Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso delighted his home fans and got his title challenge back on track with an impressive victory in a Spanish Grand Prix which saw battles all the way down the field.
Kimi Raikkonen scored his fourth podium in five races for Lotus to close the gap on Red Bull’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel while Felipe Massa made it onto the rostrum for the first time this season with an accomplished drive in his Ferrari.
Paul di Resta produced another strong drive to finish seventh for Force India while McLaren’s Jenson Button made up for a bad start to make up nine places and finish eighth.
And Sauber’s rookie Esteban Gutierrez produced his best performance in Formula 1, just missing out on his first point – but who was your Driver of the Day?
Sent his home crowd wild with bold overtaking moves on Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen before maximising his strategy to take his second win of the season. Got away cleanly at the start, but stayed fifth going into Turn One. Passed both Raikkonen and Hamilton into Turn Three and then passed Vettel during the first set of stops. Overtook Nico Rosberg around the outside at Turn One to take the lead before building a gap big enough to make one stop than rival Raikkonen and still maintain position. Took his 32nd career victory, moving him ahead of Nigel Mansell and into fourth on the all-time winners’ list. Reduced the deficit to championship leader Vettel to 17 points.
Cut the gap to championship leader Vettel to just four points with his fourth podium of the season. Dropped a place to Alonso on the first lap, but passed Hamilton to move back into fourth. Lost a place to Massa during the stops, but then passed Rosberg on track and Vettel during the stops to run third. Led the race in the penultimate stints, having managed to do three stops to Alonso and Massa’s four, but was overtaken by Alonso, who had fresher tyres, and ultimately had to settled for second.
Bounced back from a grid penalty to take his first podium of the season. Made a brilliant start from ninth, having been given a three-place penalty for blocking Mark Webber in qualifying, rising two places to seventh. Passed Hamilton on track and then used the undercut to overtake Raikkonen. Found himself in second for much of the race, but a four-stop strategy, compared to Raikkonen’s three-stopper, saw him drop to third. Wore out his tyres as he chased Raikkonen in the final stint and had to settle for third.
Continued Force India’s strong start to the season with a fourth points-finish in five races this season. Made a good start from 10th, rising to eighth after the first stops. Had a good battle with Mark Webber and ran as high as sixth, but a late fourth stop dropped him down the field. Used fresher tyres to hustle Rosberg in the closing stages before settling for seventh to leave him eighth in the drivers’ championship, ahead of the likes of Rosberg and Button.
Described McLaren’s performance as embarrassing, but produced a strong drive to rise from 17th on the first lap to eighth. Blamed cold tyres for a lack of grip at the start, dropping three places from 14th on the grid. Found some pace when he moved to the harder compound tyre and conserved the rubber well to make a three-stop strategy work. Rose up the field to run eighth, holding off team-mate Sergio Perez late on to finish eighth for his fourth points finish of the season.
Produced his best drive of the year in his debut season to finish 11th, just outside the points. Started 19th, having had a three-place grid penalty for blocking Raikkonen in qualifying, but looked after his tyres and ran a long first stint to lead the race for the first time in his career. Struggled with the tyres in the last two stints and made his fourth stop late on. Emerged 10 seconds behind Daniel Ricciardo in 10th but crossed the line just 0.3 seconds adrift.
So who was your Driver of the Day? Leave a comment at the bottom of this story.