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GP Week : Issue 165
ONE-STOP STRATEGY HELPS VETTEL RECOVER TO SECOND 30 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SPA 30 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel has closed to within one race win of championship leader Fernando Alonso after completing a great recovery from 10th on the grid to take the chequered flag in second place. Alonso’s failure to finish means Vettel now lies just 24 points behind the Spaniard. Starting tenth on the grid, Vettel was lucky to avoid the first-corner collision involving Alonso, Hamilton and Grosjean, but dropped two places to 12th at the end of the first lap. He was able to mitigate the damage on a one-stop strategy however, and rose through the field as the two-stoppers ahead of him pitted, before comfortably taking second place over ten seconds clear of Raikkonen in third. “I’m happy with that today. The start was poor; I think I was the only one not to gain positions through the first corners, so we had to fight our way back, which wasn’t easy, but I enjoyed it a lot,” said Vettel. “The strategy worked perfectly for us and we had the pace, which was the best thing about today. The car worked well and we didn’t struggle.” Team-mate Mark Webber staged a similarly strong recovery after finishing sixth on a two-stop strategy. He had been demoted to 12th on the grid due to a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.