Alonso claims victory in Euro Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso had astonishing luck on Sunday when race leader Raikkonen’s suspension broke on the final lap, handing the Spaniard the win…

A flat spot on the McLaren Mercedes driver’s front-right tyre from earlier caused vibration throughout the car, eventually causing the wheel to come off.

The Finn had elected not to pit over the tyre and settle for third, but to go for the win, hoping the tyre would hold.

It was a gamble that cost him dearly as it handed Fernando Alonso an extra 10 points in the drivers’ championship moving him 32 into the lead.

"I am really frustrated to retire from the race in the lead on the very last lap having dominated throughout," Raikkonen said.
"We lost a valuable 10 points in the championship, however, we will do our very best to try to win races in the remainder of the season as we have a very competitive package."

Alonso said he had been content with his race until the second round of pit stops when he was informed of Raikkonen’s problem.

"I was quite happy to settle for second before the last pit-stop, then the team said Raikkonen had a problem and I should push," Alonso explained.

"That was when I went off because I was pushing my hardest and made a mistake. But even so, I was catching Kimi and then I saw him crash at the first corner,” he added.

"For me, the big worry was that I would get caught up in the debris, and then I just had to stay calm for the last lap and take the flag," Alonso said.

Worries of damage to the Spaniard’s car after the first corner crash – which damaged Ralf Schumacher’s car – were unfounded as Alonso was able to push all the way to the end.

Pole man Nick Heidfeld finished second for Williams with Rubens Barrichello third for Ferrari.

David Coulthard had looked good for the podium, leading the race at one point, but was then served with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. He later took fourth place.

Michael Schumacher finished fifth, having been stuck behind Felipe Massa’s Sauber until the final pit-stops.

Giancarlo Fisichella did well to finish sixth and in the points despite starting from the pit lane due to a stall on the grid that caused a restart. He was also stuck behind Jenson Button for much of the race.

Montoya finished seventh, Trulli eight and Liuzzi ninth for Red Bull.

Jenson Button was unhappy with 10th having expected to come to the Nurburgring to challenge for first.

It was a spectacular race with a heart-breaking ending for McLaren and Kimi Raikkonen, but a critical victory for Alonso increasing his lead in the championship.