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Vettel secures dominant Valencia victory

After his tardy start, the race would prove to be a low-key affair for Hamilton who ran fifth through the opening stint before getting ahead of Massa at the first round of stops when the Brazilian ran longer than the cars around him. The pair then maintained position through to the finish, albeit well down on the leaders with Hamilton 45 seconds behind Vettel and Massa six seconds further back.

Jenson Button meanwhile had an even less eventful race than team-mate Hamilton as he finished a lonely sixth, with his chances ending early on when he became stuck behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. Although he eventually got ahead of the German, the leaders had been able to break away and Button was never in contention to repeat his Canadian victory of a fortnight earlier, with a KERS failure also playing a part in him finishing a minute down on the winner.

Rosberg would take the chequered flag in seventh place as the final driver on the lead lap, with Jaime Alguersuari matching his best F1 result to date in eighth. The Toro Rosso driver had dropped out of qualifying in Q1 on Saturday afternoon but made a two-stop strategy work to his advantage while the majority of the field pitted three times to work his way up the order and then saw off the challenge of Adrian Sutil's Force India through the closing laps.

Sutil and Nick Heidfeld then completed the top ten with Sergio Perez falling less than seven seconds shy of turning a one-stop strategy into a points scoring finish – the Mexican ultimately failing in his gamble after a series of slow lap mid-way through the race before he made his one and only stop.

Rubens Barrichello was the first Williams home in twelfth ahead of a huge battle for 13th that saw Sebastien Buemi fend off the challenge of Paul di Resta, Vitaly Petrov and Kamui Kobayashi.

After his best drive since coming out of retirement in Montreal, Michael Schumacher could only trail in down in 17th having lost time when he was forced to pit again immediately after his first stop when he touched Petrov's Renault at turn two. A poor start to the race saw Pastor Maldonado drop towards the rear of the field and the Williams driver never really recovered as he finished 18th, while Heikki Kovalainen was best o f the newcomers in 19th ahead of Lotus team-mate Jarno Trulli.

Timo Glock, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Tonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan rounded out the field.



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