• European Grand Prix 2007

Alonso triumphant in wet European Grand Prix

David Addison
July 22, 2007
Markus Winkelhock makes history at the Nurburgring © Sutton Images

Heavy rain in the Eifel mountain region of Germany made for an enthralling European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, as Fernando Alonso defeated Felipe Massa after a wheel-banging contest on a wet road.

The rain hit after just two laps and saw cars spearing off the road as their dry-weather tyres stopped working, the race was stopped and restarted.

Rain came on lap two and with cars strewn around the circuit, the race was red-flagged. Many had pitted for wet tyres but Markus Winkelhock had started his Spyker on wets and moved into the lead as the rest of the field slithered into the pits.

With the orange Spyker ahead, the race was red-flagged on lap four with Lewis Hamilton one of the early casualties: he had slid into a gravel bed and needed to be winched out of it. He rejoined the race but lost a lap in the process. The restart allowed him to make that lap back up under new rules, but he still finished just ninth, out of the points and meaning his championship lead fell from 12 points to two.

Winkelhock led the restart away from behind a safety car but was overhauled by the Ferrari of Massa and then the McLaren of Alonso with Massa staying in charge until his last set of tyres developed a vibration and Alonso caught him and wriggled by.

Third went to Mark Webber (Red Bull) from Alexander Wurz, again going well for Williams, while David Coulthard's fifth place made it a good afternoon for Red Bull.

For Winkelhock, it was a place in the history books. Even though he retired after 13 laps with an electrical glitch, he had led his one and only Grand Prix.

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