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Spanish Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  13 May 2013   |  1:04 am GMT  |  228 comments

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?

Fernando Alonso

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.

Kimi Raikkonen

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.

Felipe Massa

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.

Paul di Resta

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.

Jenson 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.

Esteban Gutierrez

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. 

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228 Comments
  1. Matthew Cheshire says:

    Alonso and Riccardo.

  2. bronwyn collier says:

    Daniel Ricciardo. Did a great job holding off Guitierrez for the last 8 laps and finishing in the points ahead of a Mercedes and battling McLarens for most of the race in a Torro Rosso. He made a lot of good passes on, supposedly, better cars. Good job.

  3. malcb says:

    Driver of the Day – Massa.

  4. Jeb Hoge says:

    Alonso. Just dominant. That outside pass on Kimi & Lewis was awesome.

    1. Stuart Harrison says:

      I concur, that move made the race in my opinion.

      Now that’s out the way, can we go back to talking about tyres?

  5. Alistair McDonald says:

    Alonso was faultless and deserves the DotD title.

  6. How can driver of the day go to anyone but Alonso? Coming from 5th to win on a circuit which is usually won from the front row, including an early final stop to deal with a puncture? He drove impeccably, including those first lap overtakes, and deserves the credit.

    Massa and Kimi did well too, and so did Gutierrez to some extent. But this was Alonso’s day.

    Worrying for Mercedes that they fell down the order so quickly, and kept falling…

    1. Me says:

      But… wasn’t the Ferrari just the best car on the day, like Red Bull was in the last race?

      1. Aaron says:

        Probably, but the moves Alonso made on the first lap were superb and ultimately crucial to him being able to win the race.

      2. F1 Badger says:

        There were two ferraris on the day and one of them beaten by the flying Finn. That shows how fast FA was.

      3. Rockie says:

        Didnt Vettel do same and dispatching Alonso as well?

      4. Me says:

        Ah… of course he was…

      5. Elie says:

        No F1 badger !- If you have the second Ferrari coming from 9th to 3rd it tells you Ferrari was by Far the dominant car.

      6. Roberto says:

        Ferrari eventually proved to be the best car, but that was far from obvious in the beginning. And, if it was indeed best, it wasn’t by much. They started 5th and 9th (NOT one and two) and moved up quickly, but mainly because of fantastic driver performance. Only later was it probable (but far from guaranteed) that Ferrari’s 4 stop plan was going to work out. In retrospect, the Ferrari was the car to have, but Alonso and Massa plus the Ferrari team did a good job of showcasing the Ferrari. And Lotus and R.B. weren’t very far off. A slight slip-up could have produced a very different result; i.e. it wasn’t a cake walk.

      7. +1 for giving the drivers credit! Alonso for DoD – remember his outside pass on MS in Japan those many years ago in one of the highest speed corners at the time – if not still? Good car and team, no doubt, but with both drivers capable of making it work.

    2. Steve Zodiac says:

      We all know how good Alonso is so he did no more than we’ve come to expect. On the other hand Paul Di Resta seems to have come alive which is great to see after all the negative stuff that’s been written about him lately.

  7. Racyboy says:

    Tip of the hat to Ricciardo for hanging on to the last point.
    It’s a pity it wasn’t shown on tv, but according to live timing, Dan had Gutierrez right on his tail for the last few laps.

    1. TGS says:

      And he and Perez seemed to have the battle of the day, also missed by the cameras.

  8. Colin Connor says:

    Has to be Alonso – simply the class of the field

  9. Andrew says:

    Paul Hembery? Him and his crew are driving the sport at the moment, in fact they are dominating!

    In all seriousness I think Rosberg should be on this list. The latest tyre change has clearly hit Mercedes very hard (exactly as Mark Gillan predicted) and he did a fantastic job today managing tyres to finish in a respectable 6th position.

    In this new Formula Pirelli “racing” Ferrari and Lotus are doing the best job with their cars but the stand out driver (tyre conservationist) was Rosberg.

    1. **Paul** says:

      I concur completely, both on the tyre front and Rosberg for DOTD.

      I’m in absolutely no doubt that had Vettel and Webber put in the performances of Alonso and Massa (as they have done previously with a dominant car) we’d be seeing far far less votes for the winning driver. That’s because this is largely a popularity vote I’m afraid where people don’t take a cars absolulte maximum potential into account. Frankly only two teams could win this race, and one of them did, followed by the other.

      Alonso, bar his 2nd/3rd corner move, did nothing spectacular in this race and his car allowed him to drive off with ease. No struggle, no drama, easy. The fact Massa got third from 9th on the grid says everything about how strong the Ferrari was.

      Rosberg DOTD for outperforming his machinery/tyre combination.

      1. Doctub says:

        Remember Pirelli are only providing what is asked of them by the FIA. Do you think that a global brand would deliberately damage itself and make a tyre that wasn’t durable and degrades as it does on purpose.

      2. **Paul** says:

        Not blaiming Pirelli here, not at all. They provide what they’re told to provide. That message to them is not correct though.

        I say that any F1 wants to see the likes of Alonso, Kimi, Seb, Lewis and co racing at the front. I don’t care for Mr Hamilton too much, but I’ll tell you what, yesterday was farcial. To see a driver of his calibre having to tip to round is a joke.

        Who honestly ‘raced’ yesterday? Answer? No one.

      3. madmax says:

        Agree with Rosberg statements. His teammate Hamilton ended up lapped and Rosberg kept the much faster Force India behind him in the closing stages.

        Rosberg deserves a decent car and hope both him and Hamilton get out of this rubbish Brackley team sooner rather than later.

      4. [MISTER] says:

        Vettel was keeping pace with Alonso after both passed Rosberg. Alonso was a bit faster, but I think RedBull messed Vettel’s strategy by keeping him too long on the circuit.
        I don’t get why they didn’t followed Ferrari’s strategy. They could’ve finished 3rd I believe.

  10. shortsighted says:

    None because of the tires.

  11. Stefano says:

    alonso! ferrari vince

  12. goober says:

    I think I’ll abstain from this one. :)

  13. john francis says:

    its Alonso !!

  14. Andrew H says:

    Alonso easily wins the accolade!

    He seemed like the only driver racing & really showed his skill & brains.
    It seemed like everyone else just went into single file ‘tyre saving’ right after Turn 1.
    Alonso was like ‘we are still racing guys…..lol’

    Alonso’s start was beautiful to watch, he was thinking a corner ahead of everyone else.
    The way he set up for Turn 3 at Turn 2 was masterful.

    1. F1 Badger says:

      Agree with FA being DOD but not the rest. Some very good driving going on throughout the field.

  15. David says:

    Massa gets my vote today – did a fantastic job aver his grid penalty to finish on the podium. He could easily been second or even won the race.

  16. Cuggges says:

    Giedo Van der Garde. Jokes (although out qualifyed Pic and outraced the other lower tier drivers including the Williams until his tire fell off)
    I think Jenson had a strong day but Perez would have got him if they did not enforce team orders.
    Alonso for me drove a great first lap with his overtake on two cars around turn 3.Kimi Managed his tires well and kept out of trouble holding position in front of Massa.Massa strategy was killed by his early degradation in his opening two stints. He had pace but tires let him down. Vettel was averaged because his car tires were degrading. At least it is not a Red Bull Index Finger domination. Mark Webber since I drove quite well after a miserable start and was only 10 seconds behind Vettel. I also think Esteban has gotten a handle on the car with a track that he is familiar with and living up to his potential and staying close to his teammate. I thought that I Resta and Ricardo had a good run with DI Resta having a strong and Uneventful race. I was worried for him at the start of the season but now he is out driving Sutil although he never really was slower than him anyway.
    Alonso was the Driver of the Day

  17. Peter Bakalor says:

    Ferdie for sure – super passes at the start, not a foot wrong all day

  18. qvx says:

    Alonso.

  19. Josiah says:

    Button held off Perez? Thought I heard cryptic orders did them to hold station. If he got past Button I’m sure Perez would have challenged Rosberg further along the road on his tires.
    Though was it just me or were the Mclarens pretty much invisible in this race?
    As for man of the race, only Alonso was worthy in thus rather boring race.

    1. madmax says:

      I thought the same regarding the McLaren team orders.

  20. tara_185 says:

    Ricciardo (coz i’m aussie but it was a good drive)

    I’d probably pick kimi and massa.
    They both kept it interesting and worked with what they had.

    1. tara_185 says:

      but alonso was a popular winner- i’m glad he clinched it!

  21. Antti says:

    It’s hard to look past Alonso for driver of the day, Ferrari was in the league of their own on Sunday, and Alonso showed it. I’m not sure if Lotus’ strategy was the optimal one, but I doubt Kimi could’ve been better than 2nd with any strategy.

    1. Yago says:

      I belive that by holding back Alonso on lap 1 Kimi could have challenged for the race win, with the same three stop strategy that he did. Imagine it was Kimi who jumped two positions on the first lap… he had the peace to compete with Alonso I belive. The race was won by a mighty first lap and by Ferrari and Alonso not hesitating at all and going for the real racing with a four stop strategy right from the begining.

  22. Mitchell says:

    It can’t be anyone other than Alonso. He made a fantastic start overtaking Raikkonen and Hamilton on the first lap, then outpaced the rest of the field. Honourable mention to Raikkonen for his performance on a 3 stop strategy as well.

    Also, it would be wise to bring back the polling feature on these DoTD posts James.

    1. Me says:

      Why?

      People just vote for their favourite driver, not on who was the best driver of the day.

      1. James Allen says:

        Correct. Sad but correct

      2. Honkhonk says:

        James who is your DOTD?

      3. James Allen says:

        Alonso was on a different level.

        Kimi brilliant, but if we are being objective, he again lost the initiative at the start

        Nice to see Massa on the podium again, from 9th on the grid. So maybe him, to be different!

      4. Hannah says:

        you are not being objective at all James.

        Ferrari had the best software and clutch setting to take off quckly on the start.

        kimi actually make a similar start however he was on the dirty side and was blocked by the slower Hamilton off the line.

      5. Me says:

        “you are not being objective at all James.”

        Ha…

        Makes me laugh when people say things like this…

  23. Marcelo Leal says:

    Alonso.
    James, still thinking that these tyres are good for the sport?
    Watch a fast driver like Lewis Hamilton lost at the back of the grid is cool? What is the difference between the faster car dominating (RBR), or the best car with the tyres?
    Without the tyres “thing”, at least I can watch the drivers pushing to the limit, and believe that is better for the show…

    1. Guillermo says:

      I’d be interested in hearing James’s opinion too, but for me, I prefer the Pirelli era because it tells us a lot more about the drivers (and the teams) than the flat-out refueling era.

      For example, we all knew that Alonso and Kimi were fast 10 years ago, but I didn’t know that they had such a superb feel for a race car and the intricacies of its set up. I also learnt more about Schumacher in this era than in his first dominant career.

      Red Bull can blame tyres all they want, but Alonso said he drove the race at qualifying pace in the same tyres. Did anyone notice this? How can Red Bull say this is not racing when he was at the limit the whole race?!

  24. John in San Diego says:

    Alonso, followed by Kimi and Massa, with a special mention to Paul di Resta.

  25. Mike from Colombia says:

    Alonso – electric start and amazing moves on the first lap.

    He made the race – because the rest of the race was not worth watching.

  26. Guy Meade says:

    my vote goes to Daniel Ricciardo – some solid overtaking and he now looks to be dominating JEV

    1. Geronimo says:

      That’s only his second good race this year though, while JEV has been really down on his luck for the last four GP. I just hope they get a fair fight before RBR’s decision…

      DotD : i’d say Rosberg. Not an excellent result, but certainly the best he could get!

  27. Hannah says:

    Kimi obviously.

    Its crazy how ferrari cut the gap to Kimi by at least 1 sec per lap……

    the race was lost on not having enough raw pace and lack of fresh tyres for Kimi…..

  28. Matt says:

    Fernando Alonso is by far the driver of the day. Not only is it the first time in the history of the Spanish Grand Prix that a driver has won the race from as far back as 5th on the grid, but his over-taking moves on Raikkonen, Hamilton, and Rosberg were just spectacular.

  29. John B says:

    Got to be Alonso. Disappointing qualifying and then made up for it with a bold move on both Kimi and Lewis at the same time. Used ferrari’s strategy perfectly and twice made an on track pass for the lead. Very close second from Massa who made a very early stop to take third from ninth on the grid. Would have been 2nd but for the penalty.

  30. Nick4 says:

    As they finished! Alonso drove with great diligence for his tyres, maximising on the advantages he had when they were fresh without damaging them and with due care when they were losing their grip – his overtaking at the start was brilliant.

  31. C Lin says:

    Both Alonso & Massa have superior cars so I will give it to Kimi Raikkonen as DOD.

  32. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Raikkonen. Yet another excellent performance.

  33. Yak says:

    As much as I don’t particularly like him, I guess Alonso. He made the moves that he had to early on, they got the strategy right with the undercut to take Vettel, and then quickly got Rosberg out of the way to cruise to the end in clean air.

    As for Button, I’m not sure about him “holding off team-mate Sergio Perez”, given the radio message to Perez. So much for “there are no team orders at McLaren”.

    1. Doobs says:

      Maccas have bigger problems than squabbling over the last few points between themselves.

  34. LBV says:

    Imo Alonso was the driver of the day. Amazing race, combining overtaking, tyre management and strategy.

    James,
    Jenson Button? Seriously? btw, any views on the McLaren team orders?

    thanks for your articles, great job!

  35. Nick4 says:

    James, thanks as always for your great reporting. I have to ask re-the penalty the stewards considered imposing on Alonso. Did they initiate this on their own or did another team lodge the protest? I would be very curious to know the real pit-lane sentiment on the matter? Sounds incredulous that such a great win and moment for Spain could have been scuppered by a “pathetic” take on a regulation. I am glad the stewards saw reason and refrained from penalising Alonso.

    1. TGS says:

      What was the alleged infringement?

      1. Nick4 says:

        According to the report on Sky F1 the alleged infringement was: “Receiving an object after the end-of-race signal”, which is in breach of Article 43.3 of the FIA Sporting Regulation. IOW they considered penalising Alonso for slowing to pick up the Spanish flag.

  36. Simple says:

    Daniel Ricciardo.

  37. Smee says:

    Massa good, Kimi better, Alonso the best: Merc is the fastest in qualy, RB the fastest in race trim, Lotus the best on the Pirelli’s. But Nando won.

    1. Trickle says:

      how on earth is RB fastest in race trim.. I interpret race trim as including tyre degredation in which case the Red Bull is no where near fastest.

      Red Bull and Mercedes are the fastest cars.

      Ferrari and Lotus are the best cars.

      Shame that Pirelli has caused this as it almost punishes teams pushing for lap time perfection.

  38. clyde says:

    Definately Alonso, His comittment into turn three on Raikkonen and Hamilton was Sennaesque in nature and reminded me of Donnington 1993 ……Breathtaking stuff :-)

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Could you imagine watching Senna on board around Donington..

  39. Sean says:

    Felipe or Jenson undoubtedly.

  40. Satish says:

    Nothing surprising about ALO, RAI, MAS and BUT races and to some extent even DIR.

    DoD has to be GUT for bringing the car home ahead of his highly rated team mate, that too with the pressure he had from his team boss no less!

  41. holly says:

    Fernando Alonso.

  42. Brace says:

    Alonso! :)

  43. Cesar says:

    Esteban Gutierrez. Second youngest driver ever to set a fast lap after Hulkenberg I believe.

    1. Martin says:

      A nice stat, but the wrong Nico. Bahrain 2006 on debut in the Williams.

      1. Cesar says:

        Right you are Martin. Thank you for the correction.

  44. Matt says:

    If Gutierrez had gotten into the points at the end, I would’ve said him. I have to go with Alonso, though. To have a drive like that at your home grand prix is something special. Well done!

  45. Kris says:

    Massa. Went about his business quietly and effectively to run the perfect number two’s race. Managed to squeeze himself in between his teammate’s closest rivals, taking points off one and keeping the other honest.

    Tempted to say he might have challenged for the win had he not been penalized. At the same time, though, these runs from farther back on the grid seem to suit him better. Almost as if he can’t handle the pressure of starting higher up the grid.

    Good to see him putting the cat among the pigeons.

  46. Josh Young says:

    Felipe!

  47. FerrariFan says:

    As an Alonso fan I enjoyed the dominant win. Its interesting how he pumped himself up by claiming “records don’t matter” after a poor qualy and then went and interacted with the fans before the race. It was a great win.

    But, my DOD will go to Massa. Great drive from him. More drives like this from him and the mysterious loss of form of Webber could see Ferrari winning the constructors championship this year.

    1. Doobs says:

      He stopped on the track to pick up a Spanish flag from a Marshall.

  48. JB says:

    Ferrari’s updates really put them forward on this track. The first sector with the high speed corners, they were able to go faster than anyone else.

    Personally, I am more impressed by the way Raikkonen drives. He had to make the 3 stops work and did some crucial overtakings to ensure that while nursing the tires by driving at pedestrian speed.
    But in the end, he deserves a faster car.

    DOTD: Kimi

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      According to Massa and Alonso, Ferrari updates didn’t work for this race, the car was almost identical as it came from Bahrein. Imagine if the new parts had worked how far ahead the Ferrari would be…

      1. James Allen says:

        That’s not what I heard them say and not what Domenicali told us last night

      2. Yago says:

        Hi James,
        I would like to hear your view on Ferrari upgrades in Spain. I also heard Massa and Alonso saying the upgrades didn’t work properly. Alonso said after quali that they lost some ground compared to Barhein, and asked by the Italian press if the upgrades did work Massa simply answered “no”.

      3. Miha Bevc says:

        Article on this, please! :)

      4. Sid says:

        Yeah James, dying to hear from you on Ferrari updates.
        Also James it’d be great if you can post regular articles about teams’ updates and if they worked or not. I have a feeling you refrain from such articles for some reason, but that’s just my feeling, no offenses… but once more, would really love to hear from you on this one pls…

    2. Crusty says:

      I’m with Luca Montezemolo on this one. Domenicali rushed into the post-race room brandishing his iphone with great excitement, and up jumped Alonso and Massa to take the call from Uncle Luca.

      SD also signalled to Kimi to follow suit, but Kimi was not minded to comply! Pity, because Luca wanted to say, “Kimster, YOU are my DOTD”.

  49. Dan B says:

    I think has to be alonso, great overtake at the start, and drove well all race, and in Spain to the home crowd , he delivered, seems like it all just fitted into place. Worthy mentions too for Massa and Kimi just plugging away, still getting the results. Even Jenson from his lowly position managed to salvage something. But the driver of the day has to go to Alonso.

  50. ric_z says:

    Alonso, without a doubt. The only driver yesterday that made my jaw drop. A double-overtake around the outside is not something you see every day.

  51. docjkm says:

    Alonso. Better race than expected due to the gimmick tires, but nice to see the winner emerge by genuine racing and race pace, as opposed to gaming the tires.

    Am close to losing tolerance for this type of competition (tires, DRS, KERS), but words are cheap, will vote by boycott, and using my time for more quality pursuits.

  52. Anant Deboor says:

    Alonso.

    Am a massive Kimi fan, but Alonso made this one work better. Strong Ferrari, Stronger Alonso.

  53. matt donlevy says:

    Alonso for me. Fantastic start grabbing positions early then controlled the race from the head. Beautifully driven race in front of a home crowd.

  54. Vivek says:

    For me it would be Massa. Frankly, i wasn’t expecting Massa to be in front, forget Podium, considering how he withers away whenever he has started midfield. He put up a brave performance yesterday and showed he continues to get back to his old self. Hope he displays this consistently though.

  55. Mr Ed says:

    You’d have to be very one-eyed to look past Alonso for this one.

  56. Goose says:

    It has to be Alonso. The pass at the start around the outside and then the raw pace to make the gaps. He was clearly cruising at the end, just ot add insult to injury. Massa was on fine form which means the Ferrari is right up with the Lotus as the fastest car on the grid.

  57. Tim says:

    It’s got be FA. His overtakes at the start of the race were exceptional.
    I am not a fan of his, but you cannot help but admire his skill.

  58. Panayiotis says:

    Alonso. Plain and simple

  59. Dani says:

    Obviously Alonso was the driver of the day.

    He had an electric start again, overtaking 2 cars in the first handful of turns; managed his tires properly and led strategic decisions.

  60. Dani says:

    By the way, why there isn’t poll to chose the driver of the day anymore?

    1. Martin says:

      There’s a comment earlier that it tends to turn into a poll who is reader’s favourite driver rather than DOTD, which James acknowledged as true.

  61. Randy_Torres says:

    More than driver of the day (to me Alonso for the obvious) I think we should talk about team of the day. After all the drama, whining and grief we’ve gotten about the Pirelli tires from everybody and her sister, Ferrari just rewrote the rulebook and brought about a paradigm shift in tire strategy. Its a whole new ball game now, for better or for worse.

  62. Rob says:

    I hope a new series is born, where drivers can actually push the cars, and compete…

    F1 is no racing platform… that is for sure.

    I have to be honest, I did not even watch F1 this weekend, and even checking the results is becoming pointless…

  63. Anne says:

    Alonso, Kimi and Massa. Honorable mention Rosberg.

    Jenson should stop insulting the team in public. He should have a meeting with Sam Michel and Ron Dennis and insult them if that makes him happy. One thing is to tell the truth about the problems the car have and other thing is to use inapropiate language when addressing the media.

    1. newton says:

      when did he insult them? what did he say?

      1. Anne says:

        Friday he said McLaren a hell of a way off pace. And yesterday(you can read it here) McLaren form embarrassing. He should use smooth words to express the same idea. McLaren is also business. Sponsors shouldn´t hear or read those strong words. It hurts the team even more. And it is very depressing for everyone working at Woking.

  64. Spyros says:

    Alonso would be the natural choice, for multiple reasons, but for sheer competitiveness and proof (if any were needed) that Ferrari truly is on the mend, I have to give it to Massa. He was just a thousandth off Alonso’s qualifying time, and proved that with the right car (and setup), you don’t have to fall backwards when in traffic, even with these tyres.

  65. Oz Geezza says:

    1st,Unquestionable Alonso.

    2nd, di Resta.

    3rd, Gutierrez.

  66. Steve Rogers says:

    Well I’d like to give a wave to Jenson… I don’t think anyone could have done more with the car he had, and was genuinely surprised he made it to 8th. But Alonso was in a class of his own in the car of the week.

  67. Siobhan says:

    Kimi! He is consistently good!

  68. Luke Reid says:

    It has to be Alonso as he drove the most aggressive race and took chances on strategy. Everyone else seemed to be playing wait-and-see

  69. heinzman (Fan of ALO) says:

    Fernando

  70. Grant says:

    Driver of the day when other drivers are handicapped?
    That’s rich…

  71. Clemo says:

    Alonso, for the great overtakes in the first lap, for closing up the title race and for the whole of Ferrari for showing us, you can race on pirellis, and that they don’t ask their drivers to drive to certain lap times ( according to alonso’s race engineer on sky interview).

    P.s as a huge f1 fan, I’m not keen on this tiptoeing around the track trying to save tyres ….but it is still way more interesting than knowing what the result will be on a Saturday afternoon…but what I hate most is the constant moaning about the tyres, from drivers and the media. I am firmly in the just get on with it camp. If ultimately the moaning results in changes being made isn’t this a dangerous way for f1 to be heading?

    1. Martin says:

      Part of the reason for the moaning is that to a large degree F1 is about incremental engineering with limited levels of innovation. The RB9 is an evolution of the RB5 as Newey and his team got the basic concept right in late 2008. By having the concept right and leading the way with exhaust blowing (and McLaren taking too large a step with its current car in one go and getting it wrong), the Red Bull has the most downforce.

      The Pirelli tyres have taken that advantage away. In 2011 and 2012 it meant that the fastest qualifying car (Red Bull or McLaren) didn’t have as large a time gap in the race as in qualifying. Spain in 2011 was an example of the Red Bull being much faster in qualifying but was slower than the McLaren in the race due to excess tyre wear.

      So a team like Red Bull has invested a lot of money in what for 40 years has been the key to success – more downforce than everyone else. None of the Red Bull design guys have worked in an earlier era. Now Pirelli has changed the game to aerodynamic efficiency and suspension compliance. As Mercedes is discovering, it isn’t easy to wave a magic wand over the cars and rectify everything. The team added downforce but hasn’t been able to let go of its suspension ideas.

      Two teams that struggled with the exhaust blown diffusers – Renault-Lotus and Ferrari – that were also well resourced, started seeing in 2012 that race results could come from looking after the tyres. I suspect that has heavily influenced their 2013 cars. Looking for tyre life and aerodynamic efficiency rather than just points of downforce with minimal aerodynamic cost.

      So Red Bull, to my mind at least is unhappy that the game has been changed from what has historically been the path to success.

      Campaigning for changes is nothing new. I recently attended a presentation on the Bishop Rotary Valve that was being developed by Mercedes. Due to what was claimed to be some bad design decisions by Mercedes-Ilmor in attempting to change the Bishop design, the debut of the engine was delayed until 2005 when 2002 would have been achieved. In late 2004 the other manufacturers had learnt enough about it to have the engine banned. The three years lost erroded the power advantage, but the engine would have had a fuel consumption advantage over the 2005 Mercedes, as well as been about 20 kg lighter at 76 kg (claimed to be the lightest F1 enginer ever) and 100 mm shorter. You can add many things to that list such as mass dampers, brake steer, sucker fans.

      Cheers,
      Martin

      1. Peter C says:

        Thanks again, Martin. I always look forward to your posts – more interesting than the previous 68 I’ve read!

        I had to laugh when you finished off with “sucker fans”. Very true, in a different context.

  72. Phil Shotton says:

    Fernando, he went for it and got it.

  73. Elie says:

    I really couldn’t split the top 3- they each drove brilliantly in their own way. At the end of the race I thought both Fernando and Felipe drove best, but then having both cars on the podium tells you they had a clear race pace advantage over the field. Including the great E21.

    Fernando was brilliant at the start to “take the bull by the horns” and risk another incident. But the traction he had with a full tank on T3 was really incredible because that really was the defining moment – he lept in front of Kimi from that and had a wide line swing in on Lewis almost in the 1 motion.

    Felipe fighting his way through the field at the start from 9to5( there’s a song in there) was just as good. In hindsight I wonder if he could have been even more aggressive and attack Kimi when they both charged Lewis, because he may certainly have used the cars speed better in clearer air.btw that 3 grid penalty was a bit unfair we now wonder were he might have ended.

    Kimi again for doing what no one else can do and keep that car at the pointy end with one less stop. Im really curious now about whether the E21 had the pace of the Ferrari if they risked a 4 stop strategy because clearly it changes the way he drives.Had he been as aggressive as Fernando at the start could he have found a few tenths knowing he had an extra set ? ( albeit used only ) of tyres. Either way it’s a terrific effort. I just think that if Lotus are to become winners they have to find more outright speed and to do that they need to be slightly more aggressive in their strategy and find the ultimate limits of the car. It may also help find that single quali pace in the process. Unless their happy to settle for 2nd- The teams behind won’t settle for doing what they’re always did and could leap frog them also.

  74. aditya-now says:

    Fernando Alonso

  75. Søren Kühle says:

    Fernando is Dod for me.
    That move on the outside of Hamilton and Raikonen was fantastic.

  76. Anup Kadam says:

    Fernando Alonso is man for me…He just proved what he is capable of…The overtaking moves were the best we could have seen throughout the race…Fantastica…

  77. Alonso, this is what the driver of the day is supposed to do – overtake, strategy, clean battles, no mistakes.

  78. Richard ZA says:

    FA
    FM
    EG
    KR
    PDR
    JB

  79. Jeff says:

    Has to be Alonso, showed everyone how to drive with these tyres and some sublime overtakes at the start

  80. Ganesh says:

    Have to give it to Alonso & Ferrari this race. Masterclass. But, I do not understand this this season – what is impacting the race? Looks like Ferrari has the best race car. Kimi is making up by his tyre usage. Red bull looks way slow compared to Ferrari. Is it just the track temperature? & last race was looking so different yet…

    1. Veteran says:

      Pirelli is juist ruining racing, thats the effect you see. Just look at Rosberg and Hamilton. It was almost sad. This isn’t wat F1 is supposed to be…
      Bring back Bridgetone already.

      1. Dani says:

        That’s the difference between designing and optimizing a car just for qualifying or just the opposite, keeping in mind that the race is where everything is decided.

        Mercedes may get all the poles this season, but is their fault that their car is too aggressive with the tires.

        If others teams can be almost as fast in Q3, and can run 1 second faster per lap it’s obviously not Pirelli’s fault.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        What makes you think that the Merc’s wouldn’t have destroyed their Bridgestones too.
        That car is hard on its tyres, and the team don’t know how to sort it out. Mercedes have had this problem for a few seasons.
        Ferrari on the other hand are kind to their tyres which penalise the team in qualifying, yet allow a faster race pace.
        This is where RBR are struggling. They need to be at the front and clear air otherwise they destroy their tyres too, this isn’t only this season, look back over the last 3 or 4 and you’ll see a pattern.

    2. Richard says:

      Next race in Monaco, pretty sure the Bulls won’t be “weak” there.

      1. Ganesh says:

        I see Kimi vs. Lewis in the next race for win (just gut feel) – Seb & Fernando will complete top 4 – whichever order..

    3. TheLollipopMan says:

      Agree. Alonso deserves it, closely followed by Raikkonen and Massa, because these three didn’t spend all weekend moaning about tyres. Instead they focused on getting the most out of them. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport because it is FAR more than just driving a car 100% on the limit. If people want to see drivers in equal gear just driving with their balls and not their brains, then go watch GP2, or GP3!

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      Good points, but look at where Alonso was when he encountered problems in the races he didn’t finish. He tapped the rear wheel of the leader in Malaysia, and ultimately finished off the track.
      In Bahrain, the DRS malfunctioned, and he finished 8th but all form guides before the race suggested Ferrari for the win.
      It would seem that the one RBR fear is Alonso, maybe this puts perspective on the multi21 fiasco. After all, when Alonso has had an incident free race, Vettel has finished behind. He’s currently 17 points behind, that’s less than a second place. The chances are he would have finished on the podium in both.

      1. Ganesh says:

        True – Alonso finally has a very good (alround?) car this season.

        Looking forward to a race where both Alo & Seb are strong & are racing each other till end (whichever order)& at a circuit where overtaking is possible!! If that happens to be Brazil with championship still open, that makes it even better!!

    5. Martin says:

      It’s the speed and length of the corners. The thermal degradation is generated mostly through high speed corners and braking. Bahrain has few high speed and long corners. Bahrain also has a lot of traction zones with slow corner exits. Here the extra downforce of the Red Bull increases traction, improving lap times. There isn’t as big a temperature penalty. The key with slow corners tends to be managing wheelspin to avoid surface temperature. That is down to driver talent to modulate the accelerator.

      Spain has lots of long corners. By having more downforce greater load is put through the tyres even if both cars go around the corner at the same speed. This load distorts the tyre and this bending as the tyre rolls generates a lot of heat. So the Red Bull driving at the same speed as the Lotus and Ferrari cooks its tyres more quickly. In Bahrain there were slow corners where the Red Bull gained lap time with minimal tyre pain. In Spain the tyre energy is much greater and there are few opportunites to make up time.

      As an aside, the reason wider tyres on a road car give more grip is that they are softer. The contact area for the same tyre pressure is the same. The difference is that contact patch is wider and shorter, so the tyre distorts less as it rolls, generating less heat, which allows the tyre compound to be softer without overheating. So you pay more for a tyre that is designed to wear out more quickly.

      Cheers,
      Martin

  81. Matt W says:

    Ignoring the tire situation which made the race a farce in my opinion, Alonso has to win driver of the day. He always seems to step it up a level in Spain. His overtaking moves on the opening lap and then taking the lead from Rosberg whilst everyone was playing the waiting game was a winner in itself.

  82. Bring Back Murray says:

    Paul Hembery

  83. Simmo says:

    Would have to be Massa. Good racing from him. He could have got 2nd had his tyres just not wore out so quickly :/

  84. Chris Horton says:

    Felipe – Great drive and well deserved podium.

  85. cremto says:

    DRIVER OF THE DAY WAS ALONZO.. I WAS HOPING FOR WEBBER.. OH WELL

  86. Jonno says:

    How can we have a Driver of the Day after such a dire race?

    Okay, if I’m forced to make a suggestion, it will have to be the driver of the Marussia who, after being lapped by Vettel, kept up with the Red Bull for 2 or more laps.

    1. Simmo says:

      Well, although it is a bit off topic to what you have said…

      Talking of backmarkers, it is interesting to note Caterham’s large upgrades put them comfortably ahead of the Marussias this race.

      It’s just a shame a wheel fell off.

  87. stu says:

    Leiws ….. he went backwards so much quicker than anyone else!

    And his post match interview reminded me of the Lewis of old!

    Great stuff for the viewers of F1.

    1. madmax says:

      The radio messages were brilliant too.

  88. AuraF1 says:

    I’d give drive of the race to Alonso – he just showed up looking like he was going to win. And some of the tifosi were insulting him for qualifying poorly – they needn’t have worried.

    I’d give a special mention to Jenson and more over McLarens beleaguered strategic team – gaining 9 places is contrasted with Lewis losing more than that. Although its incredibly sad to see Lewis struggling at least some of the more deluded anti Whitmarsh crowd had to shut up for 5 minutes as the Mercedes faded against Lewis’ old team.

    And I’d give Pirelli a consoling hug – they are getting flak for building the tyres they’ve been told to in their contract – when its entirely the teams short sighted refusal to ditch aero dependency and move to ground effect cars again that is ruining the racing.

    Yes formula 1 has never been 100% about the driver, but the teams at the top want to just outspend their rivals and not actually compete in close racing. Pirelli have done a good job in ‘fudging’ a ludicrous aero war but it is clear now that they are a band aid not a cure. Barcelona was not as dull as it has been. If we’d had bridgestones we’d have watched vettel fly off at the front and have the championship sewn up by the summer break.

    But surely the teams are going to have to accept the blame that they can’t work together for the mutual good and change the technical directives to outlaw insane aero regs and build mechanically grippy cars that driver skill can push round each other. Then tyres could be built to push with and we’d see very fast drivers and highly skilled overtaking. KERS could still be a part of the hi-tech formula but DRS and mandated melter tyres would be band aids that could be discarded.

    1. Martin says:

      I think you are right in terms of ground effects being more suited to one car following another. However, the question remains with that idea, how do we have a meaningful qualifying session while not having the fastest race cars starting at the front and by definition offering limited overtaking?

      In the history of F1 to my memory and limited study there have been two things that have jumbled up the grids so that the fastest race cars are not necessarily quickest in qualifying: Extremely powerful engines that can be harnessed for one lap and the current Pirelli tyres.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Interesting problem – of course you could argue that Qualifying is intended to put the fastest car at the front otherwise we would just allocate starting position by lottery.

        I do quite like the idea of expanding the idea of KERS – it does have a modest application to road cars (energy recovery for power) but it could be used to enhance the racing, so cars which have powerful ground effect can choose to position themselves for an attack.

        I’m actually a fan of what DRS and Pirelli have done (which is what they both were designed for) compared to the some years without them – but I think even an ardent admirer of modern F1 can suggest that we’d get more ‘quality’ racing by rethinking the fundamentals of aero wars, rather than trying to ‘trick’ cars into positions they shouldn’t be in.

        There would no doubt be an amazing array of overtakes if we had all the fastest cars out of position after qualifying – but then surely that’s artificial as well (although enormous fun to watch – for example rain soaked races that throw up bizarre start positions).

  89. Hermann says:

    For me its Alonso. But Raikkonen and Massa produced a good solid performance!

  90. F*ckYeah says:

    Massa, to do that from ninth shows what good race car Ferrri had yesterday.

    Gentle on it’s tyres, sad that is what racing has become.

    Lewis’ “I am going as slow as I can” says it all, terrible to watch the world’s best, tip toeing around.

  91. ian halliday says:

    ALONSO – stunning controlled drive.
    the tyre situation is getting stupid?

  92. Jason C says:

    Alonso delivered a race very much like Vettel’s at Bahrain – excellent drive.

    BUT dotd for me has to be between Button and Massa, both of whom made such huge progress.

    I’ll say Massa.

  93. Konstantin says:

    F+F+F (3F)= Fernando, Fellipe and Ferrari:-)

  94. **Paul** says:

    Not Alonso. Why? Because that was an incredibly easy race for Ferrari. Had Fernando pushed he could have won that race by far more. For much of the 2nd half of the race I think he was in cruise control. The day Massa picks up 3rd is the day that the Ferrari was the car to have. Alonso’s first lap move on Kimi & Lewis was a cracker though. It was reminiscent of some of Vettels wins in 2011 and he won DOTD every race right?

    My driver of the day goes to Nico Rosberg! Yes that’s right he lost 5 places, but lets put some context on that that. The Mercedes was perhaps 4th, or maybe 5th fastest on race pace this weekend. Nico did a sterling job of bring the car home whilst it was very difficult to drive. Add in the fact that his team mate, providing a very good yardstick having started alongside him, finished behind Ricciardo & Gutierrez in 12th and to bring that Merc home in 6th place was a real achievement.

    Not the most obvious DOTD I’ll grant, but based on machinery vs drive vs potential I think Nico over delivered.

    1. Honkhonk says:

      Maybe you should note Vettel and RB could have started on 4 stop strategy and been a bit faster. In 2011 Red Bull were faster than virtually everyone everywhere, so actually it’s not reminiscent of 2011 since the Ferrari’s started 5th and 6th. [mod]

      1. **Paul** says:

        5th and 9th, Massa had a pen.

        The 2011 comparison is valid, that’s the pace difference level that Ferrari had in race trim over everyone bar the sole reliable Lotus. Alonso lapped everyone up to 10th place without really pushing for the final half of the race.

        This is nothing to do with bitterness, and everything to do with a reality check that Ferrari had the biggest race performance advantage we’ve seen this season in yesterdays race. If Alonso pushed for more than 20% of that race I’ll eat that hat which Vettel was planning to eat if anyone did a 2-stop yesterday!

        Alonso performed as expected with such good machinery, no doubt, if you’ve the best car and you win that’s all you can do. Rosberg though, my DOTD, performed at a higher level than his car, putting in a place that it didn’t deserve to finish in, whilst his team mate slumped. Alonso’s teammate who I think most agree isn’t exactly brilliant went from 9th to 3rd beating; VET, WEB, ROS, HAM, BUT & PER. If that’s not telling you something about the Ferrari yesterday then lord help you!

    2. TitanRacer says:

      I agree entirely. I have refrained buying into all the praise heaped upon Nico for all these years. this year has started me thinking more highly of him and Spain sealed it for me. 1 race does not a WDC make, for sure, but I am now comfortable in classifying him among the top tier of drivers. I think he over- delivered and vote him DOTD.
      I want to give a shout-out to 3 guys under the gun. all did a lot to justify some of their team confidence in them…
      Giedo – where the heck did that speed come from
      Esteban – got a few monkeys off his back
      Max – working hard & getting close

      1. Peter C says:

        Praise was praised at an early stage because of what he achieved before getting in to F1.
        His record in karting (regularly beating Hamilton) was excellent, also the lower formulae inc. GP2.

        Of course, having Keke for a father may have made him more noticeable, but he has always been very, very quick in good machinery.

        People prefer to talk about “raw pace” now, whatever that means.

      2. Peter C says:

        Rosberg was praised…….sorry.

  95. azac21 says:

    Fernando “el Grande”

  96. Moog says:

    Gutierrez set the fastest lap too, therefore I assume he’s the only one who was trying :)

  97. NormanCh says:

    Good Race, Alonso was amazing, just look at Stefano in the weigh room when he looks at Fernando and shakes his head with the “This guy is undeblievable look”

    BUT.

    Originally I liked the tyre strategies etc at first, but it’s ridiculous now. Saving tyres on lap 4 in a 66 lap race. I agree with Rosberg, how is he to supposed to race and save tyres at the same time. I miss Schumi right now with his “driving on egg shells” comments.

    I am really losing interest fast.
    The Michelin vs Bridgestone Tyre wars were more fun than Pirelli tyre savings.

    Looks like discount tyres.

    It’s not racing anymore.

    Let’s have 2 tyre manufacturers,
    Option and prime can stay,
    Refuelling with tanks big enough so you can run light with refuelling and race hard or fill it up and save hard.
    Then Let’s go racing

  98. Phil says:

    My driver of the day was Charles Pic for defeating the Marussias fair and square!

  99. Tenno 1868 says:

    Got to be Alonso. Unfortunately the races these days are far away from the top level of Motorsport. Regardless of team and driver, nursing car and tyres throughout the entire race is not F1. No car and driver out there drives at maximum capability. This is a team and driver independent comment. Vettel leads the tables and so does Red Bull, so they can’t be that bad of a package. It’s a systemic problem, not to mention the constant delaminating.

  100. Arnie S says:

    Alonso – end of discussion

    1. Sid says:

      +10, straight to the point!

  101. Auq says:

    Dare I say Robin Frijns? :)

  102. Richard D says:

    Unusually, all this weeks candidates listed above put in creditable performances. But it is really a no brainer – Alonso made some stunning moves on the opening lap and then made a four stop strategy work, all with the pressure of deliverying a home win (how many drivers achieve that?)

  103. Andy says:

    Alonso for racing hard from start to finish – hopefully more teams/drivers will do this in the future (this is from a McLaren fan)

  104. Henrik says:

    What about Rosberg? I think his drive in an awful race car is seriously underestimated. He clearly outraced his top-notch team-mate Hamilton and held onto 6th place, which was the best he could do.

    1. madmax says:

      Agree, to see Button and Di Resta mentioned who finished behind in much better race cars says it all.

  105. Arnie S says:

    James,

    In the comments of the previous article, the majority claims the (bad) racing to be Pirelli’s fault.

    I don’t agree, I think (as some comments) that F1 and the team (FOTA or whatever they are called today) wanted this:

    James, what is your opinion in this matter? Was it F1 and FOTA that wanted less durable tyres? Is the situation that bad? (What I personally think is really bad is that some of the tyres loose the cord during racing (happened to Ferrari, TR and Caterham)).

    1. James Allen says:

      I think Canada 2010 was an exciting race in a period when Bridgestone had been around a ling time and the fastest car started on pole and won the race with little going on.

      So there was a feeling that it would be good to make the races more like that, but perhaps not quite that nuts

      Bernie and CVC certainly like the idea of more entertaining races as did most of the teams

      The FIA is responsible for the tyres and put out a tender which Pirelli and Michelin bid for. The teams had a major say in which company won and majority went for Pirelli because they were much cheaper for them

      Last year’s tyres were better than the 2011 ones and by the end of the year everyone was one-stopping.

      This year Pirelli has made tyres that are a bit too “aggressive” or delicate is another way of putting it and we’ve just had the two toughest races of the year in Bahrain and Spain for tyres. Four stops is too much for F1. It should be 2 or 3 ideally with drivers able to push and not have to ask if they should race someone. No-one wants that including Pirelli,

      That’s where we are at the moment, then, with some teams at sea in races and others who prioritised tyre management (eg Lotus, Ferrari and Force India) in pretty good shape on race day. Pirelli has said it will make further changes at Silverstone, which is awkward as someone will inevitably lose and others gain and that affects the championship.

      1. Arnie S says:

        OK;

        Thanks for your comments – Appreciated

      2. Sean Hardman says:

        I appreciate that 4 stops is too many, but how is this going to work from Silverstone. I guess we know which team will benefit the most and therefore is this a fair situation? I remember how Ferrari have had trouble in the recent past warming up new sets of tyres after a stop and have been sitting ducks. They have tried to rectify this situation and seem better suited to the tyres this year. Do you think that now the Bahrain and Spain races are out of the way we will go back to harder racing and 2 or 3 stops without any changes anyway?

      3. sw280 says:

        The fact is Pirelli can’t make tyres that last, if they understood how to make a tyre last maybe they could make a tyre that degraded in a way they wanted and produce the racing everyone wants.

      4. AuraF1 says:

        Pirelli make a vast array of different tyres. A lot of their chemical engineers will have worked for other tyre companies.

        They could quite easily build Bridgestone Bulletproof tyres if they wanted or were asked to I’m sure.

        The problem seems to be they tried to make a tyre that gets into the ‘window’ easily but still has a steady degrade, as opposed to punishing just one or two teams. We can be certain they’ve developed tyres that don’t allow Red Bull to just run away with it now, as they might if the tyres were more understandable.

      5. TitanRacer says:

        :)

      6. GWD says:

        Despite sometimes not really needing to see exact wording on agreements because of the inherent ‘in principle’ understandings, it would still be good to see exactly what all parties agreed to. Was it that the tyre would technically hold together for the entire race, but become so poor performing after X laps(I keep hearing/reading the X as about 20) that you would be silly not to change them, or are they being built to degrade in performance but also only to hold together for around 20 laps before significant integrity issues such as delamination. If the parties have agreed to the former, but Pirelli are dilvering the latter, aren’t we in conflict here? Having tyres going steadily off at around 1 sec a lap is probably quite a good thing, but it appears that not only are the tyres going off at far more than that per lap, we are seeing non-standard integrity issues occuring regularly. This has now become a safety issue. Do we really want to see the result of a high speed delamination along one of the straights of Monza or the like? I saw a full delamination of a rear tyre down to the underlying belt during Spain that during this failure damaged the rear wing to some degree. And that failure wasn’t really at a huge speed, so we didn’t see something quite horrible result. I’m sure this is a significant warning of how far things have been pushed by ‘the brief’. If we can get Pirelli back to bulding the tyre that degrades steadily but isn’t going to fall apart so early in their use, it would mean drivers can still push, we still see actual racing and strategising, and probably be a better thing for all parties…

  106. Bernd says:

    Paul Hembrey

  107. Redline Racing says:

    It’s all about the tyres. The Red Bull and the Mercedes are easily the fastest cars, followed by the Ferrari, with the Lotus a little behind. The reason we don’t see this order in the races though is that the tyres are the limiting factor. With drivers like Hamilton saying ‘I can’t go any slower’ over the radio in the middle of the race, there’s clearly something wrong. Paul Hembery is reluctant to supply tires that will last the usual number of laps, having recently said “So if I said we were going to make a change, I know I am going to have the podium people today not happy – then you [the media] will be here at Silverstone telling me we have given the championship to Red Bull. It will be damned if you, damned if you don’t.” Changing the tyres now would indeed give Red Bull an advantage, but it is an advantage they deserve for having developed the best car year in, year out. Mercedes would also be rewarded for having built a much faster car this year. I’d rather see a true result than one which depends on which car is the most gentle on the tyres. Is F1 not meant to be a technical sport about which team can develop the outright quickest car? Part of the problem is that every year Pirelli feel the need to go progressively softer with the tyres, in a bit to serve up more ‘drama’. They feel they have to do this as each year the naturally intuitive teams learn how to get the best out of the new tires. Thus an unsustainable vicious circle is created, whereby in order to make the races more unpredictable the tyres need to be even softer still. Pirelli have turned our sport into a circus.

    NB: In my opinion the best solution would be to have hard prime tyres that last up to a maximum of half the race distance if necessary, and then softer options that degrade more quickly to make the strategy interesting – this would cause a two stop race, due to the rule that both compounds must be used on race day. Rival teams would be able to experiment by attempting to gain an advantage by running one set of primes and two sets of options rather than two sets of primes and one set of options. This would allow malleable cars like the Lotus to exploit their tyre-preserving qualities, whilst not damning the teams who ultimately have more downforce like Red Bull and Mercedes. Then we’d see cars flat-out in qualifying and in the race – as it should be.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      In 2002, JPM in the Williams secured a number of pole positions, because the combination of his talent, the Michelins and the chassis meant that the car was superb in qualifying trim, light tanks etc.
      Come the race, he would fight until the first stops, MSC was intelligent enough to follow and then once released put in some stunning times.
      Once in the lead, he cruised to the victory.

      My point? If the Mercedes is the fastest car, it’s because it’s advantages lie in the weight and balance in qualifying against the requirements of full tanks. Same with the Red Bull, it may have too much downforce for the current tyres, but that’s the regulations.
      If the rules changed that the tyres could only be 12″ wide, would a team be justified saying well if we had the old wheels we’d be faster. Or they aren’t allowed to use DDRS or EBD, what a load of rubbish. It’s only the two qualifying chassis that are moaning about tyres, everyone else is getting on with it

      1. Redline Racing says:

        The teams that are losing out are always going to complain. That’s not where the problem lies, in my opinion the problem is that the wrong teams are losing out due to the regulations. I think a happy median needs to be found, where DRS and durable tyres work together to provide exciting racing and true competition. F1 should be entertaining, but at heart it should remain true to its origins as a sport. I don’t want to see teams designing cars to be light on their tyres, I want to see teams designing, within cost-related reason, the most technically advanced racing machines possible. The kind of innovation that Adrian Newey repeatedly demonstrates with the Red Bull, and brilliance like Mclaren’s F-duct. And then, I want to see drivers driving at full pelt all race long, with exciting DRS passes and risky moves. Then truly the greatest will prevail. As much as I like Ferrari, if they win this year’s World Championship because they have less degredation-inducing downforce than Red Bull, I will be disappointed. It just wouldn’t be a true result. I hope Pirelli see sense and restore us to the ‘dull’ two stop races that we all enjoyed in 2010 and 2011, before it all became rather crazy. It was a miracle that the best team won last year, the Red Bull was nearly beaten by an F2012 that so clearly had less downforce. Partly down to Alonso’s excellence, I admit, but largely due to the Red Bull being limited by its tires. I wasn’t alive in the days of Senna and Prost, but Hamilton has it right when he says (in a recent newspaper interview) that F1 would be better if the drivers drove flat out, as they did back then. Who wouldn’t want that?

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I respect your age in this reply, for the same reason I’m going to counter Hamiltons comments too. He was born in 1985 and was 9 when Senna was killed. I don’t know about you, but I remember little from that age..
        Drivers used to have turbo boost buttons to assist over taking, they had choices of 4 different compounds for every wheel, so could effectively have harder tyres on the left hand side, or rear to front.
        For some years, the FIA introduced fuel limits on the turbo cars, 155litres for 1988 for example.
        Cars back then were also far more unreliable.

        I think looking back at any stage of history and comparing to today is very difficult. Drivers could not drive their cars at 100% during a race, but they could drive to the limit of available performance throughout.
        Back then, a driver would start the race and wouldn’t speak to his team till the car stopped, radio transmission only became a factor in the early 90′s. Telemetry which is taken for granted now, used to be two way and the team could change all parameters from the pit wall, that was banned.
        There is so much technology on current cars, that the drivers twist a button and it changes a setting in the car.

        I do understand Hamiltons view.
        But… One of the greatest talents to ever pedal an F1 car was Gilles Villeneuve. He won a total of 6 races but he drove poor machinery most of his career. As hard a racer as he was, he still drove to the limits of his machinery. His most famous exploits were because he spun off or his car was damaged, but there were countless races where nothing happened.

        People forget, these guys aren’t flat out anyway, their gearboxes have to last 5 races and they have a set limit of engines per season.

      3. Redline Racing says:

        I agree with your point about the engines and gearboxes, they will always be a limiting factor. Pre-Pirelli, drivers may have been driving at 95% sometimes to extend the lifetime of their machinery. With these tyres though, the drivers are closer to 70%. If you listen to the in car feed of Rosberg, you could hear him lifting for seconds at a time – engines and gearboxes do not cause drivers to lift off mid-corner like that. That is the effect of these tyres, and that is what I hope will change. Then, at least, drivers will be able to push hard for the majority of the race. Good old Mr. Red Bull for marking his place in the sand today. F1 needs real racers like him to prevent it slipping into the realms of mere entertainment. I have to admit I’m surprised Bernie has let it get this bad.

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        Isn’t it funny that when Mr Red Bull marks the line in the sand, it’s acceptable. But when LdM marks his regarding aero dominance, it’s Ferrari bleating as always…

      5. Redline Racing says:

        Yeah but aero is something the teams develop, an essential part of the car, at the core of the sport. Tyres on the other hand are made my a single manufacturer. The cars should not be held back by limiting factors imposed by third parties, the only limiting factor should be the technical regulations set by the FIA (who really should have instructed Pirelli to make tires which do not act as a limiting factor). Then it is a level playing field for everyone, where true gains will be be rewarded (mechanical, aero or innovation) and not held back by the tires. LdM is simply moaning about the aero, whereas the premise of what Mr. Red Bull says is completely different. He’s talking about the purpose of the sport. LdM knows at heart that aero is part of F1, and that it always will be. I bet he’s rather pleased to currently have his cars artificially winning, despite having less pace than the other top teams.

  108. Redline Racing says:

    In terms of Driver of the Day, I’d say Massa. Despite the artificial result, the mental strength he has shown prior to his return to form deserves this podium and more.

  109. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

    Räikkonen loses often places when he pits and starts, and then makes it up in the end, room for improvement here.

  110. Orrin Eitzen says:

    Alonso did the best job with Massa in close contention. It was just very painful to watch drivers really holding back throughout the race in order to preserve tires. These days the best drivers are the ones who can get away with pushing a ‘little’ bit more on the tires than the others can. Pure racing should be about sustaining the maximum level of performance for as long as possible. The maximum level of performance has now been artificially lowered by the tires. You don’t risk going off track anymore by pushing too hard, the biggest risk now, is ruining your tires.

  111. hero_was_senna says:

    Oh yes DOTD, Alan Jones.
    Why?
    I just pray to god that he was in the stewards room when they mentioned about the Spanish flag and Alonso.
    True Aussie hard man, I can hear him now!!!

  112. Jock Ulah says:

    Bernd Mayländer in the safety car -
    For not going out there and spoiling the race.

    1. Phil says:

      Good point.

      We’ve not seen much of him this year, thank goodness. Long may it continue.

  113. AENG says:

    Driver of the day?
    Pirelli P-ZERO & drivers

  114. BW says:

    Let’s start with those who were not.
    Can’t praise di Resta – he failed to beat Rosberg despite remaining behind him within DRS range, and his teammate wasn’t worse, actually, as the whole difference between them was made by pitstop problem (over 50 secs loss for Sutil there).
    Didn’t see much from Button, although I appreciate improvement of his position.
    Clean drive from Kimi, well-executed strategy, but hardly remember any spectacular move (Hamilton was quite an easy target) – this one-stop-less approach starts to be a little boring, in fact.
    Hoped to give it to Gutierrez, but he failed to score his maiden points, despite chasing Ricciardo on fresh tyres and getting into his DRS range for a couple of laps.
    So, there are two Ferrari drivers left. Had Massa beaten Raikkonnen (well, he drove just behind his rear in the first stint), then he would be the One. But as he failed to be as fast as his teammate, who made splendid moves in first corners, then the winner takes the glory.
    Alonso.

    1. Clemo says:

      Didn’t di Resta have a problem with his DRS so wasn’t able to use it for much of the race?

  115. Phil says:

    Some creditable drives in difficult (tyre-dominated) conditions.

    Ferrari had a race-winning car no doubt, but for me Alonso made it happen with superb overtakes on that first lap setting him up for the win.

    Vettel (first lap overtakes), Massa (mental toughness fighting back from penalty), Räikkönen (Mr. Consistency), Ricciardo (another points finish)… all great performances.

    Not sure why Button didn’t get passed by Perez on fresher tyres; that radio message smacked of team orders.

    James, bring back the poll please; I found it interesting to see visually what others thought and the numbers voting automatically compensated to some extent for those just voting for their favourite.

  116. AussieWoZ says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Ricciardo
    3) The guy who designed the Pirelli specs

  117. OscarF1 says:

    All three drivers in the podium deserved my applause but I think Alonso was the most deserving this time.

    It seems as Ferrari is currently the fastest car in the grid but a superb driving, passing from the outside and an immaculate 4 stop strategy give him credits for DoD.

  118. jrh says:

    For me it was Alonso. He had the car and he delivered.

  119. newton says:

    I’d say Rosberg deserves huge credit. Great pole lap and managed his race superbly despite the troublesome merc.

  120. kent says:

    where do we vote and see the results, like in the past?

    1. TitanRacer says:

      not having the poll is not a turn-off to me, but I would prefer to see it…

  121. Kate says:

    Kimi…..

  122. Le Mister says:

    Fernando and Daniel. Massa had a good race too.
    But I just get goosebumps watching the start with the onboard camera in Alonso’s car. NOBODY makes race starts like this!!!!

    1. Nic Maennling says:

      Well actually someone does !

  123. zx6dude says:

    Alonso

  124. JohnBt says:

    Alonso for the best overtaking moves on turn 3 lap 1. And for charging all the way.

    Massa gets my vote too.

    1. TitanRacer says:

      it is difficult to make totally committed overtaking moves like that without a seriously good and respectful dancing partner. these guys are all really, really good at their craft…

  125. madmax says:

    Rosberg, got pole and in the race made the most out of a very bad race car. Hamilton been lapped and coming home in 12th shows just how bad the Mercedes car was in this race yet Rosberg held on to 6th.

    How Schumacher put up with this team for 3 years I’ll never know.

  126. Andrew Carter says:

    Has to be Alonso.

  127. oiio says:

    Fernando Alonso

  128. mhilgtx says:

    Well this is pretty lat and no one will probably read it but here we go:

    DOD was Alonso. Just like in Bahrain it was Vettel. I especially give Alonso and/or his team for making the right move and pitting earlier with his puncture. In the past few races I am sure they would have pressed for just one more lap, so maybe they have learned a little.

    Co Driver of the day the Super Computer or Genius that thought an all out 4 stop was pushing hard on the tires was the way to go.

    The pass against Hamilton was to me not nearly as impressive as it looked at the time. Let me be clear it required skill, but wouldn’t we expect that kind of skill out of most anyone on the grid? Passing a car that ended up in 12th and a lap down doesn’t really require that much skill, or do we want to applaud him for passing Charles Pic as well?

    Best Pass of the day was of course Paul Hembry for the first time admitting the obvious. There is something wrong with these tires. While I would love them to be more compatable with RBR’s I doubt that is going to happen. They do have to be safe and with these delamination from the slightest puncture being very dangerous. Hopefully they get them fixed before some poor Fan-Marshal-Driver gets hurt or killed.

  129. clyde says:

    Alonso

  130. Gabe says:

    Alonso, drove the 4 pit stops strategy perfectly.

  131. J. Lopez says:

    ALONSO!!!

  132. Crusty says:

    I thought I saw Kimi pass Vettel on the track…….?

  133. Jeremy J says:

    Alonso, he would get if just for the overtakes at turn 3 on lap 1, let alone anything else.

  134. Larcxy says:

    A-L-O-N-S-O :)

  135. Robert says:

    Alonso because of the Kimi and Lewis move in Turn 3. And his overall race craft.

  136. johnpierre says:

    well here is the deal. yes it is true that the Ferrari was the package to have on sunday but that should not get in the way of why FA is the DOTD. simply put, it is what you do with the car that should dictate the choice. if say Fernando qualified on pole by a second, then maybe there is a argument for Kimi. but that was not the case. another example, the Ferrari is better than the Force India no question, but did Di Resta show us something more compelling than Alonso irrespective of the cars they were driving? no. and the tire issues aside, watching how fernando drove for most of the race, as the author of this blog so eloquently stated, “Alonso was on a different level.” this why Fernando rightly should be given the DOTD award.

  137. David says:

    Comment of the race was Hamilton replying to his engineer telling him to preserve his left rear tyre. ” I can’t drive any slower. Just been overtaken by a Williams” Driver of the day of course was Alonso.

  138. Louis says:

    Would have say Bianchi is he didn’t have problem on lap 1, he was confortably fastest than his “Mini League” and could have gone for Bottas too. I sense something special will be coming from him, may be in Monaco ?

  139. AdrianW says:

    Gutierrez for a brilliant drive after a difficult start to his F1 career.

  140. Angelina says:

    LH for his epic 2nd to 12th performance. LOL!
    Nobody deserved it really but I will go for Massa for his determination inspite of no.2 treatment.

  141. Wombat says:

    Alonso obviously, but Kimi and Massa deserve praise.
    I already know the ‘best driver of the day’ for Spa: the first to take Eau Rouge flat-out on worn Pirelli tyres………………

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