There is only one word that is fitting to describe the European Grand Prix this past weekend in Valencia: Thrilling.
There were expected-winner starting on pole, the guessing games on strategy, racing incidents galore, safety car (!!), botched pit stop by McLaren (again!), 2 front-runners' cars failed in late stages, crash-out in last lap, unexpected podium and incredible joys of unlikely victory. Utterly unpredictable, and completely action-packed, I loved every minute of the intensity at the Valencia race.
Here's how it all went down - Vettel was on pole, if you recall my pre-race prediction, Vettel has won twice consecutively last two years, he was a sure-in to grab the win. And for the most part, I was right until lap 34 of the 57-lap race. Vettel was leaving everyone in the dust with comfortable margins, no one was close enough to catch him, he was so ahead that he went in for his pit stop, came back out and there was no traffic to slot back in, that's the kind of lead he was having.
Unfortunately for Vettel, his car failed him in lap 34 after the safety car had to come out to clean up Vergne-Kovalainen crushed bits on race track. Oddly enough, another Renault-engine car also failed unexpectedly. Grosjean was chasing Alonso down and doing a brilliant job catching up at the last few laps of the race, then suddenly, car failure and end of race for Grosjean.
There were a couple incidents throughout the race, three big ones to be exact. First, there was Vergne and Kovalainen. Then there was Kobayashi and Massa. Lastly, the most gutting of all incidents of the day, Maldonado and Hamilton at lap 55. I definitely feel for Hamilton, to be SO close to the finish line and suddenly losing it all.
Misfortune for some means gain for others. For this race, the lucky benefactor is Schumacher, who leaped to 3rd place on the podium. Well done for him, however unlikely this was a win for him, Schumacher fought hard through race after race and nothing like regaining glory to re-boost his confidence and drive.
Despite all the drama, in the end the best, the triumph, and the crown goes to the Alonso. I am not always the biggest fan of Alonso, but he raced the Ferrari from 11th to P1, never losing sight of the finish line and kept hustling lap after lap. He commanded and deserved all the respect and congratulations from not just the home crowd in Valencia but F1 fans everywhere. Well done!
So who wins the Best Post-race hair at the European Grand Prix, you ask? It goes to none other than Alonso, who also showed some real emotions on the podium with real tears. And what of the Grid Girls? It's another classy but boring showing - Ferrari-red dress with white bow as belt, reminds me of Christmas present. Are the Valencia Grid Girls the Spanish gifts to the world? Where are all the fashion designers - Grid Girl outfits need some excitement! I'm holding out some hope that the Grid Girl outfits will get better in the next race. It's been an unbelievably exciting Grand Prix weekend in Valencia, can't wait for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 6-8!