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

2017 United States GP - FP1 (Friday October 20 2017)

Who will win in the USA? (Thursday October 19 2017)

Blog: Austin Preview (Thursday October 19 2017)

Sauber to make huge step forward in 2018 (Wednesday October 18 2017)

Formula One wants race in Netherlands (Tuesday October 17 2017)

Toro Rosso name fourth driver of 2017 (Monday October 16 2017)

Palmer F1 career ends? (Tuesday October 10 2017)

Blog: Japanese GP Report (Monday October 9 2017)

2017 Japan GP - Race (Sunday October 8 2017)

Blog: Suzuka Qualifying (Saturday October 7 2017)

2017 Japan GP - Qualifying (Saturday October 7 2017)

2017 Japan GP - FP3 (Saturday October 7 2017)

2017 Japan GP - FP2 (Friday October 6 2017)

2017 Japan GP - FP1 (Friday October 6 2017)

Blog: Suzuka Preview (Thursday October 5 2017)

Who will win in Japan? (Tuesday October 3 2017)

More woe for Ferrari (Monday October 2 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - Race (Sunday October 1 2017)

Blog: Sepang Qualifying (Saturday September 30 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - Qualifying (Saturday September 30 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - FP3 (Saturday September 30 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - FP2 (Friday September 29 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - FP1 (Friday September 29 2017)

Blog: Sepang Preview (Thursday September 28 2017)

New deals for Mercedes and Force India (Wednesday September 27 2017)

Leclerc lands F1 seat (Tuesday September 26 2017)

Who will win in Malaysia? (Monday September 25 2017)

A messy McLaren Honda divorce (Thursday September 21 2017)

Blog: Singapore GP Report (Monday September 18 2017)

2017 Singapore GP Race (Sunday September 17 2017)

Blog: Singapore Qualifying (Saturday September 16 2017)

2017 Singapore GP - Qualifying (Saturday September 16 2017)

2017 Singapore GP - FP3 (Saturday September 16 2017)

2017 Singapore GP - FP2 (Friday September 15 2017)

2017 Singapore GP - FP1 (Friday September 15 2017)

Red Bull duo looking forward to Singapore (Thursday September 14 2017)

Blog: Singapore Preview (Wednesday September 13 2017)

Who will win in Singapore? (Monday September 11 2017)

Ferrari embarrassed by home soil defeat (Thursday September 7 2017)

2017 Italy GP - Race (Sunday September 3 2017)

Hamilton breaks all-time record (Saturday September 2 2017)

2017 Italy GP - Qualifying (Saturday September 2 2017)

2017 Italy GP - FP3 (Saturday September 2 2017)

2017 Italy GP - FP2 (Friday September 1 2017)

2017 Italy GP - FP1 (Friday September 1 2017)

F1 Musical chairs starts and ends early (Friday September 1 2017)

Blog: Monza Preview (Wednesday August 30 2017)

Who will win in Italy? (Tuesday August 29 2017)

Blog: Belgian GP Report (Monday August 28 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - Race (Sunday August 27 2017)

Blog: Spa Qualifying (Saturday August 26 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - Qualifying (Saturday August 26 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - FP3 (Saturday August 26 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - FP2 (Friday August 25 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - FP1 (Friday August 25 2017)

Kimi gets new Ferrari contract (Thursday August 24 2017)

F1 Prediction Comp open for Belgium (Wednesday August 23 2017)

Who will win in Belgium? (Wednesday August 23 2017)

Blog: Spa Preview (Tuesday August 22 2017)

Is Formula E a threat to Formula One? (Wednesday August 16 2017)

F1 to introduce standardised parts? (Monday August 14 2017)

Sainz fake news (Saturday August 12 2017)

Hungaroring set for revamp (Wednesday August 9 2017)

Drivers mixed on Halo introduction (Monday August 7 2017)

Sauber ditch Honda for Ferrari (Thursday August 3 2017)

Blog: Hungarian GP Report (Wednesday August 2 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - Race (Sunday July 30 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - Qualifying (Saturday July 29 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - FP3 (Saturday July 29 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - FP2 (Friday July 28 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - FP1 (Friday July 28 2017)

Halo will debut in F1 in 2018 (Friday July 28 2017)

Blog: Hungaroring Preview (Thursday July 27 2017)

Cosworth to return to Formula One? (Wednesday July 26 2017)

Who will win in Hungary (Monday July 24 2017)

Sympathy for Kvyat? (Thursday July 20 2017)

Vettel plays down Silverstone swing (Wednesday July 19 2017)

Hamiltonís takeover (Tuesday July 18 2017)

Blog: British GP Report (Monday July 17 2017)

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. DJ 1176
2. Red5 1125
3. The Fear 773
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 601
6. Druss_the_Legend 595
7. Push The Button 512
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 217
10. VanGisbergen2013 176

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Who will win in the USA?
Hamilton - And he will be Champion 16%
Hamilton - Title race continues 21%
Vettel 21%
Verstappen 34%
Ricciardo 8%
Bottas 0%
Raikkonen 0%
Someone else 0%