Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Spain analysis - Ferrari strike back in style 14 May 2013

Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari celebrates with the Ferrari team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E21 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 battle.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 11 May 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 drives onto the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8 leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham CT03 lost a wheel.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013

After their disastrous Bahrain outing, Barcelona proved a near perfect weekend for Ferrari - and a tough one for Red Bull. As Fernando Alonso delighted his home fans with victory, team mate Felipe Massa joined him on the podium, a superb drive all but nullifying his qualifying grid penalty. And as the Scuderia cut Red Bull’s championship advantage to only 14 points, Kimi Raikkonen’s second place for Lotus reduced Sebastian Vettel’s lead atop the driver standings to just four. We take a team-by-team look at the Spanish form…

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, P1
Felipe Massa, P3

If Bahrain was a disaster for Ferrari, Spain more than made up for it. Alonso had to be patient early on after sprinting up to third, then made his moves stick as he undercut Vettel in the first stops and then overtook Rosberg on the track. Thereafter, though he had to keep a wary eye on Raikkonen, he was able to exploit clean air and control the race, and once he’d made his fourth stop and stayed ahead of the three-stopping Lotus, he knew he was home and dry. Massa made a strong start from ninth and was soon running sixth, then fifth, and was in the mix all afternoon. He was still disgruntled with his qualifying penalty, but was also delighted to finish on the podium for the first time in 2013. The 1-3 success puts Ferrari right back in contention.

Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen, P2
Romain Grosjean, Retired lap 9, rear suspension breakage

Raikkonen admitted that the Lotus didn’t quite have the pace to challenge the lead Ferrari, but a solid three-stop strategy was sufficient to reap him another excellent second place and move him within four points of Vettel’s championship lead. Grosjean should have been there in the mix, but retired early when something in his right-rear suspension broke and gave him rear-wheel steering.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P4
Mark Webber, P5

Red Bull just lacked pace, though the team insisted it was the tyres rather than any intrinsic lack of speed in the RB9 that was the limiting factor in their performance. Vettel couldn’t stay with the Ferraris or Raikkonen’s Lotus, while Webber had to fight back after making a poor start.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, P6
Lewis Hamilton, P12

Mercedes had another horrible race. After all the pace of qualifying, Hamilton faded almost instantly in a car he found ruined its tyres the moment he pushed, even though such tactics had worked superbly in Bahrain. Rosberg led for a while but soon found his car destroying its tyres too, and faded to an eventual sixth. That was not as desperate as Hamilton’s plight, however, as the perplexed 2008 champion was at a loss to explain his lowly 12th place.

Force India
Paul di Resta, P7
Adrian Sutil, P13

Force India had decent pace all weekend and Di Resta was able to turn that into another finely driven points-scoring position with seventh place. Sutil, who had made a demon start to run eighth should have been there with him, but a delay during his first pit stop condemned him to an afternoon of playing catch-up and he was right on Hamilton’s tail by the finish.

McLaren
Jenson Button, P8
Sergio Perez, P9

McLaren had a little bit of a boost as changing Button to a three-stop strategy brought him eighth place just ahead of four-stopping team mate Perez. It was perhaps better than they might have expected, after the tribulations of qualifying, and underlined the team’s fundamental racing class.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, P10
Jean-Eric Vergne, Retired lap 53, accident damage

Ricciardo drove a great race to recover from a poor start, as the team dialled out initial understeer and he made the most of a solid car to grab the final point. Vergne was again desperately unlucky, sustaining damage when Hulkenberg was released into his incoming path during their stops on the 35th lap; first he had a right-rear tyre failure, then had to retire when the telemetry indicated something was about to fail in the rear end as a result of the earlier impact.

Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez, P11
Nico Hulkenberg, P15

Gutierrez led laps 11 and 12 when he stayed out as others pitted, and was always in the hunt for points. He even set fastest lap 10 laps from the end on fresh rubber, so could rightly feel aggrieved to miss out on his first point to Ricciardo by three-tenths of a second. Hulkenberg could also feel aggrieved, after the team released him into Vergne’s path during his fourth stop, necessitating two more: one for a new nose, the other for a 10-second stop-and-go penalty.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, P14
Valtteri Bottas, P16

Williams had a bitterly disappointing race in which the FW35s simply lacked pace. The hardest part was seeing their 2012 winner Maldonado being lapped by Alonso, the man he had beaten here a year ago.

Caterham
Charles Pic, P17
Giedo van der Garde, Retired lap 22, detached rear wheel

Caterham were having their best race of the season with the upgraded CT03, until the left-rear wheel fell off Van der Garde’s car after he had made a pit stop while challenging the two Williams. The team were subsequently fined 10,000 euros for an unsafe release. Pic started last but revelled in the way his car felt in the race. He beat the Marussias, and was within 1.3s of Bottas’s Williams until blue flags right at the end stymied his chances of launching an attack.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, P18
Max Chilton, P19

Marussia were encouraged by the performance of their updates, having closed the gap to Caterham again after Bahrain. Bianchi made a great start but tagged his front wing in traffic and had to make an extra stop for a replacement. He staged an impressive recovery and halved the deficit to Pic, but could not overcome the Frenchman’s advantage in only having to stop three times. Chilton’s race was compromised by a poor start, and later by a problem in one of his stops.

For tickets and travel to 2013 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 and F1 team merchandise, click here.