Never has there been a season in Formula One as hotly contested as this one. Not only does the field contain an unprecedented six world champions -- accounting for a whopping fourteen titles between them -- but each of the seven grands prix so far this year has been won by a different driver. And each time the leaders play leap-frog in the standings.

The question has been how much longer this could possibly go on. Surely one driver would emerge as the clear frontrunner take a second checkered flag home on Sunday. Right? Keep reading to find out.


Qualifying on Saturday placed defending champion Sebastian Vettel on pole position, with arch-rival Lewis Hamilton lining up beside him. The surprise was Pastor Maldonado, the relative rookie with the erstwhile troubled Williams team who followed up on his exceptional victory in Barcelona with a third-place qualifying position, out-pacing Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta. Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa all qualified just outside the top ten, with Mark Webber all the way down in nineteenth. Timo Glock sat out this race due to illness.

Once the race got underway, Vettel and Hamilton held onto their places at the front, but Grosjean quickly overtook Maldonado for third. Kobayashi took Rosberg for fifth and Raikkonen dropped back. The real action was with the Ferraris, however, which were charging up from the middle of the grid.

Meanwhile, Vettel opened up a commanding lead that only widened the gap to Hamilton behind him, who was holding up Grosjean.




On the thirteenth lap, both Raikkonen and Alonso squeezed past Maldonado, and by the twenty-second, Alonso took fourth from di Resta. Not bad for someone who started eleventh.

A collision between Kobayashi and Senna saw the Brazilian spin, pit and then re-pit with a drive-through penalty, followed by another collision between Verge and Kovalainen that brought out the safety car. In the ensuing flurry of pit stops, Hamilton suffered from a malfunctioning tire jack that cost him dearly.



The green flag only waved again on lap 32 as Vettel lead Grosjean and Alonso. The Spanish champion soon passed the young Frenchman, but the bigger news soon followed as Sebastian Vettel retired trackside from the lead with an apparent (and clearly frustrating) mechanical issue.

With Alonso leading, Schumacher hit the pits, rejoined with fresh Pirellis in eleventh place, and diced his way through the field. All the while Raikkonen and Hamilton duked it out for second place as Grosjean dropped back. Kimi would emerge the winner of that battle as Schumacher closed in one car at a time, showing the brilliant form for which he was once celebrated.




Misfortune struck Hamilton, however, on the penultimate lap when Maldonado hit his McLaren sending him into the wall and out of the race. Schumacher slipped into third.

Across the line on the final lap, Alonso claimed an impressive victory in front of his home crowd in Valencia, having started way down in eleventh. Raikkonen took second to match the same result in Bahrain - his best since returning to the grid. The real surprise, however, was Schumacher, who may not have won as Pirelli predicted, but took his first podium since coming out of retirement.

Webber, Hulkenberg, Rosberg, di Resta, Button, Perez and Maldonado claimed the remaining points. Senna, Ricciardo, Petrov, Kovalainen, Pic, Massa, de la Rosa and Karthikeyan all finished outside the points, as Hamilton, Grosjean, Vettel, Kobayashi and Vergne watched the end of the race from the pit wall.



And just like that, Fernando Alonso takes a commanding lead in the standings with 111 points (ten times those of his teammate Massa), ahead of Mark Webber with 91. Hamilton trails with 88 but Vettel is down to fourth place with 85 points. Red Bull still leads the constructors' standings with 176 points to McLaren's 137, Lotus' 126 and Ferrari's 122.

Will the win go to another new driver at Silverstone? Will Alonso further cement his lead? Or will another previous race winner take his place? Tune in in two weeks for the results from the British Grand Prix to find out.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      Jonathan Arena
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hamilton may have forced Maldonado off the track in (one hell of a) defensive move to prevent being passed, but Maldonado MAY NOT just push his way back on. You can argue all you want, but it is clear that Hamilton's move did not cause contact, and Maldonado's took them both out of the race.
        Shane
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Arena
        In my opinion, Hamilton is 100% at fault for the incident. He ran Maldonado off the track in an absolute contravention of the rules. Whiting has stated that a driver must leave room when another car is significantly alongside. Hamilton left no room, what was Maldonado supposed to do? I guess he should have held his ground and let Hamilton just crash into him? Instead, Maldonado choose the wiser route and avoided Hamilton's obvious attempt to run him off the track. When Maldonado rejoined Hamilton again shut the door. What is MAL supposed to do, let HAM have his way with him? No driver should be subjected to the sort of bullying that HAM far too often commits. He should take a page from the best driver on the grid's book and get what points you can once your tires have given up. ALO gracefully allowed car after to car to pass with no incident in Canada, knowing full well that 5th place is better than a DNF. Hamilton is insanely quick, but his temper gets the better of him. If he could learn to cool his heels a bit he could be an even greater threat. He just seems to think that he should be able to point his car where he wants and everyone else should get out of his way. Perhaps he is attempting to emulate Senna? Difference is, he isn't Senna.
      Justin B.
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looked like Hamilton was at fault but after a second look you can see that Maldonado is OUTSIDE track limits when he attempts to overtake. 100% Maldonado's fault.
        Hal Jordan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin B.
        WTF?? At worst, fault lies with both. Maldonado had to get back on track, 1) so he could finish the pass on Hammy, 2) so he could avoid an upcoming bump, 3) because when you go back on track, you have to get back on ASAP. Hammy was up to his old tricks, not leaving any room for anyone except himself.
          Lexusboy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Hal Jordan
          Thing is the stewards penalised the right guy, Hamilton was on the track AND he was ahead of him at the time of collision, so Maldo should've used the brakes & turned right into the track after Hamilton had passed him, the stewards said he ‘failed to rejoin the track in a safe manner’.
        thePeterN
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin B.
        Maldonado was pushed off track, but had to come back on when he did as there was a speed bump mid-corner.
        Bob Johnson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin B.
        Ehh I don't think so justin bieber. Hamilton needs to not drive like a moron
      The Law
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm glad Maldonado got penalised for that collision, he's seriously gonna kill somebody one day.
        Lexusboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Law
        Yes, it looks like he learnt overtaking from the Hamilton school of driving...
      thePeterN
      • 2 Years Ago
      Alonso's cool-minded driving when the cards aren't in his favor have kept him in the championship race, while everyone else's lack of such have taken them out of a race or two. Ferrari may not have given him a great car this year, but he's done amazing things with it. He can't be sure of winning any race with such equipment, but he's been right there to win (twice) when others have screwed up!
        Agilis
        • 2 Years Ago
        @thePeterN
        +1 for this post and for the fact you just compared Alonso's Formula One driving to the ole Turtle vs Rabbit in a race analogy. You're right though, Alonso is a cool cucumber when it comes to his driving style.
      Bendir01c
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hamilton deserved what he got. Maldonado is just as stubborn and reckless and did to Hamilton what Hamilton has done to others.
      Lexusboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Most unexpected victory by Alonso! Just proves he's simply better than everyone else out there including the other five World Champions. Right, now where are those retarded Alonso haters here?... Lost for words, huh?
        Felspawn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lexusboy
        as a Alonso "Hater" it comes down to hating on his arrogance and piss poor attitude. You cant question his driving ability but bring a great driver doesnt mean your not as *******.
        Lou
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lexusboy
        Of course he's the best, when Vettel isn't on the track.
          Jonathan Arena
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Lou
          Kinda hard to argue with that...
          suthrn2nr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Lou
          haha, thats what I was thinking too. No doubt Alonso is the best, but this race was not just down to skill. Having said that, if vettel and Alonso had the same car, I would put my money on Alonso (and not just because he would make sure to ruin his team mate's chances, but because he is a great driver).
        andrazani
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lexusboy
        Who hates Alonso? Retards indeed. I mean, the man needs a serious eyebrow waxing, but his driving demands respect.
          Lexusboy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @andrazani
          I've seen a lot of Alonso 'hate' commenters here in Autoblog in the past, where are they now?
          suthrn2nr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @andrazani
          why wouldn't he have haters for pulling moves like blocking Hamilton from being able to qualify in Hungary '07. You don't have to be a Hamilton fan to know that in that case, Alonso was just huge sore-loser and was not happy that his team mate was just as good as he was. I think Alonso is THE BEST driver currently in F1, but that doesn't excuse being a bid d-bag.
        Pdexter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lexusboy
        i have nothing against Alonso, but you are certainly not giving good name for his fans. Just enjoy his driving like rest of us.
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think the Hamiliton crash was on both drivers. After Hamilton realized, he was going into a sharp drop in lap time and tire grip, he started blocking aggressively. Maldonado of course could've waited until the DRS zone to pass , Lewis was gonna lose that position and a few more when Schumacher and Webber came around anyway. I would've loved to see Grosjean and Alonso duke it out in the last few laps. I think Grosjean would've gotten Alonso. He quickly becoming one of my favorite new drivers despite that lot of F1 fan crap on his rookie performance early in the season. I could see from the first few laps in the Aussie GP, that he had lots of potential. I pray Vettel running away from the pack was just a fluke or Hamiltion tire strategy. I can't take another season of this guy dominating again. It's been an exciting first half and I hope it stays the same till the end. Forget driver contract, when is Adrian Newey's contract up.
        Lexusboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        You read my mind too. Vettel always flies away when starting from pole, but has a tough time when fighting with other cars. Alonso was actually lapping with the same sector times as Vettel after getting past Hulkenberg. Remember in Australia, Button was untouchable & everone thought McLaren was going to dominate... Hamilton quickly gets the tires up to temperature that's why he's such a good qualifier, but in the race this means his degradation is higher. Vettel's MO is based on grabbing pole & building a gap from there, he can't do it from 11th on the grid. I think he's highly overrated & can't overtake. It's incredibly boring when he's at the front in races & he's a totally colorless character, unlike Alonso or Michael who bring on track excitement to races. F1 races should be won by teams or manufacturers with charisma & history like Ferrari & Mercedes, not a soft drinks maker like Red Bull.
        Beldean Adrian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        Man,you read my mind and then you wrote a comment about it.
      Bryan South
      • 2 Years Ago
      This race was nuts! If it weren't for the safety car, and then Vettel and Grosjean randomly dropping out it might not have been as exciting but seriously, WHAT THE HELL! Feel bad for Lewis though. He probably should have just let Maldonado by but after all that work he put in I understand him trying to defend.
        Hal Jordan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bryan South
        You sound like a Hamilton fan. Some people would have said it this way, "If it weren't for the safety car, and then Vettel and Grosjean AND HAMILTON randomly dropping out it might not have been as exciting" I was jumping up and down laughing when Hammy shot himself in the foot.
      Jarrod Mark Price
      • 2 Years Ago
      Where's Webbers praise. From 19th to 4th. That would have to be one of the biggest jumps through the grid i've seen in a long while. On a side note, my word i love watching Alonso drive. It seems the worse his car gets the better his driving gets. Remind you of Senna anyone??
        Lexusboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jarrod Mark Price
        Alonso is god! Its widely accepted that he's an all-rounder in F1, good at everything & he can always transcend the abilities of his car like the Renault in 2008 & 2009.
      Mondrell
      • 2 Years Ago
      Collateral damage or not, there couldn't be a more diametric finish for a team that ate a double Q2 relegation. Alonso wins, while Massa gets lapped by him (after getting overtaken by cars from every team but HRT). The Italian media is going to eat him alive. . .
        Lexusboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mondrell
        What will Ferrari do regarding Massa? Alonso now has TEN times the points he has & its not even half distance yet. On the one hand he's a dutiful No.2 driver - which is what Alonso & Ferrari want, but on the other hand Constructors' points are being flushed down the toilet. Despite their victory, Ferrari is still behind Lotus in the championship, says a lot...
      ijardine
      • 2 Years Ago
      A fun race to watch. That said the 2 penalties between on Senna and Maldonado were plain WRONG as the other drivers involved were at last as much, if not mor, to blame repectively. If drivers race hard then incidents will happen and blaming one over another is daft and blaming the wrong driver is plain idiotic.
        andrazani
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ijardine
        Senna agreed. Maldonado...wtf....he runs other drivers off constantly and they have to brake, but when someone pulls that on him he t-bones them? The guy has as much finesse as an ape with a brick, and both of these things have more brains.
        Jonathan Arena
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ijardine
        Maldonado was off the track and forced his way back on causing a collision. Sounds prett accurate to me. But the senna penalty was ridiculous. Drivers shouldn't be held responsible for other cars that they cant' even see (meaning the nose of their car is still behind them.
        gtv4rudy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ijardine
        It kind of ruins it for me every time there some sort of contact between two cars there is an investigation.
          Lexusboy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @gtv4rudy
          There has to be some driving standards otherwise F1 races will be nothing but a crash fest. Hamilton managed to escape 3 potential penalties this weekend - Impeding Rosberg, ignoring yellow flags & hitting Maldonado, Lucky guy.. or not I guess.
      Pdexter
      • 2 Years Ago
      Past seasons have been amazing and this race might have just been the best in couple of races. So mich action everywhere. Feeling bad for Gros and Vettel, but that's F1 and racing for you.
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