Webber dominates as Hamilton crashes out of second

2010 Spanish Grand Prix review

Webber led the field at the start of the race and stayed there

Webber led the field at the start of the race and stayed there

Mark Webber was untouchable in the Spanish Grand Prix and claimed his first win of the season from pole position.

But Lewis Hamilton suffered cruel disappointment as a failure on his front-left wheel caused him to crash out of the race on the penultimate lap.

That elevated Fernando Alonso to second place in front of his home crowd with Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull.

Vettel fell behind Hamilton at the first round of pit stops. He lost time being held in his pit box and when Hamilton came out the McLaren driver threaded between Vettel and Lucas di Grassi’s Virgin to stay ahead.

The German driver struggled to keep up with the McLaren as his adjustable front wing flap failed. Life got even more difficult for Vettel when he was forced to make an extra pit stop and nurse a brake problem to the end of the race. Not for the first time his RB6 lacked nothing in performance but needed better reliability.

Michael Schumacher scored the best result of his comeback with fourth place, spending much of the race defending his position from Jenson Button.

Button, who retained the championship lead by finishing fifth, criticised Schumacher’s driving, saying he was moving about too much on the straight: “You think with his experience he would know,” he said afterwards.

Felipe Massa took sixth for Ferrari despite damaging his front wing by clipping Karun Chandhok while lapping the HRT driver.

Adrian Sutil kept Robert Kubica behind him for seventh place and Rubens Barrichello was ninth for Williams.

A second home driver, Jaime Alguersuari, scored the final point of the day after an eventful race. He made an exceptional start, gaining six places to run ninth in the early stages. But he picked up a drive-through penalty after clipping Chandhok’s car, knocking the front wing off the HRT.

Vitaly Petrov climbed from 19th to finish 11th ahead of Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, who lost several places with a poor start.

But Nico Rosberg suffered a terrible race, finishing 13th and lapped after two pit stops – the first delayed when his right-front brake caught fire. He battled past Vitantonio Liuzzi and Nico H???lkenberg late in the race.

The revised Lotus and Virgin cars finished just 1.5 seconds apart after 200 miles of racing, Jarno Trulli leading home Timo Glock. Lucas di Grassi was 79 seconds behind his team mate in the old VR-01, suggesting the team have made a step forward with the new car raced only by Glock today.

Neither HRT made it to the finish – Chandhok retired shortly after changing his front wing and Bruno Senna crashed out on the first lap.

Sebastien Buemi and Pedro de la Rosa also failed to finish, retiring separately after colliding on the first lap. Heikki Kovalainen’s race never started, the Lotus driver being wheeled into the pits before the start of the race.

2010 Spanish Grand Prix

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199 comments on Webber dominates as Hamilton crashes out of second

  1. Morteza said on 9th May 2010, 16:13

    Unlucky Hamilton I have to say! Reminds me of last season’s race at Monza! He’s got it all, Hamilton I think is the best on the grid.

    • Last season at Monza Hamilton put it in the wall when he should really have been thinking about bringing the car home. At least this time his late retirement appears not to have been his fault.

      But unlucky? Remember that this is the guy who never had a mechanical retirement in his entire F1 career until last year at Abu Dhabi. Swings and roundabouts.

  2. Mike said on 9th May 2010, 16:14

    A few tid bits people will probalbly not consider, Rubens ended 9th, not bad considering he started 17th or so, anyone see how he managed that?

    Also both Virgins finished, that has to be a very important step for them.

    Alguersuari had another good weekend, 10th is good for him normally but today he managed it with considerable quantity of incidents including a collision and a drive through.

    Did anyone in Aus hear the Aus commentators say that the Virgin team should have just bought a GP2 car and gone just as fast? normally I argue in their favour but that was just a dumb thing to say…. lucky the HRT cars retired or they would really take offence!

    • BasCB said on 9th May 2010, 16:50

      Strange, that both Massa and Alguersuari had accidents with the HRT cars, Massa from behind and Alg driving over his front wing.

      Impressive drive by Chandhok to get as far and a shame he did not finish. Maybe Klein did give some setup tips.

    • BasCB said on 9th May 2010, 16:52

      I think Rubens made a great start, like Alguersuari who was just in front of him.

    • Re Rubens – Rubens ended 9th, not bad considering he started 17th or so, anyone see how he managed that?

      No perhaps it was because eight people in front of him retired in some way. ??

    • Mr. T said on 11th May 2010, 0:16

      Is the Aus TV feed available online – e.g. like BBC iPlayer? I’d be quite interested to hear what is broadcast in other countries. Apparently the US coverage is terrible.

  3. George said on 9th May 2010, 16:16

    I think what Jenson was referring to with the ‘he should know better’ comment was when he was coming out of the pits and Schumi came around the outside of him, could be my memory playing tricks though.

    Ruined my predictions with Vettel not winning and Lewis crashing out, but as they say, it’s a long championship :)

  4. Unlucky for Lewis, guess that would cancel out vettel’s problems from the start losing points also, so no need to compare luck when it comes down to the wire at the end with these two atleast.

    Alonso got lucky in my eyes vettel’s car/pitcrew falling apart and Lewis drives brilliantly but his tyre fails on him 2 laps until the end gifting Alonso the 2nd and vettel 3rd.

    Lewis I guess knows how Vettel feels when he loses points in good posistions on race day. Monza 09 just comes to mind for Lewis today, and even I’m gutted for him. I hope he comes back in Monaco and maybe win it which would be good for him.

    I’m very worried about the Red Bull car even more now then from the start. Either vettel needs to calm down over the race and treat the car better, or horner is going to have too hit newey around the head again to stop making the car fall apart so often for vettel.

    Not happy with Mercedes atm, it’s just like they went backwards more so then forward, maybe it was like that because Rosberg’s adjusments just didn’t work out for him all weekend, which made it look a lot worse then it did. The pit stop shambles didn’t help either for Rosberg so I do hope he doesn’t get destracted like Rubens did last year with the “blah, blah, blah” attitude towards the team, but I’m sure Mercedes will sort it out for him quickly enough for Monaco.

    Drivers of the race for me were Webber then Hamilton regardless of the end result.

    • BasCB said on 9th May 2010, 17:02

      Seems Lewis is pretty happy with the race anyhow. He can take a good feeling home, great driving, being in front of Button by a mile here and keeping Red Bull honest.

      That is a pretty good position to be in when your confident about being able to improve the car. Only a second place away from Alonso and even less behind Vettel

      • Patrickl said on 10th May 2010, 7:47

        Yeah, I’m sure all the other drivers felt deflated when the Red Bulls were almost a second faster than anybody else.

        Hamilton showed that at least he could pretty much keep up with them (although Webber was probably pacing himself). Impressive.

  5. Xanathos said on 9th May 2010, 16:31

    It was also a pretty good race by Kobayashi, at least after the start. He didn’t maki it past Petrov, but at least he was trying pretty hard. I hope he gets into the points soon.

  6. matt88 said on 9th May 2010, 16:53

    Hamilton wasn’t unlucky, he simply abused his tires and then went off. Alonso instead was quite lucky, but he was able to keep the pace of the Red Bulls although in a car that proved to be inferior this weekend.

    • DaveW said on 9th May 2010, 17:09

      Can we just quit this bizarre nonesense that tires puncture from wear? Tires can be worn clear down to the white “canvas” without losing air or suffering catastrophic failure. They are not pumpkins that rupture from being dropped.
      Lewis only regret today might be his slighly tardy start. As it was, he was almost able to get alonside both RedBulls. With a proper launch he may have been looking in for a win here.

      • Paul A said on 9th May 2010, 20:08

        Bridgestone, in their press release said (what else?): “We are working closely with McLaren to understand what happened to Lewis Hamilton, but initial impressions are that this was not caused by a tyre issue.”

        So look at probable facts: he set fast lap of the day just before the “puncture”; his FL tyre looked a little odd immediately before failure; it suffered catastrophic failure. Your are correct that “wear” does not cause punctures until you go through the canvas. Punctures are simply a loss of pressure, can be caused by external debris, mechanical damage to the wheel, or structural failure of the tyre carcass from overstressing and overheating it – and this is what I am assuming.

        This is consistent with Hamilton’s reputation of being hard on tyres. Whether you like it or not, and whether or not his team had wanted him to push Weber into a Vettel-like brake failure, he would have shown far greater maturity backing off and taking 18 points instead of 0.

        Being a gung-ho crowd pleaser is not necessarily what champions are made of.

        • Rubbish Dave said on 9th May 2010, 20:53

          Hamiltons times

          lap 59: 1:24:357 (fastest lap)
          Lap 60: 1:24.757
          Lap 61: 1:25.042
          Lap 62: 1:25.129
          Lap 63: 1:25:735
          Lap 64: 1:25:602

          Which would back up what Hamilton said about him having backed off. Rather than pushing too hard and overheating.

    • judo chop said on 9th May 2010, 17:10

      Nonsense, his tires were fine. He wasn’t struggling for grip beforehand.

      • steph said on 9th May 2010, 17:19

        Actually Lewis did complain of lack of grip not long before the end but Whitmarsh indicated it could have been because of the wheel rim or debris rather than Lewis

        • judo chop said on 9th May 2010, 20:01

          Fair comment. But Lewis always whinges about his tires. He wasn’t sliding around or in any danger of being overtaken by Alonso.

    • Rubbish Dave said on 9th May 2010, 18:26

      I suppose a couple of years ago when Kovalainen had his tyre deflate in a fairly similar manner, it was because he abused his tyres too.

      It is rare for a tyre to deflate due to tyre wear. And there’s no evidence to suggest the tyres were excessively worn.

      But hey, you don’t like Hamilton, so you find a way to blame him. Whatever works for you.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2010, 19:38

      At the moment there’s no indication Hamilton’s failure was wear-related, so let’s not jump to conclusions.

      Ordinarily when tyres wear out they don’t just suddenly fail, they degrade in performance lap after lap, which didn’t happen here.

      • rampante said on 9th May 2010, 19:41

        Well said Keith. The comments about Hamilton not capable of looking after his car are just way outside the box. Give the man credit for what he does and that’s from a Ferrari fan of more years tham most of you have been alive.

        • Totally agree with you (and with Keith, too). Although I am not quite fond of Ferrari, I admire you for sayind that – you must be an old-style Ferrari fan.

        • Patrickl said on 10th May 2010, 7:51

          The sad thing is that even before the race Legard was saying how Hamilton’s inability to handle his tyres explained his standing in the championship.

          Utter nonsense of course, but yeah it’s what some people seem to need to believe.

          • wasiF1 said on 11th May 2010, 7:31

            I wonder whether Lewis ran on some debris of Chandok’s car that was on the track on the penultimate corner.

  7. Calum said on 9th May 2010, 16:55

    Hopefully a win next week will help keep Lewis in a good mood!

  8. Monaco73 said on 9th May 2010, 16:57

    Webber surely for driver of the day. He controlled the race nicely, and nailed turn one at the start, just as he needed.

    Gotta feel sorry for Hamilton, and his tyres weren’t that shot to pieces, if you look at the replays. As Martin Whitmarsh mentioned, it was most likely the rim giving out for some reason.

    An OK drive from Alonso, he was lucky, but at least the engine lasted. Vettel was lucky his brake discs didn’t fail completely…and what’s with Massa…the guy needs to find his mojo. Finally, Jenson – stop moaning, what on earth do you expect from Schumi, driving the widest Mercedes on the track, to me, that was racing, he’s not going to leave the door open just like that.

    Monaco is going to be fun – and the race is going to test those engines and gearboxes – never mind the 24 drivers!

  9. B Pacman said on 9th May 2010, 17:04

    Brilliant drive from Mark Webber – just like in Germany and Brazil last year, he showed that when he starts from the front, he has the ability to blow everyone away. I just don’t believe that Mark, for whatever reason, has the ability to reproduce that form consistently over a whole season. Great on his day, but unfortunately that day doesn’t come round often enough.

    Lewis Hamilton, for yet another time this season, drove fantastically without getting the reward he deserved. His performances from the back of the field in Malaysia, in the wet of China and, of course, in getting through half the field in Australia were stunning – not forgetting his podium in Bahrain also – and yet he sits 21 points off Jenson Button at the top.

    Felipe Massa needs to find some confidence quickly – his performances have dropped off the edge of a cliff lately.

  10. sumedh said on 9th May 2010, 18:19

    I think the discussion on the 2010 regulations should come to the fore again. Clearly, F1’s problems which we saw at Bahrain are still existing.

    For example, Alonso today. He had a 30 second gap to Michael Schumacher. He had an option of pitting and coming back to reel in Hamilton and Vettel on tyres that were atleast 20-23 laps fresher than his opponents. And there was *no risk* involved in the 2nd stop. He definitely wasn’t going to lose any position. But he never took the chance!!
    Only reason being the inability to overtake a car however worn tyres may be on it.

    The moment Alonso was said to be discussing a possible 2nd stop with his engineers, Webber unleashed the fastest lap of the race. This tells us how much reserve speed all the drivers have at their disposal, but they don’t show it unless absolutely necessary.

    All the 2010 regulations have done is convert F1 from being a fast sport to an endurance sport. It is all about conserving at all the time. With track position a premium, and lack of overtaking a race that has neither safety car occurence nor rain is going to be extremely boring.

    Something which wasn’t true of the 2009 or previous regs, Eg: Silverstone 2007, Turkey 2008, Abu Dhabi 2009 (the ending stages).

    Drivers need to be given more incentive to push more. A compulsory 2nd pit-stop would obviously be wrong. But they could increase the pit-lane speed limits. Reduce the penalty for pitting, thus allowing chasing drivers the option to pit and attack. Otherwise, a bore season awaits us.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2010, 19:36

      I agree with your analysis that drivers have too much incentive to conserve their car, but that isn’t something that’s just come about this season – it’s gotten greater year after year as drivers now have to make engines and gearboxes last for more than one race.

      The points system also plays a role here. A driver in contention for the championship can’t risk not finishing in the points, it hurts their chances too much.

      • Keith it sounds like you may be advocating Bernies Medals idea.

        Wins ONLY count for anything, unless there’s a draw at the finish.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th May 2010, 8:07

          I think winning races should come with a greater reward.

          It’s clear the value of winning has been eroded in recent years as the value of finishing in lower places has been increased.

          In 2002 finishing second was worth 60% of a win, finishing sixth was worth 10%, and finishing seventh was worth nothing.

          Now finishing second is worth 72% of a win, sixth is worth 32% and seventh is worth 24%.

          The consequences are clear: to compete in the championship drivers and teams must ensure they finish races, by building more reliable cars and driving them more conservatively.

          • Hairs said on 10th May 2010, 13:23

            I think there’s at least as much to do with a change of driver culture, team management and car reliability, certainly over the long term.

            In the days when Prost was the only man who saw cruising to second or third in 4 races as a better strategy than winning two and DNF’ing 2, nobody needed to be “encouraged” to the win. Equally, in an era when you couldn’t be certain your car would always finish, grabbing the maximum points when it was going your way was vital. Not so these days. Red Bull had the faster car for most of last year, but the cleverer driver won out.

            As has been said before, teams and drivers can’t unlearn what has been learned. Changing the points system is only a realistic solution if all the cars are the same. They’re not. Cars that can’t fight for a win aren’t going to be encouraged by more points on offer, are they?

    • Umar Farooq Khawaja said on 9th May 2010, 21:55

      I totally agree with the analysis as well.

      I think that we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Drivers cannot push because they need to conserve bits of the car, plus the aero characteristics of the car makes it pointless exercise anyway.

      A lot less aero, but crucially, a lot less emphasis on conserving parts. 8 engines and 5 gear boxes for the entire year. They might as well be driving around in road cars.

  11. Gusto said on 9th May 2010, 18:35

    When a tyre deflates due to a puncture the tyre will start to heat up due to the tyre rolling on its side walls, this reinflates the tyre till it blows off the rims, this you can see when He goes into turn 3, the tyre takes on a bloated rounded look before the inner rim blows and flies off, it has nothing too do with tyre wear. Not the most exciting race but Ive seen worse.

  12. sumedh said on 9th May 2010, 19:12

    Saw some interesting stats on the Planet-F1 website.

    “In qualifying, Red Bull were – wait for it – 21st and 22nd through the speed trap.

    And in the same qualifying, they were – wait for it – 20kmph faster any other car through Turn 9 / Campsa.”

    • polishboy808 said on 9th May 2010, 19:32

      Interesting, I saw many people back off on that turn. But wow! 14 mph is a big difference.

    • Umar Farooq Khawaja said on 9th May 2010, 21:37

      That really is pretty impressive. Can you imagine the lap times if they had most speed in the straights?

      Wow.

  13. Alex said on 9th May 2010, 20:12

    What’s up with everyone calling this race boring? I might not have been the most exiting race but it certainly wasn’t boring. And a bad habit this year as we have had loads of DNS’s. Both lotusses, de la rosa, glock….

  14. Umar Farooq Khawaja said on 9th May 2010, 21:35

    Keith, Button did say that Schumacher was moving about a lot on the straight, but he did not say that Schumacher would know better with his experience about his moving about on the straight. Button said that about Schumacher turning in on him in Turn 1 after Button’s first pit stop.

    Personally, I think Button was being less than gracious towards Schumacher in his after-race comments. I didn’t see anything unfair or dangerous from Schumacher. I did think that he did an outstanding job keeping a much slower car ahead.

    BTW, when did moving about on the straight become dangerous? I thought it was only moving about in the braking/turning zones that was considered bad form.

    For me, Schumacher was definitely driver of the day for keeping Button behind for almost an entire race distance.

    • Bullfrog said on 10th May 2010, 8:34

      Schumacher was pleased with it too. Did you see his interviews after the race? He was nearly as stoked as Webber!

    • Mr. T said on 11th May 2010, 0:27

      > when did moving about on the straight become dangerous?

      Could be a reference to the outcome from Hamilton weaving in front of Petrov in China.

  15. rikadyn said on 9th May 2010, 23:21

    This track needs to be razed.

  16. simone said on 9th May 2010, 23:47

    Something actually broke on Lewis’s tyre, this is nothing to do with his ‘driving style’ – now I thought I saw something hit his tyre, but my other half (and we repeated this 3 times) just thought that something broke off. Martin Whitmarsh hinted after that it wasnt a straightforward puncture. – can anyone shed some light on what actually happened?

    Also, is it just me or has Massa been missing some mojo this weekend…

    • Re Massa – Massa for me has not seemed the same for the last two races, and with the rumour of kubica signing for next year, maybe it’s not just a rumour, and the fight has gone from him, or alternately maybe he’s been told to defer to Alonso so has no incentive anymore. ??

      You tube has a clip and if stopped at the right moment, looks like the inner wheel rim breaks. (Very tricky to stop in the right place).

    • Re Massa – Massa for me has not seemed the same for the last two races, and with the rumour of kubica signing for next year, maybe it’s not just a rumour, and the fight has gone from him, or alternately maybe he’s been told to defer to Alonso so has no incentive anymore. ??

      You tube has a clip and if stopped at the right moment,(Very tricky to stop in the right place)looks like the inner wheel rim breaks.

  17. Jake said on 10th May 2010, 2:19

    Hamilton is of a different color. Most will never admit he is the best. Its just to hard.

  18. Catalina ;) said on 10th May 2010, 2:43

    Someone explain me
    Did Hamilton got it wrong in the last lap? cos I think he didn’t.
    I’m pretty sure it was a car failure or something else.

    • dragon said on 10th May 2010, 3:17

      Nah, he didn’t get it wrong, although some will say he was going fast for no reason. Turn 3 is extremely hard on the left front tyre, but there’s no way to predict that it will just go on you like that. He was pushing hard because the team knew that if Webber was suffering the same brake problems as Vettel, then there was an outside chance for victory.

  19. dragon said on 10th May 2010, 7:30

    Naturally the RB6 will carry less speed through the speed trap – no F-duct, the slightly less powerful renault engine, and a hair more downforce than the rest. Vulnerable on straights, but untouchable through medium to high speed corners.

  20. PeterG said on 10th May 2010, 7:57

    It was a great race. Seeing Schumacher being attacked by Button for 45 laps! Shame for Hamilton because his failure cost me a lot of points in predicition game.
    But how about Kamui Kobayashi completing a full race?
    He must be naed driver of the day. He completed four times more laps in this race then all first four races combined. Shame he did not get a point for it.
    Will Schumacher be on podium in Monaco?
    Will Hamilton finally turn his speed into a win?
    It’s only one week.

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