Spanish Grand Prix – Race

As always, my race notes are after the cut…

The grid is: JB, SV, RB, FM, MW, TG, JT, FA, NR, RK, KN, NP, NH, LH, SBu, KR, SBo, HK, AS, GF.

JB leaves everyone away on the formation lap
Long wait for JB and those at the front while the back markers form up

01/66: RB has passed JB before they enter Turn 1
Contact at the back – JT cut the corner?
Safety Car deployed
Replay shows JT cut the corner and others moved to avoid him rejoining
Out are JT, SBu, SBo & AS

02[SC]: RB, JB, FM, SV, MW, FA, NR, TG
GF pits

03[SC]: KN pits from P12
Another replay – NR nudged JT, spinning the Toyota

04[SC]: KN sets the fastest lap … because he’s catching up to the back of the pack

05[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap

06: RB gets the green flag for the restart
FA slipstreams past MW on the main straight but MW retakes P5

07: RB f/lap 1:24.581
HK very slow on the straight
LH pushes past NP for P12
HK still slow

08: RB f/lap 1:24.172
HK finally makes it back to the pits and he’s pushed into the McLaren garage

09: RB f/lap 1:23.938
JB f/lap 1:23.898

10/66: RB, JB, FM, SV, MW, FA, NR, TG; retirements: AS, SBo, SBu, JT, HK
RB f/lap 1:23.888
JB f/lap 1:23.849
SV is right on the tail of FM

11: RB f/lap 1:23.719
HK retirement caused by a gearbox problem?

12: RB f/lap 1:23.334

13: RB f/lap 1:23.103
JB is 1.4secs behind teammate RB
SV and now MW are stuck behind FM
KR all over the gearbox of NH, pushing him for P9

14: RB f/lap 1:23.094
JB f/lap 1:22.950

15/66: RB, JB, FM, SV, MW, FA, NR, TG; retirements: AS, SBo, SBu, JT, HK

16: KR still tied up behind NH

17: TG pits from P8

18: JB f/lap 1:22.899

19: JB pits from P2 – soft tyres again – looks like he’s still on a 2-stop strategy
FA pits too
KR is moving very slowly – on-car it sounds pretty sick

20/66: RB pits from P1 – another set of the soft (option) tyres – not a lot of fuel though
MW pits too

21: FM and SV pit from P1 and P2 respectively – exit in the same order

23: Pit-car radio for RB – sounds like RB is pitting once more than JB

24: RK pits from P7

25/66: RB, NR, JB, FM, SV, NH, LH, MW but NR SV & NH all have yet to pit

26: NR pits from P2 – rejoins behind FA

27: RB has a 10.5s lead over JB – he’s got to build a gap for his extra pit stop
SV continues to harry FM for P3

28: NH & LH are the only runners yet to pit

29: RB f/lap 1:22.762

30/66: RB, JB, FM, SV, NH, LH, MW, FA; retirements: AS, SBo, SBu, JT, HK, KR
RB’s lead now up to 13.0secs

31: Brawn team get ready for RB
GF pits – his 2nd stop – the first was behind the SC

32: RB pits from P1 – 6.7s stop – more soft tyres
NH & LH pit too
Soft tyres again for LH – means he’s got to pit again
LH defending from TG & RK

33 (half distance): LH holds off TG for P10

35/66: JB, FM, SV, RB, MW, FA, NR, NH; retirements: AS, SBo, SBu, JT, HK, KR

37 KN pits from P9
{Lost TV coverage!}

40/66: JB, FM, SV, RB, MW, FA, NR, NH; retirements: AS, SBo, SBu, JT, HK, KR
{TV back}

41: FM lost the front left wheel duct on the main straight

43: FM is 0.5s/lap faster than JB
LH tells his team his “rear tyres are finished”

44: FM & SV pit from P2 and P3 – slightly slower stop for Red Bull – rejoin in P5 & P6

45/66: FA pits from P4
RB told to push harder
FA exits the pits in the middle of the LH/TG battle – FA passes LH – the crowd cheer as the home boy takes P8

47: RK pits, followed by NP

48: JB has a 12.1s lead over RB, who has MW under 3secs behind
TG pits from P10 – that’ll be a relief for LH

49: JB pits from P1 – RB retakes the lead but he’ll have to pit again – 8.7s stop – hard tyres – that’s his final stop
LH pits from P9 – 6.0s – hard tyres

50/66: RB, MW, JB, FM, SV, NR – he pits

51: RB pits – I thought he’d go longer on this stint – 6.1s – hard tyres – safely out in P2
MW pits too – also out ahead of FM

52: JB, RB, MW, FM, SV, FA, NH, NR; retirements: AS, SBo, SBu, JT, HK, KR
KN pits from P9 – I think that’s the last of all the scheduled stops

53: SV pushing FM for P4 – FM has KERS so there’s no obvious spot for SV to try to pass

54: FM told to conserve fuel – was there a refuelling problem?
He’s got SV right on his tail, so not sure how he can ease off without giving up P4
GF pits for a fourth time – problem with the Force India?

55/66: JB, RB, MW, FM, SV, FA, NH, NR; retirements: AS, SBo, SBu, JT, HK, KR

56: JB still opening his lead – now 9.7s over his teammate

57: Pit-car for FM tells him he’s using too much fuel – keep going at that pace he won’t get to the end of the race
FM asks “what do I do?” because he’s either got to pit for fuel or slow his pace and give up P4
FA is 17.5s behind SV, so if FM pits he’ll lose P5 and maybe more places too

59: MW just 1.2s behind RB
TG is right on LH’s tail again – has a look around the outside in Turn 5

60/66: JB, RB, MW, FM, SV, FA, NH, NR
BBC say Ferrari have confirmed they had a refuelling problem

61: LH reminded by his team to use KERS on the main straight to hold off TG

62: SV is tucked right up under FM, waiting for the Ferrari to make a mistake … or run out of fuel
MW still pushing hard – will he take a risk to pass RB for P2?

63: LH laps RK who’s in P11
SV passes FM on the main straight and opens a big gap
Pit-car tells FM they’re a lap short on fuel so he’s got to short-shift and conserve fuel

64: FM is 4secs/lap slower than the front runners – he’s only 13s ahead of FA so he can’t give up too much speed

65/66: JB laps LH – a metaphor for the change in championship leader too?
LH still defending P9 from TG

66 = final lap: JB still setting a good pace
FA has caught right up to FM … and eases past to take P5

JB takes the chequered flag – his fourth win in five races
RB over to make it another Brawn 1-2
MW just 0.8s behind in P3
SV and FA home in P4 and P5 respectively
FM just 1.4s ahead of NH, with NR taking P8
FM has parked the Ferrari on track – couldn’t make it back to the pits

Provisional result: JB, RB, MW, SV, FA, FM, NH, LH, TG, RK, NP, KN, GF; retirements: AS, SBo, SBu, JT, HK, KR

Next race: Monaco in 2 weeks (May 21-24).

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