Grand Prix of Spain – Race

Both Toro Rosso drivers qualified ahead of the senior Red Bull cars.

Grid: ROS, HAM, VET, BOT, SAI, VES, RAI, KVY, MAS, RIC; GRO, MAL, ALO, BUT, NAS; ERI, HUL, PER, STE, MER.

Pirelli predicts “A three-stop strategy is theoretically slightly quicker for the 66-lap race, but doesn’t justify the traffic risks involved. Consequently, a two-stopper is actually more likely: especially for the cars at the front of the grid.” [BBC]

Engines are fired up on the dummy grid
ROS leads everyone away on the formation lap
Looks like everyone is starting on options (medium compound)
Very slow approach to the grid – ROS doesn’t want to wait too long for the tail-enders to get in position

01/66: Clean start
VET into P2
BOT inside HAM trying to take P3 but HAM stays ahead
RAI past SAI
RAI around the outside of VES too

02: ROS, VET, HAM, BOT, RAI, VES, SAI, MAS, GRO, RIC, MAL, ALO, KVY, NAS, ERI, PER, BUT, HUL, MER, STE
Radio from NAS complaining of “a lot of vibration”

03: ROS fastest lap 1:32.313
MAS easily past SAI for P7
GRO closing on SAI now

04: ROS f/lap 1:31.755
MAS uses DRS to pass VES to take P6
MAL passes teammate GRO
RIC round the outside of GRO
Radio from GRO – “check my front”

05/66: ROS, VET, HAM, BOT, RAI, MAS, VES, MAL, SAI, RIC
Replay of the start shows HAM lighting up his rear tyres
Radio from HAM saying it’s “impossible to get close” to VET … which Ferrari then relay to VET

07: ROS f/lap 1:31.539
Official FIA app has stopped refreshing 🙁

10/66: ROS, VET, HAM, BOT, RAI, MAS, MAL, VES, RIC, GRO; SAI, ALO, KVY, NAS, ERI, PER, HUL, BUT, MER, STE
ROS f/lap 1:31.403
ROS already has a 6sec lead over VET, who has HAM only about 0.5sec behind

11: RIC dives inside VES but runs wide; VES retains P8

12: KVY pits, as does BUT

13: Radio for BOT – tyres looking good; “plan C” (2-stop?)
Radio for HAM encouraging him to keep attacking VET

14: HAM pits from P3; slow stop due to problem with rear left; more options
HAM rejoins behind MAL

15: VET pits from P2; clean stop; options; rejoins with a clear gap ahead of HAM

16: ROS pits from P1; clean stop; options; rejoins behind RAI
HAM f/lap 1:31.033
MAL pits; mechanics rips off part of the rear wing, which had been damaged when he made contact with GRO some laps before

17: RAI pits; primes = different strategy to his teammate

18: HAM asks his engineer not to talk to him in corners, again
KVY takes P13 from SAI

19: HAM just over 1sec behind VET, so no DRS yet
FIA app continues to be unreliable

20/66: ROS, VET, HAM, BOT, RAI, MAS, ALO*, PER*, RIC, GRO, VES, KVY (*yet to pit)
HAM looking for a gap
PER pits

21: HAM looks down the inside of VET but he’s not close enough
HUL attacking SAI; HUL runs wide
Radio from SAI – “this is clearly not the race tyre” (he’s on primes)
RAI frustrated at back-markers

22: ALO pits
Radio for GRO telling him to “lift when you use the bad gear” or “you’ll blow the engine up”

25/66: ROS, VET, HAM, BOT, RAI, MAS, RIC, GRO, KVY, VER; no retirements yet

26: Radio from BUT reporting wheel spin as soon as he’s on the throttle

27: MAL (with damaged wing) passes BUT for P17
ROS laps BUT
ALO runs wide in Turn 1; now has ERI on his tail
ALO making an early stop; reporting problem with brakes
ALO pits; can’t stop in his box; front jack man leaps out the way
ALO pushed into garage

28: SAI closing on VES

29: BUT pits; clean stop
Radio for ROS confirming good pace

30/66: ROS, VET, HAM, BOT, RAI, MAS, RIC, GRO, KVY, VES; retirement: ALO

31: VET making better progress through traffic than HAM

32: ROS 9.5sec ahead of VET

33: HAM pits; primes; rejoins P5 behind RAI
MAS pits too; rejoins P6

34: Good pass with DRS for HAM as he takes P4 from RAI

35/66: ROS, VET, BOT, HAM, RAI, MAS, RIC, GRO, KVY, VES
HAM f/lap 1:29.910 – most people are currently postIng 1:32+
Radio for BUT confirming ALO has retired; “problem does not affect us”

36: Official FIA app is useless – timing info is completely unreliable!

38: VET 13sec behind ROS
Radio for RAI – BOT’s tyres going off

40/66: ROS, VET, HAM, BOT, RAI, MAS, RIC, GRO, SAI, NAS

41: VET pits from P2; good stop (2.2sec); primes; rejoins P4 between BOT and RAI
GRO pits; over-runs his box and hits a couple of mechanics!
Lotus mechanics seem to be OK

44: RAI pits from P5

47: Radio for MAL telling him they have to retire the car at the end of this lap
RAI takes P5 from MAS

48: MAS pits

49: HAM continues to open the gap to VET; now 21.7sec, which is almost enough for a pit stop

50/66: HAM, ROS, VET, BOT, RAI, MAS, RIC, GRO, KVY, VES; retirements: MAL, ALO

52: HAM pits from P1; decent stop (2.6s); rejoins P2 comfortably ahead of VET

53: Radio from VET – “we’re losing too much time in traffic”

54: ROS f/lap 1:29.109
HAM f/lap 1:28.401

55/66: ROS, HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, MAS, RIC, GRO, KVY, VES; SAI, NAS, PER, ERI, HUL, BUT, STE, MER; retirements: MAL, ALO
HAM f/lap 1:28.270
Radio from VET shouting “blue flag” as he laps back-markers

56: BOT closing on VET, hence his frustration
ROS has lapped everyone up to & including RIC in P7

57: Radio for HAM – “consolidate the position”; HAM asks if it’s impossible to catch ROS; engineer doesn’t really answer the question so HAM asks again if it’s *impossible*; yes, it’s impossible

59: ROS is 15.5sec ahead of HAM

60/66: ROS, HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, MAS, RIC, GRO, KVY, VES
RAI pushing hard to catch BOT

61: RAI closing as BOT catches a Toro Rosso (VES)

62 = 5 laps remaining: other than ROS and HAM, MAS (P6) is fastest runner

63: VES lets BOT and RAI pass, but now VES has SAI right on his tail
SAI takes a look at his teammate but VES keeps P10
VES runs wide
VES defends into Turn 1 but SAI takes P10

64: RAI still on the rear wing of BOT’s Williams

65: BOT keeping just enough of a gap to RAI
RAI’s visor rip-off still attached and flapping around; pulls it off

66 = final lap: SAI attacking KVY; contact; SAI runs wide, off track

ROS takes the chequered flag – that’s 9 different winners in 9 years!
HAM P2
VET brings the Ferrari home for P3
BOT holds off RAI

Provisional result: ROS, HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, MAS, RIC, GRO, SAI, KVY; VES, NAS, PER, ERI, HUL, BUT, STE, MER
DNF: MAL, ALO

The classification shows SAI ahead of KVY but there’s bound to be an investigation of that pass in the final lap, which (I think) ought to put KVY P9 and may even penalise SAI out of the points.

Podium interviewers:
ROS: finally got a good start
HAM: grateful I could back up to P2; difficult weekend for me
VET: as a racing driver, you always need to complain about something 🙂

3 Replies to “Grand Prix of Spain – Race”

  1. “The stewards in Spain have opted against taking action against Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz or Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat over their last lap altercation in Barcelona.” [FIA]

  2. “Fernando Alonso’s Spanish Grand Prix retirement was caused by a tear-off strip from his own helmet visor blocking one of his rear brake ducts. The odds of this happening are minuscule but the incident caused overheating and then total failure of the McLaren driver’s rear brake system.” [BBC]

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