He may have had more dominant victories in the past but Fernando Alonso rates his win in the 2007 European Grand Prix as one of his finest - even though he lead only five laps of it.

His 18th career victory, it is also Alonso's first win since the Monaco Grand Prix and it came after a marvellous drive in the closing stages of the race as the rain that had defined the start of the race returned to cause strategic havoc in the latter stages.

Indeed, Alonso admits he had settled for second place behind Felipe Massa safe in the knowledge that both Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen would not score, but when the first spots of rain fell, the Spaniard seized his opportunity to catch the ailing Ferrari ahead.

With Massa complaining of vibrations when he swapped over the wet tyres with only a few laps remaining, a more confident Alonso quickly broke the gap down and started hustling the Brazilian, particularly in the tight first section.

With five laps remaining, Alonso managed to get better drive out of turn four and slip up the outside of Massa heading into the next bend, the same corner Alonso had arguably thrown away his hopes of pole position a day earlier, remarkably finding a McLaren-Mercedes shaped gap to squeeze through.

Although there was brief contact as a surprised Massa ran out wide not expecting Alonso to be there, both survived and left Alonso to cruise to the chequered flag more than eight seconds up on Massa.

It was a race that Alonso is adamant is potentially the finest of his many victories, the Spaniard admitting he enjoys it when a bit of rain falls.

"I enjoyed the race so much because I like the different conditions, the different weather conditions. I always enjoy these types of races and at one point, when I was second, I said maybe it's not the right time to rain, because I was happy with second place.

"Lewis was out of the points and Kimi as well, so for me eight points were good enough. But then, obviously now with the final result, I like the rain, there's no doubt. Always when it rains, I'm quite happy and I have some fun. On the podium I was so happy because the race was quite exciting."

Alonso also apologised to Massa following a rather heated exchange between the two regarding the move for the win, the reigning world champion suggesting the contact was unnecessary.

"We touched each other two times and I apologise to him (Massa) because I was so stressed when I finished the race because we nearly didn't finish the race. Now I try to enjoy the victory and forget everything."

 

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