Date:Tuesday May 14 2013
Fernando Alonso has stormed to a sensational home victory on home soil in what turned out to be a 66-lap race dominated by Pirelli’s controversial tyres, with the Spaniard eventually finishing ahead of Kimi Raikkonen with team-mate Felipe Massa 3rd. The Mercedes duo greatly struggled during the race, finishing way down the order.
Despite locking-out the front-row of the grid during qualifying, the Mercedes duo struggled to translate such a dominant performance into a successful result, as Lewis Hamilton immediately began to plummet through the order once the lights went out at the start. Nico Rosberg managed to retain the lead, as Sebastian Vettel assumed 2nd position ahead of the charging Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. The McLaren of Jenson Button also struggled during the opening lap of the race, dropping from 14th to 17th amongst the likes of Esteban Gutierrez and Giedo van der Garde.
Lewis Hamilton continued to drop unceremoniously through the order during the opening few laps, as Kimi Raikkonen became the next driver to make his way around the 2008 World Champion. Jules Bianchi was forced to make an early and unscheduled pit stop after the opening two laps, to change his front wing which sustained damage at the start. By Lap 7, Mark Webber became the first driver to make a scheduled pit stop for Red Bull. As Felipe Massa overtook Lewis Hamilton a lap later, many others elected to dive into the pits.
As many drivers throughout the order elected to pit, including the likes Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean became the first retirement of the race after suffering from suspension failure. The Frenchman managed to limp back to the pits, before jumping disconsolately from his Lotus machine. On Lap 10 the leading duo of Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel both pitted, with the Mercedes driver just beating the reigning Champion back out onto the track.
However, the leading duo returned to the Circuit de Catalunya right in the path of Fernando Alonso, who managed to beat Sebastian Vettel and slot neatly behind Nico Rosberg. Whilst these three drivers jostled for position both in the pits and on the track, Sauber rookie Esteban Gutierrez assumed the lead. Further down the order, Pastor Maldonado’s weekend failed to improve as the former Spanish Grand Prix winner was struck with a drive-thru penalty for speeding in the pit-lane.
In his quest for glory on home soil, Fernando Alonso stormed around the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg for 2nd position on Lap 12. The Spaniard then assumed the lead a lap later once Esteban Gutierrez finally pitted for his first of many stops. After Lewis Hamilton’s demise in the early stages of the race, Nico Rosberg began to suffer after his first pit-stop. The German driver was overtaken by both Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa in quick succession, as Fernando Alonso began to open up a considerable lead at the front. Kimi Raikkonen then became the next man to overtake the struggling Mercedes driver, as he rose up to 4th.
After a strong qualifying performance from Toro Rosso, Daniel Ricciardo was enjoying a very competitive race. The Australian driver was up to 8th by Lap 19, after mastering an overtaking maneuver on Paul di Resta’s Force India. Felipe Massa was quick to make his second pit stop on Lap 20, after complaining over the team radio about his tyres. Fernando Alonso pitted a lap later from the lead, gifting the lead of the race to reigning Champion Sebastian Vettel.
Towards the rear of the pack, Giedo van der Garde’s race was brought to a peculiar conclusion when his left-rear wheel fell off of his Caterham. The Dutchman miraculously managed to limp back to the pits on only three wheels, before retiring from the race. Whilst Giedo van der Garde limped back to the pits, Sebastian Vettel made his second pit stop from the lead of the race. This released the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen into the lead, with the Finn looking exceptionally quick before Sebastian Vettel elected to pit.
Lewis Hamilton pitted on Lap 25, in what was becoming a disastrous race for the Briton. Since qualifying 2nd for the race, the Mercedes driver had plummeted down to 10th position. Kimi Raikkonen’s lead was short-lived, as the Finn pitted a lap after Lewis Hamilton. This enabled Fernando Alonso to resume his lead at the front, ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa. Upon returning to the action, Kimi Raikkonen fully utilized his fresh set of tyres, instantly disposing of Sebastian Vettel for 3rd position.
After the second round of pit-stops, Fernando Alonso found himself a commanding +12.598 seconds ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa in 2nd. Whilst the Spaniard continued to assert his authority over proceedings at the front, Sauber unsafely released Nico Hulkenberg into the path of Jean-Eric Vergne in the pits. The resulting incident damaged Hulkenberg’s front wing, and saw him struck with a stop/go penalty.
On Lap 36, both Ferraris completed their third pit-stops, separated by only several seconds in what was a masterful piece of team work by the Ferrari mechanics. Although this initially enabled Kimi Raikkonen to return to the lead, Fernando Alonso wasted no time in hunting down the Finn to retake the lead on Lap 38. Whilst Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen jostled for the lead, Jean-Eric Vergne suffered a tyre failure similar to that of Paul di Resta earlier in the weekend. After returning to the pits for a new set of tyres, the issue continued to plague his Toro Rosso before he was forced to retire on Lap 54.
Despite a yet another round of pit stops in the closing stages of the Spanish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso’s lead was not challenged as the double-World Champion eventually crossed the line to secure his 32nd race victory of his career, and his 11th for Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen finished 2nd for Lotus, reenforcing his consistency with his 23rd successive points finish for Lotus since his return. Felipe Massa came home 3rd, after yet another highly competitive drive from the Brazilian.
After finishing in 4th, Sebastian Vettel’s lead at the top of the Championship table has been slashed down to only four points ahead of the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen. Should Sebastian Vettel suffer an uncompetitive Monaco Grand Prix next time out and Kimi Raikkonen once again finish on the podium, then the sport could see a change in the lead for the Drivers’ Championship. However, Fernando Alonso will be striving to secure another race victory next time out, in what will surely be yet another fascinating edition to this season.
Author: Andy Young
Want to be a guest writer on VitalF1.com?
It couldn't be simpler, just submit an article via this link OR drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish your views.
It's easy to join up and join in on VitalF1.com, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!
If you are already a member of Vital Football, your logins will automatically work on VitalF1.com!
Date:Tuesday May 14 2013
F1 prediction competition open for Russia (Monday April 24 2017)
Who will win in Russia? (Monday April 24 2017)
Formula One loses long standing Grand Prix (Friday April 21 2017)
Grid penalty for Sainz in Russia (Thursday April 20 2017)
Mercedes to implement team orders? (Wednesday April 19 2017)
Vettel celebrating second win of the season (Tuesday April 18 2017)
Blog: Bahrain GP Report (Monday April 17 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - Race (Sunday April 16 2017)
Blog: Sakhir Qualifying (Saturday April 15 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 15 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - FP3 (Saturday April 15 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - FP2 (Friday April 14 2017)
2017 Bahrain GP - FP1 (Friday April 14 2017)
Button the only suitable replacement for Alonso (Friday April 14 2017)
Alonso targets Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 victories (Thursday April 13 2017)
Blog: Sakhir Preview (Wednesday April 12 2017)
Who will win in Bahrain? (Tuesday April 11 2017)
F1 Prediction Competition open for Bahrain (Tuesday April 11 2017)
Hamilton loving battle with Vettel (Tuesday April 11 2017)
Blog: Chinese GP Report (Monday April 10 2017)
2017 China GP - Race (Sunday April 9 2017)
Blog: Shanghai Qualifying (Saturday April 8 2017)
2017 China GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 8 2017)
2017 China GP - FP3 (Saturday April 8 2017)
2017 China GP - FP2 (Friday April 7 2017)
2017 China GP - FP1 (Friday April 7 2017)
Formula One's V6 Turbo-Hybrid era to end (Thursday April 6 2017)
Blog: Shanghai Preview (Wednesday April 5 2017)
Honda to supply Sauber? (Wednesday April 5 2017)
Hamilton enjoying Vettel and Ferrari contest (Tuesday April 4 2017)
F1 Prediction Competition open for China (Tuesday April 4 2017)
Bottas on par with Rosberg says Lauda (Monday April 3 2017)
Who will win in China? (Monday April 3 2017)
Mixed feelings for Red Bull (Friday March 31 2017)
McLaren worst car on the grid according to Alonso (Thursday March 30 2017)
Were Ferrari quicker than Mercedes in Australia? (Wednesday March 29 2017)
Vettel hoping for love affair with new Ferrari (Tuesday March 28 2017)
Blog: Australian GP Report (Monday March 27 2017)
2017 Australia GP - Race (Sunday March 26 2017)
2017 Australia GP - Qualifying (Saturday March 25 2017)
2017 Australia GP - FP3 (Saturday March 25 2017)
2017 Australia GP - FP2 (Saturday March 25 2017)
2017 Australia GP - FP1 (Saturday March 25 2017)
More calls to ban the shark fins (Friday March 24 2017)
Renault call for engine budget cap (Thursday March 23 2017)
Blog: Melbourne Preview (Thursday March 23 2017)
McLaren would be winners if paired with Mercedes (Wednesday March 22 2017)
Mercedes to show true hand in Australia (Tuesday March 21 2017)
Who will win the opening race of 2017? (Tuesday March 21 2017)
European tracks are the heart of F1 fan base (Monday March 20 2017)
Lowe to become shareholder in Williams (Monday March 20 2017)
Renault can improve - Hopefully (Friday March 17 2017)
Red Bull can catch Mercedes, but not yet (Thursday March 16 2017)
McLaren looking shaky (Wednesday March 15 2017)
Surtees dies aged 83 (Tuesday March 14 2017)
F1 prediction competition returns for 2017 (Monday March 13 2017)
Ferrari end second test on top (Monday March 13 2017)
Alonso bigs up McLaren but lambasts Honda (Friday March 10 2017)
F1 ratings in UK collapse (Friday March 10 2017)
Mercedes sitting pretty on day two of second test (Thursday March 9 2017)
Canada sign new race deal with Formula One (Thursday March 9 2017)
Williams rule on first day of second test (Wednesday March 8 2017)
Brawn pushing for cash race for teams (Wednesday March 8 2017)
Bottas is my best teammate ever says Hamilton (Tuesday March 7 2017)
Sauber announce Columbian as development driver (Monday March 6 2017)
Ferrari on top in the wet (Friday March 3 2017)
New deal for Russian Grand Prix (Friday March 3 2017)
Merc and Ferrari pick up the pace (Thursday March 2 2017)
Teams set for wet weather test in Barcelona (Thursday March 2 2017)
Ferrari faster than Mercedes? (Wednesday March 1 2017)
Bottas sees Hamilton as great challenge (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Horner calls for shark fin ban (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Hamilton and Mercedes happy on test day one (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Alonso held talks with Mercedes (Monday February 27 2017)
Some drivers don't deserve to be in F1 says Lewis (Friday February 24 2017)
Bottas targets F1 title (Friday February 24 2017)
Renault take Red Bull aero expert (Thursday February 23 2017)
Pirelli already making excuses? (Thursday February 23 2017)
Williams adds new head of aerodynamics (Wednesday February 22 2017)
Renault engine can beat Mercedes (Wednesday February 22 2017)
Allison announced at Mercedes (Tuesday February 21 2017)
McLaren heading into another year of the unknown (Tuesday February 21 2017)
New deals for Wolff and Lauda (Monday February 20 2017)
Wehrlein sidelined due to back injury (Monday February 20 2017)
Williams backs F1 budget cap (Monday February 20 2017)
Sauber launch 2017 car (Monday February 20 2017)
Hamilton sends warning shot to Bottas (Friday February 17 2017)
F1 to break the US market (Thursday February 16 2017)
Rosberg doesn't agree with his replacement (Wednesday February 15 2017)
F1 pecking order unlikely to change (Tuesday February 14 2017)
Important Pirelli tyre test ends early (Monday February 13 2017)
Red Bull confidence builds as momentum grows (Friday February 10 2017)
Todt believes F1 doesn't need changing (Thursday February 9 2017)
Bahrain & Hungary to host 2017's in-season tes (Wednesday February 8 2017)
Ford not interested in joining F1 (Tuesday February 7 2017)
Wolff backs Bernie's influence (Monday February 6 2017)
Ecclestone will not attempt to destroy F1 (Monday February 6 2017)
2017 Formula One Calendar (Friday February 3 2017)
Brawn becomes F1 director (Thursday February 2 2017)
Ecclestone still welcome (Wednesday February 1 2017)
|7.||Push The Button||497|