Spanish Grand Prix Formula One race report
Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
|Formula One teams Spanish Grand Prix race results|
|#||Driver / Team||Gap||Points|
|10||+ 1 lap||1|
|11||+ 1 lap|
|12||+ 1 lap|
|13||+ 1 lap|
|14||+ 1 lap|
|15||+ 1 lap|
|16||+ 1 lap|
|17||+ 1 lap|
|18||+ 2 lap|
|19||+ 2 lap|
|20||+ 14 lap|
|21||+ 45 laps|
|22||+ 58 laps|
Red Bull Racing
Sunday 12 May 2013
SPANISH GP – RACE
Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Finish Position: 4th, Start Position: 3rd
“I think we can be happy with fourth today. The first three cars were a little bit too fast for us and regarding looking after the tyres, they did a better job. We need to catch up; we’re not going the pace of the car, we’re going the pace of the tyres and obviously we do something to make the tyres wear more. We got some good points today, although of course we wanted more. The start was good, we then tried to hold on with a three-stop strategy, but had to change to four stops.”
Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Finish Position: 5th, Start Position: 7th
“We were struggling for the range and a bit of pace today, to be honest. The Ferraris and the Lotus were in a bit of a different league and that made it hard for us to compete today. I think we got the most out of what we had, particularly as by the first corner I was probably 14th or 15th, so to come back with that result was pretty good. We managed to get back in to the scheme of things, but we were always a little bit on the back foot in terms of tyre wear and ultimately pace. If you don’t have the pace, then you can’t have the magic strategy. I was happy with how I drove and we got some points, but it wasn’t the result we wanted.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A tough race. Fourth and fifth places obviously weren’t the target going into the race, but the way it panned out it was obvious that tyre degradation was going to be a key factor. We didn’t quite have the pace today but we still managed to score some strong points. We made four pit-stops with both cars, saw some great work in the pit lane and recorded a succession of very fast stops. It was a good recovery after a difficult first lap for Mark.”
THIERRY SALVI, Renault: “We would have liked to have finished the race a couple of positions higher of course, but this year it is difficult to be aggressive as you have to manage tyre wear throughout the race. This in turn limits how you configure the engine and the options available to you. All the same, it was positive to finish fourth and fifth, which gives us a decent points haul from the weekend.”
Spanish Grand Prix
Montmeló, 12th May 2013
Pos. Time Gap Laps FL L
ALONSO 1st 1:39.16.596 – 66 1.26.681 53
1st stop Lap 9 New Hard
2nd stop Lap 21 New Hard
3rd stop Lap 36 Used Medium
4th stop Lap 49 New Hard
MASSA 3rd 1:39.42.645 + 26.049 66 1.26.394 56
1st stop Lap 8 New Hard
2nd stop Lap 20 New Hard
3rd stop Lap 36 Used Medium
4th stop Lap 51 New Hard
Weather: air 20/21 °C, track 35/38 °C. Sunny
Stefano Domenicali: “I am really happy with this great team result! We did a great job, both here at the track and back in Maranello. It was a very tense race, in which the slightest little detail could make a big difference. On this front, we read the race very well, when one considers how tyre management and calling the pit stops today made the difference and I can say without being presumptuous, that the team of engineers didn’t put a foot wrong. I think that is down to Pat Fry, even he wasn’t with us today on the pit-wall. These forty points taken in Barcelona are very important: Fernando yet again drove a great race, aggressive at the key moments and conservative when he had to manage his lead, making up ground on all his main rivals. I’m pleased we have closed the gap to all our closest rivals. I am also particularly happy with Felipe’s performance, because on this track, to start ninth and finish on the podium is not easy. He was in the fight right to the final moments and this result is very well deserved. After the way qualifying went yesterday, this result is the best we could have hoped for. We held our own against very strong opposition, but we know there is much to do to improve our car for Saturday afternoons, as we have said many times before, if we want to ensure we start from further up the order”.
Fernando Alonso: “Even if this is the third time I’ve won a home race, the emotion is still very strong, as if it had never happened before. It’s nice to be able to give the whole of Spain this win, especially at a time when the country is in crisis and for many people, it’s not possible to come here to bring their support. I thank everyone for that support and the team for doing a fantastic job. After a far from easy qualifying, everything went perfectly, the start, the strategy, pit stops, tyre management. At the start, I had to make up some places but after passing the halfway point on the straight, there was no more room to do so. So I switched off the KERS, so as to use it in Turn 3, where I realised, after watching the GP2 race, that it was possible to attack around the outside. We had to bring forward the final stop because of a slow puncture which meant the left rear tyre was losing pressure in the final part of the lap, but fortunately, that had no effect on the final outcome. I think that with this car we can fight for the World Championship, because in five races we have finished second once and had two wins. From now on, we must manage to produce a consistent performance and score as many points as possible because we are well aware that we are not the quickest and to change that many people are working night and day at the track and in Maranello”.
Felipe Massa: “I am very happy with this podium. It was a really nice race and a fantastic result for the whole team. When you start from far back everything’s more complicated, but I managed to get away well and I immediately had a fantastic pace. On the first lap I pulled off a few overtaking moves thanks to the car being very competitive, which meant I could be aggressive, while at the same time looking after the tyres. Right to the very end, I thought it might be possible to fight with Kimi, but when I fitted my last set of Hard tyres, the ones we thought would be best as they were new, I had oversteer and began to lose the rear much earlier than I had expected. All the same, I am very pleased with our performance at this track. Now we head for Monaco, a completely different track where overtaking is very difficult. We know we don’t have the quickest car, but all we can do is continue to work with the same amount of effort, because I’m sure we are going in the right direction”.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
2013 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
Circuit de Catalunya, Sunday May 12
“A solid platform from which to move forwards from here on in”
- Started 14th
- Finished 8th
- Fastest lap 1m27.957s (+1.740s, 14th)
- Pitstops Three: laps 11 (2.20s), 28 (2.64s) and 46 (2.80s) [Opt-Pri-Pri-Pri]
- Points 17 (10th)
“That was an interesting race.
“The lap to the grid was very slow, which hurt us, and my start wasn’t great. I had no grip, so Turn One was a mess. I was unlucky to end up 17th at the end of lap one.
“We took the same approach as in China, adopting a different strategy from the others. To finish eighth show what a good job the team did with the strategy. I don’t know whether we’ve improved our package or not, but we certainly beat some cars that we possibly shouldn’t have beaten.
“Still, it’s a positive that both cars finished in the points, and hopefully this’ll be the start of an upward trend. We gathered a lot of useful information today, and we’ll be working on that over the next few races in order to continue developing MP4-28.
“I want to say a big thank-you for all the support I’ve received from the British fans this weekend. It’s great to see so many Vodafone ‘rocket red’ caps and T-shirts in the grandstands. Hopefully, we’ll have a full house at Silverstone and we’ll be stronger there.
“There’s still a lot of work to do. It’s tough at the moment, but I’m pleased that we’re making the best of what we have.”
- Started 8th
- Finished 9th
- Fastest lap 1m27.251s (+1.034s, 10th)
- Pitstops Four: laps 10 (2.39s), 23 (3.96s), 30 (2.98s) and 50 (3.51s) [Opt-Pri-Pri-Opt-Pri]
- Points 12 (11th)
“That wasn’t the race I’d hoped for. It’s so difficult to manage these tyres. We didn’t do a perfect job, and, like many drivers, I required four pitstops.
“So I didn’t maximise the full potential of our car today, so I wasn’t happy in that respect, but, having said that, I think it’s been a stronger weekend overall for us.
“Our car is still improving, and I think we can do a slightly better job at Monaco. After that I hope we’ll be able to gradually close the gap to the cars in front of us over the next few races.”
MARTIN WHITMARSH Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Jenson drove a typically classy race to work his way back from a very unlucky start, which saw him drop almost to the back of the field, all the way through to eighth place at the finish.
“To do that, on this circuit, where overtaking is notoriously difficult, and in this car, which we know is not yet as competitive as we need it to be, was a seriously impressive feat. And to do it on a three-stop strategy, managing the tyres with impeccable care yet still keeping the pace consistently strong while so doing, was more remarkable still.
“By contrast, like most drivers here today, Checo opted for a four-stop strategy – but, like Jenson, he also drove a very good race, finishing in ninth place not far behind his far more experienced team-mate. At the end of the race Checo’s tyres required diligent nursing, but like Jenson he managed the situation very capably.
“We scored six world championship points today, and of course we aren’t satisfied with that. Nonetheless, to score points with both cars in what was a decidedly technical race is a very creditable achievement, and constitutes a solid platform from which to move forwards from here on in.
“Next we go to Monaco, a grand prix that McLaren has won a record 15 times in the past – and, although we aren’t predicting a 16th McLaren victory on those famously tortuous streets this year, we’ll be doing our utmost there to score as many world championship points there as we possibly can.”
Lotus F1 Team
Drinking from the Bottle – 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday
Kimi Räikkönen took his fourth podium finish of the season with second place in the Spanish Grand Prix; moving him to within a tantalising four points of Championship Leader Sebastian Vettel.
Romain Grosjean’s race ended after just 8 laps following a suspension failure on the right rear of his car. The team falls to third in the Constructors’ Championship, six points away from Ferrari who attained a double podium finish today.
Kimi started from P4 with used medium tyres, changing to used mediums on lap 10 and the same again on lap 26. He made a final stop for new hard tyres on lap 45.
Romain started from P6 on used medium tyres; his race ending with eight laps completed due to a broken suspension component.
Today was Kimi’s 22nd consecutive Grand Prix points finish; the Finn having completed every race since his Grand Prix return with Lotus F1 Team in 2012.
Kimi Räikkönen, P2, E21-03
“It’s good for the championship that Sebastian finished behind us”
“Unfortunately it’s second place again so it’s not time to celebrate too much. The car felt good and we did pretty much all we could today, but we didn’t have the pace to challenge Fernando [Alonso]. I drove to the maximum and it’s good for the championship that Sebastian finished behind us. It’s nice to be on the podium for me and the team; let’s see what we can do in Monaco.”
Romain Grosjean, DNF, E21-02
“There’s no-one to blame; it’s just a part of motor racing”
“I made a poor start but after that I was on the pace and we know we’re able to produce good race strategies, so there was potential for a strong result today. The car was feeling pretty good until we had an issue with the rear suspension which meant I had to return to the pits and retire from the race, which is a great shame. It’s always disappointing for everyone when something like this happens but there’s no-one to blame; it’s just a part of motor racing.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal
“It was a good job by the entire team today”
“Firstly, we need to investigate what happened to Romain’s car. I feel sorry for him and for the team. Equally however, I’m delighted for the team to achieve another second place with Kimi today. Once again he drove fantastically and we were able to give him a great car with a good strategy. We took points from Sebastian in the Drivers’ Championship, but we have lost out a bit in the Constructors’ Championship. It was a good job by the entire team today.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
“We’re very happy with a podium”
“We’re very happy with a podium. Losing out to Fernando in the first corner was a blow, and being held up behind first Lewis [Hamilton] then Sebastian certainly hampered our progress, but even so I don’t think we quite had the pace to take the win today. Unfortunately for Romain, and through no fault of his own, a rear suspension failure curtailed his race very early on. The cause of this has yet to be determined and we’ve completed many, many kilometres with this suspension configuration, so it’s difficult to pinpoint what might have occurred. We’ll be sending the parts back to Enstone to have a good look at what went wrong and avoid any recurrence.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader
“A very good result for the team to bring Kimi his third consecutive, and fourth podium finish in five races. Managing the tyres was again crucial to the result and is an area we work on very hard with the team, as delivering engine smoothness through the apex and exit of corners can really help the stability of the car; particularly in the heavy braking zones. It is a shame Romain could not go any further, but we have shown that we can be competitive on all types of track this season.”
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Barcelona – 12/05/2013
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished the Spanish Grand Prix in sixth and 12th places today.
Nico salvaged a sixth-place finish after starting from pole running an option/prime/prime/prime three-stop strategy
Lewis was forced to convert to a four-stop strategy during the race and finished outside the points in twelfth position
During his five race stints this afternoon, Lewis used option/prime/prime/option/prime tyres
Driver Car No. Chassis No. Result / Fastest Lap
- Nico Rosberg 9 F1 W04 / 03 P6 1:27.591
- Lewis Hamilton 10 F1 W04 / 04 P12 1:27.895
- Weather Warm and sunny
- Temperatures Air: 19-21°C Track: 35-39°C
I had a very tough race this afternoon. The start was good and I managed my first stint well to keep some of the quicker cars behind me. From there, I had to drive my own race and we began to go backwards as it made no sense to destroy my tyres by trying to stay ahead. We didn’t have the pace of the quickest cars today and there’s a growing gap to three teams ahead of us which we need to get on top of. We have a very quick car but we have to make it work for us in the race.
A difficult afternoon today and going backwards is never fun. We switched to a four-stop strategy during the race but I suffered with a lack of grip and balance throughout and we were never really able to get the tyres working. I know that everyone at the team is working so hard and we need to keep positive. I’m sure we will figure the problem out and we’ve got to keep pushing together to close the gap. I will be doing my best to help and encourage the guys.
We endured a very difficult afternoon and the comparison between our competitiveness in qualifying and in the race was particularly disappointing. Nico did an excellent job managing the tyres to make just three stops and his level of performance showed what our car is currently capable of on tracks like this. Lewis didn’t have a good balance at any point and that simply made a critical situation worse, which forced him to convert to a four-stop strategy midway through the race. We must find the key to why we are losing performance on Sunday afternoon and find the right solutions to improve.
Today’s race showed a similar pattern to what we have seen with our team in recent seasons: we have a quick car but it works the tyres too hard. The drivers experienced the reverse situation to what happened in Bahrain: Nico drove a very controlled race and was able to make a three-stop strategy work, while Lewis was forced to stop four times because he simply didn’t have enough grip at any point through the race and the car was sliding around. It is very clear that we have not yet found the right compromise between our performance on Saturday and Sunday and that we will need a lot of hard work to get it right.
Sauber F1 Team
- Spanish Grand Prix – Race – Sunday, 12.05.2013
- Weather: sunny, 21-19°C air, 35-39°C track
The Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona was influenced by a huge number of pit stops. This also affected the Sauber F1 Team drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Nico Hülkenberg. Gutiérrez had to stop four times and finished 11th, after coming from 19th and missing tenth place by less than half a second. Hülkenberg’s race was ruined by an early release at a pit stop, followed by a stop and go penalty. He came home in 15th.
Nico Hülkenberg: 15th
Start on medium tyres, lap 8 change to medium tyres, laps 21 and 34 change to hard tyres, lap 35 front wing change, lap 38 stop and go penalty. Lap 53 change to medium tyres
Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056)
“We knew that it would be a difficult race today. The start went well and, until the incident in the pit lane, we looked quite good. We planned for a three stop, but then had to convert to a four stop. But then we had the incident, which ruined the race for us. Obviously the timing wasn’t quite right, but we are a team, so we have to look into it and make sure it does not happen again. Overall the car still felt quite difficult to drive, and I think we still have some homework ahead of us.”
Esteban Gutiérrez: 11th
- Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
Start on medium tyres, lap 13 change to medium tyres, lap 28 change to hard tyres, lap 42 change to medium tyres, lap 54 change to hard tyres
“I focused on getting the most out of the car today, and it was important to achieve a result like this for me and the team. The team has given me the patience and tools to improve as a driver and this is what I could extract from the car. It was a tough race and tyre management was critical. At the beginning of the race I was quite surprised about how much I could get out of the tyres. The last two stints were a bit more difficult, but this is a step forward.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal:
“To finish a race without points is always disappointing. Nevertheless there were also some positives we could take from this weekend, for instance the better understanding of our car and the measures we had taken before coming here. We didn’t expect to make a huge step forward, because we knew that other competitors would also have improvements. However, our updates worked as expected, which is positive. Nevertheless, we know we have to further improve. The analysis of this weekend will help to make bigger steps in the future. Nico was in a strong position, but then the incident in the pit lane, which resulted from an early release, ruined his race. Esteban delivered a very strong performance, we are happy about it and we hope this will give him confidence.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:
“Both drivers had a strong start to the race. Unfortunately with Nico the incident in the pits cost him the chance of a good result. Esteban drove a very strong race and worked well with the engineers to get the most out of the car. Although he started from 19th, he missed tenth place by less than half a second. Our race pace was stronger today than in previous races, so we can take comfort from that, and we can look forward to the race in Monaco.”
Sahara Force India F1 Team
2013 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Race Report
Paul Di Resta scored six points for Sahara Force India in today’s Spanish Grand Prix. Teammate Adrian Sutil’s race was compromised by a slow pit stop, which denied him a chance to join Paul in the points.
P7 Paul Di Resta VJM06-04
Tyre strategy: Used medium, new hard, used medium, used medium, new hard
Paul: “We said before the race that seventh would be a good result and towards the end I was even fighting for sixth. So we can take a lot of positives from the weekend because this is a track that has traditionally not suited our car. It was a great effort by the team to get through to Q3 yesterday and come away with a seventh place today. The result shows the consistency that we have had since the start of the year and that we can perform each weekend. There’s more to come too, because there is more we can do to optimise the car with the new parts we introduced here, but this is definitely a big result for us.”
P13 Adrian Sutil VJM06-03
Tyre strategy: Used medium, new medium, new hard, new hard, used medium
Adrian: “It’s extremely disappointing to come away empty handed from this race because we were so quick today. My start was very good and I went around the outside of the first corner, which worked well because I was up in eighth by the end of the first lap. It was all going to plan until the first pit stop when there was an issue and I lost so much time. The team told me to switch the engine off while they sorted the problem, but it cost me the chance of points. For the rest of the race it was a case of pushing as much as possible because you never know what can happen. It’s frustrating, but you have to accept these things. Hopefully it will not happen again.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“It’s rewarding to come away with another seventh place for Paul and maintain our fifth place in the championship. Paul drove a very strong race and the calls from the pit wall kept him in the battle for sixth with Rosberg right until the last lap. On the other side of the garage there was bad luck for Adrian, who lost a considerable amount of time during his first pit stop when the right rear wheel nut cross-threaded. It was very unfortunate because he had an amazing start, moving up five places on the opening lap. His race pace was very impressive once again and he would surely have scored well today. As a team we will focus on the positives and head to Monaco confident that we can deliver a similar level of performance and get both cars in the points.”
Spanish GP Race
- Pastor Maldonado finished 14th with Valtteri Bottas 16th in today’s Spanish Grand Prix.
- The team opted to switch Pastor onto a four-stop strategy, because of the high tyre degradation, with Valtteri remaining on his planned three-stop.
- Pastor received a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane during his first scheduled stop.
- Both drivers had solid races getting the most they could out of the FW35.
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: We knew it would be a difficult race today but we can draw a slight positive from the three places Pastor gained from his grid position. We were suffering with high tyre degradation and so made the decision to switch Pastor onto a four-stop strategy. We committed to a three-stop with Valtteri, but we then lost a lot of time. We need to check the data as the degradation on his car was unusual compared to the pace we had on Friday. Everyone at Williams knows what needs to be done to turn things around and we need to keep working hard. We’d also like to thank all our fans and partners for their continued support.
Pastor Maldonado: The pace was unfortunately not in the car today. We made one more pit stop than we hoped to because I was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane but overall we did the best we could. We now need to regroup, work hard and prepare for Monaco.
Valtteri Bottas: I couldn’t feel the grip in the car and we were sliding a lot from the start which meant we were hard on the tyres. We made a three-stop strategy work but in the end, Pastor switched to a four-stop race and that seemed to be better. We’re not where we want to be, so there is still a lot of work to do.
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader: We’ve worked hard this weekend to optimise the new parts on the car and it has been a small step forward. We will now put this information into the programme for Monaco, which should play to the strengths of the chassis-engine package a lot more. Some of the advantages of the Renault engine are driveability and responsiveness and this is exactly what you need out of the slow corners at Monte Carlo. If we get a good result there it will really turn us round and kick start the momentum we need going into the next part of the season.
Scuderia Toro Rosso
2013 SPANISH GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY 12/05/2013
Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-04)
- Position: 10th
“I had a really poor start off the line, with a lot of wheelspin and, to be honest, the first few laps of the race I really struggled with front grip and locking the front brakes. I tried to be patient and eventually it improved and I could see the cars ahead of me were not pulling away so much. It was disappointing to lose ground like that, but the pace itself was not too bad. At the first stop, we made quite a few changes in terms of wing settings and tyre pressures and that helped, so the next two stints were quite good and I made a few passing moves, so it was certainly not a boring race. But then, towards the end of the race, our pace began to fade again. It wasn’t easy to get tenth, even if we looked on course to get more than the one point earlier in the race, so it’s better than nothing.”
Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03)
- Position: DNF
“After a good start, I then had a lot of understeer and we had to keep adding a lot of wing at each pit stop, which didn’t really help. The strategy we adopted was the right one and even with a damaged floor and wing I was able to do good lap times. Yet again I was unlucky and I hope that stops soon, because as I was coming into the pits, Sauber did an unsafe release with Hulkenberg who drove into me and then I had a problem with a tyre, so it was one problem after another today. I plan to have a better weekend in Monaco in two weeks time. I haven’t lost hope for the future, given the performance we had shown earlier in the weekend and it’s just such a shame as that good pace should have allowed us to score points today.”
Franz Tost: “As expected, this race featured a lot of pit stops because of high tyre degradation, so we knew that three or four stops was the most likely strategy and in the end, most cars did four. We had planned for three tyre changes but switched to four as the race evolved. Unfortunately, Jev’s race was ruined by the contact in pit lane with Hulkenberg’s Sauber. He had to return to the pits on lap 38 when it was clear he had a damaged tyre and then in the closing stages, we could see from the data that the damage to the rear of the car was getting worse and we called him in to retire in the pits. This incident had a serious knock-on effect for our other car, as we had to keep Daniel out for one more lap before a pit stop while dealing with Jev and, as his tyres were well worn at this stage it cost him a significant amount of lap time. Nevertheless, he managed to fight off Gutierrez in the closing stages to pick up a point for tenth place. Without that earlier problem, we should have been much closer to the McLarens with a possible chance of attacking them in the final part of the race. We must take heart from the improvement in performance terms that we saw on Friday and Saturday and work to get more out of the updates that delivered this step forward.”
Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain - 12th May 2013
Caterham F1 Team Partner Information
When Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic used jet biofuel for the first time ever in-flight, GE was there. GE’s CF6 engine used a biofuel based on coconut and babassu oil.
Race: Overcast, dry, air temp 20° / track temp 39° (start), 20° / 38° (lap 33), 20° / 39° (lap 66)
Lap 8: pitstop 1
Lap 23: pitstop 2
Lap 41: pitstop 3
Fastest lap: 1.29.362 (lap 43)
Giedo van der Garde
Lap 9: pitstop 1
Lap 20: pitstop 2
Lap 21: retired
Charles Pic, car 20, chassis CT03-#6: “I’m really happy with today’s performance. Finishing 17th doesn’t really tell the whole story as we ended the race right behind one of the Williams cars which shows that we’ve made some good progress this weekend. The blue flags didn’t help as without them I’d have had a much better chance of overtaking him, but it was still good that I could attack him in the last few laps. The car felt great for the whole race, particularly after my third stop when we went for a 25 lap final stint on the hard tyres and I was able to manage the degradation levels well which meant I could push right to the flag.
“It’s good to have a Sunday like this as I hadn’t really been able to get the most out of the new package on Friday or Saturday, but it felt good right from the first lap today. There’s still more to come from the parts we brought here, quite a bit more in fact, so we’ll work on that back at the factory and see how much more we can extract for the next race in Monaco. That’s obviously going to be busy for me and the whole team, but after seeing the pace we had today, more to come from the race five update and the fact the team has been strong there in the past, I think it could be a really interesting weekend for us.”
Giedo van der Garde, car 21, chassis CT03-#4: “It’s obviously such a shame that my race ended like it did today, but sometimes these things happen. I’d had a great start and was fighting with Button and both Williams cars through the first couple of stints The car felt great, really good and I was definitely having the best of the season so far. When I came in for my second stop I could feel that there was a problem with the left rear as soon as I rejoined the track. At some point the wheel came off so I tried to make it back to the garage to see if I could continue, but once the team had taken a close look it was clear I had to retire the car.
“As I say, it’s a shame but it’s another lesson for me and the team. Sometimes you don’t have the luck, but we have a lot of positives to take from this weekend. The updates on the car are working well, and we have more to come. Our race pace is really good, strong enough to fight with a few cars ahead and my quali performance was easily my best this year. Next up we go to Monaco, a track I know well and one where I was on the podium twice last year in GP2, and in Formula Renault 3.5, so another qualifying performance like I had in Spain, and a race like I had until retiring today, and I think we can do well.”
Marussia F1 Team
- 2013 Spanish Grand Prix – The Race
- Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
A hard fought race yielded little reward for the Marussia F1 Team in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona today, where Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton finished in 18th and 19th positions respectively.
Jules got a fantastic start but tagged his front wing in the first lap melee, which necessitated a pit stop on his second lap and took his pitstop tally to four instead of the planned three. His recovery was impressive indeed and he enjoyed three very strong middle stints in a bid to recover position over Charles Pic. Jules certainly had the pace and at times was almost two seconds quicker than the Caterham, halving the gap in the early part of the final stint. Unfortunately the advantage of Pic running to three stops proved too great a challenge and Jules was forced to back off to preserve his rapidly degrading tyres.
Max got a poor start and later in the race this was compounded by a problem during one of his three pit stops. He too drove a hard race to try to recover from his two setbacks and for much of the race his lap times were equal to those of his team-mate.
Jules Bianchi #22
“I feel like I drove a really hard race today but there is not so much to show for it. I am obviously pleased to have had three strong middle stints but the damage was done in the opening few laps when I had to pit for a new nose. I think we recovered well from this and had we not had the extra stop we could have been fighting with Bottas today. Our lap time was much faster than theirs and I managed to get the gap down to eight seconds in the final stint, but pushing so hard stretched the tyres too much and I had to back off to just focus on getting the car home. Another two-car finish is important to us. It was a race that demanded all my concentration and I certainly put all of the tyre management experience I have gained in the first four races to good use today, so it was quite an exhausting day but one which also had some positive highlights. I will focus on these and hope for better things in my home race in Monaco in two weeks’ time.”
Max Chilton #23
“It was disappointing to have such a problematic start to the race and then we had the pit stop issue, which was a further setback. What is encouraging is my lap time in free air today, which I’m pretty pleased with, and it’s good to be able to demonstrate more of my outright pace than I’ve been able to over the past few races. If we can get on top of some of these problems we can really start to come into our own a bit more. The pace is there so we should be able to get back to closing the gap to the midfield. Next it’s one of my favourite races and I’ll be doing everything I can to prepare for my first time out in a Formula 1 car there. Hopefully we can enjoy a better reward for our efforts.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“We leave the Circuit de Catalunya with mixed feelings about our Spanish Grand Prix weekend. On the one hand we have made clear progress with our development step for this race, not only coming into the weekend on Friday but also in the way we have optimised it session by session. We were hoping for better things in the race but we suffered a few setbacks with Jules and Max which overshadowed what should be the key take-out from today, which is our relative pace versus the cars around us. Both drivers were doing a good job of demonstrating that and having been forced to stop four times versus the planned three, and therefore having to complete the final stint on a scrubbed Hard tyre, Jules’ recovery was particularly impressive. With the benefit of a new tyre he would have been able to keep pushing in the final stint and it could have been a different result today. The pace development has come as the result of some very hard work back in Banbury and we need to maintain the momentum into Monaco now, where we will have some further, albeit more minor, upgrades.”
2013 Spanish Grand Prix – Race
ALONSO PUSHES FROM START TO FINISH TO WIN HIS HOME GRAND PRIX
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso won his home grand prix using a four-stop sprint strategy, ahead of Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen who stopped three times. Alonso claimed his 32nd win, which was his second at the Spanish Grand Prix, while his Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa claimed his first podium of the year despite starting from ninth on the grid following a penalty.
Alonso also set a new record by becoming the only driver to win the Spanish Grand Prix from a far down as fifth on the grid, demonstrating how tyre strategy can be used to gain track position. Raikkonen – who used a completely different strategy to Alonso with one stop less – nonetheless ran him close, finishing the race just 10 seconds behind the winner. Raikkonen was the only driver to complete three opening stints on the P Zero White medium before one final stint on the P Zero Orange hard.
As a result, the championship has now closed up considerably with the top three drivers covered by just 17 points.
All the drivers started on the P Zero White medium tyre with the exception of the two Marussias and the Caterham of Charles Pic, who elected to start on the P Zero Orange hard. An early stop for Ferrari allowed Alonso to get past the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and from then on the Spaniard was able to plan his strategy perfectly in order not to lose track position.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Strategy was again at the forefront of the Spanish Grand Prix, which as usual was very demanding on the tyres because of the unique characteristics of this circuit. This is why we saw high levels of degradation, which should not be seen again to this extent for the rest of the year. Our aim is to have between two and three stops at every race, so it’s clear that four is too many: in fact, it’s only happened once before, in Turkey during our first year in the sport. We’ll be looking to make some changes, in time for Silverstone, to make sure that we maintain our target and solve any issues rapidly. Congratulations to Fernando Alonso and Ferrari who pushed hard from start to finish to make the four-stop strategy work for them and seal a very popular result here. They planned their strategy from the start of the weekend, using the tyres wisely during qualifying, and then made it count with some fantastic overtaking moves.”
Fastest times of the day by compound:
|First||HUL – 1.26.586||GUT – 1.26.217||N/A||N/A|
|Second||WEB – 1.27.267||MAS – 1.26.394||N/A||N/A|
|Third||ALO – 1.27-440||SUT – 1.26.564||N/A||N/A|
Longest stint of the race:
|Medium||22 laps||V. Bottas|
|Hard||24 laps||C. Pic|
We predicted a three-stopper, but in fact Alonso went for a four-stop sprint strategy. He stopped for the first time on lap nine for the hard tyres, hard again on lap 21, medium on lap 36, and hard on lap 49. His team mate Felipe Massa adopted a similar strategy.
2013 Spanish Grand Prix – Starting tyre line-up
At the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix the drivers started on the following tyres:
|Van Der Garde||Medium|
Renault Sport F1
Tyred out – part II
Tyre wear dominated the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona, with most drivers needing to make four pitstops in order to finish the 66-lap race. Mark was the first driver to make a scheduled pitstop, on lap seven, and he conserved his tyres thereafter to come home in fifth place.
“We lacked a bit of pace and a bit of range during the race,” says Mark. “We didn’t have the speed of the Ferraris or Lotus and my race wasn’t helped by a slow getaway from the grid, dropping me from seventh to 12th. But I steadily pulled myself back into it and felt that I drove well, and given the circumstances it was good to score some points.”
After a couple of tough races in China and Bahrain, Mark had hoped for better luck in Spain, but it wasn’t forthcoming. In qualifying he was baulked by Felipe Massa – an incident that cost the Ferrari driver a three-place grid penalty.
“I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose,” says Mark, “because Felipe doesn’t normally do things like that. The top guys nearly always look out for each other, so perhaps he wasn’t told I was coming up behind him.”
With that lap ruined and Mark’s final run of Q3 compromised by the performance of his medium-spec tyres falling away in the final sector, Mark lined up seventh on the grid. It was a disappointing start position, but his early pitstop during the race gave him new rubber and clear air, from which he was able to make rapid progress up the order. In the space of six laps he went from 19th to sixth, which set him up for his fifth place finish at the flag.
“Given how far back I was at one stage, it was quite a good comeback,” says Mark. “But neither Seb nor I had the performance of the cars in front, and without that you can’t nail the magic strategy. With the tyres performing as they do, the races can be a bit frustrating, but that’s the way it is at the moment. I hope we can be more competitive next time out.”
The next race in the jewel in F1’s crown, the Monaco Grand Prix. Mark has taken two victories there in Formula One, in 2010 and ’12, and he’ll hope that his RB9 is more competitive through the streets of the Principality than it was around the fast sweeps of the Circuit de Catalunya.
“Monaco is unique,” says Mark. “It’s a race that every driver wants to win and I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great races there in the past. It’s a huge driving challenge and a great event; I’m looking forward to it.”