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Webber untouchable in Spanish Grand Prix
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Webber untouchable in Spanish Grand Prix
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 May 2010   |  3:23 pm GMT  |  160 comments

Mark Webber won the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona today, crushing the opposition in a Red Bull car they had described all weekend as ‘untouchable.”

It is his third Grand Prix win and was one of those weekends where no-one could get near him either in qualifying or the race.

It was the 10th time in a row this race has been won from pole position and Webber is the fourth different winner in five races this season.


But it wasn’t a perfect day for Red Bull as Sebastian Vettel’s race was compromised by losing a place to Lewis Hamilton at the first stop and then late in the race going off track and being forced to make an unscheduled stop for tyres. He also had brake problems, with the team asking him to come in and retire the car at one point, but he kept going to finish third. But the problem reminds the team that although they have an unbeatable car, it is also a fragile one.

The unscheduled tyre stop promoted Fernando Alonso to the podium. The Spaniard was running third behind Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren, but then on the final lap the left front tyre exploded on the McLaren, sending him hard into the barriers. All runners were marginal on tyre wear, asking the hard tyres to do over 50 laps.

“It’s a very special day for me, unfortunately I can’t get too drunk tonight because I’ve got to be back at work on Wednesday,” said Webber. “It was my day today. Is started on the pole and controlled the race. It was nice to throw my helmet into the crowd because they don’t always get the best treatment in F1.”

Webber held on to the lead at the start, despite a serious attempt by Vettel to pass. Meanwhile Hamilton, starting 3rd, resisted Alonso, who had the better initial getaway.

Further back Jaime Alguersuari took advantage of the confusion around Pedro de la Rosa’s Sauber as it punctured a tyre, to leap from 16th to 9th. Rubens Barichello followed him through and went from 18th to 12th. Alguersuari later blotted his copybook when he was given a drive through penalty for chopping the nose cone off the HRT car of Karun Chandhok. He recovered from that to finish 10th.

Rosberg dropped from 8th to 11th at the start and later lost more ground with a messy first pit stop, while Massa gained two places from 9th to 7th. He damaged his front wing in the middle stint on a slow moving Chandhok in the HRT car.

Webber controlled the pace in the first stint, opening up a gap over Vettel while Hamilton shadowed the second Red Bull. Alonso struggled to stay with the McLaren and was 3.4 secs behind after 10 laps.

At the first round of pit stops, where everyone switched to the hard tyre, Schumacher jumped Button for fifth place, largely thanks to the Mercedes mechanics doing his tyre change in 3.8 seconds.

The hard tyres lasted remarkably well with over 50 laps covered on most cars. Rosberg, who started the day in second place in the championship, made a second stop and switched back to soft tyres for the final third of the race. But he lost track position and got into a battle with Hulkenberg, whom he passed for P15 on lap 51.

There was one dramatic moment on lap 18 when Hamilton exited the pits straight into a fight with Vettel. There was a Virgin car on the apex of Turn 1 and as the pair went around it, Vettel was pushed wide and drove off the circuit. He rejoined behind Hamilton in third place. So one McLaren gained a place, one lost a place.

Button attacked Schumacher for lap after lap but the 41 year old fought him off. Button was losing two seconds per lap behind the Mercedes compared to team mate Hamilton’s pace. They finished fourth and fifth.

Webber was able to attack again on the hard tyre in the middle and opened up a 10 second lead over Hamilton, often as much as 7/10ths of a second a lap faster.

Vettel radioed in around two thirds distance to say that his front wing adjuster was stuck, which was hurting his ability to manage the tyres. On lap 54 he went off track across the gravel and was forced to make a stop for new tyres, which promoted Alonso to the podium.

Adrian Sutil gained places at the first stop to take 7th place and more points for a consistent Force India team. He finished ahead of Robert Kubica and Rubens Barrichello.

There were some big gaps showing the relative performance of the cars. Before the run in to the flag, the Red Bull was 22 seconds ahead of the Ferrari and the Mercedes was a minute off, showing that their advantage is not just in qualifying trim.

It wasn’t a classic Grand Prix, with little incident beyond the Vettel/Hamilton confrontation and Alguersuari hitting Chandhok, we had the Button/Schumacher battle to sustain us, but it wasn’t a gripper.

It was a bit like staying in a bar all night with only a half of shandy for company.

SPANISH GRAND PRIX -BARCELONA, 66 Laps
1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h35:44.101
2. Alonso Ferrari + 24.065
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 51.338
4. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:02.195
5. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1:03.728
6. Massa Ferrari + 1:05.767
7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:12.941
8. Kubica Renault + 1:13.677
9. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
10. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
11. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
13. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
14. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 2 laps
15. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps
16. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 2 laps
17. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps
18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps
19. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 4 laps

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160 Comments
  1. rogerramjet says:

    Whats the pit lane talk about Williams? Two public team meltdowns in consecutive days…

    1. Formula Zero says:

      That wasn’t a nice picture for a team. I’d also like to know what the tention between Schumacher and Rosberg was after the quali.

    2. nik says:

      I was wondering the same thing. Any further info on this JA?

      What was the meltdown yesterday?

    3. Trent says:

      Can’t find any info on this?
      Who’s the pony tail dude?

  2. Formula Zero says:

    My analysis of the race:

    Was the race boring? Surprisingly not & I was expecting a boring race (even keeping the reliability issue of Red Bull in mind) as I saw the perfect weather in Barcelona. This is how I saw the race,

    Winner, Mark Webber: This is what you call a perfect and flawless drive. If there was ever a list of drivers that deserve the world championship or grand prix wins, Mark Webber has to be right up there. The way Mark covered his line in the first corner, the way he led throughout the weekend, the way he managed the tyres and the gap against the pack behind him was outstanding, a very worthy winner.

    2nd Place, F. Alonso): He did get the best out of the car even if he finished 4th in the race. Even as a Massa fan I must say, Alonso is just in a different league compare to Massa. Of course the incidents towards the end of the grand prix helped, but none of that was his fault. Even with a 2nd/3rd best car you can never write Alonso of any race. He is still my pick to win the championship.

    3rd place, S. Vettel: We all know how good this guy is by now. But Red Bull is yet to give him the reliability that he needs to be the world champion. I don’t know how he managed to bring the car back in the pits for the final time around, great job. Even better job was for him to keep enough gap that he built earlier with Schumacher & Button & my goodness his brake was just about no use since lap 22/23!!!!! Even though Vettel looked extremely gutted with the 3rd place, his drive was fantastic regardless.

    4th place, M. Schumacher: The 7 time world champion did wonderful job by not letting a much faster McLaren behind him for most of the race. Thanks to the pit crews that they were able to have a scintillatingly quick pit stop for Schumacher. And of course credit to Schumacher to stay close enough to Button to overtake him in the 1st opportunity. Overall, I am not sure if it is wise to say that he is back in form or not, because Mercedes looked awfully slower than their rivals. But people had been too harsh on Schumacher over the last 4 races. He is doing a great job.

    5th place, J. Button: Good on him for still leading the world championship. He really is one of the best drivers as far as tyre management goes. Credit to Schumacher for not letting Button pass. But JB probably didn’t get the best out of his car in this race. He should’ve been able to pass Schumacher within the first 5/6 laps after the pit stop. He took the wrong line from what I saw. And also his pit exit after the stop was quite slow & hesitant. But overall, he is doing a fine job which I didn’t think was possible when he joined McLaren.

    As far rest of the field goes, it is worth talking about Hamilton & Massa.

    First of all, Hamilton’s tyre failure was more or less his own fault more than anything else. He did not look after the tyres very good at all. I heard him saying on the radio that he was losing grip (that was about lap 54/55). Realistically, he was never going to pass Webber unless Webber had any significant issue with his car. So, instead of driving carefully to improve his chances of winning the world championship, he decided to drive too aggressively. Just before the crash he managed to do his fastest lap of the race. He was nearly 15 second behind Webber in the penultimate lap of the race. Up until the crash his drive was pretty good. But he ate his own tyres up by lap 50. That is why I believe McLaren decided to pit him one extra time in Australia which Hamilton didn’t like.

    Secondly, Massa had a poor weekend all together anyway. So, his result really reflected his overall weekend. Even though he was around 10 km/h faster than Schumacher down the straight, for some reason he never looked be anywhere near passing either Schumacher or Button. He is a terrific driver, but he might be losing his ground within the team. For Ferrari, the overall race result was more than what they expected surely. But instead of looking to replace Massa, maybe they should try and help him find his speed.

    Finally, Rosberg looked very unhappy while he was talking to Schumacher after the qualifying. Mercedes is definitely very slow, but it was hard to believe how slow Rosberg was throughout the weekend after outpacing Schumacher in every grand prix so far this season. However, I don’t believe Schumacher is getting any special favour from Mercedes. Nice drive by Kubica and Alguersuari as well, in particularly, Barrichello.

    In conclusion, the race has been very enjoyable & again congratulations to Webber for a well deserved win. A lot of shuffles are going around in the points table this season. Maybe it will not be a boring season after all.

    1. Chris says:

      Pretty sure you’re wrong about Hamilton there. The tyres weren’t worn out in the usual sense. I’m pretty sure the team wouldn’t have let him set fastest laps with less than 10 to go if that was the case. And if you watch the replay you can clearly see something fly off the inside rim if you watch closely.

    2. Henry says:

      It was a boring race. very boring. had it not been for hamilton’s tyre the final position would have been decided by about half race distance, there was next to no overtaking, no exciting strategy jumps, no crashes, no particularly spectacular driving. Boring race. Dull dull dull, even the first corner which I thought could have given some form of surprise, was dull.

      1. Formula Zero says:

        We can’t expect hell of a lot more enjoyable races in the dry than this weekend’s grand prix. Keeping in mind, cars aren’t built for wet races after all. Even the best of the best teams struggle to adjust with changeable weather. I agree that there’s not much to do with strategy, but mistakes are still made by everybody. That could be a huge factor in terms of championship.

      2. "for sure" says:

        Agreed. I had a toss up to see whether to cut the grass or watch the race. The race won, but unless I missed something when I drifted into a near terminal coma, I can’t recall a single exciting moment amongst the top flight.

        Cutting the grass would have been way more exciting.

    3. Ahlapski says:

      Formula Zero,

      Don’t be too harsh on LH. Anyway, if you watch the interviews; I clearly remember MW saying that it could be a wheel failure that cause the puncture and not tyre wear.

      James, could you confirm this please ??

      And LH is our primary source of entertainment; without him F1 would be so much duller.

      1. Formula Zero says:

        I am not being harsh on Lewis mate. That was my observation of the race. Around the turn 3 and 8 in particular Hamilton was hitting the curves so hard that I could see the vibration on TV. He was harsh on his tyre bit too much. Hamilton is known for this anyway. I didn’t make it up mate. Anybody that follows F1 closely would say the same thing. I believe McLaren doesn’t suit dry track as well as it suits the wet one. Even Button’s performance reflects that. At least he still has the lead in the championship mainly because of his smooth driving style goes well with this year’s rules and narrow front tyre. Button still would’ve been leading even if Hamilton finished the race in 2nd place. Having said that, I could be wrong about McLaren’s issue with dry track. After all we haven’t had many dry races this year.

      2. F1Fan says:

        Clearly you form your opinions and then try to create the “facts” to support them. When Hamilton set the fastest lap late in the race, it was in response to Alonso just having set the fastest lap and so closing the gap between them. After Hamilton set the fastest lap to increase the gap, both he and and Alonso eased off. At that point Hamilton had already given up trying to catch Webber and therefore wasn’t pushing.

        And as others have already pointed out, if you looked at the tires, both fronts looked fine. In fact, in the TV shots of Hamilton’s car prior to the crash, there was little visible wear on his tires.

        As the senator said, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

      3. Phil says:

        That’s a grand claim – that anyone who ‘follow F1 closely’ would agree with you.

        I consider that I follow F1 closely, and personally think you’re talking baloney.

        There is no evidence that Lewis mistreated the tires. In fact, as mentioned by ‘F1Fan’, his tires obviously seemed to be in good shape, with him able to set fastest lap.

        Then of course, we have Bridgestone state it looks unlikely to have been a tire problem. But, no, you can deduce that it’s Lewis’s fault.

      4. Nadeem Zreikat says:

        He does try his best and never gives up like Alonso last season with Renault.

      5. Thalasa says:

        I’ve heard that it was Renault who stopped bringing updates at some point last year.
        I don’t think Alonso is the kind of competitor who gives up. We’ve have seen that for a long time now.

    4. Steve McGill says:

      I think you’ll find Hamiltons blow out was beyond his control and I notice that in the dry, Jenson is really second rate in this particular car. It seems he can’t pass wind… However good for Webber, unfortunately I wonder if Vettel is wondering wether Skoda have bought shares in Red Bull!

      1. Paul says:

        Please – NOT ONE DRIVER out of the top 10 passed any other driver on track at racing speed all day long. Schumacher jumped Button due to Button’s faulty clutch. Hamilton jumped Vettel due to poor pit stop for Vettel.

        Hamilton is the best overtaker yes, but even he can’t overtake any of the top cars on a dry tracvj (see Bahrain). F1 in the dry is utter tosh. In the wet, brilliant spectacle.

      2. Steve McGill says:

        Well, Formula Zero. I would suggest that you set up your own blog. Within minutes, you seem to have hijacked James’. Most people on this blog drop a few lines regarding a simple passion – not an entire, blind sided, boringly written, pointless appraisal of your own views.

        Yours sincerely

        Ron Dennis x

    5. Internet says:

      And by the way, he set his fastest lap 6 laps before the crash, and not “just before”. After which he just cruised by his own admission.

    6. Internet says:

      Intial report from bridgestone says there were no problems with the tyre
      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/83498

      Definitely a mechanical fault.

      1. Formula Zero says:

        I have read that report mate. McLaren is still investigating the issue. Let’s see what comes out of that. Also keep it in mind that they will probably be sandbagging a bit as well. Nothing’s wrong that anyway, as we all know giving away anything to any rivals could be devastating.

      2. Phil says:

        Right. So, when you’re proven wrong in the assertion that it’s Lewis’s fault, you can claim subterfuge.

    7. Formula Zero says:

      By the way guys, some people would agree with my comments & some won’t, which is fine. But any comment about everything else rather than Hamilton incident?

    8. CH1UNDA says:

      If ever there was a race in which Hamilton was not aggressive – this was it. Right from when he took 2nd from Vettel you got the sense he immediately went into conserve-tyre mode. I am curious to know exactly what happened to that wheel – was it debris as MW suggested? was it some form of suspension failure? It didn’t look like tyre wear to me; in the replay just before the incident, the front left looked ok and well looked after.

    9. LT says:

      Look at the pictures of the tyre on Hamiltons car after the race. It looks fine and intact but just off the rim. If it was Hamilton who wore the tyre, it would be shredded and torn.

      http://www.autosport.com/gallery/photo.php/id/13250443

      http://www.autosport.com/gallery/photo.php/id/13250442

      Again people making uninformed conclusions without even looking deeper at the facts first

      1. Buck61 says:

        Bad choice of pictures. It was the inside that gave way.

  3. Andy C says:

    Excellent drive from mark today. When he’s in the groove he’s difficult to beat.

    How many times must we go to places like this, with drivers complaining of no overtaking before they make either changes to the tracks or go somewhere else?

    Bit of a difficult race for jb today. He didn’t sound too happy with some of michaels driving today. Mercedes must be dissapointed there upgrade hasn’t gotten them more pure pace against the others. Jenson was quicker but just couldn’t stick one in michael.

    1. Henry says:

      Yup I agree, JB sounded really quite down after the race – I suppose partly because his monitor wasn’t working for alot of the race which isn’t ideal and partly frustration at not being able to pass a much slower car in the form of Schumi’s mercedes. Not a race worth remembering for him, but at least he got some points of the table.

      1. A.K. says:

        And his just a bit of whiner period.

    2. Formula Zero says:

      I believe Jenson was upset because everybody expected more than what McLaren got out of the race. Plus he couldn’t pass Schumacher. But from I have witnessed, Schumacher did a perfect job covering his line. Not sure if there’s anything to complain about his move just because he couldn’t pass him with a faster car. He is still leading the championship after all. And more importantly, his stats are better than his team mate this season so far.

  4. Red Bull are going to rue these technical failures. It’s amazing they have been so much faster than everyone else this season and yet they’re still 10 at 17 points behind Jenson Button.

    It was a great performance from Webber today and he deserved his victory. It’s just a shame he headed a procession. Look at the lap chart, very few position changes right through the field outside of the stops.

    1. A.K. says:

      I find it difficult to fathom why people find the processional nature of F1 so surprising. What have they been watching for the past… oh, I don’t know, 30 years or so?

  5. CanadaGP says:

    It was nice to see the new boys Alguersuari, Petrov and Kobayashi have good races and qualis. The talent level in F1 is as deep as ever.
    I have a feeling Rosberg is being sacrificed to make Schumi and the Mercedes management team look good. I predict this will backfire on the team in the long run.
    Lewis is hard on his tyres. Is there a surprise that it was his left front, the corner most punished in Barcelona, that failed?
    Ferrari seems to have lost a step as McLaren seems to have gained on them. However, RBR is in a class of one and if they keep it up, Webber or Vettel s/d be favorites for the WDC. Therein lies the problem though. Will they take enough points off each other to let Alonso slip through?

    1. Aussie F1 Fan says:

      I don’t know why people keep saying this, the Mercedes update was planned practically from the 1st race & BOTH drivers & the team agreed what needed to be done to the car. Nico has also stated many times over the last weekend that the car is a step forward, but he is struggling to get the best out of it.

      No team is knowingly going to sacrifice their driver whom is 2nd in the WDC points just to make another driver look good. That’s plain ridiculous.

    2. A.K. says:

      Not if they consistently finish 1-2 or there abouts.

  6. CH1UNDA says:

    bad karma day for Lewis. I hope this DNF does not rule him out of the title race.

    1. Sebee says:

      Before you guys call me out for Karma not taking care of Alonso in Spain for his China pitlane moves, please remember that karma is mystrious and may be addressing those pitlane entry moves in China on first offender basis, thus Lewis this week, Alonso next.

      1. Bill Day says:

        Then again, the karmic return might not be ’til three lifetimes hence, and not affect the outcome of the 2010 F1 season at all.

      2. Sebee says:

        Or maybe Karma pre-booked one in Malaysia for Alonso. But I’d like to think karma still owes a big one to Alonso for a number of reasons.

    2. Formula Zero says:

      This year’s point system rewards significant advantage to the winner. So, I don’t reckon any of the top 8 drivers are out of the contention. However, speed, development, reliability, mistakes and weather will play a big role in this year’s championship. In fact, it already has.

      1. Legend2 says:

        Actually Not Really. It mainly disadvantages the person who comes 2nd, and gives a bonus to those who finish 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th compared to last year.

        It’s not like in 2002 when there was a significant advantage to winning the race. If it were like 2002 then:
        Win = 25 points
        2nd = 15 points
        3rd = 10 points
        4th = 7.5 points
        5th = 5 points
        6th = 2.5 points
        Then we would have a significant advantage for the race winner.

        What we are fortunate with is how close everyone is. 7-8 drivers within a win of each other. Now that is fantastic. Let’s hope Mercedes can get on the pace and then maybe we can match 2003 where we had 8 separate grand prix winning drivers!

      2. Phil says:

        Not true.

        Not that I disagree with the statement that none of the top eight are out of contention, but that’s got little to do with changes in the point system.

        The ratio of points from winner to following positions is virtually unchanged. All that’s happened is that points are now rewarded for more positions.

        Second used to be worth 8/10ths of first position, while it’s now a fraction lower at about 7/10ths. Third’s still worth 6/10ths, fourth is still worth 5/10ths, and fifth is still worth 4/10ths.

        So, I don’t see where you get your ‘significant advantage’ for this year’s system.

  7. m de p says:

    driver of the day webber.
    Alonso, the one that got away best, with his main opposition scoring less points than him. A typical alain prost’s race. And the kind of race that win championships. Well done this time alonso. He is the clear nº1 at ferrari now, and there is no clear number 1 at red bull, so i see an advantage there.
    Hamilton has to find out if he could have done something better in tyre managment. He lost 20 points to fernando, and vettel today, his main rivals to the crown. He needs a victory at monaco like air to breath.

    1. Legend2 says:

      21 points actually.

  8. Scuderia@China says:

    I am not sure MGP’s decision to develop the car to Shumi’s liking is worth it. The pursuit of Driver’s Title started at 50 points with Rosberg and 10 points with Shumi. I guess it’s money talking. With all the sponsorships they have to make the King look good.

    1. Ahlapski says:

      Totally agreed. I was very impressed with Nico last season in the Williams; and I am even more impress with him this season so far.

      This is so unfair. But, mark my words, Nico will get use to this car soon just as he did the old one. (Remember he was driving a Williams in 2009.) He will be up to speed in no time.

      Don’t underestimate him.

      1. Dario says:

        What are you people talking about???
        Have you guys not read the reports that both Nico and michael agreed they want a longer wheel base? So now that Michael managed to beat Nico once, he’s the bad guy…and if he’s behind him, you proclaim he doesn’t know how to drive anymore???
        Damned if he does, & damned if he doesn’t. It’s a good think Michael keeps his head down and doesn’t listen to all if you unreasonable critics…

      2. Aussie F1 Fan says:

        I totally agree, maybe some of these people should become F1 journo’s as they seem to know as little as most of them!

        Here’s an alternative theory, Michael’s initial race chassis was damaged/flawed & now we are seeing what they can do in an EQUAL car.. Eh?

      3. UK F1 Fan says:

        Don’t believe everything you read.

        Let me put it this way. A race winning Schumacher or Nico Rosberg; which one attract more sponsors. If Schumi is not winning they will lose so much sponsorship money that MGP will do everything to make MS sucessful. However, everything will appear very fair.

        F1 is a business, BIG business.

        Clearly the chassis before the update suited Nico much more than MS. Even the blind can see that.

        I may be cynical, and have no proof. But this is my gut feeling.

        Enough Said.

      4. Formula Zero says:

        I don’t think Mercedes changed Rosberg’s chassis. I haven’t read that anywhere. I think that the updates suited Schumacher a bit better than Rosberg. Merc will be on to it surely. There are too many geniuses in that team for not to find the problem. Let’s see what happens in Monaco

    2. Eric says:

      Of course that’s going to be a popular opinion amongst the Schumacher detractors, but the fact remains that Rosberg was in full support of the upgrades, believing them to be a step forward.

      Let’s not forget that his race was compromised by being pushed off at the start, and having the problem in the pits.

      As for him being behind in quali/practice, did you really think he was going to outpace Schumacher at every session this season?

      I think it’s premature to jump to conclusions, but, as is often the case with Schumacher, people often have their conclusion decided from the onset.

    3. Carl says:

      The car was changed to help both drivers, its nothing to do with Schumacher. Nico agreed the changes too as his driving style is very similar to Michael’s.

  9. Enrico Fiore says:

    let’s hope it rains in Monaco

  10. Chuck Jones says:

    FORMULA ZERO! Very, very well put, better, and more realistic summation than a whole host of journalists. Keep up the good work, my best to you from an X old team owner….

  11. Lee says:

    Whats going on with Felipe Massa james???
    He seemes to be struggling with the car especially over a single lap??
    Have you spoken to Rob Smedley???

    1. John says:

      Ye would be great if James could give us some insight into Massa’s problems and mindset atm. Hes getting smashed in terms of pace in the last 4 races. Looks no better than piquet jnr did against Alonso to be honest.

      1. David Smith says:

        Could it be his contract matter and the kubica rumours – surely its going to affect him in some way. Even Rob Smedley sounded fed up during the radio transmission during the race.

      2. Lee says:

        I dont think its about alonso, its with himself, he is really struggling with this car. In testing he was just as fast as alonso and in bahrain, but since then he has been off the pace of the front.

      3. Marybeth says:

        On the first turn in Bahrain, Massa had to move over & let Alonso take over, team orders, 1st & 2nd drivers.

    2. Marybeth says:

      On Autosport.com May 8th, there is an item saying that Massa does know what went wrong with his car in quals. His car was fine in practice and in qualifying was way off, no balance or speed. Ferrari has had him running as their 1st driver in ’08 & ’09 with Kimi running as their 2nd driver. This year Felipe is back to being 2nd and it is showing.

  12. Martin P says:

    I confess I fell asleep by lap 10 and woke up with Legard screaming something inane around lap 60 or so. But it appears I missed nothing of note.

    I fear I’ll have many more opportunities this year to catch up on even more sleep. The fears after Bahrain have gone nowhere, they were simply hidden by the rain.

    1. Eric says:

      To be fair, Barcelona is never an awesome GP. Having said that, however, the problem with the lack of refuelling is that after the start, there is no realistic chance of anything interesting happening. Schumacher and Button had a good scrap, yes, but this would also have occurred with refuelling only we would have found out who was faster.

      Again I ask, how much better would this race have been with refuelling? At least it would have been compelling up until the end of the second stops…

      Without refuelling, it is effectively all settled after the first lap, and definitely settled after the first stops ~15 laps in. Arguably, the same probability of mechanical failure exists with and without refuelling. Brake failures may be exacerbated by the high fuel loads, however.

      1. Martin P says:

        I agree.

        After the first corner it all becomes terribly predictable and we’re simply waiting for;

        1. Pit lane error.
        2. Vettel/Hamilton to break their car/tyres by pounding kerbs
        3. Button or Massa to be stuck behind another car they can’t quite pass
        4. Back markers to fall over each other

        Basically, if it doesn’t rain, there will be few races worth giving up a sunny Sunday afternoon for – especially when you can watch it on iPlayer Sunday evening. I’m not sure that’s quite the compelling viewing spectacle Bernie hopes for somehow.

      2. David Jerromes says:

        Maybe we should demand that the drivers have to get out of their cars at the pit-stop, run to the podium and wave to the crowd before running back to their cars, strapping in and leaving the pit-lane…
        or, change their own wheels before resuming racing…

        It would at least add an extra angle to the racing….

        Sadly, dry races in Barcelona make me smart at the title…., MOTOR-SPORT…

        Should be MOTOR-PROCESSIONAL..

      3. Francisco says:

        A round of golf will do for me instead always-boring-nothing-happens BahrainGP, BarcelonaGP and ValenciaGP.

        No rain or SC = BORING as simple as that.

      4. PaulL says:

        I was a fan of banning refuelling but I take it back, I think fuel strategy would be the way to go for 2011.

    2. Trent says:

      I didn’t find it unbearably boring, there has been far worse races at this track.

      The Rosberg/Hulkenberg battle was great, I love to see a battle develop over many laps where you can appreciate the skill of both attack and defense of an F1 driver. Same goes for Button/Schumacher. Refuelling all but killed off such battles.

      I’ve felt for many years that the Spanish fans are cheated, though. It’s a shame to see so many people show up when you know they aren’t likely to get top rate entertainment. Surely it’s time to ban the circuit as a test venue? The one criteria that Bernie doesn’t seem to consider when re-signing venues to host races is their track record. Barcelona has a proven track record of boring races – why keep it on the calendar?

  13. F1 Novice says:

    Typical Barcelona really – not much overtaking at the front and a bit of a car breaker.

    1. Banjo says:

      It makes you wonder why Bernie keeps it on the calendar? Barcelona and Bahrain are the most dull races ever. How is F1 ever going to conquer the world in the way it wants to with tracks that boring? Bernie needs to think of the sport, not his wallet.

      1. David Jerromes says:

        It will be most interesting to see if the newly configured Silverstone is as boring as Bahrain and Barcelona IF it proves to be a dry race…., then again ol’blighty has a habit of throwing down some rain to liven up proceedings!!

      2. drums says:

        May be because Barcelona GP was attended, as usual, by 98,000 spectators this last Sunday, not taken into account those watching the qualis and practices. May be because of the installations, weather, and proximity to the team factories: Barcelona track is the most used track by F1 teams for training and testing along the year. It is said that Barcelona (Montmelo) track is the track which is better known and more familiar to most F1 drivers and engineers.

  14. Qiang says:

    James, any thoughts why problems to happen a lot in one RBR car?

    1. Andy C says:

      Possibly driver style and use of the car.

  15. ashley edwards says:

    I felt like parts of the race was good like button trying to get past sch. It was not much of bore as the races there have been.

  16. Chris R says:

    Webber had been begging for a ‘clean’ race and he got it this weekend, and with it he dominated. So well done to him and Red Bull. They were quite simply superior.

    My favourite moment was Massa being told something along the lines of ‘well you broke your front wing but you’re going faster, so we’ve fixed that problem’.

    1. Amritraj says:

      He is really very wiity, Rob Smedley.

      James, just a suggestion: we always seem to discussing drivers, but not the human-element of the team staff. May be you could cover each team a race-weekend and talk about the key characters that make-up the team and their personalities. It would add another dimesion to this already great forum.

      1. A.K. says:

        I second this, a great suggestion.

      2. Francisco says:

        Great idea!

    2. David Smith says:

      My thoughts exactly….

      I think the only good thing about the F1 races these days is the F Massa team radio and good old Rob Smedley – ” I think we’ve found the solution a broken front wing and we’re half a second quicker” He never fails to let us down!!

      [Reply]

  17. Jon says:

    Very happy for Webber. A few more drives like this and he won’t be so forgotten about from so many people in the paddock.

    Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Schumacher.. these are the names that people are obsessed about. But Webber showed today that he is in F1 for a reason, and that all F1 drivers a very good, and that the difference between the best and drivers like Webber isn’t very big.

    1. Hutch says:

      With a dominant Red Bull, Webber must now be considered a serious title contender.

    2. Legend2 says:

      What are you talking about? Webber is equal with the best! Throughout his career he’s done amazing things. Brazil ’03, Hungary ’03, Malaysia ’04, Melbourne ’06, Monaco ’06 to name some incredible weekends which show him not to be a good driver, but a great one.

      He’s been let down with a couple of errors that’s all. In Bahrain, a quali error put him in the midfield. In Australia, the silly Red Bull team left him out too long, if Vettel was going to delay his pitstop it made no sense to also delay Webber and effectively cost Webber his home GP. In Malaysia he lost in the first corner to Vettel despite being the faster driver in quali and in the race. In China, a wet race wrecked his race.

    3. Francisco says:

      I truly like the guy, however MW is not WC material I am afraid.
      He might win another races and that will be it.

  18. Glen says:

    I strongly disagree with you. I think it was a good race and there was enough going on for it to be entertaining. I think someone like Murray Walker would have made such race come alive. The Vettel problem at the end added an extra twist and was interesting to watch. The battle between Button and Shuey was good; rather than ‘let’s just wait until the next pit stop’ attitude.

    1. Satish says:

      … because there wasn’t going to be another pit stop?

  19. Billyboy says:

    Well done Webber, drove fast and with great accuracy throughout the weekend. Is he kinder to his cars than Vettel? Probably-Vettel does seem to straight line every kerb, at least more than Webber. Big shame that Lewis blew another tyre, can’t blame him for racing as fast as possible- there is always the chance of picking up a position if you remain close as possible, and with Red Bull’s reliability history he may have lucked into a win – you have to be there or thereabouts to inherit those breaks! How difficult was it for Button to drive the race without his steering wheel electronics? He wasn’t able to leave the pits in front of Scumacher because of this and Spain is impossible to overtake unless the guy in front makes a mistake. It doesn’t matter which line you take, however “brave” if by doing so you crash. The camber at the end of the straight means diving down the inside is almost suicidal. Not one driver tried it, and the only move that came off at the end of the straight (Alguersauri) wa around the outside and against a much slower car. JB was never going to catch Schumacher out, it was just bad luck and he has done well to stay in front in the WC. Really looking forward to Monaco, I have no idea who is going to win there?

    1. Sam B says:

      Red Bull has some bad weekends that are indisputably due to car reliability (e.g. Bahrain 2010), but what happened in Barcelona is more attributable to Vettel’s driving style, I think. Shame because he’s a very good driver, but a bit headstrong and lacking in experience. In the post-race press con, he mentioned that the time had wanted him to pit in and retire after he came in for a second time following the brake failure, but he asked to stay out to salvage some points. Determination is good, but it’s not just about driving fast—it’s also about driving smart and well.

      He’s my favorite, but he has a lot, lot, lot to learn before winning the WDC title.

  20. Stunned of Walton says:

    Dear God….what a snoozefest. This must be the only ‘sport’ on the planet where the spectators pray for rain.

    I’ve ‘hung in there’ for so long but today was another two hours of my life I’ll never get back….and I really haven’t got the time.

    I’m seriously considering in getting the Scalectrix down from the loft…….its more exciting and there’s no politics, oh and theres lots of overtaking and no dull dull dull tyre strategies…..plus I design the circuits……not that Tyke fellow who’s got all the imagination and creative ability of a caravan site.

    And another thing, with my slot racing system up and running I can be assured of more spectators than can be found at his wretched tracks.

    And no issues over double diffusers either, and no Flav, or Bernie…..come to think of it why did I ever put it away in the first place?

    Over and out!

    1. Rich C says:

      >>the only ’sport’ on the planet where the spectators pray for rain<<

      You are incorrect, Sir!

      How could you forget mud wrestling!?

    2. Heffalump says:

      Bye! Perhaps this world changing decision of yours comes a bit late as there were more boring races in the past. It wasn’t tremendously exciting but for a Barcelona GP it was quite entertaining.

    3. Paul says:

      Agreed. F1 really is pants in the dry is it not? It is clear for anyone to see that rain makes F1 brilliant and that it’s absence makes for insomnia cure number 1.

    4. Trent says:

      Don’t agree with you.

      Some people like F1, some people not. You might be in the latter category, and I won’t try to convince you otherwise. It won’t fundamentally change, so you probably won’t ever love it.

      I got enjoyment out of watching this race. You didn’t – fair enough – each to their own, perhaps another sport is more your cup of tea. No hard feelings!

  21. Freespeech says:

    What a bore, a complete waste of an afternoon.
    I’m thinking more and more that I am, sadly, going of F1 as it’s only any good in variable conditions and even then take Hamilton out of it and what do we have?

    To see Button so far ahead of Hamilton all I can say he’s a very lucky chap. what happened to Hamilton today was really cruel and unlucky

    1. Trent says:

      See above!

  22. Fausto Cunha says:

    Mark was really untouchable, he also must have saved some pace after de middle of the race.
    Red bull just have to figure out the reliability issues specially with Vettel.

    I liked the race it wasn´t great but it was ok , with some fights for position and with the newer teams causing some troubles.

    As for the others, Mclaren seems to have taken a step forward and Ferrari a litle step backwords. As for mercedes it´s dificult to understand but they seemed the 4th stronghest team , Michael was struggling before Barcelona, this weekend it was Rosberg struggling.

    I´m a litle bit sad for Lewis as he drove a great race again and take no points home.

    What´s going on with Massa?? Alonso is great but not half -second great!!

    Monaco?? Very dificult to predict, provably between the Red Bulls, Hamilton and Alonso.

    1. John Z says:

      Please, Alonso isn’t a half second better than Massa. He’s 0.6 seconds faster. Don’t sell Alonso short.

      All kidding aside, perhaps Felipe still has some internal doubt after his big accident last year. Points wise, he’s never started stronger, but he looked lost out there all weekend. It’s still early for him but Ferrari & McLaren have a lot of work to do to make up the time to Red Bull. Lots of work.

      1. Fausto Cunha says:

        I know this weekend it was 0.6, but on the season it has been arround 0.5!

        I agree with you about Massa and his doubts about the acident but nobody seems to be puting it in question!

        Maybe his not driving on the edge!I don´t know!

        greetings

  23. BeenDun says:

    Hamilton drove a solid race. The blow out had to be gut wrenching for him at that late stage of the race. Whether the fastest lap came with 6 laps to go or right at the end, it was not necessary. Button once again brings it home with some solid points. Lewis has a serious fight on his hands. You can call it luck for Button when it’s one or two races but we’re five races into the season now and Button is consistently coming away with better luck than Lewis. Luck is not the issue.

  24. Joe Tanto says:

    Is it really true that Rosberg and Schumacher both agree the updates are in a direction that suits them.
    To me, Nico has been putting a brave face on things all week-end, and is admirably corporate. I’m surprised he isn’t shouting that his car has been ruined, rather than quietly expressing disapointment that the gap to Red Bull has increased rather than shrunk.

    So the Mercedes GP chassis being the same as at the start of the season, and the increased wheelbase being a result of angling the suspension forwards ?

    Is it not possible to run Nico’s car in original wheelbase form, and run Michael’s car with the longer wheelbase ? Then hopefully they both have a car which suits them.

    Otherwise I’m wondering if the different driving styles will make things even worse for Nico as the car development is moved further in the direction to suit Michael.

    Similarly with Massa and Alonso, they need different things, as did Kimi ?

    Or is this too simple !

    1. nmik says:

      Massa and Alonso both prefer understeer. (Kimi, indeed, did not.)

      Rosberg (according to what he says) and Schumacher both prefer no understeer.

      1. Martin says:

        Alonso is certainly comfortable with an understeering car, but I’m not sure he necessarily favours it. He made the Renault go fast in 05 and 06, but wasn’t hampered to much with the seemingly more neutral McLaren. I suspect Lewis is similar, just that when the car is understeering he makes an effort to get the back end out to reduce the effect. Different method, similar results. Lewis probably a slight edge in braking feel and Fernando in quick corners.

  25. BeenDun says:

    Hamilton drove a solid race. The blow out had to be gut wrenching for him at that late stage of the race. Whether the fastest lap came with 6 laps to go or right at the end, it was not necessary. Button once again brings it home with some solid points. Lewis has a serious fight on his hands. You can call it luck for Button when it’s one or two races but we’re five races into the season now and Button is consistently coming away with better results than Lewis. Luck is not the issue.

  26. GektorS says:

    I personally believe F1 is more than just overtaking (which I like of course). Some drama out there today but F1 is been like this many many times. I do not understand why some of you guys complaint about dull races, they are not, at least to me IMHO

    1. Hutch says:

      You’re right; F1 without overtaking can still be a dramatic spectacle, just like a 0-0 football match, but ultimately it’s a little unsatisfying.

    2. gond says:

      I agree with you 100%. F1 is much more than just overtaking. Is technical, strategy, mind games, luck. Its never over till its over.
      If people could just enjoy F1 integrally, and not just the “overtaking” bit, we should not be reading always the same boring posts. There were great things happening in Barna.
      Now I have to conceed, the level of journalism and information available to us is very low (JA blog and forum is a great exception!). We almost have not information about what is going on inside the teams, little technical information is easily available. Almost no explanation on strategies… and the worst TV broadcasts ever (at least here in Germany, full of ads, no control over what you are watching…). F1 should modernise its interaction with us the fans. And then the complaints about “no overtaking” would be reduced as we would have many other things to enjoy about.

      1. drums says:

        And I agree with you 100%. A F1 race is not comparable to a 100 meters athletic running, nor to a 400 m one, IMO. It is rather like a 800 m or better 1500 m run. As you said, is technical, strategy, mind games, luck. And elbow fighting for the position. And, knowing where to be just in case you have not the best fit that particular day but happens that an unexpected chance is coming up. The spectator in front of a tv set can better enjoy all this if adequately explained by tv commentators. As much as Spanish tv (La Sexta) has been criticised here on their F1 broadcasts, I find this year is quite good thanks to the presence of Carlos Sainz and Marc Gené as technical commentators. Kudos to them.

      2. Hutch says:

        WRC Carlos Sainz? That’s cool!

  27. Jon says:

    I hope that if Webber wins also at Monaco, people can start giving him credit for being a good F1 driver and a part of the championship battle.

    Because unlike alot of other F1 drivers Webber isn’t given credit for merely existing on the planet.

    I fear that instead, people will only think worse of Vettel, rather then better of Webber. Results talk though, for the moment. A few weeks from this will be a distant memory.

  28. Jon says:

    You have to wonder whether Vettel and Hamilton are harder on their cars and if it has any impact on tyre wear or failures. This is the second season in a row where Vettel has had reliability problems that Webber hasn’t had. To put that into perspective, Webber was called a car breaker earlier in his career.

    Also where Webber gained on Vettel last season was by running longer and stopping later. On pure qualifying pace he was smoked. The tyre wear thing could also be a factor this season. And everyone knows all too well about Hamilton’s reported tyre wear problems. You only need to look at Australia this year, and Turkey in previous years to see Lewis’s tyre problems.

    It could be freak failures, but there also could be a combination of both bad luck and also tyre wear or being hard on the components. Only the future can reveal more about the past. We wait and see.

  29. mohamed says:

    james can u explain why is it easier for the the front of the mclaren to follow other cars. Is that the reason why lewis has done more overtaking than anyone else. Secondly, can you please do driver of the day like you used to in the past. Thirdly which car do you think would struggle or do well at monaco. I think the ferrari would struggle but im looking forward to schumacher at monaco. He seemed to have alot of traction today

  30. Nuno says:

    The race was so so, but if anyone had doubts concerning the team’s pecking order this race just confirmed it. Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes.

    It was a pity to see Button driving a car that was much faster than Michael’s Mercedes and loosing so much time, and ending the race behind MS. JB tried very hard but we could see that is was an impossible task. Nowadays it´s almost impossible to overtake, unless there is a huge difference of performance between the two contenders. This is not good at all…

    About Hamilton, well, he was furious with his team in Australia (without any reason), and sooner or later he should pay the price. He is very quick but that is not enough, far from it.

    Congratulations to Mark Webber. He was superb.

  31. Horacio says:

    IMO an extremely boring race. Vettel’s car failed and Hamilton suffered a puncture. That was all. And Webber was absolutely out of reach. Oh dear…

  32. paddy says:

    Great work Webber. If Mark gets on a run no one can beat him. Remember the lessons he served out to Coulthard a few years back. He is a weird but wonderful driver and on his day faster than anyone. I noticed after the race he didn’t even touch the champagne. Watch out Monaco its time for an Australian beach landing. Lets hope the English commanders don’t stuff him up.

  33. David Smith says:

    James.

    Why is first practice still held on a Thursday in Monaco as surely the teams could use the extra day to get everything set up in time?
    Answers please..

    1. James Allen says:

      So the weekend is a day longer so we spend more money on hotels, food etc. Also traditionally it’s Ascension Day week

  34. malcom says:

    It’s amazing how so many arm chair mechanics sitting at home in their easy chairs, can definitely tell you that Hamilton’s tire failure was caused by his aggressive driving, and not by a possible wheel rim failure. In 2008 Kovalainen had a similar tire failure,caused by a rim problem which many here seem to have forgotten. Hamlton managed his tires well today, and said at the end that he really wasn’t pushing that hard.

    The only thing that Jenson was able to do today, was to complain about Michael Schumacher passing him when he re-joined the track. What does he expect to be given a simple wave through, when he reenters the track.

    1. James Allen says:

      The word is that something got into the wheel rim again, as with Kovalainen in a McLaren once

      1. Nick F says:

        Got into the wheel rim through the brake duct, or at the pit stop?

        I wonder why they don’t put a filter over the brake duct, if a stone or debris can get in that way.

  35. Thomas says:

    I’m taking a break from F1 untill they bring back refuelling. I won’t waste three hours 19 sundays a year to watch the cars stop on lap 15 and then circulating for 50 laps on the hard tyres, hoping that the Red Bull will break down.

    Untill we get back the strategy and brains involved in planning a race, the showcase of drivers on the absolute limit for an entire race and leave this idea of making F1 drivers into hypermilers behind, I have about a million better places to be on a sunday afternoon.

    They really messed it up this time.

    1. Hugo Boss says:

      Just as well you weren’t following F1 in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s ….

  36. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    This race was a bit of a bore, barring the Hamilton/Vettel incident.

    I took time out to make a lasagna for lunch and when I got back to the TV I hadn’t missed a thing.

    Bernie should also start to talk to fuel rig suppliers for next year….

  37. darren says:

    Hi James

    whats going on at Williams, a few angry senior team members having a go popped up on the tv this weekend..

    1. James Allen says:

      I know, the pressure is building there a bit

      1. David Jerromes says:

        Hi James,

        Yes this was very evident, especially the finger-pointing (literal..) from the guy with what looked like a blonde’ish pony-tail towards the garage from!

        We know YOU know, but are you at liberty to put any meat on the bones so to speak?

      2. David Perel says:

        I would love it if James could shed some light on this.

  38. Guru F1 says:

    I guess if it wasn’t for Shumacher half the viewership would have switched off. Mercedes’ investment in Shumi goes beyond F1 and I think it’s worth it.

    1. Andy C says:

      Why do you think schumi provided the entertainment yesterday. He was a moving roadblock. Good defensive driving but not entertaininment in my view

      1. Guru F1 says:

        Well Schumi is credited with 40% increase in viewership across continental EU and Asia. Not his defensive driving but rather his star appeal, I meant.

  39. Mr Squiggle says:

    One question from me, not sure if anyone is still reading this far down.

    The TV coverage of Vetel’s first pit stop was verbal only, no pictures, and included a comment that his right front tyre had stuck…

    Does anyone know if this is true? If so, what is it with the RB right front during pit stops? It caught out Webber twice already, and now Vettel.

    Also, congrats to MW. When he wins, it looks just like it looked in Spain, totally dominant.

    1. James Allen says:

      His first stop was 24 secs compared to 20 for Webber, Massa, Schumacher etc.

      1. Mr Squiggle says:

        Thanks James. Enjoyed your previews before the race (Ch 10/Australia). I had also noticed that, in the past, RB seemed to make the second car on the track hold off pitting until the driver in front chooses. It didn’t happen this time, I wonder if it was because MW was in front?

    2. Formula Zero says:

      I wonder if it is something to do with the narrower front tyre this year. Then again, I don’t recall seeing any problem with the left front wing

  40. mael says:

    Well done to Mark, you can’t ask for much more than he delivered over the whole weekend.

    I did like his line about everyone in the team having worked so hard and the driver did his little bit. To me, it shows he has perspective.

    I also heard that there is talk of Massa being in talks with Red Bull. If this is accurate, I hope the talk is not too serious, as I think the Vettel/Webber combination is outstanding.

  41. Matt says:

    Hamilton is due a bit of luck soon. Here’s hoping for a win in Monacco. He really is one of those drivers who either wins a race with spectacular, superlative driving or crashes out in a cloud of smoke and debris due to a trivial mechanical failure or driver error.
    Being a Hamilton can be so infuriating sometimes!

  42. F1 Scott says:

    When the season started Ferrari were a team to beat, slowly like recent years, Ferrari seems to lose motivation. Yes Red Bull may have teething problems there and there, Mark did a superb but we may never have seen the true pace of Mark, if he was challenged he could have pushed more. But in the end F1 is a 750 000 blame game, only time will tell. Even the best lawyers in the world can get things wrong and lose. The season is long and you can never predict anything in F1.

    I wish the FIA could control some of the fans, F1 is global and car makers have huge markets in China, middle east and elsewhere and these places dont tolerate any negative vibes as drivers change all the time at the top. I know emotions can run very high, but we should know when something can hurt someones feelings.

  43. chris green says:

    hi james. – nice to hear you pre race on australian tv. Can’t they give you a video link like they used to with Peter Windsor?

    Is there an ongoing issue with front end of the Red Bull?

    Ferrari are scoring good points even when they’re not quite quick enough.

    Is Massa suffering from the speculation about Kubica?

    James Key seems to be improving the Saubers.

    What’s happening at Williams? Looked to me like team members arguing in public.

    I think the FIA need to reconsider their stance re Monaco quali. Those back markers are just too slow and will cause problems in quali. Other motorsports categories manage to split the field in qualifying to ease traffic problems. eg ozzie V8 supercars.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks. I did a load of in vision stuff, perhaps you missed it.

      1. Trent says:

        Vision was on One HD, they don’t show this all on Ten.

  44. Chris Chong says:

    Did anyone else notice how much Hulkenberg was weaving on the start-finish straight when Rosberg was trying to pass him? Surely that’s not allowed…

    Also, I think that the layout of Barcelona is actually pretty good – especially the fast bends and blind corner section. I think if they just made it wider at a few parts, overtaking would be possible.

  45. adi says:

    Lets not get to defensive when posters discuss the LH tyre failure. There is always two sides to the story – the right one and the one the official team statement! So we wait for McLarens press release. I dont think anyone can argue with that. I can see how some jump to LH tyre management issues cos of past performances (2007 Turkey, 2008 Turkey, where he was told by bridgestone to change setup or do an extra pit stop).
    Personally the only fact that made me think about tyre management is if it was a random puncture it could have affected any of the other 3 tyres. That it happened to the left front, (and in Turkey 2007 the loaded right front) which at this track is the one under the most stress is whats interesting. As for a rim failure i am not an engineer at McLaren to know whether the bit we saw on tv flying off LH’s tyre was rim wrecking tyre or tyre wrecking rim but its fun to speculate!!!!

  46. David Turnedge says:

    I feel asleep mid race and woke up 10 laps from the end… great to see fellow Aussie winning easily… now a few more like that Mark… last Aussie WC was 1980…

  47. PaulL says:

    I want to know live what the stationary pitstop times are.

  48. Nick says:

    Regarding Button’s complaint, I enjoyed Schuey’s hard move on Button out of the pits. None of this new millenium polite driving that we see a fair bit between the current youngsters worried about penalties. It was just an old school Schuey 90′s style chop – a bit of mongrel. When defending Button it was also Schuey of old, placing his car every time into T1 on the inside and just pushing Button wide on the exit. Enjoyed that.

  49. CanadaGP says:

    Why would RBR have any interest in Massa? RBR has one of the best driver pairings. I can’t see Massa still in a Ferrari seat next year. If the red cars can’t get Kubica, I think they’ll put a young Jules Bianchi on the seat. Or how about Nick the quick?

  50. JohnBt says:

    “It was my day today. Is started on the pole and controlled the race. It was nice to throw my helmet into the crowd because they don’t always get the best treatment in F1.” – HOW TRUE, thank you so much Mark for the thought. Really appreciate it even though I didn’t get the helmut. Uncle Bernie, you there?

    Overall it was a BORING race.

    Did Vettel mess up his brakes?, it happened in Barhrain. I’m wondering if that’s his weak point like Lewis’s bad tyre management.

    Alonso drove a controlled race based on what his Ferrari could manage. Congrats for his podium finish.

    Most dramatic part was when Lewis’s tyre exploded and slided into the gravel then the tyre barriers. You want drama, you got it.

  51. mikee says:

    It was an impressive win by Mark Webber but it was very boring…

    It is recognised by the drivers that it is almost impossible to overtake at Barcelona – one of many circuits where this is the case. Watching a number of racers yesterday with faster cars unable to pass slower ones, I have a simple question…why continue to hold races at circuits where “racing” is not possible? Entertaining? Exciting? Riveting? …err….no.

  52. Nick4 says:

    Well done Webber. Great effort. But the Red Bull is clearly still fragile.
    Alonso drove just like Prost all those years ago, doggedly conisistent, maximising whilst conserving. His better tyre wear came back to him in the latter stages,and one wonders if he teased Hamilton into setting a faster lap in the closing stages when he set a 1 24.6, I think it was, which Hamilton then bettered with a 1 24.2! Bingo, a little later on the last lap, Hamilton had a puncture. Had Hamilton pushed his tyres harder and the quick lap was now one lap too far!!?

  53. Legend2 says:

    All those haters who reckon Mark Webber is not one of the best drivers, please move to the BACK OF THE BUS.

    How about Alonso’s luck? In Bahrain, Vettel has a problem and he gets a bonus 7 points. Then in Australia, Webber, Rosberg and Hamilton pit gifting him 6 points. He then has his reliability issue in a race where he qualified so badly that it didn’t matter. Then in China, a bewildering safety car makes him go from 8th to 4th (another bonus 8 points). And now yesterday, he benefits from Hamilton and Vettel issues and gains another 6 points from that.

    So without looking into how many points his rivals have lost, such as Vettel and Hamilton. He has gained 27 points from other peoples misery and a safety car tailor made for him. Can Alonso please screw up in Monaco in the interests of keeping everyone’s luck the same? Because at the moment, he is the luckiest driver out there by far, and luck often decides a championship. It’s looking like it’s going to be Alonso’s year.

    1. John says:

      Alonso has always been ‘lucky’ in that way through his championship years. Hes one of those drivers like Schumacher who is a master at putting himself in a position to always profit from others misfortune. He has had a a very messy start to the season yet is only 3 points off the wdc lead. I think hes still my favourate despite the ferrari being 2nd or 3rd best.

    2. Stevie P says:

      Yep Alono’s had some luck… yet tempered by his engine issues. His drive, with the dodgy gear-shift etc before the engine blow (in Malaysia) was incredible.

      Button was miffed post-race, as he missed a potential podium spot… he was on Alonso’s tail and would have benefited in the same way as ‘nando did, with Vettel and Hamilton’s issues, if it were not for his own issues.

      Webber: a great lights to flag race… and just what he needed to keep him in the Championship fight.

      Newey seems to design fast cars… but with reliability issues. Macca had this issue previously with a Newey design. From the WDC point of view their reliability issues have kept everyone else in the hunt… so far!!!

  54. TQ2010 says:

    Great to see Webber come to life at this GP. Hope he continues to do so throughout the season. Webber has to be one of the nicest drivers in F1 and allthough getting on a bit, still showing the hunger and ambition.

  55. Ryan Eckford says:

    A perfect drive by Mark Webber, probably the best in his career. I feel a little sorry for Lewis Hamilton, because he put in a fantastic drive only to be let down by a wheel or tyre failure. Lewis will do everything in his power to win in Monaco. I think Jenson’s honeymoon at McLaren is about to come to an abrupt halt.

  56. Adrian says:

    It was a dull race, but it could have been a lot worse. Most of the time there was someone trying to make up a position, even if no-one really managed it… And there was at least a bit of last minute drama, with Vettel’s problem and Hamilton’s failure.

    As for Hamilton’s failure, it’s very tempting to attribute this to him taking too much out of the car when that is not needed: Alonso puts in a couple of quick laps, and Hamilton puts in a super-quick one – right decision or wrong decision? Alonso could have carried on lapping 0.6secs a lap faster than Hamilton and still not caught him by the end. Other drivers might not have been provoked into such a reaction, but rather have continued to coax the car at 8/10ths to the finish line.

    But of course the jury’s still out on the reason for the failure: apparently, it doesn’t look like the tyre was overworn, but even if it was a failure of a component near the wheel, that too could be caused by overaggressive use of the punishing kerbs. Or a Spanish-fan with an air-rifle in the crowds…? ;-)

    Button v Schumacher: not all that unexpected to see Schumacher chop accross Button as he exited the pits. Clearly at the limits of fair driving, but not clearly over the limit and that’s what Schumacher’s all about. Drivers of a different mould to Button might not have backed out of it, but a collision would be one likely result. ‘Live to fight another day’ is pragmatic and sensible, but it gets stored in the databanks of a driver like Schumacher. Button did manage to put some pressure on Schumacher after that but he was compromised by worse traction in the corner onto the straight and again Schumacher’s car placement was right up to the limits of what the regulations allow, but again probably not beyond (e.g. a couple of times, Schumacher adjusted his line twice into the first corner, first positioning himself in the middle of the track, then waiting to see which way Button was going to try before covering the inside or the outside – this seems all to be OK provided that only one move is in the braking zone, but obviously this gets quite marginal). Button was criticised for not trying the inside line, but Schuey would have just chopped across if he had.

    All nicely set up for Monaco. Pressure’s definitely on Hamilton at a place where he is capable of excelling or producing an embarrassing mistake. If Button can outscore him at Monaco, Hamilton’s championship deficit will start looking quite serious.

    1. Nambo says:

      I agree about Button yielding and it getting stored in the Schumi databank. I remember a race from a few years ago when he and Webber were contesting a position. He tried an intimidating move on Webber and Webber held his line. The result being that they crashed into each other and out of the race. Admittedly Webber was not in contention for the WDC but you show that you can’t be messed with.

      Very happy for Webber. I was dreading another poor start (he has a propensity for them) but he did not put a foot wrong all day.

      Go Aussies!!

  57. Derek Lorimer says:

    James. It may not have been a “Classic” race for you but it is great to see Mark Webber win. I have been following his progress since 1993 where a local radio show touted him as a future world champion.

    Go Mark

  58. Alistair Blevins says:

    Well done Mark. Superb drive.

    Otherwise, a typical Spanish Yawn Prix.

  59. Mr G says:

    Webber and Vettel demonstrated in Barcelona how good the RedBull cars are.
    Webber won without pushing, he was teasing Hamilton and Alonso during the race, he was capable to drop half a second per lap yesterday if necessary.
    Vettel was able to come third with a car with no brakes for about 15 laps.
    What it is very important to understand is the following:
    Accordingly to the telemetry, RB were about 20 km/h faster in turn 9, apparently they are capable to use less fuel than Ferraris and McLaren, they were 9 km/h slower than Ferraris in the straight and overall faster each lap about half a second in race trim.
    Moreover Vettel used his aero and engine/gearbox to slow down the car when he had no breaks left during the race.
    The overall package of the RB is capable to produce more downforce with less weight in the car giving them an advantage because they can use softer suspension and dampers while having less fuel on board.
    This will allow RB to have less height difference between full load of fuel and empty tank, optimising the aero performance of the car during the race.
    It is astonishing to have a car so far ahead from the rest, a difference of 20 km/h in turn 9 is incredible.
    But still the RB have demonstrated that they are as reliable as the rest and with 19 races and 25 points for a win, dnf will be very important

  60. Hugo Boss says:

    Well done Webber but really, the race was his to lose. Hamilton and Alonso were far more impressive given what they had to work with.

    And what was up with Vettel? Yes, front flap wouldn’t work, but why on earth did he choose to go off track and let Hamilton through? He might want to watch the Button/Schumacher confrontation at the same spot to see how it should be done.

    Webber’s a very good driver but come on now, he’s not going to end up in anyone’s all time top 10. Given that, I have to wonder if Vettel is the superstar some are saying. If he’s as good as some say, he should be burying Webber. And he blinked big time against Hamilton. I’m a Vettel fan but I’m reserving judgment a while yet.

    1. Legend2 says:

      Funny how many of you people attribute anything good that Mark Webber achieves as his team mate being crap. He’s been consistently faster than all his 7 team mates he’s had prior to being teamed up with Vettel. The fact that Vettel can match Webber indicates that Vettel is indeed a superstar.

      Hugo Boss, please move to the BACK OF THE BUS.

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