Vettel cruises to sixth win of season

German increases championship lead to 77 points over Jenson Button and Mark Webber with easy win at European Grand Prix.

    Vettel sails to his sixth win of the season as the European Grand Prix became a procession [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel won the European Grand Prix in Valencia on a day when the greatest point of interest was that all the drivers finished the race.

    It was only the third time in history that everyone had stayed on track, while Vettel stayed on course to defend his crown by going from pole to flag to beat Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull teammate Mark Webber for his sixth win of the season.

    Great Britain's 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton for McLaren honoured his pledge to restrain his daredevil style and finish the race, taking fourth place.

    Brazilian Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari and Briton Jenson Button, in the second McLaren, finished fifth and sixth.

    European Grand Prix 

    1 S Vettel (GER) Red Bull
    2 F Alonso (ESP) Ferrari
    3 M Webber (AUS) Red Bull
    4 L Hamilton (GBR) McLaren
    5 F Massa (BRA) Ferrari
    6 J Button (GBR) McLaren
    7 N Rosberg (GER) Mercedes
    8 J Alguersuari (ESP) Toro Rosso
    9 A Sutil (GER)
    10 N Heidfeld (GER) Lotus
    11 S Perez (MEX) Sauber
    12 R Barrichello (BRA) Williams
    13 S Buemi (SUI) Toro Rosso
    14 P di Resta (GBR) Force India)

    Vettel beat Alonso by 10.891 seconds for his second straight victory along Valencia's street circuit in stifling 46C heat on Sunday.

    The 23-year-old extended his championship lead to 77 points with his 16th career victory. Vettel leads with 186 points, Button and Webber both have 109.

    The F1 season has previously been marked by exhilarating overtaking, thanks to new technology and tires.

    However, those additions failed to spice up Sunday's race for the 85,127 fans at the notoriously hard-to-overtake America's Cup harbour course.

    Instead, Vettel continued his dominating title defense with a sixth victory from eight races – and second place in the other two.

    Hamilton stayed fourth with 97 points. Alonso trails Vettel by a huge 99 points on 87 after a second runner-up finish in three races.


    Hamilton surrendered his third-place start with a terrible beginning as both Ferraris passed the McLaren driver, who has been under pressure to curb his aggressive driving style following incidents at the last two GPs.

    Button also surrendered sixth to Nico Rosberg at the first corner, but a sly pass later on recouped it to leave the McLarens trailing both the Red Bulls and Ferraris.

    After the first round of stops Hamilton had managed to get past Massa but still trailed Alonso, who was right on the back of Webber before passing the Australian at the end of the long straight near the close of lap 21.

    Webber recovered his place by the second round of pits while a poor stop by Massa dropped the Brazilian out of Hamilton's reach.

    Alonso recovered second after the final round of stops but his hopes of catching Vettel were hampered as he was slowed by traffic after coming out of the pits.

    Rosberg finished seventh for Mercedes ahead of Jaime Alguersuari, whose seat at Toro Rosso has been under pressure. Adrian Sutil of Force India was ninth and Renault's Nick Heidfeld was 10th.

    Sergio Perez's first race since crashing at Monaco yielded an 11th-place finish as Sauber opted for a one-stop strategy.

    The season continues on July 10 with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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