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Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Sunday, 27 June 2010 15:07 UK

European Grand Prix as it happened


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By Mark Orlovac

1502: Right then, it's time to go. Thanks very much for your company, apologies that I did not have the time to use all your messages. Stick with the F1 Forum at the top of this page or if football is your thing, you can follow it here. This has been yet another intriguing weekend, roll on Silverstone in a couple of weeks' time. Until then, take care.

1459: Here's a run down of the top 10: Vettel Hamilton, Button, Barrichello, Kubica, Sutil, Kobayashi, Buemi, Alonso and De la Rosa. A great day for BMW Sauber and a mention for Williams, who have Barrichello in fourth.

davros182 on 606: "Kobayashi wins driver of the day I guess! Fabulous work."

Blue_Phoenix on 606: "Would have liked to have seen Hamilton and Vettel race but it wasn't to be. Still I think McLaren could have the edge now. They get their new updates for Silverstone... if they work (lets face it McLaren updates usually do work) that could put them ahead of the Red Bulls in outright pace."

BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle: "If Vettel wins the world championship this year then this victory will be a very significant moment."

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Simon in Halifax via text: "This was the best race of the year so far, why can't they all be like this? Webber was very lucky, it shows how strong an F1 car is."

1451: "Germany one, England nil," Button says to Vettel as they wait for their cue to get on the podium. Vettel clenches his fists as he receives the applause when they do appear in front of the stage. Anthem time.

1449: That's Vettel's second win of the season and Red Bull's first triumph since Webber won in Monaco. Hamilton now leads Button by six points in the championship, Vettel moves up to third place.

1446: What a race. Vettel is going bonkers in his cockpit after that win. "That will be Germany's best result of the day," he is told by team boss Christian Horner. Vettel doesn't seem to hear him. "That's what I'm talking about," he shouts. "Back on track. Thank you, every single one."


Lap 57: Kobayashi gets Buemi on the very last corner of the race. Brilliant drive. He finishes seventh.

Lap 56: Alonso goes a little wide at Turn 17 and Kobayashi dives up the inside of him for eighth. Joy all round on the BMW Sauber pit wall. Vettel leads Hamilton by 3.8 seconds - he's not under threat though.

Lap 55: Alonso is all over the back of Buemi, he can't get through now though. Kobayashi is on Alonso's tail too. This is where the real battle is now.

Lap 54: Kobayashi feeds out in ninth place. Vettel leads Hamilton by 7.9 seconds. Then it's Button, Barrichello, Kubica, Sutil, Buemi and Alonso. Button sets a 1:38.766.

Pit stop
Lap 53: At the end of the lap, Kobayashi finally comes in for his first pit stop. Incredible. That's worth a graphic I reckon. Schumacher sets a lap of 1:38.968. He's down in 16th.

Lap 52: Is that chase over? Vettel sets the fastest lap of 1:39.141 and the gap is back up to 8.0 seconds. It's his to lose.

Lap 51: The Hulk grinds to a halt with a nasty bit of rubber flapping around his back right tyre. Don't know what happened there. Vettel weathers the storm and posts a lap quicker than Hamilton for the first time in a while. When is Kobayashi going to stop? He's still out there.

Lap 49: Vettel only has a lead of 6.6 seconds now. BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle: "That drive-through cost us a great fight between Hamilton and Vettel. It would have been a cracker."

BBC Radio 5 live F1 analyst Anthony Davidson: "A little bit of pressure building towards the end of the race is what we want to see. I want to see a motor race - and if Hamilton keeps on taking chunks out of Vettel then that's what we've got."

Lap 48: Another flyer from Hamilton - a 1:39.418. The gap is 7.4 seconds, don't go anywhere.

Lap 47: Hold the back page. Hamilton puts in a 1:39.776 to reduce the gap to 7.9 seconds. Brundle says that Vettel "needs to re-engage completely".

Lap 46: Did I mention that Kobayashi has not pitted yet? He's on the same tyres he started with. The gap between Vettel and Hamilton is now 9.5 seconds.

Fernando Alonso's race engineer Andrea Stella: "Five cars in front of us are under investigation for speeding behind the safety car, so I want you to be very wise and calm."

Lap 44: Just when you think this race is going to settle down, it is announced that a host of drivers are under investigation for going too fast when the safety car was out. Button, Barrichello, The Hulk, Kubica, Petrov, Liuzzi, Sutil, Buemi and De la Rosa are the cars involved. That includes every car between Kobayashi in third and Alonso in ninth. This is not over yet. Bonkers. Vettel is 10.4 seconds clear of Hamilton.

Lap 42: Vettel's lead is now 11.2 seconds. Alonso has dropped back from Buemi. He really must be seething under that helmet of his. The debrief is going to be interesting.

BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle: "I sense that Vettel is controlling this race."

Lap 40: Hamilton is still chipping away at Vettel but time is running out for the McLaren driver. Kobayashi is third, then it's Button, Barrichello, Kubica and Sutil.

BBC F1 commentator David Croft: "The England fans watching Timo Glock's defending there will be hoping Germany's players in Bloemfontein can do something similar in the World Cup this afternoon!"

Lap 39: Alonso is battling with Buemi for eighth. The Ferrari driver gets a sniff at the final corner but he can't make it stick. Vettel leads Hamilton by 11.9 seconds.

Lap 38: Senna now comes in and he gets a new wing. Schumacher sets the fastest lap of 1:40.148.

Lap 37: Schumacher, in 17th, is into the pits for a third time. Kravitz says Mercedes are treating this race as a test session now. Hamilton gets caught up a little by some back markers and the gap to Vettel increases to 13.0 seconds. Bruno Senna and Timo Glock connect and there's bits of wing flying off. Glock comes into the pits.

Lap 35: Hamilton sets the fastest lap time of the day - a 1:40.670. That gap is holding steady.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Rosberg has done a really good job. From a situation that was critical, he has managed that brake wear well."

Lap 34: Hamilton is 11.9 seconds Vettel. This could be tasty. BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle: "You sense that Vettel is pacing himself."

Lap 33: The gap at the front is coming down - it's now 12.7 seconds. Hamilton, Kobayashi and Button were all quicker than Vettel on that last lap.

Lap 31: Vettel leads, 13.8 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Then it is Kobayashi, Button, Barrichello, Kubica, Buemi, Sutil, Alonso and The Hulk.

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "I have just been speaking to McLaren's race team managing director Jonathan Neale and he says they acknowledge the decision and accept it would have been tight. They are very happy Lewis has been able to make up that time in the meantime and still be in a good position."

Lap 28: Hamilton comes out ahead of Kobayashi. He's still second. A marshal frantically runs to get that bottle. A gold medal for you sir. Alonso is not happy with the stewards. "Where is he [Hamilton]?" "He's second," is the reply. His race engineer Andrea Stella adds: "It is really unfair, it is like no penalty but today we look at ourselves and let's see what happens after." This is going to run and run.

BBC F1 pundit David Coulthard: "I've just had a word with Mark Webber in his room at the Energy Station. His Twitter site is AussieGrit and he is sitting there very calmly reflecting on his low flying of a Red Bull. He is absolutely fine. He was unsure exactly what Kovalainen was doing - he went right and went left. The good news is Mark is sitting there like the chilled Aussie he is, not at all like a man who has just gone through that incident. I'm still shaking just from watching it."

Lap 27: Crikey, it's all happening. Who says this track is boring? There's now a glass bottle on the track. Unbelievable. Hamilton comes in for his penalty, where will he come out? Ted Kravitz says Ferrari are angry that the authorities took quite a while to dish out the punishment.

BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle: "As the safety car joined the track, Hamilton was right there - and we now see he has got a drive-through penalty for overtaking the safety car. He got in front of the safety car and gained a lot of time, and Alonso is stuck behind the safety car."

Lap 24: Hamilton gets a drive-through penalty for overtaking the safety car as it came out of the pit lane. He was just, and only just, ahead of that critical safety car line. Hamilton is told: "We need you to stay out and close the gap to Vettel."

Lap 22: Vettel still leads, 2.0 seconds clear. Webber is pictured walking back to the garage. Incredible. The video of the crash is now available here.

BBC Radio 5 live F1 analyst Anthony Davidson: "Jenson Button seems to be keeping his cool and if he continues to do that then there could be a second place for him - especially as I fear something unwanted could be in store for Lewis."

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "I went to McLaren to ask them what Alonso was talking about and they say they can't understand it. There is a lap time displayed in the cockpit that drivers have to stick to when the safety car is out and they are catching it, it's called a delta, and they say Lewis stuck to the delta."

Lap 21: Vettel sets another fastest lap - 1:40.943. Rosberg, in 13th, is now told that the situation is critical and that he will not finish the race at this rate. Not really what you want to hear is it? Hamilton is 9.4 seconds ahead of Kobayashi, Button must be really frustrated.

Lap 20: Troubles for Mercedes, Rosberg is told that "We are in a bad situation with the brakes, we really need to look after them." Hamilton is now under investigation by the stewards.

Lap 18: Ferrari's Fernando Alonso comes on the radio and says something indistinct about Hamilton and it being "the only thing you have to do all day". Martin Brundle says: "I'll tell you what that might be about - is he saying that Hamilton backed him up on the in-lap when the safety car was out?" Vettel sets the fastest lap of 1:41.696. The front two are 7.7 seconds clear now, when is Kobayashi coming in? Button is fourth, Barrichello fifth.

Lap 17: Hamilton, in second, sets the fastest lap of 1:41.828. Kobayashi is 5.1 seconds behind Hamilton and is holding up a host of cars.

Lap 15: Vettel almost loses the lead as he catches himself out at the final corner on lap 14 when the safety car comes in. He goes too deep but Hamilton can't overtake. Alonso takes The Hulk for ninth. Vettel leads Hamilton by a second.

Lap 13: Schumacher is in the pits, the safety car is coming in at the end of the next lap.

BBC F1 pundit David Coulthard: "It's a great advert for how safe these cars are that Mark's able to jump out of the car. The other thing is they are talking about adjustable rear wings and Kers next year and a lot of the drivers have been saying huge closing speeds is a dangerous thing on the race track and what we have seen is a great example of that. You don't want to have more than 6-7km/h difference between the fastest and slowest cars."
On Webber's crash: "Motor racing has just seen one of its luckiest days. That could have been a very, very bad incident."

Lap 12: Here's the top 10: Vettel, Hamilton, Kobayashi, Button, Barrichello, Kubica, Buemi, Sutil, Hulkenberg and Alonso. Schumacher is 19th. Heikki Kovalainen on his collision with Mark Webber: "I was defending and I think he ran into me."

BBC Radio 5 live F1 analyst Anthony Davidson: "It really shows the absolute strength of a modern F1 car - I can't believe Mark Webber was able to jump out of the car. The car's a wreck, but he walked away."

Lap 11: Schumacher comes in but he has to wait at the end of the pit lane as there is a red light to let the pack of cars to go by. Very, very costly. The replays of Webber's accident really are sickening.

Lap 10: With the safety car out, Vettel and Hamilton dive in to the pits. Alonso and Massa also come in but for some reason they are way behind.

Lewis Hamilton: "Are you able to change my front wing?" McLaren engineer: "Lewis, we are working what is the best to do with strategy."

Safety car
Lap 9: Wow. A massive, massive crash for Mark Webber. That's a huge impact. He runs into the back of Kovalainen and flips over. He lands upside down but thankfully he gets out seemingly unhurt.

Lap 8: Rosberg comes in now. He overshoots the pit box but he is sent out pretty quickly.

Pit stop
Lap 7: Webber comes in for a pit stop but there's a delay as the left front tyre does not want to come off. That's a blow for the Australian. Vettel leads by 3.7 seconds.

Lap 6: There's some telly pictures of four bikini-clad ladies in a roof-top hot tub which slightly distracts me for a second but anyway, Vettel sets a 1:42.684.

Michael Schumacher's race engineer Andrew Shovlin: "Michael, brake temperatures are a bit high already, so anything you can do to bring them down - bias, or maybe just going a bit easier on them."

Lap 5: Vettel sets another fastest lap - a 1:43.055. He's 3.0 seconds ahead of Hamilton now. Alonso, in third, is lapping slightly quicker than Hamilton at the moment. Trulli comes in again, that's his race over.

BBC Radio 5 live F1 analyst Anthony Davidson: "Whatever the damage to Lewis Hamilton's McLaren is, I think it's pretty minor."

Lap 3: Alonso is told that pieces have come off Hamilton's wing. Trulli seems to have had contact with Kobayashi which is why he had to come in.

Lap 2: Webber is duelling with The Hulk for eighth at the end of the lap but he can't get through. Vettel sets the fastest lap of 1:43.768, he's 2.3 seconds clear of Hamilton. Schumacher has made a good start - he's 11th. Trulli pits.

Lap 1: Hamilton had a good look at Vettel on the inside of Turn Two and the cars were side by side. "Vettel hit me," says Hamilton. "I've got a vibration on my left front." Hamilton is second, then it's Alonso, Massa, Kubica, Button, Barrichello, Hulkenberg and Webber.

Lap 1: And we're off. Great start by Hamilton, he's up to second, Alonso up to third. Webber drops back to fourth.

1302: Brundle notes that Vettel has led the rest of the cars on a very slow formation lap. They are starting to filter round on the grid now. Ready?

BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard: "If Lewis Hamilton or Mark Webber are going to make a move they've got to do something in the first few corners, I'd have thought."

1300: And the formation lap begins. Hold onto your hats.

BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle: "Can Lewis Hamilton get amongst the Red Bulls on the first lap? Some of the teams will have a different race pace, like Ferrari and Mercedes. They are going to have to work hard to stop Red Bull winning."

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MUFC_4_E3VER on 606: "Will Button or Hamilton want to get on the podium? They'll miss more of the England game."

1251: Just nine minutes to go. Can Lewis Hamilton claim his first hat-trick of F1 victories or is Vettel going to claim his first win since Malaysia? We've got 57 laps of a 3.367 mile circuit coming up. Not long now.

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Jo in France via text: "In case you are not watching French telly, Rosberg just compared learning to use a new steering wheel to a woman trying to cook in a new kitchen!"

1246: Eddie Jordan desperately tries to get a word with Michael Schumacher but the German ignores all his pleas. That's a no then. Afterwards he jokes with a mechanic, maybe they are laughing about brushing off the BBC.

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GraymeadYNWA on 606: "Can someone tell Webber to move out of the way on lap one so that England vs. Germany can start early?"

1243: Our determined pair are struggling to find any drivers as they are all off the grid seeking shade. Track temperature is 45C.

1240: It's Brundle's grid walk - and he's joined by Eddie Jordan. This could be interesting. Timo Glock is the first man collared and he unfurls a Germany football shirt as a present for Brundle. Brundle tells Glock that "you have more chance of winning this race than Germany have of winning the match". Love it.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Valencia: "Does Lucas di Grassi think he's had a chance to impress as an F1 driver in his rookie season for Virgin? 'No,' is his quickfire response. 'Because I'm in a small team and very, very few people notice.' There was a little landmark for the 25-year-old Brazilian during qualifying in Valencia though as he out-qualified his team-mate Timo Glock for the first time. 'It makes me pleased as it shows my progression,' he added. 'But at the same time I'm not that happy as we are so far away from Lotus.' That's 1.204 seconds adrift to be exact Lucas. 'Being in front of each other is not the point - the point is to develop the car as fast as we can and evolve as a team.' I have to say, LDG was a very nice chap and a bit of an all-round sports whiz. He told me he was good at tennis, football, skiing, surfing, golf, squash…"

seanbhoy87 on Twitter: "I was way off with my predo yesterday (Alonso on pole!) I don't think the track will put Hamilton off overtaking, he'll go for it. Excited!"

1233: Great scenes on the telly coverage as Jake hands Red Bull's German driver Sebastian Vettel a St George's Cross flag ahead of today's World Cup game. Vettel is a great sport and ends up draping the flag on his car. The photo will be appearing in our European GP gallery very soon. There's also a shot of a piece of paper which is up in the paddock which has predictions of today's match on it. F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has diplomatically gone for a 1-1 result.

1231: After the rows and fallings out of last year, the wild world of F1 has been a scene of relative calm this season. However, Ferrari's decision to drive their current car at their Fiorano test track earlier this month for 'promotional purposes' has raised a few eyebrows. There are strict rules as to the amount of in-season testing and McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said yesterday: "I didn't think [the rules] needed clarification, but for some they clearly do." Time for that handbags graphic again.

1227: Lewis Hamilton looks very relaxed as he strolls to the McLaren garage. There's a bit of back-slapping with former team-mate Kovalainen, both drivers have on the standard F1 issue aviator shades. Their white jeans are in the hotel.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Valencia: "It's a pretty picture in Valencia, which is now home to the ninth race of the season after the venue was moved from its original August date on the F1 calendar. I know it's sunny in the UK this weekend but it's 27C here, the heat haze is shimmering on the horizon and there is an awful lot of red circling the track. I think red is the colour here because of some Spanish chap called Fernando Alonso, who launches his Ferrari from fourth on the grid. Green and gold is out in force here too. Lotus are marking their 500th race in Spain. Clive Chapman, son of the team's late founder Colin, has been here all weekend and Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen's cars are sporting a 500 encircled within laurel leaves on their engine covers. Lotus made their grand prix debut in 1958 and after an absence of 16 years has been brought back to the grid by Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes. The team are now running as the best of the three new teams to join the field in 2010 and say they are super-excited about their second 'home' race in Silverstone in two weeks' time."

Get involved on 606
Ian68 on 606: "Vettel's car still has the same gearbox that he had to nurse home in Canada, so this may not be the straightforward win from pole it seems."

1222: Red Bull were pleasantly surprised with their performance in qualifying yesterday. This track, with its slow corners and long straights, was not expected to suit the car. However, the team are running their version of McLaren's 'F-duct' aerodynamic device with team boss Christian Horner saying "it has worked really well around here". The incredible stat that came out of yesterday was that the gap between Vettel and Webber equated to just 56.8cm. Unbelievable.

psadasivuni on Twitter: "Let's hope the F1 circuit performance of Schumacher is emulated by the German football team and not Vettel's."

BBC F1 pundit David Coulthard: "Canada was a fantastic race largely because of the tyre issues. There are no such issues here, and this circuit doesn't lend itself to a lot of overtaking."

1218: It might be worth mentioning that yesterday there was a completely bonkers GP2 race at the Valencia street circuit. Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado claimed victory in a race that saw 11 cars involved in a series of incidents in the first four corners. If that happens today, expect me to explode as I can only type with one finger.

BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard: "Fernando Alonso's relatively low-key fourth place on the grid in the much-talked-about upgraded Ferrari is more to do with the car's behaviour on low fuel than its inherent competitiveness. Ferrari have struggled all year to make their car competitive when it is running with a light fuel load and on the super-soft tyres, as in qualifying, but they are confident they are at least as quick as anyone in race trim. Alonso is optimistic he can finish on the podium but he has to negotiate a start on the slippery side of the grid first."

The sun is out
1213: Yesterday we had one pair of white jeans, today, we have two. Emotional scenes. Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard are the men with them on this afternoon. The sun is out in Valencia and I'm no weatherman, but I reckon there's absolutely no chance of rain today. If you want a proper forecast, take a look at the one from our man Ian Fergusson.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Valencia: "Orlo, I've been dabbling in a spot of championship maths this morning. If the race finishes as it starts then third place will be enough for McLaren's Lewis Hamilton to hang on to his lead in the title race (124 pts) from the two Red Bulls of Mark Webber (121 pts) and pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel (115pts). But Hamilton wants more than that; 'I didn't anticipate being so far up the grid and so we need to capitalise on this opportunity. We'd love to defend the championship lead and score as many points as possible. It's very difficult to overtake the Red Bulls at the start but I'm on the cleaner side of the track so hopefully I can get a good start and jump the guy (Webber) on the outside who's on the dirty side. I saw a couple of starts in the GP2 races and the guys on the outside seemed to have a worse start so let's hope that's the case today.' Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button lines up in seventh and if he crosses the line there then he'll slip to fourth on 112 points ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who starts the race from fourth. There's no chance it'll be that simple though eh?..."
No chance. By the way Holty, haven't you got an invite onto one of those yachts in the harbour yet? They look made for you.

1208: I can't believe I haven't mentioned this before but a very happy birthday to a certain Nico Rosberg, who turns 25 today. He reads these commentaries you know. We are getting pictures of him blowing out some candles on a cake presented to him by his Mercedes team. Nice. Meanwhile, here at TV Centre, someone is blowing what must be an enormous vuvuzela. We can't even see it. Anyway look sharp, coverage is about to begin on BBC Two.

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James via text: "I want to see Williams start to pressure the top five again... nice to see them back up there."

MisDarknez on Twitter: "A double 2-1 sounds good... but I am hoping for a treble with the England cricket winning the series today as well."

1200: It has been very much a Brazilian show in Valencia since the Spanish city began hosting the European Grand Prix in 2008. Felipe Massa scored a win for Ferrari in 2008 while Barrichello won for Brawn GP last year. The thing that both races have in common is that Lewis Hamilton finished second. Last year a bungled pit stop cost the McLaren man victory as the pit crew were still unwrapping his tyres as he came in.

BBC commentator Jonathan Legard: "Tyre degradation in Valencia has been nothing like as severe as it was in Canada, so one-stop strategies will once again be the norm. I understand the cars could start coming in any time from lap 10 onwards. There is, however, a school of thought it could be an advantage to delay the stop until later because there is so little to choose between the two compounds. But the majority of engineers have pooh-poohed that, saying that once one car chooses to come in the rest will be triggered to follow. There's also the view that some teams lower down the grid might consider stopping twice from as early as lap six, with two stints on the super soft tyres. It's a gamble because overtaking here is so tough but it could be preferable to playing follow the leader for 57 laps."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Shimmering heat haze on the horizon, 27C in the sun, little fishes darting in the quayside, Valencia is looking lovely ahead of the race."

richardcalvin on Twitter: "I can feel it in my water, a double 2-1 victory for England today over Germany. Hamilton, Button, Vettel - Rooney, Gerrard, Ozil."

1149: Behind the Red Bulls are the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Hamilton made a mistake on his final lap in qualifying while Alonso had to settle for fourth despite the team having their version of the blown diffuser run so effectively by Red Bull this season. "At this stage half a second off Red Bull is too much. We need to keep improving," said Alonso. "We had high hopes with our new package, but everyone made a big step." It is also worth mentioning that both Williams cars made it through to the final part of qualifying for the first time this season, Nico Hulkenberg starts in eighth while Rubens Barrichello is ninth on the grid.

1146: There was a little blip for Red Bull in Canada but normal service was resumed on Saturday as they made it eight poles out of nine for today's European Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel starts on pole with team-mate Mark Webber alongside him on the front row. At a circuit where overtaking is notoriously difficult, the start is going to be crucial. With memories of Vettel and Webber's coming together in Turkey still fresh in the mind, I reckon those first few laps might be a little nervy for those on the Red Bull pit wall.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Valencia: "Is there any England v Germany banter in the Formula 1 paddock? Of course, there is! 'It's always exciting playing Germany isn't it?' said England fan Jenson Button. 'I know how it is when you feel under pressure to perform and hopefully the team are more relaxed now. We haven't lost a game yet so that's the way we've got to look at it - stay positive!' On the other side of the fence, Michael Schumacher, a Deutschland hero in his own right, reckons it'll be a tough match but fully expects Germany to win. There's some interesting rivalry at the Mercedes motorhome - the team are based in Brackley, employ mainly British staff but are now owned by the German car giant. How to work out where the loyalties lie? 'I just think may the best team win,' was the diplomatic answer from Manchester United fan and team boss Ross Brawn. 'Thank you very much,' came the dry response from German fan and Silver Arrows chief Norbert Haug. Just to make things clear, however, there's talk Mercedes will split the motorhome with German fans on the ground floor and England fans one floor up. Interesting."

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Darrell Allen from Norwich via text: "Hi Mark. Should be a good race today. With overtaking difficult, I believe strategy will be key. Vettel to win in a Red Bull one-two with Alonso third."

1139: Here's the plan of action for today. The race begins at 1300 BST with coverage on BBC Two - note the change of channel there - starting at 1210 BST. I wonder who has got the white jeans on today? You can also catch the race on the radio with David Croft and the team on BBC Radio 5 live. All of that lot is streamed at the top of this page and for the rest of you poor souls, you've also got me tapping away on this text commentary. You lucky things.

1134: So there's one German team that are struggling this weekend. Yes, I know there might be a bit of focus on a certain World Cup match in South Africa today but that is no excuse to miss out on this race in Valencia as it will finish just in time for kick-off. Nice timing. You could treat it as a way of taking your mind off the football for a bit. That might be a bit difficult in this office, however, as someone has brought in their own home-made vuvuzela. I despair. Anyway, get involved with all your predictions and banter via the usual channels: you can Tweet, 606 or text us on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). If you going to text, could you do me a favour and put F1 before your message as there might be a few people trying to get in touch today!

1129: Morning all and welcome to our coverage of the European Grand Prix in Valencia. Despite Red Bull returning to pole position after a one-race hiatus, it was Mercedes' worst qualifying session of the season that made a lot of the headlines. The team came into the race with a major aerodynamic upgrade but they start with Schumacher in 15th while team-mate Nico Rosberg is 12th on the grid. Here's team boss Ross Brawn: "We need to reflect, assess and see what our next steps should be. We are pushing very hard to develop the car and sometimes in pushing so hard, you trip over."

1125: With the pressure building, speculation mounting and results slipping, many a man would find it all too much. But you need a bit of steel to win seven world titles and we all know that Michael Schumacher is not a man for turning. "I'm not here with a short-term view," he said after his worst qualifying performance of the year. "From my point of view we have a three-year programme. I've had to deal with much worse pain."

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After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham

FIA Formula 1 World Championsh 2016

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 385
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 380
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 256
4 Germany S Vettel Ferrari 212
5 M Verstappen Red Bull 204
6 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 186
7 Mexico S Perez Force India 101
8 Finland V Bottas Williams 85
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 72
10 Spain F Alonso McLaren 54
11 Brazil F Massa Williams 53
12 C Sainz Toro Rosso 46
13 France R Grosjean Haas F1 29
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 25
15 Great Britain J Button McLaren 21
16 Denmark K Magnussen Lotus 7
17 Brazil F Nasr Sauber 2
18 J Palmer Lotus 1
19 P Wehrlein Manor Marussia F1 1
21 Mexico E Gutierrez Haas F1 0
22 Sweden M Ericsson Sauber 0
23 E Ocon Manor Marussia F1 0

Points projected from latest race positions

see also
Vettel beats Hamilton in Euro GP
27 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Webber 'lucky to be in one piece'
27 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso angry at 'unfair' result
27 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel takes pole for European GP
26 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Ferrari need to improve - Alonso
26 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Mercedes not good enough - Brawn
26 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
European GP qualifying photos
26 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso heads European GP practice
25 Jun 10 |  Formula 1

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