25 Jun 2012

Alonso wins home Grand Prix to lead championship

12:18 pm on 25 June 2012

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso thrilled his home fans by winning a dramatic European Grand Prix in Valencia to take the lead in the world championship and become Formula One's first repeat winner of the season.

The Spaniard was joined on the podium by two former Ferrari champions, Kimi Raikkonen and 43 year old Michael Schumacher, his first podium finish since 2006, and the first since his comeback in 2010.

Alonso was helped by the mechanical problems that forced the top qualifier Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean out of the race, while McLaren's previous championship leader Lewis Hamilton crashed out in the closing laps.

Having started from 11th place on the grid, Alonso now leads the championship by 20 points from Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber, after eight of 20 races.