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GP Week : Issue 122
Disappointing weekend for McLaren Fernando alonso’s second-place finish at the european Grand Prix was a career-best result on the Valencia street circuit for the Spanish driver. In the run-up to Sunday’s race Alonso spoke of the run of bad luck he has experienced at his second home race. “I always believe that luck, and bad luck, balance out by the end of the season and maybe this unwritten rule also applies to race tracks,” Alonso said. “If that’s the case, I would be more than happy if last year’s misfortune was paid back now! The Asturian’s belief in balance proved to be well-founded when he crossed the finish line in P2. Visibly chuffed by the race result, Alonso showed what some would call uncharacteristic good humour in the post-race press conference. “First podium in Valencia,” the Ferrari driver said of the day’s result. “I missed this trophy. At home I have trophies from all Formula 1 circuit I race apart from Abu Dhabi and India; obviously we race there this year, so now that I have here in Valencia obviously Abu Dhabi and India will be the next targets to complete the collection.” Alonso secures career-best Valencia result It was a lackluster weekend for McLaren, who had hoped to see at least a podium finish in Valencia, if not a win. While 20 points in the constructors’ championship are always welcome, the MP4-26’s typically strong race pace was not evident this afternoon. The highlight of the afternoon for the Woking team came very early on in the European Grand Prix, when Jenson Button used his DRS to nip sweetly past the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg at the beginning of lap 6. Button had been passed by the German driver on the first lap, but managed to get within the necessary 1s when race control activated DRS on all the cars. Button closed in on the MGP W02 as he roared down the start/finish straight, and managed to slip ahead of Rosberg around Turn 1. It was a perfect display of the DRS working as intended, but the device failed to liven up the traditionally dull Valencia race – Button’s pass on Rosberg was on of the few bits of action on offer during the European Grand Prix. F1 EUROPE >> 28