Tweet from @GaryPaffett: It's a long run down to turn 1 at Barcelona so will benefit good starters and good KERS cars. Vettel maybe under pressure if no KERS still.
Tweet from @TheFifthDriver: Lots of you discovered our PITWALL at www.mclaren.com/formula1 - head over for all the data, analysis and radio chat LIVE from the GP! #f1
Mercedes also have live data, which requires free sign-up at http://mercedes-gp.com
Whilst you're getting set up, don't forget your live timing: http://www.formula1.com/live_timing/live_timing.html
Autosport will have their live text here: http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/348 whilst the BBC are going live here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9493024.stm
Comment from RubberGoat: My prediction: either a crash in turn 1, or Webber gets a mysterious problem and Vettel gets ahead
|1||Mark Webber||Red Bull|
|2||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull|
Alonso was very happy with his fourth position, whooping on the radio to the team. Button was positive because he starts on the clean side of the grid.
|11||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso|
|13||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso|
|16||Paul di Resta||Force India|
|17||Adrian Sutil||Force India|
Heikki Kovalainen did a great job to qualify 15th ahead of both Force Indias, but Di Resta and Sutil chose to save a set of soft tyres for the race.
Interview with Mark Webber: "Hopefully we get away nice and well and have a good clean first part of the Grand Prix. It helps to have clear air, that's the big benefit of getting away cleanly from pole.
Tyres will be the biggest role again today, that's the main thing to get the balance right between pace and preservation. They're incredibly sensitive and sometimes they don't like to be raced on.
It's good guys at the front, ready to take them on and see how we go."
Michael Schumacher has clarified that his no "big joy" comment was specifically about Turkey, and he's still happy in Formula One.
Tweet from @sparkteamlotus: In the back of the garage less than 40mins to go. Cars will head out to grid in 10mins or so, atmosphere is the garage is building :)
|(forecast data from Brembo)|
|Maximum pedal load||143kg|
Tweet from @MikeGascoyne: Pit lane about to open, race will all be about the tyre life on the soft tyre and how few laps you can do on the hard
The pitlane opens, the engines fire up, and cars begin to make their way to the grid.
Tweet from @MikeGascoyne: Everyone will be going to the grid on the hard tyre, need every available lap on the softs for the race
Great insight from Mike.
|Circuit de Catalunya|
|Local timezone||+0200 GMT|
|Number of laps||66|
World feed showing Massa zooming through his outlap. He'll be at the grid in record time.
Nick Heidfeld will be starting from the pitlane.
|(data from Williams F1)|
|Fuel laptime penalty||0.3s/10kg|
|Pit lane loss||21s|
|Pit lane length||367m|
Goalkeeping ace Peter Schmeicel is on the grid: "This is a completely new experience for me. Being on the grid here now is incredible. It's equivalent of taking you in the goal with me."
Fifteen minutes until the start of the race.
Paul di Resta has just talked Jake Humphrey and Eddie Jordan through the buttons on his steering wheel. Fascinating stuff.
Tweet from @alex_wurz: this is how it looks when u r on POLE ! http://yfrog.com/gyj70glvj
Sauber on the grid.
Interview with Sebastian Vettel on his KERS: "We change the batteries, charge them, it should be fine. I'm pretty confident it will work. I can't give you a guarantee but it'll work. Definitely a lot in the first corner, lap one, sixty-six laps to go. All the others are very keen to be at the top as well, it will be a long race."
Packed grid in Spain via @sparkteamlotus.
Tweet from @Pirelli_Media: Strategy will be key: is it best to run long on the hard tyre at the start (like Webber in China)?
Live Timing has reset.
Tweet from @autosportlive: Alonso is getting seated in his Ferrari, with the home hero starting from his best grid slot of the season in fourth.
Ooh, it looks like Heidfeld is on the grid and not in the pits.
Comment from Turkey Machine: Starting from pits loses you about 5-10 seconds while you wait for the field to stream past. Starting from the grid he'll be 20th by T1.
Schumacher has bolted on soft tyres - he was allowed to select which tyre as he didn't set a time in Q3.
The formation lap is go.
Team radio to Vettel: "Gearbox is good, engine is on target, remember no part throttle."
The top ten are all starting on soft tyres.
Clean start, Alonso has jumped up into the lead.
Vettel overtook Webber for second. Button has fallen way down to tenth.
Schumacher has moved up to sixth place, Petrov up to fifth.
Alonso is pulling out quite a lead already, Vettel trying to keep up and Webber being caught by Hamilton.
Kobayashi has pitted with a left rear puncture.
Jarno Trulli jumped up ahead of teammate Kovalainen, whilst Di Resta moved ahead of both.
Tweet from @Pirelli_Media: Great start from Alonso; you can probably hear the crowd where you are!
Buemi is holding up Jenson Button for 9th place. Button is desperately trying to get past.
Replays show that Alonso's and Schumacher's starts were both epic, whilst Button was squeezed out and backwards.
Jenson Button has made it past Buemi and will now chase Massa for P8.
Team radio to Webber: "You need to use 45% of KERS after the start/finish line."
I've closed the pole and 61% think Webber can keep the lead and win this race. We're not doing well on the lead front, but there's still a long way to go.
Ted News: "McLaren confirm there's nothing wrong with Button's car. They believe Lewis Hamilton will end up fighting Alonso for a podium position."
|Felipe Massa||vs.||Jenson Button|
Tweet from @tonyfernandes: Our race pace is amazing. Go boys. Super start by jarno. Heikki felt he was hit.
Pérez has pitted from 14th place. Unusual if this is a strategy call, they're normally good on the tyres.
Replays show Liuzzi overtakes Pérez, who's come out towards the back.
Maldonado pits from 13th place and comes out 18th.
TedNews: Perez is on the hard tyre. Good work from Williams, they got Maldonado out in front of Perez, they were reacting to the Sauber stop.
Vettel pits from second place.
Vettel feeds back out behind Button, and the big scrap between him and Massa.
Vettel passes Button for the position, practically instantly.
Buemi has pitted.
Vettel passes Massa as well. Two cars in three corners.
Alonso pits from the lead, and Webber from third.
Vettel passes Rosberg as well, Alonso feeds out just in front of them.
Webber is on the charge now, passes Massa.
Petrov, Rosberg and Massa all dive into the pitlane.
Hamilton has pitted, and Alguersuari also stops.
Tweet from @BaronVonClutch: Small drama with Petrov's front jack. But he exits the pit box safely and is back on track. #F1
Replays show Barrichello having a really long stop, smoke oozing from the car from the delay.
TedNews: Difference between Vettel and Webber - Vettel put on old soft tyres, Webber put on his only set of new softs. Webber can go a little longer in this stint.
Lewis Hamilton puts in the fastest lap of the race so far - 1:29.076
Team radio to Vettel: "Remember to use all of the KERS every lap."
Sutil pits on lap 14. So far, every car is still running - no retirements as yet.
The driver tracker is not showing any positions at all - at the circuit or at home.
Button has just made his pit stop - it looks like he's on a different strategy to those around him.
Paul di Resta up to sixth place, having not stopped yet.
Di Resta pits.
Everyone in the top ten has now stopped once.
Button has just overtaken Schumacher for fifth place.
Team radio to Button: "Okay, Jenson, great job there. We made three places. This is the new option."
Tweet from @autosportlive: It's nose-to-tail among the lead trio, but the DRS isn't helping provide any changes of position at the moment.
Narain Karthikeyan is the only man to fall a lap down so far.
Vettel pits from second place. New set of options go on.
TedNews; Ferrari are reacting, they're bringing Alonso in right now. Ferrari know the reason they have an advantage here is just in a straight line, that's why Red Bull are telling their drivers to use their KERS on the straights.
Alonso pits, Hamilton through into the lead. Webber also pits, following the Ferrari.
Alonso has come out behind Vettel, both having stopped twice.
The driver tracker is now working. That'll help.
Hamilton is putting in some fastest laps out in clear air at the front.
|Michael Schumacher||vs.||Nico Rosberg|
Massa pits from 9th position.
Heidfeld also pits, from 15th place.
Tweet from @easonF1: Lewis has 15 sec lead but Vettel closing at 1sec-a-lap faster as Lewis's tyres go away
Hamilton is also catching up to traffic.
Hamilton pits, doesn't need to bother with the traffic.
Hamilton returns to the track in front of Alonso. So Vettel is leading the race now.
TedNews: Left rear wheel mechanic for Hamilton dropped his wheel nut and had to change guns. Time stopped was still the same as Ferrari's stop.
Massa has passed Di Resta for 10th place.
Kovalainen's strong grid position has not worked out well, he's down in 18th, whilst Trulli is up in 13th.
Schumacher and Petrov both pit for the second time.
TedNews: McLaren are still confident that their three-stop strategy can work.
Rosberg returns to the track way behind his teammate. A pitboard sign reads: Nico, radio?
Tweet from @Lou_uk: #F1 Pastor might be down in 14th at the mo, but the boy is driving well. Will be interesting to see how it all turns out in the end.
Alonso and Webber pit together again.
Always coming in together that pair.
Alonso comes out in front of Webber, winning a side-by-side pitlane battle.
Button stops and returns to the track fifth.
Team radio to Button: "A minimum of 13 laps."
Webber is close up behind Alonso, but the Ferrari is using his KERS to escape an overtake so far.
It won't be long, though.
Hamilton is keeping up with Vettel but the pair aren't facing any other trouble.
In the last six laps, Hamilton has closed the gap from 3.4 seconds to 1.2 to Vettel.
Webber passes Alonso, but the Ferrari gets the position back again.
Hamilton pits from the lead.
He returns to the track behind Vettel, the gap between them now increased again.
Jenson Button makes a move on Webber down the straight to Turn 1. He makes the position stick, although there may have been contact.
Replays show there weren't contact, and then back to the action where Jenson passes Alonso as well. He's up to third now.
Replays show that Alonso ran a bit wide around turn 10, and Button was able to take the inside line and take the position.
Massa pits, along with Maldonado, Heidfeld and Alguersuari.
Button is still on the soft tyres at the moment, whereas his rivals are on the harder compound.
Super slow-mo replays show three chunks missing out of Alonso's front left tyre.
Felipe Massa spins, losing the rear end and a lot of time, but gets going again.
Alonso has pitted, without Webber this time!
Alonso has got rid of this one now.
Rosberg is still chasing Schumacher for position - Michael currently in 6th, but Nico looking faster.
If it finished like this...
Schumacher pits from 7th place, Petrov follows him in.
Mercedes are looking at a three stop strategy, so that would be Michael's last stop.
Hamilton has caught Vettel again - just over a second between them.
Rosberg has pitted now, one lap after Schumacher, and again for potentially the last time.
Alonso's race is looking harder now. His stop came early due to the wrecked tyres, and he's put on the hard tyres, but it's a long way to go to the end of the race.
Hamilton gets caught up trying to overtake an HRT, a quick gesture of frustration as he finally gets by.
Jenson Button has just lapped Felipe Massa, which means all cars up to 8th have been lapped.
I'm definitely not doing my backmarker watch table with that many.
Sebastian Vettel appears not to be using KERS, and radio instructs him not to discharge it.
Tweet from @sidepodcast: @factbytefactbox what happened to liuzzi?
That is a great question. I'm not sure the reason, but he stopped on lap 32. He must have sneaked quietly into the garage.
Heikki stops for the third time, currently down in 20th.
Red Bull mechanics head to the pitlane, it looks like it's for Webber's fourth stop.
Webber returns to the track in fourth position.
McLaren mechanics scramble into the pitlane as well, as Vettel makes an incredibly fast stop.
Button comes into the pitlane, as does Pérez from 11th place.
Vettel's stop was actually 3.8 seconds, compared to 3.7 and 3.6 earlier. Technically his slowest stop of the day!
Lewis Hamilton pits from the lead.
Tweet from @Pirelli_Media: Everyone now onto the hard tyres...it's a long run to the flag next.
Vettel's radio confirms his KERS is back up and running.
Yellow flags as Kovalainen is off into the barriers.
The Lotus is off at Turn 4, he's gone through the gravel and bumped the tyre barriers, but climbs from the car okay.
Webber sets the fastest lap of the race 1:27.187.
Now Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap - 1:26.727.
Impressive to be setting fastest laps under yellow flag conditions.
Although the yellow flags have gone now.
Team radio to Hamilton: "Lewis, you were one second faster than Vettel on that lap."
The gap between Vettel and Lewis now one second. DRS to come!
|Sebastian Vettel||vs.||Lewis Hamilton|
The pair are coming up amongst traffic now as well.
They've navigated the cars for a bit of free air now. Hamilton is so close into the first corner.
Tweet from @autosportlive: Petrov is ninth but Perez is on his gearbox in 10th as they come through the final complex.
Both cars are using KERS down the main straight, and Hamilton is being instructed to use blue buttons, yellow buttons, anything to help.
Hamilton just can't find a way past the Red Bull, as close as it is. There are just eight laps left for him to get through.
Button sits third, with Webber fourth. Alonso is having tyre issues, but Ferrari don't want to bring him in for another stop.
Nick Heidfeld is up to tenth, which is a great position from his last place start.
Tweet from @MyTeamLotus: Heikki's back with us now, he's absolutely fine. Pace has been good, so real shame.
|Hamilton on lap 57|
The gap between Vettel and Hamilton to Button is up to 34 seconds now.
Pérez is up to eight place, whilst Heidfeld has moved up to 9th, passing Felipe Massa.
Yellow flags shown at turn 7.
Massa runs off into the gravel and comes to a halt.
Tweet from @InsideFerrari: THere is a problem on Felipe's car stopped on T7
Five laps to go.
Tweet from @chainbear: @factbytefactbox slow burning start build to a crescendo, this race
Massa pulls off track.
Team radio to Vettel: "Come on, try to shake him off."
The Hamilton/Vettel battle continues, but there are just four laps left now.
Tweet from @autosportlive: Heidfeld has a go round the outside into Turn 1 and makes it through. Heidfeld takes eighth with Perez now ninth and Kobayashi 10th.
Rob Smedley makes a swift exit from the Ferrari pitwall.
Comment from RG: Both Saubers in the points.... lovely.
It looks like Hamilton will run out of time for this one.
Meanwhile, the lapped cars count increases as Alonso - in fifth place - is no longer on the lead lap.
Sebastian Vettel wins the Spanish Grand Prix!
Comment from rethymno racer: First time in 10 years that the pole man hasn't won.
Vettel is joined on the podium by Hamilton and Button, with pole-sitter Webber coming in fourth.
Team radio to Hamilton: "That was a magnificent effort mate. Sorry we couldn't get you that one step up."
Vettel goes to hug his mechanics and bumps into the camera as he makes his way to the pre-podium room.
Button and Hamilton have a chat about their tyres, and downforce. When Vettel arrives, they congratulate him on a tough battle.
They make their way to the podium and the National Anthems play out.
The champagne is sprayed, the officials hurriedly making their way off the podium.
Vettel and Hamilton are basically on top of each other, and way ahead of the rest.
A very disappointed and sighing Webber: "I don't think it was hideous, Fernando got a phenomenal one. I was a bit compromised, and Seb was on the outside. From then on, it wasn't the start we had planned, and then it was chess really. People covering each other on stops, not much racing on track. Interesting day today, goes to show how fine the margins are when you're a little bit off on strategy."
Vettel, the winner.
Press Conference Quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "It was pretty tough. The beginning of the race, I think I had a good start, but I don't understand where Fernando came from, halfway down the straight he was already side by side. Couldn't get really close enough to get into the DRS to pass him, but then we got him with a pitstop.
"Fairly early, everyone was getting the options out of the way, then there was half the race left on the hard tyres. I knew that it would be very close, going into the last ten laps it felt like China. Lewis was catching up and seemed to be so much quicker, and was already getting in the DRS zone.
"It was really close but thankfully in the last two laps I got quite a good run in the last sector. On top of that we had sometimes KERS on, sometimes KERS off, I was playing around with the buttons. It wasn't an easy race, McLaren gave us a hard time. It's quite a big relief when you cross the line and you know there is the chequered flag.
"I'm very, very happy. A great result and another confirmation we are very strong. I'm happy today that we made it because these guys were strong, I'm just happy now."
Press Conference Quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "I don't think we can be disappointed today. The team did a fantastic job throughout the pitstops and the weekend to get us up there. I didn't get the best start but was just able to keep up with the Red Bulls. As the race went on we had some serious pace but it was very tough to get past Sebastian at the end.
"Through the last corner, his downforce was incredibly clear for me to see. Nonetheless, I gave it my all and moved forward to score some good points."
Press Conference Quotes - Jenson Button: "My first lap was an absolute disaster. I got a poor start, stuck on the outside. I don't know where I was, I think about 11th after the start. Very tricky, but I was able to pick them off, and with a fantastic strategy this race, we were able to get a podium.
"It was great fun to come through passing Fernando and Mark when they were on the prime tyre and I was on the option. It's good to get some nice points and fought my way through. I really felt like I raced today."
Tweet from @EliGP: Hamilton, Button, Webber and Alguersuari under investigation for ignoring yellows
Interview with Fernando Alonso: "It looks a bit sad when you are losing positions, but we need to understand that P1 was not our position at the moment. I think fifth is unfortunately what we deserved this weekend. We were not competitive, especially on race pace. I think the first two guys lap the fifth guy, so there are clearly two teams ahead of everyone else at the moment."
Interview with Michael Schumacher: "It worked out fine, but got into trouble with the balance of the car. Oversteer was the main issue I had to fight with. We got the maximum out of what we had available. Compared to where we've been in qualifying... definitely we lost out on performance today compared to what we had on Friday."
The stewards will investigate the yellow flag issue, with the potential for time penalties to be handed out.
At the time I did ponder it, posting: "Impressive to be setting fastest laps under yellow flag conditions."
|Felipe Massa||Suspected gearbox||61|
Although it might not be accurate, given the investigation.
So that was the Spanish Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel takes another win, which must leave Webber furious. This had to be his best chance, right?
Red Bull need to sort out the KERS issue, although in the interests of keeping the championship alive, perhaps they don't.
Hamilton seems to have the pace, and the determination to keep tabs on Vettel which could make future races interesting.
Incredible pace at the front, with all bar four cars lapped. Just two teams with the pace at the moment.
Further back, Heidfeld did really well, as did Pérez, whilst Maldonado failed to live up to his qualifying performance, finishing 15th.
Barrichello couldn't make any improvement on his grid slot either, meaning Williams' bad year continues.
Schumacher finished ahead of Rosberg, and seemed a lot more fired up and less crash-happy today.
The paddock now packs up as quickly as possible as it's back-to-back racing in Monaco. Free Practice is on Thursday, as well.
No one really knows what to expect from the 2011 style racing around the principality, but if you join me here next week, we can find out.
Ooh, it's worth pointing out, before I go, that if the stewards do dish out 20 second penalties to Hamilton & co, it shouldn't change the results.
Vettel will still win, either way.
See you next week, fact fans, it's been a blast.
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