World champion Fernando Alonso slashed teammate Lewis Hamilton's lead of the drivers' world title to a mere two points on Sunday by winning the chaotic European grand prix. Hamilton, in the sister McLaren, finished a lap down and just out of the points at the end of a miserable weekend for the British rookie.

Having emerged on the podium at every grand prix of his career until now, here Hamilton spent time in a local hospital, got involved in a first lap scrape, dangled from a crane, and then ran around as a backmarker after pitting too early for dry tyres and spinning on a still wet track.

But pole sitter Kimi Raikkonen arguably fared even worse as he retired with a mechanical problem aboard his Ferrari. In total contrast, Mark Webber finished on the podium for the first time since switching from Williams to Red Bull. 25-year-old Alonso's Nurburgring win, meanwhile, was stirring, featuring a fightback to leader Felipe Massa and an inspired wheel-banging overtaking move with a few laps to go. (GMM)