2011 Spanish Grand Prix (Catalonia) – Race Report

Even though the beginning of the race proved interesting for the top-3 drivers, about half-way in it was clear who was going to take the victory. In the end three drivers finished on points from outside of the Top-10.

The Top-10

Sebastian Vettel was driving for a podium position all through the race and eventually superior race strategy ensured his victory. Even though Lewis Hamilton tried to pass Vettel during the last half of the race, he never came close enough to have the chance. Jenson Button finished a respectable third, ensuring there were three World Champions on the podium today.

With Mark Webber finishing fourth, it was a good day for Red Bull Racing – although Mark definitely would have wanted to finish on a podium, considering he started at the pole. After shooting past the top three drivers, Fernando Alonso finished fifth and actually one lap down from Vettel. Still a solid race from Ferrari, despite Massa’s retirement. Mercedes GP had an excellent day with  Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg
both finishing on points, sixth and seventh respectively.

The last three scorers can all pat themselves on the back for their solid drive. Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi (who suffered from a flat tyre early in the race) drove a fantastic race to finish on points, ninth and tenth respectively. However, the biggest applause go to Nick Heidfeld, who after not driving in the Qualifying at all yesterday, rose from the back of the whole lot to finish eighth.

Golden Pineapple Award:

Vitaly Petrov fell back early on in the race and was unable to better his position as the race went on. Rather baffling considering how well Heidfeld did. Better luck next time Petrov, I’m sure we’ll see you on the podium again.

Drop-out count: 3

Only three drop-outs and all of them happened pretty late into the race. Hispania’s Vitantonio Liuzzi was the first retiree, but I didn’t see what happened to him which leads me to believe that he must have had technical difficulties. The same was the case for Ferrari’s Felipe Massa who was barely defending his position on points. Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus ran off the track late into the race though we never saw exactly what happened. Without Massa’s retirement, Kobayashi would have been the recipient of the Golden Pineapple award.

Back of the Lot news:

The Toro Rossos and Force Indias gave yet another unimpressive showing. Whereas Di Resta and Sutil actually bettered their results, Buemi and Alguersuari did poorly by comparison. The same goes for the Williams drivers. Despite starting from grid-9, Pastor Maldonado finished a poor 15th, only two positions up from his team-mate. Barrichello just wasn’t up to his usual speed this race.

Team Lotus were actually doing pretty well in the middle-part of the race, with Trulli even competing for decent positions in the mid-group, but as the race wore on he had to settle for fourth-to-last, ahead of Virgin‘s Glock and D’Ambrosio and HRT‘s one-time championship points-scorer Karthikeyan.