Vettel takes sixth win of season in Valencia

VALENCIA, Spain, June 26 (Reuters) – Red Bull’s Formula One  world champion Sebastian Vettel turned the European Grand Prix  into a stroll in the Spanish sunshine on Sunday as he racked up  his sixth victory in eight races this season.

Taking the chequered flag 10.8 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s  Fernando Alonso, who at least gave the home crowd something to  be excited about, the 23-year-old German was dominant from pole  to finish.

“This is the best one so far,” he shouted over the team  radio after he crossed the line, even if millions of spectators  might disagree after an afternoon with fewer thrills than in a  single lap of the Canadian race two weeks ago.

Vettel is now 77 points clear of McLaren’s Jenson Button and  his own Australian team mate Mark Webber, who finished a  solitary third and 27.2 seconds down the road, in the  championship.

The German’s 16th career triumph put him level with British  great Stirling Moss in the all-time winners’ list and means the  champion now has such an advantage that he can be sure of  leading the championship to the end of August even without  scoring another point.

The young driver has dropped just 14 points so far this  year, beaten only twice and finishing second on both of those  occasions.

“Maybe from the outside, I don’t know how much was happening  in the grand prix, it looked like a boring race but I enjoyed it  so much,” said Vettel, who was never threatened throughout the  57 laps of the Mediterranean port city’s street circuit.

“For some reason I enjoy this track,” added the man who also  won from pole last year in Valencia.

“Even though we come here every year and say ‘hmm, this  might be tricky because this track is not made for us 100  percent with no real fast corners’, we still managed to put  everything together and faultless this weekend.”

Alonso said the podium, and a champagne celebration, was the  target, and he got that.

“Finally with a normal race we get this chance to be on the  podium to celebrate this fantastic weekend,” he said. “I think  this is the best result we can achieve now for them (the Spanish  spectators).”

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who beat Vettel in China in April,  stayed out of trouble after two controversial races and banked  solid points in fourth place after starting third but losing out  to both Ferraris going into the first corner.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was fifth with Button, the winner of  the Montreal epic, sixth.

“What we saw today was the closest I’ve been for a  while…so I think I’m getting better,” said Webber, who had  started second on the grid.

Germany’s Nico Rosberg was seventh for Mercedes with Toro  Rosso’s Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari eighth but lapped by  the winner.

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