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Rosberg is Lucky #7

Nico Rosberg rocketed from tenth to sixth place in a series of late fastest laps, claiming the DHL Fastest Lap in a chaotic Valencia thriller

Despite a poor start and several lost positions, Team Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was able to keep himself in a position to make a move on the Valencia Street Circuit at just the right time in what turned out to be a chaotic and thrilling 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe.

The move came halfway through the race after the safety car came out in lap 27, tightening the field through lap 34. Team Mercedes decided to toss their one-stop strategy and have the young German pit late in the race for a fresh set of soft tires. The decision paid off as Rosberg took advantage and screamed by a number of struggling drivers on his way to sixth place and a much-needed 8 championship points. Beginning in lap 50 he turned on the heat, a run that culminated in the day’s fastest lap with a time of 1:42.163 in lap 54. The sixth place finish puts him in a respectable fifth place overall in the drivers’ standings at 75 points and only 10 behind fellow countryman Sebastian Vettel.

Rosberg is now the seventh driver to notch up a fastest lap in the 2012 season, with Vettel remaining in the lead with two fastest laps.

It was quite a remarkable Spanish Grand Prix. Fans were treated early on to the show of Vettel dominance they’ve come to expect but seen little of this year. The current World Champion launched off the pole to grab an early two-second lead, one he stretched to over 11 seconds by lap 12. A faulty alternator ended the champ’s race early; his Renault coasted to a stop at the end of lap 34 just after the safety car had returned to the pits.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who had just made a brilliant move on Lotus driver Grosjean for second place, found himself out in front after that and never looked back. He held a comfortable lead through the race’s final laps and now holds a sizable – though not comfortable – world championship lead at 111 points, just 20 ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber.

Despite his car trouble on Sunday, experts agree that both Vettel and the Team Red Bull Racing Renault performed brilliantly in the first half the race and that the World Champion is still the man to watch as the season progresses. We’ll have to see if he can extend his lead in the 2012 race for the DHL Fastest Lap.

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