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F1 returns to Europe

Valencia, Spain (Sports Network) - Series: Formula One. Date: Sunday, June 26. Race: European Grand Prix. Site: Valencia Street Circuit. Track: 3.367-mile (5.419-kilometer), 25-turn street circuit. Start Time: 8:00 p.m. (et). Laps: 57. Miles: 191.931 (308.883 km). 2010 Winner: Sebastian Vettel. Television: FOX (tape delay - noon et).

After a soggy but thrilling race last week at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Formula One returns to its home continent this weekend with the European Grand Prix on the streets of Valencia, Spain.

Jenson Button from McLaren dealt with torrential rain conditions, overcame contact with his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, and then bounced back from a penalty for speeding behind the safety car before he made a dramatic last-lap pass on Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel for the win in the Canada Grand Prix.

Vettel appeared to be on the way to his sixth grand prix win of the season, but the defending world champion and current points leader locked up the rear and slid wide on the last lap, allowing Button to dart by and then claim his first victory this year.

"It's been a fantastic week in the aftermath of the Canadian Grand Prix," Button said. "I had a few days break immediately after the race, which was perfectly timed, as it gave me the opportunity to take in all the positive memories of a crazy weekend and to reflect on an incredible race."

With the win, Button moved up to second in the F1 championship rankings. Vettel holds a commanding 60-point lead heading into Valencia.

Vettel is the defending winner of the European GP. The young German started on the pole and led all 57 laps around the 3.367-mile Valencia street circuit for his second of five wins during his 2010 championship season.

"We had a good race there last year, and the car should be good; I'm looking forward to it," Vettel said.

Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber, was involved in a horrifying wreck in the early stages of last year's European GP. Webber slammed into the back of Heikki Kovalainen. His Red Bull car sailed into the air and landed upside down before he made hard contact with the tire barrier. He was not injured but finished last in the 24-car field.

Valencia is one of the most challenging courses in F1, with its 25 corners the most of all tracks presently on the racing circuit.

"It is a very long circuit with lots of corners, so you need the car setup for good traction," Williams' driver Rubens Barrichello said. "I love this race track. The final part of the circuit has some high speed corners, which makes the circuit feel very complete."

Barrichello won the European GP in 2009 when he drove for Brawn GP. The Brazilian finished fourth in last year's race.

"Valencia is very important to me," he said. "It was there that I won my first race in 2009, and it was also the 100th grand prix win for Brazil, so it was very special."

06/22 18:09:13 ET


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