Formula Racing

Spanish Grand Prix - Race Review

Fernando Alonso Thrives On Home Soil
By Armaan Ebrahim


Fernando Alonso put Ferrari back on the top step of the podium by charging to a second successive home win. From the word go it was clear that the Spaniard was in charge and made the move of the race in turn 3 on the opening lap by driving around the outside of Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton. The race was dictated by tyre wear and it was very visible that the drivers had to drive to the wear of the Pirellis, which meant that not all could maximize the potential of their cars.

Once Alonso settled in 3rd by the end of the first lap he set his sights on Vettel and Rosberg who clearly were struggling for pace and bunching everyone up. Both drivers managed to hold on to their positions till the first round of pit stops. But the two Germans were split when they exited the pits by Alonso who came in a lap earlier and managed to jump Vettel and not long after that he very easily drove past a struggling Nico Rosberg who didn't just lose one place but ended up falling back to 6th within the span of a couple of laps. From there on the Ferrari driver drove to his strategy and built a solid lead to bring the car home quite comfortably.

Coming in 2nd was Kimi Raikkonen who drove another brilliant race for Lotus. He, not for the first time this year, managed to do one stop less than everyone else and make it work! He was running a completely different strategy by using two sets of medium tyres and switching to the hards for his last stint which was 20 laps. Prior to this weekend Kimi and his team said their main priority was to close the gap on rival Sebastian Vettel and they achieved that by cutting his lead from 10 points to just 4.

Completing the podium was Filipe Massa who scored his first top three finish of the year. It was a very creditable drive after being penalised in qualifying and starting 9th on the grid. Massa made a strong start and got to the leading pack by the end of the first lap. From there it was all about looking after the tyres and playing the right strategy game.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel brought his Red Bull home in a distant 4th place after being given permission to push as much as he wanted only towards the end of the race. He was followed by a recovering Mark Webber who started towards the rear of the top ten.

Coming in 6th was pole sitter Nico Rosberg who had to fight of a charging Paul Di Resta in Sahara Force India and managed to just about hang on at the finish. Mercedes was left struggling in the race after showing fantastic pace on Saturday. There has to be a fundamental problem and I guess it's back to the drawing board. They seem to really struggle on a heavy fuel load.

Rounding out the top ten were the two Mclarens of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez followed by Daniel Riccardo who finished 10th in his Toro Rosso. Although Mclaren managed to salvage a double points scoring finish they were nowhere in terms of competitive pace and really have a lot of work to do.

Force India achieved their best Spanish GP result with a well fought 7th place in the hands of Di Resta but it seems like a pattern now where every weekend one car goes well and the other has a problem. Adrian Sutil in the sister car was in the pits by the end of the first lap with a smoking rear end. Although he did manage to get back out and came home in 13th, it would be great to see the team just have a bit of luck and both cars get through a race without any problems. I'm sure that would result in a double points finish!

Up next is the most famous and flamboyant race in the calendar. The Monaco Grand Prix! It’s always a great weekend and a spectacular circuit. We'll just have to see whether the drivers can drive the wheels of their cars or will the tyres dictate the race again.

Germany GP

31st July 2016

  • Driver Team Time/Lag
  • Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30:44.200
  • Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing + 6.996s
  • Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing + 13.413s
  • Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 15.845s
  • Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 32.750s
  • Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari + 37.273s
  • Nico Hulkenberg Force India + 70.049
  • Jenson Button McLaren + 1 lap
  • Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1 lap
  • Sergio Perez Force India + 1 lap

Belgian GP

26th - 28thAug 2016

  • Practice 1 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 2 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 3 Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Qualifying Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Race Sun 28th Aug 2016

standings

Formula One World Championship 2016

  • Driver Points Team
  • Lewis Hamilton 217 Mercedes
  • Nico Rosberg 198 Mercedes
  • Daniel Ricciardo 133 Red Bull Racing
  • Kimi Räikkönen 122 Ferrari
  • Sebastian Vettel 120 Ferrari
  • Max Verstappen 115 Red Bull Racing
  • Valtteri Bottas 58 Williams Mercedes
  • Sergio Perez 48 Force India Mercedes
  • Felipe Massa 38 Williams Mercedes
  • Nico Hulkenberg 33 Force India Mercedes