06_12-pg-18a.jpg


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Alonso was helped by the mechanical problems that forced pole starter Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean out of the race, while McLaren's previous championship leader Lewis Hamilton crashed out in the closing laps.

It was still a momentous achievement on a twisty street circuit that had seen three of the past four winners start on pole and nobody win from lower than third place.

"It's maybe the best victory I have had in terms of emotions," Alonso told a news conference after sharing the emotion with fans and being mobbed by photographers.

"Here now, with the European championship of football on, and all the fans, I am feeling very proud to be Spanish at the moment," said Alonso.

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