Winners and Losers at the Spanish Grand Prix

Winners and Losers at the Spanish Grand Prix

12 May 2014 – The Spanish Grand Prix yielded yet another thrilling Mercedes intra-team battle, with Lewis Hamilton again getting the better of Nico Rosberg to notch up his fourth successive victory and move into the lead of the championship. As the dust settles, GPUpdate.net presents its winners and losers...

Winners

Lewis Hamilton, who had never previously excelled at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, bossed Friday practice and ended the day odds on for victory. But changes made on Saturday meant the car went away from him, leading him to struggle during final practice and qualifying. Nevertheless, when it mattered the Brit put the car on pole position and made a flawless getaway from top spot. He managed his tyres well and executed his race strategy to notch up a fourth successive victory and perhaps more crucially, the lead of the championship. All of this, despite repeatedly claiming that Nico Rosberg remains the faster Mercedes driver. Mind games?

Daniel Ricciardo
arrived in Barcelona riding the crest of a wave after an impressive start to his Red Bull career. The Australian driver was regularly 'best of the rest' across practice and qualified his RB10 in third place. A bad start saw him drop behind Valtteri Bottas and he was perhaps a little fortunate to retain fourth position. He had a go at passing the Finn but settled to do it through the pit stop phase and duly emerged in third place when all was said and done. By then, the half minute gap to Mercedes was insurmountable but he drove a mature, if lonely, race to claim the first official podium of his Formula 1 career.

Valtteri Bottas and Williams had so far not lived up to pre-season expectations. But in Spain the Finn excelled, despite having to sit out the first 90 minute session in favour of reserve driver Felipe Nasr. Bottas put in a stellar lap in qualifying to take fourth place on the grid, which translated into third on the first lap once Ricciardo bogged down. Williams opted to put Bottas on a two stop strategy and ultimately he was unable to fend off the advances of Ricciardo, while later in the race a charging Vettel made his way through on fresh option tyres. But 10 points is a strong haul for a team currently in the mix for a solid placing in the championship.

Losers

It was all going fairly well for Pastor Maldonado during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend. He was popping up in the top 10 across practice while team-mate Romain Grosjean struggled with the feeling of the Lotus E22. At the circuit where he emerged victorious two years ago, perhaps this was Maldonado's time to shine? Such thoughts quickly diminished a few minutes into qualifying when the Venezuelan kept his foot in it exiting turn three and shunted the car into the barrier. Game over. He started from last on the grid which handily gave him 21 cars to run into – he chose his closest rival Marcus Ericsson and punted the Swede onto the grass. Maldonado was duly handed a five second stop and go penalty for his latest, and probably not final, transgression.

In a parallel universe a driver called Jean-Éric Vergne can exploit his potential with a consistently reliable car. But in this world the Frenchman is left to pick up the pieces when it all goes wrong, which it did in Barcelona. The car was not necessarily in the mix for points, but his race was effectively over when his right rear wheel adopted an alternative approach to turn two during Friday practice. He received the obligatory 10 place grid drop and the team was fined. In the race a brake problem developed within his STR9 but it was an exhaust failure which condemned him to a third retirement in five races. Monaco and Montreal – two circuits which traditionally suit his aggressive style – are up next. Crucial times for the Frenchman.

McLaren
's difficult season continued in Spain, with Jenson Button admitting that the team is probably further off the pace relative to the opposition compared to their annus horribilis in 2013. Button qualified in the top 10 but made a bad start and dropped down the order. It was a strategic error which ultimately compromised his race as in attempting to jump one of the Force India drivers during the second stop, Button was delayed in the pits by the arrival of Daniil Kvyat. Upon emerging from the pits, the Brit was stuck behind race leader Hamilton, who was on much older tyres. Unable to exploit the best of the tyres, Button had to settle for 11th. Kevin Magnussen meanwhile had his weekend scuppered by a spark plug failure in Q1, which left him out of Q2. He touched Sebastian Vettel on the first lap and spent much of the race following Button, eventually coming home half a second behind.

Phillip Horton
Twitter: @PHortonF1

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 24 April 2017

  2. In photos: Alonso visits IndyCar paddock 12:35

    In photos: Alonso visits IndyCar paddock

    Fernando Alonso attended last weekend's Grand Prix of Alabama as part of his preparations for an assault on the Indianapolis 500…

    F1
  3. Video: Performing a perfect FE pit-stop 12:02

    Video: Performing a perfect FE pit-stop

    Venturi driver Maro Engel talks through the key elements to pull off a perfect Formula E pit-stop.

    FE
  4. Viñales vows to return 'stronger' after crash 11:12

    Viñales vows to return 'stronger' after crash

    Maverick Viñales says he will quickly put his crash at the Grand Prix of the Americas to the back of his mind and return…

    MotoGP
  5. Venturi calls up Dillmann for Paris ePrix 10:20

    Venturi calls up Dillmann for Paris ePrix

    Tom Dillmann will make his Formula E debut with Venturi in next month's Paris ePrix. Dillmann, who won the Formula V8 3.5…

    FE
  6. Rossi's 2017 title lead 'a great surprise' 10:02

    Rossi's 2017 title lead 'a great surprise'

    Valentino Rossi says it comes as "a great surprise" to himself and Yamaha that he leads the MotoGP title race after the first…

    MotoGP
  7. Video: IndyCar GP of Alabama highlights 09:32

    Video: IndyCar GP of Alabama highlights

    Watch highlights of Sunday's IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.

    Indy
  8. Márquez 'back' in title race with Austin win 09:16

    Márquez 'back' in title race with Austin win

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez says he is "back in the championship" fight after his victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas…

    MotoGP
  9. Video of the Day: Prema's 'Guess the song' 05:24

    Video of the Day: Prema's 'Guess the song'

    Prema Formula 2 drivers Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco, along with Formula 4 pair Juri Vips and Juan Manuel Correa, challenge…

    F2
  10. 03:10

    MotoGP standings after GP of the Americas

    MotoGP
  11. Sunday 23 April 2017

  12. 22:50

    Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Barber

    Indy
  13. Newgarden wins after Power's puncture 22:48

    Newgarden wins after Power's puncture

    Josef Newgarden won for the first time as a Penske driver, holding off Scott Dixon at the Grand Prix of Alabama after race…

    Indy
  14. 21:10

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Austin

    MotoGP
  15. 21:07

    In full: GP of the Americas race results

    MotoGP
  16. Márquez takes fifth straight Austin victory 20:53

    Márquez takes fifth straight Austin victory

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez preserved his perfect record at the Circuit of the Americas as he claimed victory, while…

    MotoGP
  17. 19:00

    Starting grid for the GP of the Americas

    MotoGP
  18. Video: Super Formula Suzuka highlights 13:59

    Video: Super Formula Suzuka highlights

    Watch race highlights from Sunday's opening round of the 2017 Super Formula season at Suzuka.

    SF
  19. Nakajima wins race, Gasly top rookie 13:23

    Nakajima wins race, Gasly top rookie

    Former Formula 1 driver Kazuki Nakajima triumphed at the opening Super Formula round of the season at Suzuka as Red Bull reserve…

    SF
  20. Lorenzo pleased to confirm 'good feeling' 13:06

    Lorenzo pleased to confirm 'good feeling'

    Jorge Lorenzo says he was lifted by confirming the "good feeling" he developed at the preceding round in Argentina, as he…

    MotoGP
  21. Video: GP of Alabama qualifying highlights 10:56

    Video: GP of Alabama qualifying highlights

    Watch highlights from Saturday's track action for the Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.

    Indy
  22. Márquez 'didn't expect' Austin pole position 09:24

    Márquez 'didn't expect' Austin pole position

    Marc Márquez says he "didn't expect" to claim pole position for the Grand Prix of the Americas, having struggled across the…

    MotoGP
  23. Video of the Day: Verstappen photobombs fans 05:34

    Video of the Day: Verstappen photobombs fans

    Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen surprises customers at a supermarket in his native Netherlands...

    F1
  24. Saturday 22 April 2017

  25. 23:16

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Barber

    Indy
  26. Power leads Penske trio in Barber qualifying 23:12

    Power leads Penske trio in Barber qualifying

    Will Power led a Penske/Chevy 1–2–3 in qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday, earning the 46th pole of his…

    Indy
  27. 21:34

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Austin

    MotoGP
  28. Injured Rins to fly home for wrist surgery 21:33

    Injured Rins to fly home for wrist surgery

    Suzuki rider Álex Rins will undergo surgery in his native Spain, after fracturing his left wrist, with no time frame yet placed…

    MotoGP
  29. Márquez beats Viñales in qualifying thriller 21:00

    Márquez beats Viñales in qualifying thriller

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez maintained his unbeaten record at the Circuit of the Americas after prevailing in a…

    MotoGP
  30. Avintia continues with Ducati for 2018 20:14

    Avintia continues with Ducati for 2018

    Avintia has renewed its contract as a customer Ducati squad, with both of its riders set to use the Italian manufacturer's 2017…

    MotoGP
  31. Viñales heads crash-filled COTA FP3 17:14

    Viñales heads crash-filled COTA FP3

    Championship leader Maverick Viñales returned to the top of the leaderboard for Yamaha during a crash-strewn third practice…

    MotoGP
  32. Steiner: 'Big three' teams will remain clear 14:46

    Steiner: 'Big three' teams will remain clear

    Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says he expects the leading three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – to remain…

    F1
  33. Video: Onboard with Hunter-Reay at Barber 12:24

    Video: Onboard with Hunter-Reay at Barber

    Ride onboard with Andretti driver Ryan Hunter-Reay ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park

    Indy
  34. Ricciardo to conduct Budapest demo run 10:28

    Ricciardo to conduct Budapest demo run

    Daniel Ricciardo will demonstrate Red Bull Formula 1 machinery during an event in Hungary's capital, Budapest, next…

    F1
  35. Abraham fractures ankle in Bautista clash 08:28

    Abraham fractures ankle in Bautista clash

    Aspar rider Karel Abraham has sustained a fractured right ankle following a collision with team-mate Álvaro Bautista during…

    MotoGP
  36. Video of the Day: 2017 strategy so far... 05:36

    Video of the Day: 2017 strategy so far...

    3 races down, 17 to go. Using Mercedes' 'Pure Pit Wall', Chief Strategist James Vowles talks about tyre degradation, overtakes…

    F1
  37. Friday 21 April 2017

  38. 21:04

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Austin

    MotoGP
  39. Márquez moves ahead in Austin FP2 21:01

    Márquez moves ahead in Austin FP2

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez vaulted to the top of the timesheets during the second practice session at the Circuit of…

    MotoGP
  40. Viñales comfortably quickest in FP1 17:04

    Viñales comfortably quickest in FP1

    MotoGP championship leader Maverick Viñales comfortably set the pace during Friday's first practice session for the Grand Prix…

    MotoGP
  41. Kvyat aims for complete home showing 15:32

    Kvyat aims for complete home showing

    Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat has targeted a more complete performance at his home Grand Prix in Russia next weekend, after…

    F1
  42. Honda feels it is 'heading in right direction' 13:12

    Honda feels it is 'heading in right direction'

    McLaren engine partner Honda is confident that it is "heading in the right direction" following a positive conclusion to this…

    F1
  43. Interview: Marko on RBR's 'luxury problem' 12:00

    Interview: Marko on RBR's 'luxury problem'

    Red Bull has arguably developed the strongest junior programme in motorsport in recent years, introducing a World Champion in…

    F1
  44. Video: Gear up for Super Formula season 10:32

    Video: Gear up for Super Formula season

    Get ready for the new Super Formula season, which kicks off at the Suzuka circuit this weekend.

    FE
more news