June.23 – Championship leader Sebastian Vettel expects to bounce back to his winning ways at this weekend’s European GP at Valencia’s street circuit.
Last race McLaren’s Jenson Button’s spectacular victory at Canadian GP, It was McLaren’s second win in this season, with Vettel winning the rest to establish a strong 60-point lead over Button. Now, Fernando Alonso, who trails Vettel by 92 points in fifth, is positive that Ferrari can challenge the Red Bull driver along the coastal course, which should give another unpredictable race with the introduction of new tyres and an extra overtaking area provided by the DRS adjustable rear wing.
“At the last two races we showed we were clearly capable of winning,” Alonso said. “Now we go to a track with reasonably similar characteristics to Montreal and there is no obvious reason why we should not be competitive here too.”
The Spaniard Fernando Alonso was unlucky to go out of Canadian GP following a brush with Button. Alonso looked strong in Montreal qualifying following coming second in Monaco but he failed to finish the race. The double world champion may soon run out of time to catch Vettel, who has rarely slipped up.
“So far this season, luck has not come our way,” said Alonso, who came eighth in last year’s race. “In the race in Montreal, not one damned thing went right.”
Lewis Hamilton was retired in Montreal following Button squeezed him into the pit wall, unsighted in the rain. And he was involved in two crashes with Massa and Maldonado, at Monaco street circuit where he finished sixth. While Hamilton will be trying to consolidate, Button will look to continue his challenge on Vettel.
“I wouldn’t say that winning in Montreal has given me extra motivation because I was already totally committed, but I think it will help to sharpen the focus and conviction of everyone in the team,” said Button, the 2009 world champion. “We’ve proved we can challenge and beat Sebastian.”
The Valencia street circuit usually offers few overtaking opportunities but the addition of a second DRS zone could provide some extra excitement, while the introduction of a medium-compound tyre is likely to provide another challenge for what is expected to be a hot, humid race along the city’s harbour on Sunday.
“It’s a circuit that’s yet to provide a phenomenal F1 race but we’ve seen some special ones this year, so hopefully this is an opportunity for Valencia to add its name to the list,” said Mark Webber, who walked away unscathed from a spectacular crash in last year’s race when his car somersaulted through the air. “There’s no reason why the car shouldn’t perform well.”
Red Bull has taken pole position for the last nine races stretching to last season.
A clampdown on engine-mapping systems will also come into effect as teams will not be allowed to change settings between Saturday’s qualifying and the 57-lap race. That could stop teams from running extreme setups to take qualifying since those settings will carry over to the race.
© Sapa – AP
All material and photos are copyrighted material and owned by their respective owners. Use or depiction of images or trademarks throughout this website is for illustrative and editorial purposes only.Images come courtesy of; ferrari.com, mclaren.com, forceindiaf1.com, redbull.com, mercedesgp.com, renaultf1.com, toyota, bmw-sauber, williamsf1, lotus, virgin, Daylife.com, getty Images/LAT and AP Photos.