• European Grand Prix

Driver-by-driver run down

ESPNF1 Staff
June 27, 2010

Sebastian Vettel - 1st It was a solid race and exactly what Vettel needed heading into the second half of the season. He very nearly cracked under the pressure from Hamilton at the restart but did enough to keep the McLaren at bay. In the end it didn't matter as Hamilton had to serve a drive-through penalty and Vettel was able to take the win with ease.

Lewis Hamilton - 2nd At the start he beat Webber through the first corner but then got a little overambitious trying to pass Vettel in turn two. The resulting damage to his front wing put him on the back foot in the first stint, but he then got a perfect opportunity to pit for a new one under the safety car. However, with Hamilton it's never simple, and his indecision over whether he should pass the safety car as it came out of the pits resulted in a drive-through penalty. That put an end to his charge and, despite putting pressure on Vettel, the race for the lead was over.

Jenson Button -3rd Considering his starting position it was a fantastic result. He benefitted from the safety car but also had a strong pace and set the fastest lap of the race. His car showed none of the balance issues it had in qualifying but still wasn't quite quick enough to get past Kobayashi's Sauber. Of course it didn't matter as Kobayashi still had to pit, but it goes to show just how difficult it is to overtake another car on this circuit.

Rubens Barrichello - 4th A brilliant result, but like Button's, one that benefitted from the safety car. He leapfrogged Kubica and the two Ferraris in the pits and just about had enough speed in the Williams to hold position and secure valuable points for the team.

Robert Kubica - 5th He spent most of the race looking at Barrichello's gearbox and, due to the turbulent air from the back of the Williams, didn't get close enough to pass. Had his pit stop been quicker he would have been in the fight for a podium.

Adrian Sutil - 6th Another driver to benefit from the safety car; his race was transformed by quick pit work by the Force India mechanics. Crucially he was ahead of team-mate Tonio Liuzzi on track when the safety car came out and therefore didn't have to queue for tyres.

Kamui Kobayashi - 7th A superb performance that was perfectly finished off with two sublime passing manoeuvres on Alonso and Buemi. The hard graft that made those moves possible was put when he was running in third place ahead of Button and on very worn tyres. By the end of the race he had pulled himself up from 18th on the grid to seventh. Further proof that the Sauber is good over long distances but struggles in qualifying.

Fernando Alonso - 8th He gained a position post-race because of the five-second penalty handed to Buemi, but that will be of little consolation to the infuriated Spaniard. To be fair to him, he does have a point. If Hamilton had continued at a normal speed when the safety car came out, Alonso would have been able to pit at the same time as the McLaren and hold onto third place. But to label it a scandal and suggest Hamilton should have been given a larger penalty is a bit bitter.

Sebastien Buemi - 9th A second consecutive points finish is a massive achievement for anyone driving a Toro Rosso this season. He will be a little bit disappointed to have lost a position for speeding under the safety car, but then he would never have been as high up the field as he was had it not been for the lengthy caution period.

Nico Rosberg - 10th Another driver who gained because of the post-race penalties. But despite the added bonus he will have serious concerns about the lack of pace from his Mercedes, especially as it was fitted with an update that was meant to thrust it back towards the podium.

Felipe Massa - 11th He probably has more right to be angry at Hamilton than Alonso does, as he lost out considerably more when he had to queue behind his Ferrari team-mate for tyres. It's a real shame for him as he made something of a comeback in qualifying on Saturday and was poised for a much needed points haul early in the race.

Kamui Kobayashi goes wheel-to-wheel at the start © Getty Images
Pedro de la Rosa - 12th He had his first point of the season whipped away him by the stewards for speeding in the pit lane. To rub salt in the wounds he was a long way off the pace of his Sauber team-mate Kobayashi who stole the spotlight by staying out at the front instead of following the conventional strategy of pitting under the safety car.

Jaime Alguersuari - 13th He failed to get the best from the car all weekend and that showed in the race when he became an also ran at the back of the field. He benefitted slightly from other's penalties but was still a long way off the points.

Vitaly Petrov - 14th Another driver who lost out queuing in the pits and eventually got hit with a five-second penalty. He finished 11th on the road, which goes to show that in normal racing conditions he could have been in the running for a top-ten finish.

Michael Schumacher - 15th He was a lap late to make his tyre change under the safety car and as a result had to stop at the red lights at the end of the pit lane and wait for the field to pass. From that point onwards he treated the race as a test session to try to find a solution to his Mercedes' woeful handling.

Tonio Liuzzi - 16th His pace wasn't as bad as the result suggests. If he had been first in the pits instead of Sutil then he could have been celebrating a points finish instead. A time penalty for speeding under safety car conditions didn't help matters.

Lucas di Grassi - 17th While the rest of the new team drivers appeared to be losing their heads squabbling among themselves, di Grassi kept his cool and registered a very good result. He was quick all weekend and out-qualified Glock for the first time.

Karun Chandhok - 18th A solid result ahead of his team-mate and four of the other new-team drivers. Glock overtook him in the closing stages but the positions were reversed when the Virgin driver received a post-race penalty.

Timo Glock - 19th A frustrating race that saw him stuck behind di Grassi at the start, get a puncture when he tried to pass Senna and then receive a 20-second penalty after the race for ignoring blue flags.

Bruno Senna - 20th His race was ruined when he tangled with Glock and lost his front wing. After that it was a relief for him just to finish and stay out of the way of the leading cars coming round to lap him.

Jarno Trulli - 21st He lost his front wing on the first lap and then had to return to the pits a few laps later with a gearbox problem. By the time he returned to the track he was a couple of laps down and the race turned into a testing exercise.

Nico Hulkenberg - DNF - Fire Points were a possibility but everything seemed to conspire against him. He had to stack behind Barrichello at the pit stops and then had any hope of a decent result disappear when his car caught fire.

Heikki Kovalainen - DNF - Accident Whether he should have defended his position against Webber is a matter of opinion, but under the regulations he had every right to fight the corner. However, the end result was that he retired a reliable car after nine laps, so - with the benefit of hindsight - he probably should have let the Red Bull past.

Mark Webber - DNF - Accident Things went from bad to worse to terrible for Webber. He dropped to ninth at the start after being outfoxed by Hamilton and then his attempts to salvage the race with an early pit stop went wrong when a front wheel stuck. As a result, he was forced to fight his way past Kovalainen and that's when things went really bad. Whether you think it was his fault or not, he should never have been that far back so early in the race.