Alonso's pre-race comments that Ferrari
will struggle in Sakhir proves to be correct as he qualifies in ninth; electing not to run in Q3 in order to save tyres for race day. Although he gets up to fifth, the Spaniard struggles for pace on race day and can only finish seventh after losing out in a battle with Rosberg and Paul di Resta.
Barcelona produces a shock winner as Pastor Maldonado
takes his first F1 victory, while Alonso returns to form in front of his home fans to follow the Venezuelan home in second. The Ferrari
man qualifies third before being promoted onto the front row thanks to a penalty for Lewis Hamilton
and leads early on before losing top spot in the first round of stops. Despite pressurising Maldonado for the remainder of the race, Alonso is left to settle for second.
Vettel meanwhile starts seventh having not run in Q3 to save tyres but a troubled race sees him forced to take a drive-through for a yellow flag infringement and also sees him need to change his front-wing; the end result being he can only cross the line down in sixth spot.
Mark Webber becomes the latest winner in 2012 after keeping a five-car train at bay on the streets of Monaco, with Alonso and Vettel both in the mix for victory. Ferrari
had been tipped to qualify strongly in Monte Carlo but Alonso finds himself sixth on the grid and is lucky to escape from a clash with Romain Grosjean
going into turn one – with the Ferrari
man eventually finishing up third.
Vettel meanwhile starts ninth having elected not to set a time in Q3, which means he can start the race on a different tyre strategy to the cars ahead. A long stint on the soft tyre moves him up the order and ensures that when he finally makes his stop, he is able to resume a place behind Alonso in fourth.
Lewis Hamilton becomes the seventh winner in seven races as Canada provides more drama in the title race. Vettel takes a dominant pole position and leads early on before being jumped in the first round of pitstops. The German tries to complete the race with just one pitstop but is forced in again late on and ends the race in fourth.
Alonso meanwhile qualifies third after a mistake in the final sector costs him the chance of pole and he runs in the top three until the final stages when, having also tried to complete the race on one stop, he is powerless to prevent cars behind on fresher tyres from demoting him down to fifth spot.
Alonso becomes the first double winner of the season with an unlikely, and astonishing, success on the streets of Valencia. The Ferrari
man can only start eleventh after missing out on a place in Q3 by just 0.004secs but some strong driving and good strategy from the team allow him to move up to third place behind Vettel – who qualifies on pole – and Grosjean's Lotus.
Alonso gets ahead of Grosjean on a restart to sit second and then inherits the lead when Vettel suffers alternator failure. A similar issue for Grosjean leaves Alonso with a clear run to the flag as he retakes the championship lead.
Webber wins at Silverstone following a dramatic end to the British Grand Prix, with Alonso and Vettel joining the Australian on the podium. A wet qualifying session sees Alonso on pole for the first time in more than a year and he leads for much of the race until his decision to wait until the final stint of a dry race to run the soft Pirelli tyres leaves him powerless to keep Webber at bay just four laps from home.