Grand Prix of Spain – Race

VET managed to split the Mercedes pair in yesterday’s Qualifying session.
Provisional grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, ALO, PER, MAS, OCO, MAG, SAI, HUL, GRO, WEH, ERI, PAL, STR, VAN, KVY.

Since then, McLaren have put a new Energy Store (ES) and new Control Electronics (CE) in VAN’s car which means 10 grid spot penalty, but in reality he’ll drop from P19 to P20. [FIA]

30 minutes before the start of the race; pit lane opens and they start heading out to the grid
Everyone managed to get their cars onto the dummy grid, which is an improvement on some recent races 🙂
15mins to go; time for the national anthem
Drivers head to their cars

Grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, ALO, PER, MAS, OCO, MAG, SAI, HUL, GRO, WEH, ERI, PAL, STR, KVY, VAN.
Air temperature 24°C; track 44°C; sunny with a few clouds; forecast says 10% chance of showers

Mechanics clear the track
Looks like everyone’s starting on soft tyres except PAL, KVY and VAN who are on mediums
HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
Yellow flag as ALO takes his time to pull away
Grid forms up

01/66: VET leads into Turn 1
RAI off – broken suspension
ALO cuts across the gravel
Smoke from MAS?
Looks like VER has a problem too

02: VET, HAM, BOT, RIC, PER, OCO, HUL, MAG, SAI, GRO, ALO, WEH, STR, ERI, PAL, VAN
KVY pits, followed by MAS and VER
RAI can’t make it to the pits – pulls off track

03: VET fastest lap 1:26.584
PAL in the pits

04: VET f/lap 1:26.210
SAI attacking MAG for P8 but the

05: HAM f/lap 1:25.892
VET, HAM, BOT, RIC, PER, OCO, HUL, MAG, SAI, GRO, ALO, WEH, STR, ERI, VAN, KVY, PAL, MAS; retirements: VER, RAI
Incident involving RAI and VER – no action warranted

06: Replay of the start shows BOT brake a little early for Turn 1; RAI tries to cut in front – contact between his rear right and BOT’s front left; RAI runs into VER and they both end up with suspension damage
Incident involving ALO and MAS under investigation

07: Radio from HAM – “it’s not easy to keep up with him” (meaning VET, who is 2.5sec ahead)

10/66: VET, HAM, BOT, RIC, PER, OCO, HUL, MAG, SAI, GRO
VET f/lap 1:25.806
SAI seems frustrated behind MAG

11: Incident involving ALO and MAS – no action warranted

12: Radio for HAM – “give it everything you’ve got”
Incident involving RAI, VER and BOT under investigation

13: ALO pits, as do STR and VAN

14: MAG and SAI pit – the on-track battle moves to the pits – they leave their boxes almost together – SAI tries to use the grass to pass MAG as they rejoin the track
MAS pits

15/66: VET pits from P1; soft tyres; rejoins just behind RIC
Incident involving MAG and SAI under investigation

16: HAM f/lap 1:25.701
VET makes a clean pass on RIC
HUL pits
KVY lets teammate SAI past for P12

17: VET f/lap 1:24.901
OCO pits from P6

18: ALO looks around the outside of KVY but KVY holds on to P13

19: HAM is almost 2sec/lap slower than VET – Mercedes should pit him ASAP… or are they trying a 1-stop strategy?
PER pits, as does ERI

20/66: HAM, BOT, VET, RIC, GRO, WEH, PER, OCO, HUL, MAG, SAI, KVY, ALO, STR, ERI, PAL, VAN, MAS; retirements: VER, RAI
GRO pits
Radio from HAM – concerned about rear tyres; he sounds like he’s working hard
VAN takes P16 from PAL

22: HAM pits from P1; medium tyres – he could, in theory, go to the end but they’re much slower than softs
RIC pits; mediums too

23: VET closing on BOT
Radio from HAM asking how far ahead VET is; told 7.5sec but HAM “will have opportunities at the end”

24: BOT defends into Turn 1 as VET looks for a way round the Mercedes
BOT is almost 2sec/lap slower than his teammate, holding up VET as HAM closes
VET using all the track but can’t find a gap

25/66: BOT moves right to defend but VET uses the grass to get inside BOT and take P1

26: HAM easily takes P2 from his teammate
Great tactics and teamwork from Mercedes

27: BOT pits; mediums – he has a 7sec lead over RIC after that stop

29: ERI past ALO for P13

30/66: VET, HAM, BOT, RIC, PER, OCO, WEH, HUL, MAG, SAI, GRO, KVY, ERI, ALO, STR, VAN, MAS, PAL
BOT f/lap 1:24.696
WEH is the only one yet to pit

31: Radio for HAM telling him he needs to match VET’s time and close the gap; HAM says he doubts it on these tyres
Remember HAM is on mediums, VET is on soft; gap is 6.3sec

33: ALO pits from P14; rejoins P17
Half distance

34: MAS inside VAN to steal P14
VAN turns in, hits MAS, breaks the McLaren’s suspension and he’s stuck in the gravel
Virtual Safety Car deployed
Expect a penalty for VAN – that was stupid

35/66 [VSC]: HUL, WEH, MAG, STR all pit
Mercedes mechanics in the pit lane

36[VSC]: PER, OCO, SAI and GRO pit, but not HAM or BOT
VSC ends

37: HAM pits now; softs – can he make them last?
WEH under investigation – pit entry incident

38: VET pits; mediums; rejoins alongside HAM
VET and HAM together into Turn 1; HAM pushed wide; VET stays P1
If you run off in T1, you’re supposed to stay off track until you pass a bollard but HAM didn’t
Radio from HAM – “that was dangerous”; “he pushed me wide”

39: RIC pits from P4
BOT has pulled off and retired

40/66: VET, HAM, RIC, PER, OCO, HUL, WEH, SAI, MAG, GRO
VET getting DRS as he laps some of the midfield runners

41: RIC f/lap 1:23.686

42: VET makes his Ferrari wide as he defends from HAM
Radio for HAM giving him some data but HAM cuts him off – “Leave me to it Bono, please”

43: HAM needs to use his tyre advantage (soft vs VET’s medium) before they start to degrade

44: Two-thirds distance
HAM makes a good clean move to take P1
HAM f/lap 1:23.663
Incident involving HAM and VET – no investigation necessary

45/66: HAM, VET, RIC, PER, OCO, HUL, WEH, SAI, MAG, KVY, GRO, STR, ERI, ALO, MAS, PAL; retirements: BOT, VAN, VER, RAI

46: Radio from HAM asking if he needs to slow to cool his tyres
5-sec penalty for WEH for failing to stay to right of pit lane entry bollard

49: HAM is 1.8sec ahead of VET, with RIC a further 53secs behind

50/66: HAM laps OCO who is P5
Radio for MAG – “what can we do to go quicker?”; MAG replies “just let me drive!”

51: Radio for VET – “How about Plan C?” – VET says “He doesn’t seem to be using his tyres all out”

53: ALO pits again

54: Radio for HAM warning him VET might be making 3rd stop so open more of a gap

55/66: HAM, VET, RIC, PER, OCO, HUL, WEH*, SAI, MAG, KVY, GRO, ERI, STR, MAS, ALO, PAL (*WEH has 5sec penalty to be applied)

57: Radio for HAM – “keep this gap, it prevents VET 3-stop”
HAM’s lead is 3.8sec

59: Radio from SAI complaining of being down on power

60/66: HAM’s lead down to 3sec
VET nearly runs into MAS as the Williams driver tries to leave a gap to be passed a second time
Radio from VET – “why does it have to be Massa all the time?”
Radio from MAS – “I think he must be afraid of me”

61: ALO uses DRS to take P14 from MAS

62: ALO passes the other Williams now, taking P13 from STR

63: MAS closing on teammate STR

65/66 = 2 laps left: HAM f/lap 1:23.593
MAS makes an easy pass on STR for P14
GRO passes his teammate for P10 – MAG has a puncture
MAG pits

66 = final lap: Replay of MAG tapping KVY as he passes the Toro Rosso
MAG/KVY incident under investigation

HAM takes the chequered flag – his 55th victory
He lapped everyone from PER (P4) down, and ERI (P11) onwards were lapped twice!

Provisional result: HAM, VET, RIC, PER, OCO, HUL, WEH*, SAI, KVY, GRO; ERI, ALO, MAS, MAG, PAL, STR
(*WEH has 5sec penalty to be applied)
DNF: BOT, VAN, VER, RAI

Pre-podium room: HAM looks exhausted as he sits down still wearing his helmet
VET is quite chatty but HAM looks like he needs a moment to recover

The Mercedes engineer on the podium just dwarfs the drivers 🙂
Pedro de la Rosa (ex-Ferrari driver) spends a long time talking to VET
HAM thinks he lost about 2kg in the race!

Next race: Monaco in two weeks, with Button standing in for ALO.

Result: HAM, VET, RIC, PER, OCO, HUL, SAI, WEH*, KVY, GRO
*WEH’s 5sec penalty drops him to P8.

3 thoughts on “Grand Prix of Spain – Race

  1. “The Spanish Grand Prix stewards have handed Force India a suspended €25,000 fine after they were deemed to have failed to comply with new driver number rules for this weekend.” “However, in view of the following mitigating circumstances, the fine is suspended for a period of 12 months pending no further infringements of this nature.” [f1fanatic]

  2. “McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne has received a three-place grid penalty for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix after his race-ending collision with the Williams of Felipe Massa in Spain.” “In addition to a three-place grid drop, Vandoorne has been handed two penalty points on his licence. This brings his total up to three, as he’d picked up his first penalty point during the Russian GP for not rejoining correctly after running off-track at Turn 2.” [autosport]

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