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:

[poll id=”258″]

1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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F1 Fanatic holds polls on each race to find out which fans thought were the best and worst races during a season. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

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2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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

  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?

      8/10

  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.

  21. 6/10 (Which is still good for Catalunya).
    The race was nothing compared to the last 5 races. Alonso’s start was superb but from then on it was obvious that because of the pit stops that gave the other drivers a clean lap Alonso was going to end 5th. Good race by the first three, but DRS showed itself bad (there were more overtakes at turn 1 in GP2 than in F1).

  22. Shame for another Vettel win. The fight for championship will end way shorter! Amazing race for Heidfeld, fastest man on last 15 laps! Took 20 secs. to Mercedes on just 5 laps. Never gave up!

  23. 8 – Best Spanish GP in many years. Ironic how we haven’t had Rain or Safety Car this season, but the races have all been very tense :)

  24. They should try a race without DRS

  25. Good Race….

    Overall very less Artificial overtaking…

  26. Wow, that was the first exciting Spanish Grand Prix since Michael Schumacher won it in 1996… and that was a (very) wet race, so that doesn’t even count.

    Prior to this season, I’d take the (much-hated) Hungaroring for a Grand Prix over the Circuit de Catalunya any time.

  27. Whatever happened to Fernando and Mark.. Esp Fernando
    sudden surge and then waned away

  28. 8. A very good race in a track not known for its overtaking opportunities.

    Vettel performed magnificently to hold off Hamilton despite all the KERS issues with the car. Keep this form and he will wrap up the WDC with more than 5 races to go.

    Felt sorry for Webber after taking pole and finishing 4th. Hamilton and Button making use of McLaren’s race pace and getting closer and ahead of a RB respectively.

    Finally to Alonso. The new deal actually saves the Italians from embarrassment on this account. He is the saving face of Ferrari now and Massa might as well stay in the pits. Not a bit of fight in him, too timid to put up a challenge and not enough pace to do something useful with the machine.

    Alonso deserves much better than the horse, sorry, donkey he is driving now. Time for Ferrari to shut their mouths and get to the drawing boards to salvage something from the season.

    Magnificent start and brilliant first stint from Alonso.

    My driver of the day would be Vettel for making most out of the provided opportunities and overtaking Button, Massa to make his strategy stick.

    Bravo Vettel!

  29. Very impressed with Alonso’s start, goosebumps from the onboard footage, he was all over the place steering left and right trying to fit the car in a gap without lifting the throttle to prevent speed loss. Crazy to see the crowd’s reaction too!

    I’d rate it a 8 easily. Great race, perhaps my favorite race this season thus far. Always hated the circuit, but if it’s like this every year I might come to like it. But for God’s sake, lose that last chicane, it just looks dumb and makes no sense combined with DRS either, because it’s such a slow pair of corners the car in front can get on the throttle so much earlier than the one behind that there’s no way the car on the front can be caught up with on the straight. Oh well.

  30. Good race, encouraging to see Hamilton so close Vettel.
    Turn 9 seemed to be making the difference, big lifts from Lewis while Vettel was flat out meaning that by the time they got to the DRS activation, Vettel was just too far ahead.
    Good battle between the best driver in a very good car and a very good driver in the best car – with the latter winning this time. 7/10.

  31. Lewis, Jenson and Webber under investigation for not slowing by the yellow flags.

  32. I’ll give it a 7 atm, but if the result is changed because of the investigation into Lewis/Mark/Jenson for not slowing down under yellows is held up you can make that a 1.

  33. Brilliant race. Not as many overtakes but the race was amazingly tense. The speed with which Hamilton would close up to Vettel at the braking zone of turn 1 was incredible.

    I will put the fight between Hamilton and Vettel into the category of Imola 2005, Imola 2006, Monza 2010. Very very close but no on-track overtake. Gripping Television!

  34. I gave it a 9.

    The race had action all the way through and close racing. Yes there wasn’t as much overtaking as previous races this year but this is normally a difficult curcuit for overtaking and following the race unfold between the top 5 cars was entertaining.

  35. 8/10
    Great, close race, even without much overtaking.

    I personally don’t favour the use of DRS, but if you consider that a driver still has to get close enough to the car in front to make use of it and stand a chance of using it, then the activation zone was too far down the straight here.

    Quality of BBC coverage is dropping – telling us that a pit stop took around 20 secs even after Button had lost only 16 secs to get out ahead of Petrov, and also that the hard tyres were a second a lap slower, as Hamilton and Vettel were putting in times only 1/10th off the fastest lap. Look at your timing screens guys.

    Can’t imagine Hamilton will get away without a penalty – his sector time was purple passing the accident, and went on to post the fastest lap. Doesn’t look good, unless he wasn’t shown a yellow.

    1. Quality of BBC coverage is dropping – telling us that a pit stop took around 20 secs even after Button had lost only 16 secs to get out ahead of Petrov, and also that the hard tyres were a second a lap slower, as Hamilton and Vettel were putting in times only 1/10th off the fastest lap. Look at your timing screens guys.

      I agree. They also put up a really stupid graphic towards the end of the race saying Vettel was almost half a lap ahead of Hamilton, all the while not showing the actual footage of them even though they were half a second within each other with only a couple of laps left.

    2. the hard tyres were a second a lap slower, as Hamilton and Vettel were putting in times only 1/10th off the fastest lap.

      The commentators were right. You are forgetting that fuel is being burnt and care are getting lighter all the time which makes the car quicker.

      1. Yes, but they pretty much picked up where they left off on softs – the lap times don’t come down *that* quickly. The reality is that the prime tyres weren’t the dogs that everyone expected after qualifying – if they were we’d have seen more of the four stoppers only using them once.

  36. Hamilton Button and Webber to be investigated after the race for the yellow flags :(

    1. Bigredbears10
      22nd May 2011, 15:19

      How does VET escape investigation? He and HAM were attached at the hip during the cautions.

      1. Vettel was just past when Heikki crashed.

  37. Hamilton, Button and Webber to be investigated after the race for the yellow flags :( Hate if they had to take points away

  38. kevmscotland
    22nd May 2011, 15:17

    For those worrying, i dont think the race result will change from the investigation anyway.

    Assuming its a 20second penalty, lewis was well clear of jenson by 40 seconds, jenson and mark were clear of the rest of the field by more than 30seconds.

    So assuming they are all penalised equally, it shouldnt turn the results around.

    Even lewis can be penalised and still stay p2

  39. Great race, but I think we’ve got to thank Alonso – otherwise the Red Bull(s) would have opened up a gap from the start.

  40. Pit stops and pit stop strategies decided the outcome of the race. I thought mid-race refuelling was banned for the very same reason, wasn’t it?

    1. Mid race refuelling was banned because everyone optimised fuel load to lap time, which meant that everyone pitted at the same time regardless of tyre wear. It was boring in the extreme.

      Now it is tyre wear that dictates strategy and not optimum fuel load, so no one has got to pit because they are low on fuel.

      If you had started todays race with everyone on the same compound with no pit stops, at what point do you think the result of the race would have been known?

  41. Only a 5, mostly boring except for ham and vet; ham should have just slammed it down the inside!

    Felt sorry for webber though.

    Until they get rid of that stupid chicain in sector 3 its hard to imagine myself giving a score higher than 5!

  42. Guilherme (@the_philosopher)
    22nd May 2011, 15:22

    For me it looked like the last laps were five minutes long! I think I only relaxed when Hamilton’s tyres faded with around 5 laps to go.

    Great win by Vettel, really good race from the McLaren and Sauber drivers, good first stints from Alonso, and quite underwhelming performance from Webber and Massa.

    The was a lot of tension in this race, particularly with Hamilton and Vettel, and it’s great to see the DRS being completely useless (I think most of the overtaking took place at Seat and La Caixa rather than in the main straight), but most of the overtaking happened because the driver in front was either on old softs or hards. To sum it all up, this race was good by Barcelona standards, but still not particularly exciting.

  43. just for those slating the coverage of the race, it is the fom that control it, not the BBC!!!

  44. best spanish gp since 1997

  45. 7/10

    The FIS blew it with the placements of the DRS, but I’m always happy to see Alonso collapse. Especially at his home race.

    1. Collapse? His car is only worth 5th place and he finished in 5th. The fact that he was ahead of 5th for a good part of the race simply means he drop the pants off of that thing before returning to where the limits of the car permits.

    2. MSCOTD (most stupid COTD)

  46. I voted for 7, a good race. It would have been less had it not been for the inability to pass using DRS directly. Don’t get me wrong, I like DRS, however, had Hamilton had done Vettel 8 or more laps from the end as a result of it, it would have made the end rather processional.

    Alonso made for a fantastic start, probably the best in the season so far.

  47. 5.Bog standard F1 race today, I felt. DRS didnt work very well today. Good start from Alo.Dissapointed for Webber.

  48. 8/10

    Good battle for the lead although think its time they tore the track up and started again as today proved its hopeless for overtaking.

    I give the FOM tv director 1/10 for turning up

  49. Last year’s race was a +5
    This year add + 4
    DRS not quite right -1
    Race for the lead +1
    Hamilton did not win -1 (I’m allowed a little bias as it’s not my blog)
    Score 8

    1. “Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.”

      1. Ok then a 9

    2. what does the +4 for the change in year take into account?

  50. I give it 7 maybe a 6. The exciting bits being Alonso at the start and the Lewis Vettel fight at the end.
    That being said, Lewis is looking good. He might take Monaco.

    1. Ferrari are good there. Lewis might suffer on the bumps.

  51. Reprimands for both McLarens, no penalties for them.

    No mention of the others so far.

    1. Reprimanded for what?

      1. I don’t think even the stewarts know. Coulthard suggested perhaps the stewarts wanted to hand out punishments and Blundell pulled them back, resulting in the reprimand as a compromise.

        I don’t normally agree with Jordan, but I think this time he was right saying you either break the rules and get punishment, or didn’t and nothing happens. This wishy-washyness does nothing but, like Brundel said, set a potentially dangerous precedent.

  52. so close right to the end, DRS wasnt like it was in turkey, ie too easy, considering it was Spain, great GP 7 anywhere else, 8 for Catalunya

  53. Fantastic race because the DRS rubbish didn’t work well. Just bin it guys. The tyres and kers give us real overtaking not fake tosh.

    Fantastic drives from the top three.

  54. 6/10…
    …Because pit strategies are becoming worringly important again, even if refuelling is still banned.
    Still quite a good show for a race in Catalunya, probably we’ve had more overtakes today than in the previous 5-6 years summed up together, but not so much thrilling action.

  55. Thank you Alonso and McLaren for making this race the best Spanish GP for a very long time. 8/10 for me, as good as Malaysia.

  56. 9 from me, best ever dry race at this circuit and a thrilling finale.

  57. If Hamilton had won, the race would be rated on average 9/10.

    Since I’m not partial, it’s a 10 for me for Vettel.

    He overtook Jenson/Massa at will. He nailed the outlap to get Alonso. He defended like a true world champion in a KERS-less (read: -80HP) DRS disadvantaged faster McLaren for at least 15 laps.

    Best drive I have seen for a while from anyone.

  58. Loved it, awesome race. Had just about everything you want in a straight no rain/safety car race.

    One thing annoyed me a bit – in the BBC commentary Brundle said a few times that DRS wasn’t working – I’d disagree. Sure, it didn’t provide many actual passes, but it kept the top few cars close together for the first part of the race, and the top two together for a thrilling finish. Close racing provides the excitement, not just a straight overtake. Besides, the tyres are giving all the overtaking needed.

    Can’t wait for Monaco :)

    1. I scored it a 9, btw. Lots of close racing, tension, overtaking – brilliant.

  59. I score it a 3. Following F1 for 20 years, didnt like the race at all. Start by Alonso fantastic and really put the cat amongst the pigeons but apart from that very boring. 2 offs, no crashes, no retirements (other than the usual suspects), margin between the tyre compuonds too big, drs and kers not making a great impact. As usual the bigger teams have more money to develop their cars and get faster and faster, splitting the grid in 3 sectors. overall boring season, please bring back refuelling! qualy boring as well, doesnt seem to be important any more, more important to conserve fresh tyres, will not be long until all teams will just sacrify grid spot on saturday for fresh tyres on sunday

  60. Let’s have refuelling back, so that everyone stops on the same lap when everyone else expects them to, and then the car that comes out in front at those stops wins the race.

    We have such short memories.

    1. Why should pit stops decide the race?

  61. This was a good race. A classic in style but ultimately lacking the ultimate historical standard of drama. I’m shocked that it gets good votes here; expecting more belly-aching about the lack of passing at the front. It was a great duel of pace and strategy at the front.

    The race also revealed a lot about car performance now. McLaren, down a second in qualifying, clearly had the race pace on RBR. If McLaren’s wall didn’t squander Hamilton’s tire preserving skills from the first two stints, he would have won going away. DRS kept him close but he had no DRS from turn 1 to the last, where he was climbing all over Vettel. Newey gave KERS the short shrift in the design stage and this is going to cost them dearly if/when McLaren get their proper exhaust on the car. And lordy lordy what happened to Ferrari? Alonso was lapped in a half-distance span by a McLaren as well as Vettel. The team must be extra ashamed because clearly Alonso flattered the car to the extreme.

  62. The best Spanish GP in Barcelona ever. I rate it 8/10. Lot of tension and the best drivers at the front fighting each other. To me it is hard to say who has been best.HAM ALO VET and BUT have been impressive today. I have really enjoyed the race.

  63. Are we suppose to consider the Saturday and Sunday because I only every rate the actual GP, so 8/10.
    If considering Qualifying that would be a -2 and 6/10. They really need to do something about Qualifying. After 5 minutes in Q3 you might as well go and make a cup of tea.

    What happen to Alonso on the hards? It was of England cricket team batting collapse proportion. Smart thinking from Alonso to use all his KERS on the run to turn 1, how he missed the back of Vettels car is beyond me, instinct, skill and a bit of luck.

    Although entertaining these races seem a bit hollow, which is a bit weird.

    1. Last year’s qualifying was exciting to the last second, this year it is becoming a snore fest. They really need to do something like award new rubber for making Q3 or something.

  64. Gave it an 8. Close racing throughout and a few overtakes.

    FOM get a minus 100/10 from me though. Truly awful.

    1. Always intent on showing people sitting on pitwalls, drivers walking back from crashes, and engineers looking at their drivers walking back from crashes… all when there’s racing going on on track. Gets my goat.

      1. And the odd pitstop just when someting is happening is a great lure as well.

        Not to mention showing home hero Alonso battling the car just as there is a battle for the lead going on.

        Easiest and cheapest way to improve the show. YES, actually show the show!

  65. UKfanatic (@)
    22nd May 2011, 19:49

    5/10

    Five cause the tyres again proved to be the good and the bad from the season they are too grippy and then they drop too quickly not aloeing cars to overtake on the same tyre phase and making them sitting ducks while on different strategies, I would refer a less grippy tyre but alot more durable

  66. Pirellis are rubbish. F1 needs tyres that last the whole race (and no mandatory pitstop). The best thing today was that the DRS was mostly useless. 2 points for the race.

  67. 7/10

    I don’t really agree with people denying Vettel credit for his overtakes. Yes he was faster tyrewise, but he made the overtakes when they counted on his outlap. If he he screwed up, his strategy and the rest of his race might have been done for it.

  68. That chicane ruins a great race track and makes getting close down the main straight near impossible. DRS did work and I think Hamilton may have struggled to stay with vettel if he couldn’t use it, after all it was the middle sector he was loosing out – where he couldn’t use it.

  69. To describe the race in one word: Dull.

    The DRS zone failed to produce anything interesting. Minimal on track passing. Tyres promoted the “undercut strategy with pit stops”, hardly the most exciting strategy. Hamilton never made a gutsy effort to try and take the lead from Vettel, and you could say the same about Webber and his efforts to pass Alonso. These guys are playing for points, rather than racing with a “win or nothing” attitude, not that you can blame them, it’s the safest way to try and win the championship.  

    My rating 3 out of 10.

  70. 10. I was on the edge of my chair, as I was watching a close battle for the lead, where the DRS just added to the suspense, on a normally boring track, without rain, or safetycars or whatever. Now, I did compensate for the track, but that was what made it special for me. And then, we also got this amazing start, with the local favourite getting a clean pass on the usual suspects, while the crowd was cheering.

    Still, I would like more Spa-alike tracks and less Abu-Dabi-alike ones so there wouldn’t be any need for DRS, but that’s not the issue at hand. Here, the new rules created a very entertaining race, without too many easy passes like Turkey. So yes. 10 for me.

  71. 5/10. Regarded it as a 7 but took off 2 points for the **** poor camera direction. Cutting from Alonso/Webber to a pit stop was idiotic and has been happening all year.

    Pretty clear Lewis wouldn’t be able to pass Seb after 5 laps at the end barring a mistake so not much interest there either.

    Whoever is running the camera direction needs to drop pit stop shots altogether or use picture in picture for them.

  72. chaostheory
    22nd May 2011, 22:58

    Look, another boring Spanish GP; nothing can help this circuit, its not good for racing, only for testing.
    And Pirelli should be more careful with what they’re doing with tires – we all know they made them like this to spice the show, we accept it, but there are boundaries that shouldnt be crossed: a 2 secs slower hard tire?? That caused whole field to be lapped at the end of the race??
    that was artificial. Manipulation. Disgusting.
    Sure the racing was great in first four GPs this year, but they cant go on like this forever; I think that the tire war Michelin was proposing was the better solution (with rules controlling grip levels or something).

  73. Not a big fan of the track itself….. but was surprised with some of the overtakes and a brilliant start from Alonso.

    Especially thrilled to see Heidfeld make his way from last to the points.

    Gave it an 8.

  74. This track should be dropped from the calendar imo and I just don’t know why after so many years we have to endure it given the many options of “overtaking tracks” available. We all know that mostly the odds are that the race will be a relativly uneventful procession and year after year we sit through it hoping in vain for some “pazazz”. Why make all these rule changes to encourage overtaking and not also look at dropping tracks notorious for being producing little or no overtaking opportunities. I never miss a race but I’m always left feeling two hours of my life have been wasted after sitting through another Spanish GP. I gave it a 4 because this year it was marginally better that other years but it remains a low excitement track compared to other venues no matter the rule changes.

    And Webber needs to get his act together with his starts… honestly! I said before the start he’ll be in P4 by turn 2. Ok, so I was wrong… However in his defence, Vettel wasn’t able to get past Alonso on the track either and his strategy was less than inspired, so a case of could-have-should-have-might-have. I still think he is on par with Vettel in terms of pace, talent and race craft overall and that pitwall calls are – largely – the cause of his current points deficit.
    First post here, hope it hasn’t bored you to tears :)

  75. 8 many overtaking but most are done over tyres & proper wheel to wheel to racing.I was criticizing the DRZ zone for this race but I think it was perfect.

  76. Clearly, the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship title is now defunct, as it has become irrelevant this year.

    Time to replace it with a new Championship, which I suggest is called The Formula One World Strategists’ Championship. The FIA should recognise that the real heroes of the sport are now the guys on the pit wall, in the garage and at the other end of a fat broadband pipe back at the factory. Races are now won or lost as a direct result of their decisions on factors such as tyre choice, pit stops, etc.

    The driver is now, well, just the driver. A ‘has been’, someone who has virtually no ability to affect the outcome of the race, no matter how skilful, brave or smart he is. Indeed, I would not be surprised if the FIA looked at doing away with drivers altogether in 2013, perhaps replacing them with the guys from the Pentagon who have been flying those drones over Afghanistan.

    Oh, and can someone tell Brundle and Coulthard to stop saying “how did that happen” in mocked surprise when suddenly a front runner is lapping a minute off the pace (or vice versa). It happens not because the driver suddenly losses the plot, but because of stupid ‘green’ tyres that last just 60 km.

    One more thing. Let’s not bother with qualifying any more (some of the teams are already onto this). It too is now irrelevant, so let’s replace it with something equally as boring, such as grid positions decided by lucky dip. Heck, it could really drive the TV ratings if it were drawn by one of those svelte grid girls! (and we know Bernie is partial to them (he did marry one)).

  77. This race really illustrated how badly F1 needs a drastic shake up of the technical regulations. Way too much difficulty following, and even the DRS and tires made of papier mache and butterfly wings didn’t seem to make too much of a difference here. I sincerely hope Todt forces something through for 2013!

  78. compared to last years race this was a 1000000/10, but well with the recent great races we have had.. this was just 6/10.
    Yes a great fight for the lead in the end, but the rest of the race was boring, for the exception of the pitstops. I just don’t like that track. It is just useless for racing. It really is.

  79. An 8.

    A superb display by Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso at the beginning.

    Also by Vettel and Hamilton at the end.

    A great race for Heidfeld.

    Couldn’t help but feel sorry for Kovalienen crashing out despite the much improved Lotus and for Massa almost salvaging a few points from an awful race until his gearbox decided to give up and left him stranded.

    Very impressive from McLaren, very disappointing from Ferrari.

  80. 6/10. A good race, some really great drives, but I don’t particularly like the track.
    With more complex strategy required, the team aspect of the sport has become more apparent. Ferrari defended their behaviour at Hockenheim last year by saying that the team was more important than the drivers. In their case that seems to have come back to bite them. Their team isn’t working. But I enjoyed Alonso’s start as well as the brilliant drives of both Hamilton & Vettel. Great to see two McLaren’s on podium.
    And does anyone else feel that one reason why we’re seeing better driving and fewer accidents is because the drivers know they’ll have plenty of opportunities throughout the race to change position?

  81. I gave the race a 7 out of 10.

    After watching the second GP2 race in the morning I really wasn’t holding out for a classic, and I don’t think we had one. However the start really shuck things up, an amazing start by Alonso surprised everyone and really helped Hamilton to stay on the back of the Red Bulls.

    It was fascinating to watch the race develop, with the battle for the lead, and the battle for third place. I would have liked to have seen Hamilton and Vettel have some wheel to wheel battles, but this track was never really going to provide that.

    For a Spanish GP, it has to be 10 out of 10 though.

    Would never have thought for a second that it would have been this close between the Red Bulls and McLaren’s which hopefully bodes well for the rest of the season. Roll on Monaco!

  82. I wasn’t that impressed and handed it a 7.

    Alonso should smack someone on that strategy call – to go from first to lapped – embarrassing. DRS didn’t really add any value and I’m not excited about the coming implementation in Canada and Valencia.

  83. gnvour (@)
    24th May 2011, 9:49

    A late vote here, I voted 8.

    We had fights in the right places, i.e drivers fighting for the lead so every pass really counted. Also, being back to Barcelona after summer testing, felt like a recap of every team’s pace overall. In this circuit every aspect of each car was magnified and we could see the true pace of every car/driver combo. Overall, I think it was the most enjoyable Spanish grand prix of recent years.

  84. 7 for me.

  85. GP da Espanha: nada de novo acima do asfalto…
    Vettel: o novo Schummy.
    Alonso: tirando leite de pedra…
    Hamilton e Button: sempre guerreiros!
    Webber e Massa: eternos escudeiros…
    Schumacher e Rosberg: fazendo o possível.
    Heidfeld: merecendo a vaga de Kubica.
    Petrov: tentando acompanhar…
    Pneus Pirelli: valendo o escrito “P ZERO”.

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