Vital F1 - Spa GP - Race weekend recap - Alonso
Vital Login
Social Login

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's F1, It's Vital'

Spa GP - Race weekend recap - Alonso

Fernando Alonso went into the Spanish Grand Prix with an outside chance of taking the victory in front of his adoring Spanish public.

As the weekend went on, his chances appeared to be improving with every session, to the point where he was one of the favourites to stand upon the top step of the podium.

In practice, the Ferrari looked to have improved following the testing sessions at Mugello earlier this month.

Alonso topped the timing sheets following Free Practice One to the delight of the Spanish crowds who had turned up on Friday morning. The Ferrari driver was 0.378 ahead of the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and a second clear of team-mate Felipe Massa.

In FP2 he dropped down to 14th position 1.201 seconds behind the McLaren of Jenson Button, while in FP3 he ended the session sixth 0.639 off the pace.

But overall the Ferrari looked strong and instead of worrying about getting through to Q3 like in previous races, Alonso looked good going into qualifying.

The Spaniard might not have had the one-lap pace to compete with the likes of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, even if it was carrying the right amount of fuel, but a time of 1minute 22.302 was good enough, initially for third, but subsequently second place following Hamilton's exclusion.

For Alonso his pace was a surprise, on merit, his Ferrari had out qualified both Red Bull's with Mark Webber going out in Q2 and the McLaren of Jenson Button who had also failed to make it through to the final stage of qualifying.

ďThis third place is not what we had expected. We were counting on making a step forward that would allow us to get into Q3 with less difficulty than in the first races of the season and we managed it. But we certainly did not think we could be so high up the grid. I donít know if this position is a true reflection of our carís performance - itís definitely not normal for a Red Bull and a McLaren to be eliminated in Q2 and that the other Red Bull gets into Q3 with no sets of new Soft tyre available Ė but what is certain is that the new parts we have brought here have resulted in us taking a step in the right direction.' Alonso told formula1.com following qualifying.

The race got under way with Alonso on the front row of the grid behind the unlikely pole sitter of Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, but the experience of Alonso gave him the advantage going into the first corner and the Ferrari driver took the lead of the race to the roar of the Spanish fans.

Alonso led the first stint of the race, but Maldonado was able to use the under-cut in the first round of the pit-stops to re-take the lead.

Going into the final pit-stops it looked like it would be advantage Alonso, with the Williams team pitting a lot earlier than Ferrari.

With a few extra laps of fresh rubber for Alonso and the knowledge that Maldonado's tyres were likely to lose their grip Alonso hunted the victory, but couldn't quite get close enough, eventually slipping further and further back as it was the Ferrari that lost the performance of its tyres and almost losing second place to Kimi Raikkonen in the final stages of the race.

The chance to win his home race was gone, but for Alonso, he was delighted with the overall outcome of the race.

ďThis second place feels like a victory. Having finished the race in Sakhir almost a minute off the winner, today we overtook one of the two Red Bulls and we fought right to the very end for the win. On top of that, we have made up a lot of points on the Red Bull and the McLaren drivers, which makes the outcome of this weekend even more positive. At the end of the second stint of the race came the key moment: maybe Maldonaldo pitted a bit early and we stayed out on track, but we lost time behind a backmarker for a whole lap, partly because there was a yellow flag on the last part of the main straight. Then, with seven laps to go, I suddenly lost grip at the rear: I asked the team if something was broken because the handling of the car changed from one moment to the next, for no apparent reason. However, in the final stages, the Williams was still very quick and, right at the end, we were also lucky to hang onto second place as Kimi was coming back at me.

As Alonso alluded too in his post-race comments, the points for finishing second puts him joint top of the Formula One World championship with reigning champion Vettel.








Join Vital F1

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!

The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 14 2012

Time: 12:00PM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Vital F1 Articles

Toro Rosso could beat Red Bull in 2016 (Thursday February 11 2016)

Wehrlein lands Manor driver (Wednesday February 10 2016)

Hamilton could have another decade in him (Wednesday February 10 2016)

Who will be Channel 4's lead presenter? (Tuesday February 9 2016)

Renault target podium finish by 2018 (Friday February 5 2016)

Magnussen lands Renault drive (Thursday February 4 2016)

Maldonado leaves Renault & Formula One (Thursday February 4 2016)

Renault set for big unveil (Wednesday February 3 2016)

Todt against F1 money divide (Thursday January 28 2016)

F1 Drivers call for 'Halo' introduction (Wednesday January 27 2016)

Have Honda found a break through? (Tuesday January 26 2016)

F1 scores own goal with Baku race? (Monday January 25 2016)

The evolution of Manor continues (Friday January 22 2016)

Sauber's 2016 car to miss first F1 test (Thursday January 21 2016)

F1 engine crisis averted (Wednesday January 20 2016)

2016 Formula One Calendar (Wednesday January 20 2016)

Channel 4 select 10 live F1 races (Tuesday January 19 2016)

Silverstone looks set to host F1 test (Friday January 15 2016)

Coulthard joins Channel 4's F1 team (Tuesday January 12 2016)

Renault would welcome engine changes (Monday January 11 2016)

Haas target points in maiden Grand Prix (Wednesday January 6 2016)

2015 F1 Driver Standings (Tuesday January 5 2016)

2015 F1 Constructor Standings (Tuesday January 5 2016)

Praise for Verstappen and Sainz (Monday January 4 2016)

Stewards harsher on me says Maldonado (Tuesday December 29 2015)

Battle of the heavyweights (Thursday December 24 2015)

Are Rosberg's days with Mercedes numbered? (Wednesday December 23 2015)

F1 will not return to Nurburgring (Tuesday December 22 2015)

Channel 4 to broadcast F1 from 2016 (Monday December 21 2015)

BBC dump Formula One (Monday December 21 2015)

Sauber under performed in 2015 (Friday December 18 2015)

Family influence to improve Kimi form (Thursday December 17 2015)

F1 would have collapsed without Red Bull (Tuesday December 15 2015)

Hamilton & Rosberg are on the same page (Monday December 14 2015)

Formula One could be destroyed says Bernie (Wednesday December 9 2015)

New tyre rules for Formula One in 2016 (Tuesday December 8 2015)

Renault confirm return (Friday December 4 2015)

Hamilton plays down Merc tensions (Friday December 4 2015)

FIA confirm 21 race calendar for 2016 (Friday December 4 2015)

Mercedes could dump Hamilton or Rosberg (Thursday December 3 2015)

Year ends with F1 tyre test (Wednesday December 2 2015)

Blog: Abu Dhabi GP Report (Monday November 30 2015)

2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Race (Sunday November 29 2015)

Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 28 2015)

2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying (Saturday November 28 2015)

2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday November 28 2015)

2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday November 27 2015)

2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday November 27 2015)

One final duel for 2015 (Thursday November 26 2015)

Blog: Abu Dhabi Preview (Thursday November 26 2015)

Former FIA boss slams Ferrari (Wednesday November 25 2015)

Renault takeover deal pretty much done (Tuesday November 24 2015)

Who will win in Abu Dhabi? (Monday November 23 2015)

Ferrari expect to beat Mercedes in 2016 (Friday November 20 2015)

Button belief in McLaren (Thursday November 19 2015)

Lowe defends Mercedes stance (Wednesday November 18 2015)

Mercedes bashing after boring Brazil (Monday November 16 2015)

Blog: Brazilian GP Report (Monday November 16 2015)

2015 - Brazil GP - Race (Sunday November 15 2015)

Blog: Interlagos Qualifying (Saturday November 14 2015)

2015 - Brazil GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 14 2015)

2015 - Brazil GP - FP3 (Saturday November 14 2015)

2015 - Brazil GP - FP2 (Friday November 13 2015)

2015 - Brazil GP - FP1 (Friday November 13 2015)

Blog: Interlagos Preview (Friday November 13 2015)

Magnussen missed out on Haas drive (Thursday November 12 2015)

Pirelli set for 12 hour Abu Dhabi test (Wednesday November 11 2015)

Susie Wolff set to retire (Tuesday November 10 2015)

Who will win in Brazil? (Monday November 9 2015)

Raikkonen points finger at Bottas (Thursday November 5 2015)

Mateschitz slams F1 engine suppliers (Wednesday November 4 2015)

Did Mercedes clip Hamilton's wings? (Wednesday November 4 2015)

Blog: Mexican GP Report (Monday November 2 2015)

Archived Vital F1 Articles

List All Vital F1 Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Red5 1072
2. DJ 997
3. The Fear 773
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 583
6. Druss_the_Legend 551
7. Push The Button 466
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 176
10. __villa__ 145

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Have Mercedes handled the final races well?
They have achieved one-two finishes so yes! 16%
No, they have engineered the results with no racin 84%