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. Tuesday 24 May 2016

  2. 16:34

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Video: Indy 500 qualifying highlights 15:12

    Video: Indy 500 qualifying highlights

    Watch highlights of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, in which James Hinchcliffe claimed pole.

    Indy
  4. Allison hails Ferrari test progress 13:52

    Allison hails Ferrari test progress

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison reckons the team made solid progress with the handling of the SF16-H during the…

    F1
  5. Boullier: Monaco should suit McLaren 13:22

    Boullier: Monaco should suit McLaren

    Eric Boullier is confident that Monaco will suit McLaren's Honda-powered MP4-31 "more than other circuits", as the partnership…

    F1
  6. Video: Formula E dream driver line-ups 11:36

    Video: Formula E dream driver line-ups

    A selection of Formula E drivers reveal which motor racing stars they would love to go karting with.

    FE
  7. 'Negativity' hurts Sauber's investor search 11:02

    'Negativity' hurts Sauber's investor search

    Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn believes that the negativity surrounding Formula 1 is making it increasingly difficult to…

    F1
  8. Williams hopes for Monaco improvement 09:55

    Williams hopes for Monaco improvement

    Williams technical chief Pat Symonds hopes that the outfit can deliver an improved showing at this year's Monaco Grand Prix…

    F1
  9. Wolff: Mercedes must 'hit back hard' 09:06

    Wolff: Mercedes must 'hit back hard'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that Mercedes must "hit back hard" at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, following a double…

    F1
  10. Grosjean helmet pays tribute to Bianchi 08:50

    Grosjean helmet pays tribute to Bianchi

    Romain Grosjean will pay tribute to the late Jules Bianchi with a special helmet in Monaco. Grosjean's design features a…

    F1
  11. Video of the Day: Indianapolis 500 preview 05:10

    Video of the Day: Indianapolis 500 preview

    A host of IndyCar drivers look ahead to this weekend's centenary edition of the prestigious Indianapolis 500.

    Indy
  12. Monday 23 May 2016

  13. Force India still looking to maintain fifth 15:22

    Force India still looking to maintain fifth

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says the outfit is still looking to maintain fifth position in the championship standings…

    F1
  14. Baz could miss Barcelona due to foot injury 14:50

    Baz could miss Barcelona due to foot injury

    Avintia rider Loris Baz could miss the upcoming MotoGP round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya due to the injuries which he…

    MotoGP
  15. Alonso: Monaco to test McLaren chassis 13:37

    Alonso: Monaco to test McLaren chassis

    Fernando Alonso expects to see where McLaren's chassis stands compared to its rivals at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, with…

    F1
  16. Hülkenberg sees Monaco as 'fresh start' 12:02

    Hülkenberg sees Monaco as 'fresh start'

    Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg says he is hoping to mark a "fresh start" at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, following…

    F1
  17. Mercedes drivers clear air after clash 11:38

    Mercedes drivers clear air after clash

    Mercedes team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have held clear-the-air discussions following their dramatic first-lap clash…

    F1
  18. Nasr: Points would feel like a victory 11:12

    Nasr: Points would feel like a victory

    Felipe Nasr and Sauber have endured a challenging start to the 2016 season, amid a sub-standard package and financial woes.…

    F1
  19. Rossi: Mugello DNF 'weighs very heavily' 10:05

    Rossi: Mugello DNF 'weighs very heavily'

    Valentino Rossi says his exit from his home Grand Prix in Italy "weighs very heavily" after rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Marc…

    MotoGP
  20. Stroll opens lead with double Austria win 09:32

    Stroll opens lead with double Austria win

    Prema driver Lance Stroll extended his championship advantage in European Formula 3 with a double win at the Red Bull Ring, in a…

    F3
  21. Lorenzo lauds 'unexpected' Mugello victory 09:08

    Lorenzo lauds 'unexpected' Mugello victory

    Jorge Lorenzo hailed an "unexpected" victory at the Italian Grand Prix as he fractionally edged out Honda's Marc Márquez to…

    MotoGP
  22. Video of the Day: Button's Monaco preview 05:22

    Video of the Day: Button's Monaco preview

    McLaren-Honda's Jenson Button looks ahead to this weekend's Grand Prix on the streets of Monte-Carlo.

    F1
  23. Sunday 22 May 2016

  24. Resurgent Hinchcliffe wins Indy 500 pole 23:54

    Resurgent Hinchcliffe wins Indy 500 pole

    James Hinchcliffe completed a fairy tale comeback today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, capturing pole position for the…

    Indy
  25. Vaxivière survives treacherous conditions to win 15:53

    Vaxivière survives treacherous conditions to win

    Matthieu Vaxivière secured his first victory of the season as he mastered treacherous conditions in the second Formula V8 3.5…

    FV8 3.5
  26. Video: FE Berlin ePrix race highlights 15:24

    Video: FE Berlin ePrix race highlights

    Watch highlights of Formula E's visit to Berlin as Sébastien Buemi sets up a title showdown with Lucas di Grassi.

    FE
  27. 14:00

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Mugello

    MotoGP
  28. Lorenzo beats Márquez in Mugello thriller 13:58

    Lorenzo beats Márquez in Mugello thriller

    Jorge Lorenzo beat Marc Márquez by just 0.019s during a thrilling climax to the Italian Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi retired…

    MotoGP
  29. Haryanto admits future at Manor unclear 11:45

    Haryanto admits future at Manor unclear

    Rio Haryanto has admitted that his future at Manor remains unclear, and cannot be certain that he will finish the current…

    F1
  30. Feature: When Hamilton ruled GP2 - Part 2 10:02

    Feature: When Hamilton ruled GP2 - Part 2

    It has been a decade since Lewis Hamilton's GP2 triumph. In the final part of a special reflection, GPUpdate.net speaks to those…

    F1
  31. Espargaró criticises Suzuki for lack of respect 09:22

    Espargaró criticises Suzuki for lack of respect

    Aleix Espargaró has criticised Suzuki for a lack of respect amid rider moves, as he chases a 2017 seat with the Japanese…

    MotoGP
  32. Video of the Day: Márquez hidden camera 05:36

    Video of the Day: Márquez hidden camera

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez surprises residents in Villamartín, Spain in this hidden camera video.

    MotoGP
  33. Hinchcliffe fastest on first day of 500 qualifying 01:37

    Hinchcliffe fastest on first day of 500 qualifying

    James Hinchcliffe topped the first of two days of IndyCar qualifying at the track where he nearly lost his life a year ago. A…

    Indy
  34. Saturday 21 May 2016

  35. 16:12

    Latest Formula E photos: Berlin ePrix

    FE
  36. Buemi wins to set up di Grassi title fight 16:10

    Buemi wins to set up di Grassi title fight

    Sébastien Buemi dominated proceedings at the Berlin ePrix to set up a last round showdown with Lucas di Grassi for the 2015/16…

    FE
  37. Ricciardo: Spain defeat still 'hard to take' 14:56

    Ricciardo: Spain defeat still 'hard to take'

    Daniel Ricciardo has admitted not winning the Spanish Grand Prix is still "hard to take", as he missed out on claiming his first…

    F1
  38. 14:04

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Mugello

    MotoGP
  39. Rossi beats Viñales to pole at Mugello 14:02

    Rossi beats Viñales to pole at Mugello

    Valentino Rossi will start his home race from pole position after topping a close qualifying session at the Italian Grand…

    MotoGP
  40. Orudzhev resists Dillmann for Spa victory 13:37

    Orudzhev resists Dillmann for Spa victory

    Egor Orudzhev held off Tom Dillmann to claim victory during a tense Formula V8 3.5 race at Spa-Francorchamps. Orudzhev took…

    FV8 3.5
  41. Video: Horror Formula 3 crash in Austria 12:08

    Video: Horror Formula 3 crash in Austria

    Peter Li is launched into a sickening aerial accident after striking the unsighted Ryan Tveter, in an incident which also…

    F3
  42. Rabat out due to broken collarbone 11:30

    Rabat out due to broken collarbone

    Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat has been ruled out of the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix weekend after fracturing his left…

    MotoGP
  43. Feature: When Hamilton ruled GP2 - Part 1 10:02

    Feature: When Hamilton ruled GP2 - Part 1

    It has been a decade since Lewis Hamilton swept to the GP2 Series crown and secured a promotion to Formula 1 with McLaren.…

    F1
  44. Iannone stays ahead in third Mugello session 09:49

    Iannone stays ahead in third Mugello session

    Andrea Iannone stayed ahead during a tightly contested third practice session for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. Ducati…

    MotoGP
more news