Formula 1 2013 - The Spanish GP

The Circuit de Catalunya begins the start of the European F1 tour, with a small detour to Canada, and saw host to the 5th round of the championship. Spain is the home to a certain Fernando Alonso and the crowd were certainly out in force to cheer on their driver.

Qualifying Qualifying saw the usual four cars drop out at the first stage. Giedo van der Garde out-qualified both his teammate and both Marussias to claim 19th ahead of Bianchi, Chilton and teammate Pic in 22nd. Surprisingly both Williams€™ were knocked out in Q1 as last year€™s winner Pastor Maldonado could only manage 18th behind his rookie teammate Bottas in 17th. Q2 saw both Saubers pick up 15th and 16th with Hulkenberg in front of newcomer Gutierrez. Jenson Button had a terrible qualifying session only managing 14th in the McLaren, not a place he wanted to be in. The Force India of Sutil earned 13th just behind the two Toro Rossos of Ricciardo in 11th and Vergne in 12th. Definitely some impressive qualifying so far this year for Toro Rosso, almost always getting into Q2 and often getting points finishes. Q3 saw Mercedes lock out the front row with Rosberg picking up his third pole position start and his teammate Hamilton securing second place. Mercedes without doubt have the fastest pace on one lap compared to all the other teams so far this season. Vettel could only manage 3rd behind the two silver arrows and Lotus€™ Kimi Raikkonen starts from 4th. Ferrari qualified 5th and 6th with home favourite Alonso ahead of teammate Massa. Grosjean in the sister Lotus managed 7th just ahead of Webber in the Red Bull securing 8th. Sergio Perez seemed to get much more out of the car during qualifying compared to Button and qualified 9th ahead of Paul Di Resta in 10th for Force India. The starting grid on Sunday was slightly altered as Massa and Gutierrez were both given three place grid penalties for impeding other cars. This meant that Massa started 9th and Gutierrez 19th. The Race The race showed Alonso€™s passion and racing ability as he had another phenomenal start flying past Raikkonen and Hamilton after the first few corners. Vettel managed to claw his way into 2nd as Hamilton wasn€™t showing any signs of a fast race pace. Massa jumped up three places as both Mark Webber and Jenson Button seemed to go backwards rather than forwards at the start. Only three cars retired from the race, the first of which was Romain Grosjean on Lap 8 who suffered a right rear suspension failure. It was rather odd seeing his wheel just detach from the car. Luckily it didn€™t fly off the car, he was able to drive it back to the pits but he had to retire. Lap 21 saw Giedo van der Garde suffer a similar tyre issue with his rear left where it completely flew off. He too was able to drive the car back to the pits but was unable to continue. Jean-Eric Vergne was the third driver to retire after being hit in the pit lane by Nico Hulkenberg as Sauber released him unsafely after his stop. Vergne then continued on track but a tyre delamination forced him to retire. Hulkenberg was given a 10 second stop-go penalty for the incident. Esteban Gutierrez was by far the most impressive rookie as he not only started 19th, but he lead the race for two laps, very nearly scored his first championship points and achieved the fastest lap of the race. Full credit to the young Mexican driver, who drove superbly all race. Mercedes have a lot to do come Monaco in two weeks time as they have outstanding qualifying pace, but lack significant race pace. Hamilton went backwards and finished 12th while Rosberg could only manage 6th. Hamilton looked visibly annoyed at his lack of pace in the race, but McLaren are also suffering as they lack significant qualifying pace yet in the race seem to scrounge a point€™s finish. The race and the spotlight however, were stolen by the Spaniard himself, Fernando Alonso. The crowd were supporting him and only him for the entire race. Every time he pulled off an overtaking move the crowd€™s noise would rise and they would go ballistic. He is without doubt the driver of the day along with Massa as they dominated the race. Sadly they didn€™t get the 1-2 finish they deserved as Raikkonen€™s tactics on the day worked more in his favour. The Spanish GP Top 10 1 €“ Fernando Alonso 2 €“ Kimi Raikkonen 3 €“ Felipe Massa 4 €“ Sebastian Vettel 5 €“ Mark Webber 6 €“ Nico Rosberg 7 €“ Paul Di Resta 8 €“ Jenson Button 9 €“ Sergio Perez 10 €“ Daniel Ricciardo The Awards Who is the best this week? Driver of the Day Fernando Alonso Outstanding. One of the few people to have won the Spanish grand prix from somewhere other than the front row. Brilliant first lap moves in front of the home crowd spurred him on to win and dominate most of the race Team of the Day Ferrari Considering where they were at this point last year, this is a big improvement. Both drivers on the podium and looking for victory in the Drivers and Constructors championships. Not so Team of the Day Williams Considering what Pastor Maldonado did last year, Williams have taken a huge step backwards. Rookie of the Day Esteban Gutierrez Fastest Lap, lead for two laps, nearly got a points finish. I say job well done.The next race is at the iconic Monaco street circuit. One of the highlights of the year, as it brings some glitz and glamour to the F1 calendar. Tune in on Sunday 26th May live on Sky or highlights on the BBC to watch the iconic race. Full Race ResultsCurrent Championship Table
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