Tag Archives: Spanish GP

Stats and facts from the Spanish Grand Prix

Mark Webber took his third Grand Prix victory this weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix. Here are some more stats and facts from this weekend’s racing:

  • As you already know, this is Red Bull’s fifth pole position of the year, all of the races so far. The record for most pole positions in a season goes to McLaren in 1988, where they took pole in 15 of the 16 races (94%) that year.
  • Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap, the 138th for a McLaren driver.
  • Mark Webber took his third career victory. This puts him alongside Mike Hawthorn, Giancarlo Fisichella, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Didier Pironi and Johnny Herbert.
  • This was Red Bull’s 8th win of their history, which puts them only 1 behind Brawn GP.
  • This was the tenth year in a row, at the Spanish Grand Prix, that the pole sitter has won the race. On the other hand, this is the first time in 2010 that the pole sitter has won.
  • This was the first time in 2010 that Kamui Kobayashi and Timo Glock made it to the chequered flag.
  • Mark Webber got incredibly close to the Grand Schlem (pole, fastest lap, and lead the race from start to finish), but Lewis Hamilton took the fastest lap near the end of the race.
  • For the first time in 12 races, there was no Mercedes-powered car on the podium.
  • This was the 40th race of the Spanish Grand Prix.

Spanish Grand Prix in pictures

Here is a selection of photos from the Spanish Grand Prix:

Webber dominates at Spanish Grand Prix

Mark Webber had a dominant performance to take his first win of 2010, at the Spanish Grand Prix today. He led the entire race, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, who suffered several problems during the race.

Mark Webber defends from Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso at the start

Mark Webber defends from Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso at the start

At the start, Webber was forced to defend his position against Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton, who all took different routes to try and take the lead. However, none of them prevailed, and the top four kept their starting positions. At the back, Vitaly Petrov and Pedro de la Rosa collided, meaning the Sauber driver punctured his back left wheel, and was forced to pit. Also, Bruno Senna crashed into the barriers at Turn 3, although it is unclear what caused the incident. Sebastien Buemi lost his front wing in a separate incident.

Heikki Kovalainen never even started the race, as before the formation lap, his car’s gearbox was unable to select a gear, even with the help of the team’s laptops. A quick fix was impossible, so the Finn sat out the race.

Jaime Alguersuari and Felipe Massa made good starts, while Robert Kubica fell down to 10th. At the front, Mark Webber pushed on, and set fastest lap after fastest lap to push away from team-mate Vettel. Until the first set of pit stops, gaps appeared between the top 10 runners, while the back markers battled amongst themselves.

Nico Rosberg was doing reasonably, until his pit stop ruined his race. He left his box before his front left wheel was securely fitted, and he was forced to stop, and have his car pushed back for his wheel to be fitted again. He fell to 16th place, and never really recovered after that.

Many of the drivers pitted around Lap 18. The two who benefited from these stops were Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, who got up to 2nd and 5th respectively. Lewis had to work for his position though, as he battled with Sebastian Vettel, while Lucas di Grassi lended a hand. The Virgin driver slowed to let them past at Turn 1 while Hamilton was exiting the pit, and Vettel was forced to run wide to avoid Di Grassi, which handed Hamilton the position.

Meanwhile, a fight was developing between Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher. The German was lapping very slowly after his switch to the harder tyres, in the 1.28 zone. While Button was considerably faster, he was unable to make a pass. This was mainly down to Schumacher’s excellent defending, meaning Jenson couldn’t make a move, as we saw so many times at Turn 1.

An incident soon occured between the frontrunners and the backmarkers. While Felipe Massa was trying to get past Karun Chandhok before the final chicane, he lost control and clipped his front wing off the HRT. While Felipe initially wanted to pit, he soon started setting personal best laps.

Felipe Massa loses control and hits the back of Karun Chandhok

Felipe Massa loses control and hits the back of Karun Chandhok

But, as soon as one backmarker incident was over, another happened. Jaime Alguersuari had just lapped Chandhok, and swerved straight in front of the HRT. Jaime lost control and lost a lot of time, while Karun was forced to pit for a new front wing. It was a dangerous and pointless move, and Alguersuari swiftly received a drive-through penalty.

On Lap 41, Lewis Hamilton asked his team how his tyres were, and whether he should pit or not. The team opted to keep him out, something which may come back to haunt him later. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel was told that his front wing flap adjuster was stuck, which hampered his performance for the rest of the race. On Lap 45, Sebastien Buemi pitted for a long time, then soon retired.

As the race entered its final stage, it became clear that overtaking was still incredibly hard around this track. Button was still stuck behind Schumacher, and a large train of cars was forming behind him. Nico Rosberg couldn’t make progress up the field, and was stuck behind Nico Hulkenberg for a huge portion of the race.

On Lap 54, Vettel pitted for the second time, which confused many people, as his tyres seemed to be OK. He switched to the softer tyre, and everyone soon saw the problem: his brakes were absolutely destroyed. The Red Bull team urged him to conserve his brakes, by backing off considerably before heavy braking areas. He struggled until the end of the race, and kept Michael Schumacher at bay, as he only lost 10 seconds to him until the end.

In the last few laps, Webber was leading, with Hamilton second, Alonso third, Vettel fourth, and Schumacher still leading the train of cars behind. But, with only 2 laps to go, disaster struck for McLaren. Lewis Hamilton’s front left tyre deflated at Turn 3, meaning he undesteered and smashed into the barriers, throwing away his potential podium finish. The upside (for the spectators anyways!) was that local boy Fernando Alonso was promoted to second, while Sebastian Vettel, despite his ailing brakes, clinched third position.

Fernando Alonso celebrates his second position

Fernando Alonso celebrates his second position

Mark Webber crossed the line first, 24 seconds ahead of Alonso, who was a further 27 seconds ahead of Vettel. Mark was delighted with his first win of the year, Fernando pleased the crowd with the most popular second place ever (probably), and Sebastian was happy to get a podium considering all of his problems. Further back, Adrian Sutil did well to get 7th, Rubens Barrichello improved well on his qualifying to get 9th, while Jaime Alguersuari got another point to add to his collection, despite his previous drive-through penalty.

Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel on the podium

Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel on the podium

The drivers’ and constructors’ standings have been updated, you can view them here.

Pictures, gallery and stats and facts will be added as soon as possible.

Full result from the Spanish Grand Prix:

Driver Team Gap # of laps
1 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 56
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 24.0 56
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 51.3 56
4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 62.1 56
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 63.7 56
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 65.7 56
7 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 72.9 56
8 Robert Kubica Renault 73.6 56
9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1 Lap 55
10 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1 Lap 55
11 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1 Lap 55
12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1 Lap 55
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1 Lap 55
14 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 2 Laps 54
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 2 Laps 54
16 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 2 Laps 54
17 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 3 Laps 53
18 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 3 Laps 53
19 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 4 Laps 52
20 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24 Laps 32
21 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 39 Laps 27
22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 48 Laps 18
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 0 Laps 0
24 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth DNS DNS

Spanish Grand Prix qualifying in photos

Here is the Spanish Grand Prix qualifying in photos:

Ferrari fined, while Petrov, Di Grassi, Chandhok and Glock receive penalties

The FIA has handed out punishments to different drivers and teams, most of which were for gearbox-related incidents.

First of all, both Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi were given 5-place penalties, for Virgin failing to notify the FIA of the gearbox ratios they would be using within 2 hours of the end of Friday Practice. This means that Glock and Di Grassi will start 22nd and 23rd.

Next, Karun Chandhok and Vitaly Petrov also received 5-place grid penalties, this time for unscheduled gearbox changes. Vitaly Petrov changed his gearbox after his crash in Saturday morning practice, but it is unknown when Chandhok had his gearbox replaced. Either way, their gearboxes were supposed to last 4 races, so a 5-place grid penalty was inevitable.

Finally, Ferrari were fined $20,000 after qualifying, after Fernando Alonso was released unsafely into the path of Nico Rosberg. Nico was forced to brake sharply to avoid a collision, and nearly his his back left wheel against the pit wall in the process. The FIA concluded that the Ferrari mechanics failed to ensure that the coast was clear before releasing Alonso out of the garage.

You can view the FIA’s report on the two Virgin drivers here.

You can view the FIA’s report on the Alonso-Rosberg incident here.

Webber beats Vettel to pole in Spain

Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton after Spanish GP qualifying

Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton after Spanish GP qualifying

Mark Webber took pole position ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, beating his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with Lewis Hamilton in third. Here is the breakdown of what happened:


The Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber waited for nearly 15 minutes before going out, but were still able to get comfortably into Q2. Heikki Kovalainen was the first out, folowed by the two Ferraris. The cars were much slower at the start of Q1, as a rain shower last night had washed away much of the grip that the track had.

It seemed as if Pedro de la Rosa would be knocked out with the new teams, but he pulled out a good lap at the end to get sixth. This left Rubens Barrichello in the drop zone, and he was unable to improve on his previous lap time. It was a big surprise, and an indicator that the Williams car direly needs more improvements.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Rubens Barrichello

19) Jarno Trulli

20) Heikki Kovalainen

21) Timo Glock

22) Lucas di Grassi

23) Karun Chandhok

24) Bruno Senna


Everyone knew that Q2 was going to be extremely close, after the tight lap times in the midfield in Q1. The Red Bulls surprised many by going out on the harder tyres first, and they set fast laps instantly, going 1st and 2nd within 5 minutes. Nobody, even on the soft tyres, seemed to be able to keep up.

Vitantonio Liuzzi was once again slower than his team-mate Sutil, and never improved on his initial time, finishing 17th. Once the Red Bulls switched to the softer tyres, they were even faster again, with Webber getting a 1.20.655 ahead of Vettel. Kamui Kobayashi did very well at the end of Q2 to get himself into 8th position. Vitaly Petrov only got 14th, and with his grid penalty, he will start 19th on the grid.

Nico Hulkenberg qualified 13th, well ahead of team-mate Barrichello. The Toro Rosso cars never really impressed, getting 15th and 16th respectively. Adrian Sutil dissapointed slightly by failing to get into Q3.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Adrian Sutil

12) Pedro de la Rosa

13) Nico Hulkenberg

14) Vitaly Petrov

15) Sebastien Buemi

16) Jaime Alguersuari

17) Vitantonio Liuzzi


Robert Kubica was the first out, on the softer tyres. However, Fernando Alonso drove out of his pit box, straight into the path of Nico Rosberg. Nico just about avoided a collision, and it remains to be seen whether the Spaniard will receive a penalty, though Rosberg cartainly thought so.

The McLarens set the initial pace, with Hamilton leading Button by two tenths. However, Sebastian Vettel completely blitzed their times, beating them by an entire second, with Webber then finding a further tenth. Immidiately, with 4 minutes remaining, most of the field pitted, before their final runs. This was except Kamui Kobayashi, who had the entire track to himself, and had soft tyres, although he only got 7th.

In the final minutes, Vettel and Webber both set absolutely perfect first and second sectors. But, Mark once again pipped Sebastian by one tenth of a second to take pole position. Lewis Hamilton’s final lap beat Fernando Alonso to third place, while Jenson Button got fifth. Michael Schumacher dissapointed slightly with 6th, although he beat his team-mate by two hundreths of a second.

Full qualifying times from today:

Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.21.412 1.20.655 1.19.995
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.21.680 1.20.722 1.20.101
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.723 1.21.415 1.20.829
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.21.957 1.21.549 1.20.937
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.915 1.21.168 1.20.991
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.22.528 1.21.557 1.21.294
7 Robert Kubica Renault 1.22.488 1.21.599 1.21.353
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.22.419 1.21.867 1.21.408
9 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.22.564 1.21.841 1.21.585
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.22.577 1.21.725 1.21.984
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.22.628 1.21.985
12 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1.22.211 1.22.026
13 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.22.857 1.22.131
14 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.22.976 1.22.139
15 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.22.699 1.22.191
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.22.593 1.22.207
17 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.23.084 1.22.854
18 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.23.125
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.24.674
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.24.748
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.25.475
22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.25.566
23 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1.26.750
24 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.27.122

Klien given Superlicence 10 minutes before practice

Christian Klien almost didn't make it to Friday Practice 1

Christian Klien almost didn't make it to Friday Practice 1

It turned out today that HRT test and reserve driver Christian Klien was only granted his Superlicence 10 minutes before the start of Friday Practice 1.

The Austrian driver was being offered to drive in FP1 as part of being the team’s second reserve driver, alongside Sakon Yamamoto. However, his debut drive for the team nearly didn’t happen at all, as Christian explains:

"It was a bit exciting today as I got my Superlicense only ten 
minutes before the start of the first practice session! 
Fortunately, everything had been prepared perfectly and then I was 
allowed to jump into the car.

I had 90 great minutes in the car. It was my first time in a Formula 
1 car since January last year and felt perfect right away; I was 
able to feel the limits of the car and posted constant times, which 
will help the engineers - I was able to give them important feedback 
to improve, in terms of setup, and my work with top teams will help 

I’m glad that Klien is being given a chance to drive in F1 again, but he still needs a good car to be able to prove himself. However, the fact that he beat Bruno Senna by an entire half a second in only 90 minutes of practice shows what potential he has.

The problem is the testing ban. With this, test and reserve drivers, especially young drivers, will be unable to get attention for themselves and therefore struggle to get race drive positions. One idea I had would be a “reserve driver test”, once or twice a year, where the test and reserve drivers would test and develop the car. This would help the teams with their development, and also give a chance for reserve drivers to show what they are worth. I’ll write more on this idea after this weekend.

Spanish Grand Prix Friday Practice in pictures

Here are some pictures from today’s Friday Practice sessions:

Red Bull lock out Spanish Friday Practice 2

Sebastian Vettel in Friday Practice 2 in Spain today

Sebastian Vettel in Friday Practice 2 in Spain today

The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber lead the second practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix today. Nobody was near these two, as the closest competitor was half a second behind.

Vettel was the only driver who got under the 1.20 minute mark, and was 2 tenths ahead of Mark Webber. Michael Schumacher was again 3rd, half a second behind Webber. Fernando Alonso improved in this session to get 4th, while Lewis Hamilton was another 4 tenths behind the Spaniard.

Robert Kubica was 6th, followed by Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Adrian Sutil, to top off the top 10. Pedro de la Rosa was actually able to set a lap time this session, and finished 11th. With 37 laps, he set the most laps (alongside Sebastien Buemi) this session. Vitantonio Liuzzi was 12th.

Kamui Kobayashi was 13th, Sebastien Buemi was 14th, Rubens Barrichello was 15th, and Vitaly Petrov was 16th. Jaime Alguersuari and Nico Hulkenberg were quite uncompetitive this session, getting 17th and 18th. Nico was 1.4 seconds behind Jaime.

Again, the Lotuses of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen were the best of the new teams, once again only 4 seconds off the frontrunners’ pace. Lucas di Grassi was 21st, while both HRT drivers beat Timo Glock. Karun Chandhok was one tenth faster than his team-mate Senna. This was despite Karun reporting brake problems, after repeatedly locking up and running wide at Turn 10, La Caixa. Glock was a further half a second behind Bruno.

Times from Friday Practice 2:

Driver Team Fastest lap Difference # of laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.19.965 24
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.20.175 0.21 35
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.20.757 0.792 28
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.20.819 0.854 30
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.191 1.226 23
6 Robert Kubica Renault 1.21.202 1.237 36
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.21.271 1.306 27
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.21.302 1.337 25
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.364 1.399 26
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.21.518 1.553 32
11 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1.21.672 1.707 37
12 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.21.904 1.939 32
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.21.931 1.966 29
14 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.22.184 2.219 37
15 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.22.192 2.227 33
16 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.22.435 2.47 35
17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.22.449 2.484 34
18 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.23.765 3.8 7
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.24.209 4.244 26
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.24.894 4.929 22
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.25.066 5.101 30
22 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1.25.972 6.007 23
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.26.152 6.187 25
24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.26.596 6.631 21

Hamilton tops Spanish Friday Practice 1

Lewis Hamilton in Friday Practice 1 in Spain today

Lewis Hamilton in Friday Practice 1 in Spain today

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button led the first practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend. Jenson was a full half a second behind his team-mate.

Michael Schumacher was 3rd in the revised Mercedes with its new airbox, which will be put up in the photo section later. He led the session early on, but was demoted by the McLarens as the session went on. He remained only 5 hundreths of a second behind Button though. Mark Webber was 4th, 3 tenths back from Schumacher. Sebastian Vettel was 5th, a further 2 hundreths behind.

Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica were 6th and 7th. Fernando Alonso was 8th, running a blown rear wing. He also did back-to-back to back tests with the unblown rear wing settings.Vitaly Petrov did very well to finish 9th, only 2 tenths behind his team-mate. Kamui Kobayashi finished off the top ten.

Sebastien Buemi and Felipe Massa were 11th and 12th, while Paul di Resta beat his team-mate by getting 13th. Behind them, it was Jaime Alguersuari, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg in the top 17.

Lotus, and Heikki Kovalainen in particular, made a good step forward by only being 4 seconds off Hamilton’s pace today. Heikki was 18th, while Jarno Trulli was a further second back in 19th place. As usual, the two Virgins were behind them, with Timo Glock leading Lucas di Grassi. Timo was the first out on track, but his left turning vane broke on his first lap out, and he spent an hour in the pits.

However, there was a surprise at HRT. Christian Klien, who hasn’t raced an F1 car since Britain 2007, beat team-mate Bruno Senna by half a second. I told you he needed an opportunity. Pedro de la Rosa was unable to set a time, because of a gearbox failure, and finished at the back.

Times from Friday Practice 1:

Driver Team Fastest lap Difference # of laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.134 21
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.672 0.538 14
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.21.716 0.582 12
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.22.011 0.877 27
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.22.026 0.892 22
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.22.070 0.936 19
7 Robert Kubica Renault 1.22.202 1.068 22
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.22.258 1.124 19
9 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.22.397 1.263 23
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.22.492 1.358 26
11 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.22.588 1.454 24
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.22.975 1.841 22
13 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1.23.030 1.896 21
14 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.23.110 1.976 31
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.23.284 2.15 19
16 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.23.312 2.178 22
17 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.23.471 2.337 20
18 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.25.329 4.195 17
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.26.244 5.11 20
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.26.340 5.206 23
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.26.694 5.56 24
22 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1.27.250 6.116 26
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.27.752 6.618 27
24 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 3