Sebastien Buemi, Jenson Button, Barcelona, 2011

Rate the race: 2011 Spanish Grand Prix

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

What did you think of the Spanish Grand Prix? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix out of ten

  • 1 (1%)
  • 2 (1%)
  • 3 (1%)
  • 4 (2%)
  • 5 (5%)
  • 6 (11%)
  • 7 (29%)
  • 8 (33%)
  • 9 (13%)
  • 10 (4%)

Total Voters: 496

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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179 comments on “Rate the race: 2011 Spanish Grand Prix”

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  1. Excellent race.

    1. I hate Alonso. Ruined Webbers race, he should have been on podium. Race gets 6. Red Bull cars not good on this track for overtaking, DRS dont work.

      1. For me Alonso saved the race, if he hadn’t had that start, the Red Bulls would have zoomed off into the distance during their first sting, then controlling the race all after.

        1. bosyber is 100% on that one, not only that, but even I can admit how good it felt to hear the roar of the crowd as Alonso took the lead.

          I’m honestly quite sad the Ferrari didn’t allow Alonso to win this one. He drove fantastically.

          1. I must say I wholeheartily agree with you all on Alonso’s start getting the race going fine.

            After giving this a bit of thought I voted 8/10 as well.

            The DRS was just fine, helping the cars stay close but not to easy to pass. Alonso getting the start made the Red Bull cars have a fight on their hands. Shame Ferrari forgot putting a setup in that also worked on the hard tyres.

            Heidfeld had a great fight. It was good to see the Lotus cars actually fighting on track. Shame for Webber, seems Red Bull can’t get the strategy right for 2 cars and his start was #$%!@.

            Button made a different strategy work as well. And compared to all the recent races in Barcelona (or all races here?) it was a smasher.

            Biggest minus was again the inability of FOM to actually capture the action we want to see.

        2. +1 Exactly

        3. +1 Alonso was responsible for a large part of the fun in this race.

        4. Big difference between ‘Red Bulls’ and ‘Webber’. A lot of people seem to get them confused.

      2. He was in first place almost instantly at the beginning but by the end he got lapped by the leaders… LOL

        1. That really makes one think weather it was such a good idea to introduce this kind of tires. I mean the performance of a car is so different on some stages of the race. Now races depend too much on strategies, on how many sets of tires a driver has left etc. I say keep KERS and DRS but go back to Bridgestone-like tires. The show and quantity of overtakings would remain the same but drivers will be able to push harder and not worry about their tires being destroyed after 5-6 laps.

          1. Nonsense, the overtaking etc was a result purely of the tyres, DRS and KERS were not key factors in this race being considerably better than almost any Spanish GP in 20 years. Bridgetstone-like tyres means no opportunity to overtake on track so it all comes down to quick and well timed pit stops.

            The way it is now strategy is important BUT that strategy often requires drivers to overtake to make the strategy work, albeit the planned overtakes are often cars on newer tyres on older shod cars.

            Having said that, I love the strategic side of it too anyway so for me races which are strategically exciting score just as high as races with lots of overtakes.

          2. William Wilgus
            22nd May 2011, 21:42

            Exactly. Strategy counts as much or more than car speed and driver’s skill. F1 wants to ‘go green’, but they’re wasting tires left and right.

          3. Don’t be silly, they want to look green not go it….

      3. for me webber ruined his race by havin a poor start.he was da pole man no excuses. Comon this is GP racing .so i think webber has only himself 2 blame. Alonso did a good job with an awful ferrari. He did what he can do and got what he can get from da car unlike massa.

        1. Button lost 5 places off the start and yet he finished on the podium. What cost Webber most was his pitstops – 1st one out in traffic, 2nd one behind Alonso (and too early), 3rd one behind Alonso (and way too early) and the 4th the was even earlier than Buttons 3rd and by then Button was 7 seconds in front.
          Red Bull had the fastest car and they spend 100s of millions on making it that way, and then they make stupid, ridiculous, half-wit, moronic, brain-dead, dumb tactical calls like those. Webber must be punching walls (if not tacticians).

          1. Red Bull just do not (Yet) have the capability to do a good strategy for both drivers, if they even thought about that. How often did Webber lose out due to horrible strategy while Vettel had it called right or not too bad at least.

          2. Remember there is only one pitbox so maybe webber’s pitstops were set to be out the way of seb’s.

            Sebs side of the garage was tactically fine.

        2. I’m sorry, i wasn’t trying to be insulting or anything like that. Just a joke, please don’t ban me or anything after its moderated.

      4. If Webber “should have been on podium” he should have passed Alonso on track. Button did, and was therefore far more worthy of a podium.

        1. If Webber had had a set of softs (like Button did) when Alonso was on hards, I’m pretty sure he would have overtaken Alonso too.

          1. So Webber should have saved a set.

      5. Laranja Mecanica
        22nd May 2011, 15:41

        So he doesn’t have a right to defend from Webber? If Webber wanted a podium he should have been able to overtake on track. Just shut up.

      6. Um, Doance, Vet, But, and Ham made it by him…webber didn’t, webber ruined his own race by not passing him earlier…

    2. Not a great race at all. there were no overtakes that were a challenge for any of the drivers: only came down to v. old vs v. new tyres, or drs. Compared to the last few years at the same circuit, great. But overall, I did not think this was an especially good race. The tyres have completely changed F1 this year – yes I agree in some ways it is a change for the better, but the action on track has often been really de-valued by the tyres and drs. Races are fairly exciting but not hugely satisfying, after the race I have a slightly bitter sense that what I have just seen was quite fun but not really as truly spectacular as great races from the past.

      Malaysia was a great race. China was a good race. The rest of them have been very overated, and today was the day which really convinced me that the racing is of a lower quality this season. the drivers dont like the new tyres and gimmiky drs, and teams are not hugely happy either. I think change was desirable (rather than absolutely necessary) but they have gone too far. Get rid of drs completely, and see how the tryes do. They will still have huge, (uneven) overtaking. but it will be better than the ridiculous rear wing. I deally they would have the tyres slightly faster also, slightly less extreme. I agree that bridgestone was too durable, but damn they were fast and the cars went like the wind. this year is fun, fun rather than an amazing experience. I wont look back at the beginning of this season thinking wow that was amazing, I will think back thinking, hmmm it was fun but (hopefully) a one-season moment of madness by F1 searching for viewing figures. I would like to see them take some of the benefits forward, but not too much.

      1. +1 Excellent, balanced reflection on the effects of this year’s rule changes. The distinction between exciting and satisfying is a really important one for me. I feel a bit hollow after the races this year.

      2. +1. And I particularly agree with your idea of dropping that ridiculous DRS.

    3. superb race !!

      nice drive from fernando ,lewis and button

      ferrari doesnt have a good car but fernando made the difference

      And button showed how good he is with tyre with a three stop strategy

  2. First vote. Shame Hamilton didn’t get a chance to put a move on Vettel, but it was good to see him pushing Vettel till the end, and also good to see Vettel have to work for his win.

    1. DRS not enough huh? Too long huh?

      The Red Bull just had TOO much grip in that final turn and by the time Lewis got the DRS open he wasn’t close enough.

      1. Cluffy_Wedge
        22nd May 2011, 14:51

        I think it was just short grear ratios. With KERS there was barely any speed difference at the end of the straight

        1. That’s what Vettel seems to confirm, saying HAM was on the limiter for a stretch on the main straight.

      2. I’m not a fan of DRS, but it was probably all that allowed Hamilton to stay in touch. If he’d had better traction out of the chicane he could have made a move. Hamilton needed more DRS, but for the race I think it was enough, and probably fair, although I think the leader being able to use it just because of backmarkers is nonsense- completely defeats the point of allowing a chasing car to negate the effects of the dirty air.

        Btw Keith, using IE9 I can post my own comments but not replies.

    2. Spain is still Spain. Vettel and Hamilton were on the same tyres, and they had similar pace. There was no real chance for overtaking, the track does not allow that.

      There were some “battles” in the race, but they mostly involved drivers on different tyres. I don’t know, but that’s just not that exciting for me. When one tyre is over 2 seconds per lap slower, the element of real fight is gone.

      1. +1. No excitement for me either. Hamilton was never going to overtake Vettel at the end. No-one was going to overtake anyone else on similar tyres. Alonso was much slower than Vettel, Webber & Hamilton (except off the start line) and none of them looked like passing him.
        Spain sucks.

        1. Don’t forget the whole train of cars behind Schumacher. There was zero overtaking there either.

      2. Making DRS absolutely fine here, like it was in Australia. Good to pass when seconds faster and helping cars keep close otherwise.

        1. But DRS is supposed to open up a battle for position. It didn’t really do that this time. I think they went too safe here.

          Pretty much all the overtaking that occurred was related to the tyres.

          1. Pretty much all the overtaking that occurred was related to the tyres.

            As has been the case with all good overtakes this year. All the more reason to get rid of the DRS. People say it improves the show, but think about it. Without the DRS, the racing has been fantastic. The DRS was in pretty much the perfect position in China, but that wasn’t what made the racing good. There were only a few notable passes on the back straight. And in Turkey, all of the great racing occurred out of the DRS zone. The passes made with the DRS in Turkey were too easy. I like the concept, but it should be allowed to be used at all times – like in qualifying.

            The DRS is a bit pointless now. Canada should be fantastic, even without the DRS.

          2. That is, if the DRS was to be inexplicably banned! :P

          3. @Damon “As has been the case with all good overtakes this year”

            I don’t know if we can call all of them “good overtakes”. The tyres this year create HUGE speed differences between the cars. So, they pass each other, but is it still racing? Can we talk about “battles” in this context?

            In my opinion we should get rid of DRS and do something about the tyres. Yes, the new rules improve the show, but in my opinion F1 didn’t need this kind of improvement. Last year was fantastic without it.

            In my opinion both DRS and the new tyres make the sport more artificial, although probably more appealing to the masses.

          4. @Ben Curly – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I strongly despise how people think we’re moaning because F1 is too exciting. F1 has always been exciting. If you didn’t like F1 how it was, you didn’t like F1.

    3. he was very close on the last corner of the final lap. shame the race ended when it did!

  3. 8/10
    Lots of good battles, Webber and Alonso;Hamilton and Vettel.
    Not a lot of overtaking, but lap after lap of nose-to-tail driving is tense.

    1. Webber V Alonso wasnt a battle. Webber was way faster, Alonso was just holding him up. It was inevitable Webber would get past once Alonso pitted and Webber got space.

      1. I’m glad at least someone (Alonso) tried to defend their position even though it looked hopeless. Most drivers let faster ones drive by without resistance because they rather save their tyres for later. Sure that destroyed his tyres so he had to pit again so early, but better try and lose than not try and therefore lose anway. I’m just sad Ferrari chose to go with Vettel and his pitstops instead of making the most of their soft tyres, knowing the Ferrari is rather slow on the harder compounds.

        1. Yeah, I didn’t understand that. They must have known they weren’t really ever going to be racing Vettel, or if they didn’t, they should have realised after the first stop. It’s a shame, because he might have had a chance to stay closer.

          Then again, closer than 80-odd seconds still only might have just about been enough to stay on the lead lap.

          1. It was great to see them fighting. But after that it looked as though Ferrari had somehow forgotten about the hard tyres (something to do with setup?).

  4. Quality overtaking + Battle for the lead + Not so spectacular previous Spanish GP’s = 8/10

    1. That about sums it up for me too.

    2. Quality overtaking?

      I call that, cars simply gliding past each other because of 2 seconds lap time differences.

      It’s entertaining though.

      1. 8/10 about right considering previous 15 grand prixs there were probably mostly 1/10.

        What very badly needs to be improved is the tv feed. Wish whoever is suppling it would get their act together with what is shown at what times. Whatever structure is in place needs to be changed. Absolutely horrendous at times, was never that good before but with the increased action it is being highlighted how bad it really is.

        1. Yep, Heartily agree with that. How on earth could the FOM have missed the first genuine overtake in Barcelona in ages!
          Not to mention the rest of the missed action.

    3. Totally agree. This circuit has been notable for it’s parade over previous years. We just saw great racing for the lead and 3rd place right up to last laps and yet people seem to be mortified that these super-talented drivers are actually getting a chance to demonstrate there ability to overtake at last.

      Bravo Pirelli, DRS and KERS I say.

      After years of aero messing up the possibilities of any car getting within a second of another, we saw four cars within 3 seconds in the early stages today. Excellent!

      Overtaking throughout the field at a circuit where the parade is the norm? Check!

      Was DRS responsible for all the over taking? No. Actually we have Pirelli to thank for that, but it certainly helped close things up.

      I love the new rules, but accept some tweaking might be required in compounds and DRS zones.

      A thought – if DRS if making souch a joke of the race, how come the cream is still coming to the top?


  5. good race! sure it didn’t have as much overtaking.. but it had a real nailbiter of a finish! one that i will remember! i almost thought it was watching Senna chase someone at the end!

    9/10 best at catalunya so far!

    1. Reminds me of Alonso and Schumacher battling out on the San Marino circuit some years back.

  6. 8/10 Another great race but for this time a different reason.

    For me watching Alonso/Vettel/Webber/Hamilton race lap after lap so close together was just as exciting as overtaking.

    Vettel must have answered his critics with this race surely? The overtakes he did on Button/Massa/Rosberg were all great moves after the team lead him into a load of traffic.

    Hamilton was also supreme, would have loved to have seen him get the win but great to see a race finish on the very final lap.

    1. I agree. It was nice to see Vettel win a closer race. It was very tense near the end, so I give it a 8/10.

    2. this hit’s the nail on the head, race was brilliant for all these reasons, loved it

    3. Completely agree, best race of the season so far. It was tense, the two leading cars were on the same strategy, overtaking was hard and Vettel was appropriately agressive after his first pitstop, which got him the win.

      Shame Hamilton didn’t manage to get through, if only for the sake of the championship, but it was great to watch vettel and Hamilton racing like that.

    4. Let’s go back to bridgestones then. We saw cars stuck behind each other for the entire race on those too.

      Vettel’s “overtakes” happened when he was on fresh tyres and 2 seconds a lap faster. Button, Webber and even Massa drove by people on old tyres with the same ease.

      That’s NOT overtaking.

      1. Hamilton’s overtakes in China were due to a very different tyre strategy and therefore fresher tyres as well. So that was no overtaking either? Get real.

        1. When he passed Button, yes. A real pass. The others, including on Vettel for the win, maybe not. 2 + seconds advantage is like lapping a backmarker. Keeping it real.

          Look, the rules manufacture temporary performance differences to create passing. So it necessarily follows that passing is now often explained by manufactured temporary performance difference. If you like that song, fine, then don’t try to pretend that this is the same “real racing” as before. It is what it is. You can get a lot more food for your dollar at McDonalds than at a Gordon Ramsey joint, but then you are getting artifically flavored manufactured food product; and you definitely don’t go home thinking you had the best meal of your life.

      2. Patrickl, I’m not surprised it was you that said it as you can’t give Vettel credit for anything.

        Fact is Vettel had to get passed and he did. Yes he had a faster car to overtake but has anyone ever overtaken anyone without a faster car? No.

        1. I think that is unfair to Patrickl, what he said is the truth and he pointed out it is easy for anyone to overtake when on new tyres against old, which it is. It doesn’t detract from Vettels overall performance.
          Hamiltons overtake vs Vettel was just tyres as well, totally impossible for Vettel to defend. Its not good racing, although it is entertaining in a way. I gave it 8/10 just because this race is normally so dull. Hamilton within a second of Vettel for all those laps is better than passing the first time he gets within a second. For the sake of the championship its a shame Hamilton didn’t get past in the end. The only two chances Hamilton had Vettel had the DRS due to a back marker.
          Vettel look much more mature this season, it was good to see him make a few clean passes no matter how easy they were.

    5. Vettel sure did for me. Great passes when it mattered most, beautifull in laps. And really good use of the little KERS he had to keep Lewis behind all those laps.

      Certainly one of the best battles seen in a long time. Better than China as it was on for longer.

      I think DRS like this was just about right, as it helped the drivers get back what they lose right before the straight.

    6. He didn’t do anything new for me, so no. Like Patrickl said, tyres. Plus he has the best chassis in the field. We might say “what about Lewis in China” well Hamilton didn’t get his reputation for overtaking from his Chinese pass did he?

      Vettel was good today, as he always is. I know it’s frustrating that people poke holes when he’s not even given a chance to prove them wrong (he’s too busy winning from the front) but, like a similar point I made earlier this week, it still needs to be seen to be believed.

  7. Good overtaking when there was some. Shame DRS didn’t work very well though.

    1. I think it was good that the DRS didn’t work too well. It showed that the tyres are the main factor and gave the FIA some more good data to use for future placement. And I liked how the DRS let the chasing car keep up with the one in front, I loved the placement!

      1. We saw in the final laps that DRS did help out a little, but if Lewis was going to get past he’d have to do it the hard way (or hope that Vettel would slip up).

        1. That was the good thing from this battle, it was not inevitable Hamilton would get past. He needed a (small) mistake of misjudgement of Vettel that never came.

  8. Another damned good race! Nice to see the DRS being useless, means it was a proper race.

  9. georges10099
    22nd May 2011, 14:50

    shame the result was the wrong way round but it was a very exciting race. i was on the edge of my seat for the majority of it! for that reason ill give it a 9 as there was a battle at the front

  10. It was a pretty good race, nothing incredible but still entertaining. I enjoyed watching Webber and Alonso fight it out for many laps. Red Bull seemed to have the faster package despite Coulthard claiming Mclaren did, but its quite easy to see why. I gave it a 7.

  11. 8/10 Good job DRS didn’t really work. It would of been dull if it had.

  12. My favorite race so far this year! Reminded me of Turkey 2010 for the intense battle for the lead at the start and Imola (2006 i think) with the Alonso/Schumi battle at the end.

    The main reason though was it wasnt ruined by DRS and boring obvious overtakes. It helped keep them close which is fine by me. I felt the excitement from pre 2011 F1 which I hadnt really had so far this year.

    1. Completely agree.

      1. I absolutely agree. I thought the race was about a 7 for action and drama whereas Turkey about a 9 as it was so manic however, I actually much preferred this race.

        1. Same here. It felt good for seeing driver have to really push and work for an overtake between closely matched cars.
          Felt a lot more rewarding and it was refreshing to see this again.

  13. It could have been better, but nothing ever materialised. I gave it a 5. A fascinating Grand Prix, but not too exciting. Hamilton never really looked like getting past. Shame for Alonso and Webber.

    1. But now as I check through the live blog and twitter comments, I’m seeing I missed a lot due to ad breaks. So apparently Webber and Alonso had a scrap and Kovalainen crashed… I hate OneHD, I really do. They’re not even commercials, they’re all non-profits and promos for other shows. :(

      1. I gave it a 6. Like Damon said, the race had potential but nothing actually happened.

        And OneHD was truly were terrible today. They took an ad break during the first round of stops, and as Damon said we missed the Alonso/Webber scrap and the Kovalainen crash..

        Worst coverage by them in a long time. (And its normally pretty s**t anyway)

      2. So perhaps it deserves a 6 or 7. Definitely not an 8, though. I think ajokay85 summed it up perfectly on Twitter the other day. ;)

      3. Can’t speak on OneHD as I’m American, but I was annoyed by our coverage here today too. Speed TV usually does a very good job, all things considered, but today I felt like I was watching some sort of home shopping channel with bits of a car race in between.

        1. You can watch it in fox deportes in spanish,. the show a whole lot more than speed, usually when speed is in commercials ,fox deportes is broadcasting the race. only problem is that it is not HD,is in spanish . Last but not least , fox deported qualifying is usually live while speed is sometimes delayed by 5-10 minutes.

  14. I gave it an 8. Beautifull race. Lots of overtaking and at last a win in Barcelona from the back of the grid. Immense battle at the end and great run from Jenson!

    1. I was condemned to listen to Dutch commentary and the dumb reporter there kept on harping how the new rules were proven by the fact that it wasn’t the pole sitter who won the race. Also by the fact that the top 4 was driving so close together.

      I really don’t understand where that nonsense comes from. Webber had a bad start. Is that because of the new rules then? Does that make it a “great race” even?

      How was Vettel on the “back of the grid” anyway?

      1. Mate calm down! Ten years straight we had the winner starting from pole and cruising all the way to the flag. This year Webber took P1 in qualy, Alonso got ahead in the beggining, then Vettel, then Hamilton then Vettel again. It was the most interesting race of the season so far except China. That’s a huge improvement comparedto the last years.

        And of course this has to do with new rules. Well not rules exavtly, but with the new Pirellis. If it hadn’t been for them Alonso would have probably won the race. Still it’d have been a surprise cause he started 4th but Button would be on podium and the whole result would have been different.

        So I think that it surely has to do with the new rules.

  15. i thought it was just meh. 6

  16. It was ok. But boring compared to previous races. Tense though.

    The highlight of the race for me though was Vettel overtaking two cars in 3 corners. That’s what won him the race, he really needed to make those. It even edged out Alonso’s start, which was magnificent.

  17. Highly impressive drives from VET, HAM and BUT. Rated it as 8/10. Lots of tension here at Hounslow Towers.
    Very surprised that ALO’s performance fell off the cliff, though . . .

  18. 10, brilliant race, even without as much overtaking as the previous races this year, seb lewis and fernando are just in a different league to everyone else, so good to see them racing hard, been waiting for this fight between Lewis and Seb since the end of 2009

  19. I thought it was better than Turkey. At least I actually knew what was going on today, and at least people had to work to overtake, no blazing past down the straights. So, I give it 7

  20. 8 for me. Not the best race of the season, but definitely the best Spanish GP ever. Good job Pirelli.

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