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Fernando Alonso Wins Home Spanish Grand Prix

posted 12 May 2013, 11:54 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 12 May 2013, 11:55 ]

Ferrari team boosted by Fernando Alonso's Spanish Grand Prix win and Massa's third place while Vettel's points lead is cut to just four points.

BARCELONASPAIN (MAY 12, 2013) (FOM) -  Ferrari's Fernando Alonso rewrote the Formula One form book and turned up the heat in the championship battle by winning his home Spanish Grand Prix for the second time on Sunday (May 12).

The double world champion's second victory of the season, and 32nd of his career, made him the first driver in 23 years of racing at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya to win from outside the top three grid positions.

Alonso, who won in Barcelona with Renault in 2006 and also in Valencia last year at the European Grand Prix, took the chequered flag 9.3 seconds ahead of 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen of Finland in a Lotus.

The Spaniard, who started in fifth place with the Mercedes duo of German Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain locking out the front row, seized third place through the third corner and had the crowd roaring him on as he led after 13 of the 66 laps.

"You feel the support from everybody, every single member of the team taking care of every detail because we want to do well here, in front of our fans, so many people supporting Ferrari. So, we did it, we're happy for that but we don't want to stop here obviously," said Alonso on the podium.

Raikkonen, in the points for a 22nd successive race and now just two short ofMichael Schumacher's all-time record, denied Ferrari a one-two finish with Brazilian Felipe Massa taking a distant third.

"It's disappointing to finish second but sometimes we have to take what we can get," Raikkonen said. "Like I said, I don't mind if people don't notice us. We do our work and be happy what we do and always try to achieve the big goal in Enstone," he said, referring to the team's headquarters.

Massa's third place continued the return to form for the Brazilian, who struggled last season but is revived this season.

"Our car was fantastic. Very aggressive straight away," he told former Jordan team founder Eddie Jordan on the podium. "I gained back the positions. I think maybe in the first lap I was already sixth. Then overtaking cars. Struggling a bit with the tyres, to make it survive every stint in a good way but I think the race was very good for us."

Red Bull's triple world champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany was fourth, 38.2 seconds behind Alonso, and saw his overall lead over Raikkonen cut to four points. After five of the 19 races, the German has 89 points to Raikkonen's 85 and Alonso's 72.

Hamilton slipped to fourth overall with 50 points after spending the afternoon falling through the field as Mercedes - as expected - again failed to live up to their electrifying qualifying pace.

The 2008 world champion ended up out of the points in 12th and was even heard exclaiming that he had been overtaken by a Williams - driven by last year's winner Pastor Maldonado - as a measure of how much he was struggling.

Former champions Williams have failed to score a point in five races with a car lacking aerodynamic performance and Venezuelan Maldonado, who finished 14th after a drive-through penalty, had started way back in 17th place.

In a race dictated by the quick-wearing tyres, Alonso pitted four times - the same as Vettel and Massa - while Raikkonen made only three trips to the pitlane.

Rosberg, who had also been on pole at the previous race in Bahrain where he finished ninth, led for the first 10 laps before facing up to the inevitable.

The German, sixth at the finish behind Red Bull's Mark Webber, was not to lead again as Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez took over at the front for two laps in a Sauber amid the pitstops before Alonso asserted himself.

Britain's Paul Di Resta was seventh for Force India with McLaren's Jenson Button eighth after starting 14th. Mexican team mate Sergio Perez was ninth and Australian Daniel Ricciardo 10th for Toro Rosso.

Romain Grosjean and Giedo van der Garde left the race with only three good wheels. Grosjean's Lotus broke its suspension and van der Garde's Caterham lost a wheel.

Result from the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday

1. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:39:16.596

2. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus - Renault +00:09.338

3. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 00:26.049

4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 00:38.273

5. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 00:47.963

6. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 01:08.020

7. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India - Mercedes 01:08.988

8. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 01:19.506

9. Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 01:21.738

10. Daniel Ricciardo (AustraliaToro Rosso - Ferrari 1 lap

11. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap

12. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1 lap

13. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1 lap

14. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - Renault 1 lap

15. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap

16. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams - Renault 1 lap

17. Charles Pic (France) Caterham - Renault 1 lap

18. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - Cosworth 2 laps

19. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - Cosworth 2 laps

r. Jean-Eric Vergne (FranceToro Rosso - Ferrari 14 laps

r. Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham - Renault 45 laps

r. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 58 laps

(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)

Fastest LapEsteban Gutierrez,1:26.217, lap 56.

Driver and constructor standings after the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday

Drivers Points

1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 89

2. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 85

3. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 72

4. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 50

5. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 45

6. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 42

7. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 26

8. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 26

9. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 22

10. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 17

11. Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 12

12. Daniel Ricciardo (AustraliaToro Rosso 7

13. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 6

14. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber 5

15. Jean-Eric Vergne (FranceToro Rosso 1

16. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 0

17. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 0

18. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 0

19. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 0

20. Charles Pic (France) Caterham 0

21. Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham 0

22. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 0

Constructors Points

1. RedBull - Renault 131

2. Ferrari 117

3. Lotus - Renault 111

4. Mercedes 72

5. Force India - Mercedes 32

6. McLaren 29

7. Toro Rosso - Ferrari 8

8. Sauber - Ferrari 5

9. Marussia - Cosworth 0

9. Caterham - Renault 0

9. Williams - Renault 0