Mon, Jul 23, 2007 - Page 17 News List

Alonso wins in Germany

AFP , NURBURGRING, GERMANY

Spanish McLaren-Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso celebrates at the Nurburgring racetrack after the European Formula One Grand Prix in Nurgurgring, Germany, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Double world champion Fernando Alonso brilliantly won the European Grand Prix yesterday.

Alonso's third win of the season leaves him just two points behind McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton in the overall drivers' standings.

The Spaniard made the most of his opportunity when torrential rain and car failures combined to leave him in a straight fight with Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Alonso passed Massa superbly in the closing stages to win by eight seconds from the Brazilian, Australian Mark Webber was third for Red Bull Racing.

Massa's teammate Kimi Raikkonen started from pole position but his poor record on the German circuit continued as he was forced to retire after 34 laps.

It was also a tough weekend for leader Hamilton who finished ninth.

A bad crash in qualifying left Hamilton starting from tenth on the grid and his record run of nine podium finishes in nine races was always likely to end after he spun off the track early on.

Hamilton's McLaren was eventually lifted back onto the track by a crane but the rookie rejoined the race at the back of the field, a lap behind and with too much ground to make up.

Alex Wurz of Williams was fourth ahead of Red Bull's David Coulthard in fifth with Nick Heidfeld sixth for BMW.

The final point-scorers were Heidfeld's teammate Robert Kubica and Heikki Kovalainen of Renault who were seventh and eighth respectively.

The race started in a sprinkling of rain, then the heavens opened. Track conditions quickly became treacherous.

Hamilton, Scott Speed of Torro Rosso, Nico Rosberg of Williams, Adrian Sutil of Spyker, Jenson Button of Honda and Speed's teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi each slid off the track, the first four all at the opening corner.

As the chaos threatened to turn into farce the race was briefly stopped so order could be restored.

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