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2013 Spa GP - Weekend recap - Alonso

Fernando Alonso won his second race of the 2013 Formula One World Championship at his home Grand Prix in Spain.

The result of course still keeps him in third place behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel and second place man Kimi Raikkonen.

Fernando Alonso was quick out the blocks all weekend, topping the first practice session on Friday, setting a time just 0.017seconds off the fastest time in FP2, before going on to qualify fifth on Saturday afternoon.

Alonso told on Saturday evening: ďItís a well known fact that Saturday afternoon is our weak point and fifth place is more or less what we were expecting. We were well aware that Red Bull and Mercedes would both be very strong, but while itís true we have to start taking back points on Vettel, we are not too scared of Mercedes, who usually have higher tyre degradation. The team and I are optimistic for tomorrow as our race pace is good and usually we manage to go better on Sunday. We start from the clean side and hope that will allow us to get off the line well, because what we need here is to make up some places at the start and then put in a few clean laps in the early stages or at half distance. We will also have to defend against Raikkonen: so far he has gone very well in the races and the Lotus doesnít seem to suffer too much on the tyre front. As usual this season it will be very important to choose the right strategy, because there is only one lap difference in terms of degradation between the two tyre compounds.Ē

Alonso's analysis on the Saturday afternoon as ever proved to be very interesting stuff and after just a couple of corners of the opening lap everything was going to plan for the Spaniard.

He managed to nip past both Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton into third place.

On lap eleven after the first round of pit-stops Alonso, who had pitted earlier managed to split the leaders of Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, taking second place.

As he stated on Saturday this move would prove to be vital if Alonso was to start clawing the gap back in the championship.

On lap 13 Alonso proving to be Nostradamus drove around the outside of Rosberg to take second place on the first corner, with the Mercedes struggling for optimum performance from the Pirelli tyres.

This of course was realistically the lead of the race as infront of him was the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez who was on a different tyre strategy.

On lap 37 Fernando Alonso pitted from the lead of race losing the position to Kimi Raikkonen, but with the Ferrari being so strong all weekend within a couple of laps of putting on new tyres he was back out in front.

By lap 50 Alonso's final stop was completed without any dramas, coming into the pits in the lead and leaving the pits in the lead with 16 laps remaining.

ďEven if this is the third time Iíve won a home race, the emotion is still very strong, as if it had never happened before. Itís nice to be able to give the whole of Spain this win, especially at a time when the country is in crisis and for many people, itís not possible to come here to bring their support. I thank everyone for that support and the team for doing a fantastic job. After a far from easy qualifying, everything went perfectly, the start, the strategy, pit stops, tyre management. At the start, I had to make up some places but after passing the halfway point on the straight, there was no more room to do so. So I switched off the KERS, so as to use it in Turn 3, where I realised, after watching the GP2 race, that it was possible to attack around the outside. We had to bring forward the final stop because of a slow puncture which meant the left rear tyre was losing pressure in the final part of the lap, but fortunately, that had no effect on the final outcome.Ē

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 17 2013

Time: 10:00AM


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