Webber cruises to victory around Circuit de Catalunya

Posted on May 9, 2010

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Mark Webber completed a dominant weekend to cruise to victory in Spain in a Red Bull car which has proven to be much faster than all of its rivals.

Webber never lost the lead, even during his one pitstop, after taking pole position, finishing more than 20 seconds ahead after Lewis Hamilton suffered a late accident following a puncture in his left front tyre. Sebastian Vettel was the main beneficiary from that accident, reclaiming third place after having to make a late second stop for tyres and coming very close to brake failure. Fernando Alonso seized second after starting fourth.

And it was late reliability issues which provided the main highlights at the front of a largely processional field. As the lap chart from the FIA live timing shows, the Grand Prix was sorely lacking in overtaking.

Jenson Button was stuck behind Michael Schumacher after an error in the pitstops led to the two swapping places in the first third of the race, while Nico Rosberg spent a lot of time following Nico Hulkenberg.

Vettel’s Red Bull continued to look fragile with its late problems and McLaren will have been reassured to see Hamilton splitting the two Adrian Newey cars for much of the race. He got there because of a pitstop error for Vettel but his pace was good enough to comfortably hold off the German. The Briton was set for a second place finish before his race-ending puncture on the penultimate lap.

For the first time this season, we saw a couple of problems with slow back markers. As Vettel and Hamilton exited the pits around lap 17, they discovered Lucas Di Grassi virtually stationary on the turn one apex as he desperately tried to heed the blue flags. Hamilton darted round him but Vettel was forced onto an escape road, surrendering second place in the process. Later, Karun Chandhok got caught up in a tangle with Felipe Massa after having let through Button and Schumacher in quick succession.

Spain was the first dry weekend we’ve seen since Bahrain. It was a better race than that and it there were some sterling drives, especially from Webber and Hamilton. But it has shown up again the problems with Formula One cars not being able to pass each other. Button’s McLaren is quicker than the Mercedes of Schumacher – but not by the two or three second needed to make a pass.

Jenson Button still sits at the top of the drivers table with 70 points, ahead of Alonso and Vettel.

FULL RESULTS

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 66 Winner 1 25
2 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 66 +24.0 secs 4 18
3 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 66 +51.3 secs 2 15
4 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 66 +62.1 secs 6 12
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 66 +63.7 secs 5 10
6 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 66 +65.7 secs 9 8
7 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 66 +72.9 secs 11 6
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 66 +73.6 secs 7 4
9 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 65 +1 Lap 17 2
10 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 65 +1 Lap 15 1
11 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 65 +1 Lap 19
12 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 65 +1 Lap 10
13 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 65 +1 Lap 8
14 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 64 +2 Laps 3
15 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 64 +2 Laps 16
16 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 64 +2 Laps 13
17 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 63 +3 Laps 18
18 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 63 +3 Laps 22
19 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 62 +4 Laps 23
Ret 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 42 +24 Laps 14
Ret 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 27 +39 Laps 24
Ret 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 18 +48 Laps 12
Ret 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 0 +66 Laps 21
Ret 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 0 +66 Laps 20
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Posted in: Formula One, Race