Fernando Alonso claims second home F1 GP win
Fernando Alonso leaped back into the title race with a comfortable victory in the Spanish grands prix. Despite starting in 5th the home favourite took the lead early on and didn’t relent as his 4 stop strategy was perfectly judged. Kimi Raikkonen followed him home in second after gambling on a three stopper, while Alonso’s team mate Felipe Massa underlined Ferrari’s dominance by finishing third after starting 9th.
For Alonso his second win of the season is key as it proves Ferrari have a consistent race winning car for the first time in 5 years. Alonso’s supreme driving has kept him in title fights in previous seasons but with a competitive car underneath him he has a steady platform on which to build a strong campaign.
One of the weekend’s big surprises was the lack of pace shown by Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel. The German maintained his title lead by coming 4th, but it has been significantly cut following his lonely weekend here.
The Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had a dismal race following yesterday’s supremacy in qualifying. The duo started 1st and 2nd but quickly fell backwards as the race pace of Alonso, Raikkonen and Vettel was too much for them to handle. They sunk through the field throughout the afternoon. Rosberg finished 6th, Hamilton an awful 12th.
For Alonso it was much of the same. A bolting start which saw him pass both Vettel and Raikkonen set the trend. Rosberg and Hamilton were a brief distraction and so clear track presented itself quickly as Alonso took the lead. Vettel and Raikkonen quickly followed in disposing of the Mercedes pair, and then Massa, who started 9th, made his move.
Through the pit stop chaos Alonso emerged in front with no real problems. Massa leap frogged Vettel, who fell back, while Raikkonen remained in the hunt with his three stop strategy. The battle was between the two old foes of Alonso and Kimi and it was the Spaniard who prevailed. Alonso’s pace on the new tyres was unrivalled and he deservedly won. It is still a good weekend for Raikkonen, who has turned into Mr consistent in his second spell in the sport. He is a huge contender for the championship.
Massa did his best to hunt down the Finn but in the end he settled of his first podium of the new season in a timely reminder of his fantastic revival this year. Sebastian Vettel led home a Red Bull 4-5 with Mark Webber just behind, while Rosberg piped Paul di Resta to 6th. Jenson Button and Sergio Pérez finished 8th and 9th in the McLaren whose major upgrade has done little to improve the car. They now face a crisis to try and get their season on track or they face a battle to score regular points.
With today’s result the field bunches up again as Vettel and Raikkonen are separated by just four points with Alonso just 13 behind. Next up is the Monaco Grand Prix and no one can and will be able to predict the latest twist in this 2013 season.
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