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Spain 2011 - Race highlights - Lap by lap coverage of the Grand Prix action in Barcelona

Published by Christine

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Credit: Kingston-Lee/Sutton

Racing in Barcelona has come in for some criticism in the past. It's a track the drivers and teams know very, very well, leaving little to surprise them. This year, things are different, and for the first time in a decade, the pole-sitter did not win the race.

From a storming start for Alonso, to an epic battle between a Red Bull and McLaren to the dying moments of the race, it was all happening. Pit stops aplenty, and even a couple of crashes.

Here's how the Spanish Grand Prix played out, lap by lap.

As it happened: 2011 Spain - The Race

  • 12:00

    Hello, welcome, good afternoon! This is the Factbyte Factbox for the Spanish Grand Prix.

  • 12:01

    Today's racing action begins in one hour, with Mark Webber on pole position, hoping to repeat his 2010 Spanish victory.

  • 12:02

    If you missed any of qualifying, you can catch up with the FBFB coverage from yesterday:

  • 12:02

    Or if you want something a tiny bit quicker, here's a 60 second roundup:

  • 12:03

    The main things of note were Webber's pole, compared to Vettel's second place - the latter finding himself without KERS once again.

  • 12:03

    Nick Heidfeld will start at the back, or from the pitlane, as a fire in Free Practice 3 left him unable to participate in qualifying.

  • 12:03

    Rubens Barrichello struggled, finding himself out in Q3, whilst teammate Maldonado got through to the top ten, and finished ahead of Schumacher.

  • 12:04

    If you're watching the race today, head on over to Sidepodcast to join in the excellent comments:

  • 12:04

    You can also visit the direct thread which has our regular poll feature:

  • 12:05

    This time I'm curious if you think Webber can actually take his first win of the year. All that's required is a simple yes or no - how will you vote?

  • 12:06

    TweetTweet 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.

  • 12:06

    TweetTweet from @TheFifthDriver: Lots of you discovered our PITWALL at - head over for all the data, analysis and radio chat LIVE from the GP! #f1

  • 12:06

    Mercedes also have live data, which requires free sign-up at

  • 12:11

    Whilst you're getting set up, don't forget your live timing:

  • 12:11

    Autosport will have their live text here: whilst the BBC are going live here:

  • 12:12

    QuoteComment from RubberGoat: My prediction: either a crash in turn 1, or Webber gets a mysterious problem and Vettel gets ahead

  • 12:16
    Qualifying Positions
    1Mark WebberRed Bull
    2Sebastian VettelRed Bull
    3Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
    4Fernando AlonsoFerrari
    5Jenson ButtonMcLaren
    6Vitaly PetrovRenault
    7Nico RosbergMercedes
    8Felipe MassaFerrari
    9Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
    10Michael SchumacherMercedes
  • 12:17

    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.

  • 12:19
    Qualifying Positions
    11Sébastien BuemiToro Rosso
    12Sergio PérezSauber
    13Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso
    14Kamui KobayashiSauber
    15Heikki KovalainenLotus
    16Paul di RestaForce India
    17Adrian SutilForce India
    18Jarno TrulliLotus
    19Rubens BarrichelloWilliams
    20Timo GlockVirgin
    21Tonio LiuzziHRT
    22Narain Karthikeyan
    23Jérôme D'AmbrosioVirgin
    24Nick HeidfeldRenault
  • 12:19

    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.

  • 12:22

    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."

  • 12:25

    Michael Schumacher has clarified that his no "big joy" comment was specifically about Turkey, and he's still happy in Formula One.

  • 12:26

    TweetTweet 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 :)

  • 12:27
    Braking Analysis
    Turn 1
    (forecast data from Brembo)
    Initial speed315km/h
    Final speed143km/h
    Stopping distance94m
    Braking time1.59s
    Maximum deceleration5.56g
    Maximum pedal load143kg
  • 12:29
    Championship Standings
    1Sebastian Vettel93
    2Lewis Hamilton59
    3Mark Webber55
    4Jenson Button46
    5Fernando Alonso41
  • 12:30

    TweetTweet 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

  • 12:30

    The pitlane opens, the engines fire up, and cars begin to make their way to the grid.

  • 12:33

    TweetTweet 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.

  • 12:35
    Circuit Data
    Circuit de Catalunya
    Local timezone+0200 GMT
    First race1991
    Number of laps66
    Circuit length4.655km
    Race distance307.104km
    Start offset0.126km
  • 12:36

    World feed showing Massa zooming through his outlap. He'll be at the grid in record time.

  • 12:37

    Nick Heidfeld will be starting from the pitlane.

  • 12:38
    Lap Data
    (data from Williams F1)
    Fuel consumption2.4kg/lap
    Fuel laptime penalty0.3s/10kg
    Top speed317kph
    Average speed204kph
    Pit lane loss21s
    Pit lane length367m
  • 12:42

    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."

  • 12:44

    Fifteen minutes until the start of the race.

  • 12:46

    Paul di Resta has just talked Jake Humphrey and Eddie Jordan through the buttons on his steering wheel. Fascinating stuff.

  • 12:47

    TweetTweet from @alex_wurz: this is how it looks when u r on POLE !

  • 12:51

    Sauber on the gridSauber on the grid.

  • 12:53

    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."

  • 12:54

    Packed gridPacked grid in Spain via @sparkteamlotus.

  • 12:54

    TweetTweet from @Pirelli_Media: Strategy will be key: is it best to run long on the hard tyre at the start (like Webber in China)?

  • 12:55

    Live Timing has reset.

  • 12:56

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: Alonso is getting seated in his Ferrari, with the home hero starting from his best grid slot of the season in fourth.

  • 12:56



    Wind speed2.9mps
  • 12:57

    Ooh, it looks like Heidfeld is on the grid and not in the pits.

  • 12:59

    QuoteComment 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.

  • 13:00

    Schumacher has bolted on soft tyres - he was allowed to select which tyre as he didn't set a time in Q3.

  • 13:00

    The formation lap is go.

  • 13:01

    RadioTeam radio to Vettel: "Gearbox is good, engine is on target, remember no part throttle."

  • 13:02

    The top ten are all starting on soft tyres.

  • 13:03

    Green flagRace started.

  • 13:03 Lap 1

    Clean start, Alonso has jumped up into the lead.

  • 13:04 Lap 1

    Vettel overtook Webber for second. Button has fallen way down to tenth.

  • 13:04 Lap 1

    Schumacher has moved up to sixth place, Petrov up to fifth.

  • 13:05 Lap 1

    Alonso is pulling out quite a lead already, Vettel trying to keep up and Webber being caught by Hamilton.

  • 13:05 Lap 2

    Kobayashi has pitted with a left rear puncture.

  • 13:06 Lap 2
    Driver Positions
    13Fernando Alonso
    20Sebastian Vettel
    3-2Mark Webber
    4-1Lewis Hamilton
    51Vitaly Petrov
  • 13:06 Lap 2

    Jarno Trulli jumped up ahead of teammate Kovalainen, whilst Di Resta moved ahead of both.

  • 13:07 Lap 3

    TweetTweet from @Pirelli_Media: Great start from Alonso; you can probably hear the crowd where you are!

  • 13:07 Lap 3

    Buemi is holding up Jenson Button for 9th place. Button is desperately trying to get past.

  • 13:09 Lap 4

    Replays show that Alonso's and Schumacher's starts were both epic, whilst Button was squeezed out and backwards.

  • 13:10 Lap 5

    Jenson Button has made it past Buemi and will now chase Massa for P8.

  • 13:11 Lap 6

    RadioTeam radio to Webber: "You need to use 45% of KERS after the start/finish line."

  • 13:11 Lap 6

    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.

  • 13:12 Lap 6

    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."

  • 13:13 Lap 7
    One to Watch
    Felipe Massa
    vs.Jenson Button
  • 13:14 Lap 8

    TweetTweet from @tonyfernandes: Our race pace is amazing. Go boys. Super start by jarno. Heikki felt he was hit.

  • 13:15 Lap 8

    Pérez has pitted from 14th place. Unusual if this is a strategy call, they're normally good on the tyres.

  • 13:16 Lap 9

    Replays show Liuzzi overtakes Pérez, who's come out towards the back.

  • 13:16 Lap 9

    Maldonado pits from 13th place and comes out 18th.

  • 13:17 Lap 9

    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.

  • 13:17 Lap 10

    Vettel pits from second place.

  • 13:17 Lap 10

    Vettel feeds back out behind Button, and the big scrap between him and Massa.

  • 13:18 Lap 10

    Vettel passes Button for the position, practically instantly.

  • 13:18 Lap 10

    Buemi has pitted.

  • 13:18 Lap 10

    Vettel passes Massa as well. Two cars in three corners.

  • 13:18 Lap 11

    Alonso pits from the lead, and Webber from third.

  • 13:19 Lap 11
    Recent Lap Times
    F Alonso
    Lap 21:30.812
    Lap 31:30.606
    Lap 41:30.012
    Lap 51:30.318
    Lap 6
    Lap 71:30.007
    Lap 81:30.164
    Lap 9
  • 13:19 Lap 11

    Vettel passes Rosberg as well, Alonso feeds out just in front of them.

  • 13:20 Lap 11

    Webber is on the charge now, passes Massa.

  • 13:20 Lap 12

    Petrov, Rosberg and Massa all dive into the pitlane.

  • 13:20 Lap 12

    Hamilton has pitted, and Alguersuari also stops.

  • 13:21 Lap 12

    TweetTweet from @BaronVonClutch: Small drama with Petrov's front jack. But he exits the pit box safely and is back on track. #F1

  • 13:22 Lap 13

    Replays show Barrichello having a really long stop, smoke oozing from the car from the delay.

  • 13:22 Lap 13

    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.

  • 13:23 Lap 13
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverS Vettel
    TeamRed Bull
    Pit lane20.253s
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverF Alonso
    Pit lane20.567s
  • 13:23 Lap 14

    Lewis Hamilton puts in the fastest lap of the race so far - 1:29.076

  • 13:23 Lap 14

    RadioTeam radio to Vettel: "Remember to use all of the KERS every lap."

  • 13:24 Lap 14

    Sutil pits on lap 14. So far, every car is still running - no retirements as yet.

  • 13:25 Lap 15

    The driver tracker is not showing any positions at all - at the circuit or at home.

  • 13:26 Lap 15

    Button has just made his pit stop - it looks like he's on a different strategy to those around him.

  • 13:26 Lap 16

    Paul di Resta up to sixth place, having not stopped yet.

  • 13:26 Lap 16

    Di Resta pits.

  • 13:27 Lap 16

    Everyone in the top ten has now stopped once.

  • 13:27 Lap 16

    Button has just overtaken Schumacher for fifth place.

  • 13:27 Lap 16

    RadioTeam radio to Button: "Okay, Jenson, great job there. We made three places. This is the new option."

  • 13:29 Lap 16
    Driver Positions
    13Fernando Alonso
    20Sebastian Vettel
    30Lewis Hamilton
    4-3Mark Webber
    50Jenson Button
    64Michael Schumacher
    70Nico Rosberg
    8-2Vitaly Petrov
    9-1Felipe Massa
    101Sébastien Buemi
  • 13:29 Lap 18

    TweetTweet 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.

  • 13:30 Lap 18

    Narain Karthikeyan is the only man to fall a lap down so far.

  • 13:31 Lap 19

    Vettel pits from second place. New set of options go on.

  • 13:32 Lap 19

    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.

  • 13:32 Lap 20

    Alonso pits, Hamilton through into the lead. Webber also pits, following the Ferrari.

  • 13:33 Lap 20

    Alonso has come out behind Vettel, both having stopped twice.

  • 13:34 Lap 21

    The driver tracker is now working. That'll help.

  • 13:34 Lap 21

    Hamilton is putting in some fastest laps out in clear air at the front.

  • 13:35 Lap 21
    One to Watch
    Michael Schumacher
    vs.Nico Rosberg
  • 13:36 Lap 22

    Massa pits from 9th position.

  • 13:36 Lap 22
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverS Vettel
    TeamRed Bull
    Pit lane19.887s
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverF Alonso
    Pit lane20.238s
  • 13:36 Lap 22

    Heidfeld also pits, from 15th place.

  • 13:37 Lap 23

    TweetTweet from @easonF1: Lewis has 15 sec lead but Vettel closing at 1sec-a-lap faster as Lewis's tyres go away

  • 13:37 Lap 23

    Hamilton is also catching up to traffic.

  • 13:38 Lap 24

    Hamilton pits, doesn't need to bother with the traffic.

  • 13:39 Lap 24

    Hamilton returns to the track in front of Alonso. So Vettel is leading the race now.

  • 13:40 Lap 25

    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.

  • 13:40 Lap 25

    Massa has passed Di Resta for 10th place.

  • 13:41 Lap 26
    Driver Positions
    11S Vettel2
    21L Hamilton2
    31F Alonso2
    4-3M Webber2
    50J Button1
  • 13:43 Lap 27

    Kovalainen's strong grid position has not worked out well, he's down in 18th, whilst Trulli is up in 13th.

  • 13:43 Lap 27

    Schumacher and Petrov both pit for the second time.

  • 13:44 Lap 28
    Recent Lap Times
    S Vettel
    Lap 201:28.061
    Lap 211:27.394
    Lap 221:28.078
    Lap 231:28.571
    Lap 241:28.782
    Lap 251:28.511
    Lap 261:28.544
    Lap 271:28.447
  • 13:44 Lap 28

    TedNews: McLaren are still confident that their three-stop strategy can work.

  • 13:45 Lap 28

    Rosberg pits.

  • 13:46 Lap 29

    Rosberg returns to the track way behind his teammate. A pitboard sign reads: Nico, radio?

  • 13:46 Lap 29

    TweetTweet 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.

  • 13:47 Lap 29

    Alonso and Webber pit together again.

  • 13:47 Lap 30

    Always coming in together that pair.

  • 13:48 Lap 30

    Alonso comes out in front of Webber, winning a side-by-side pitlane battle.

  • 13:49 Lap 31

    Button stops and returns to the track fifth.

  • 13:51 Lap 32

    RadioTeam radio to Button: "A minimum of 13 laps."

  • 13:52 Lap 32

    Webber is close up behind Alonso, but the Ferrari is using his KERS to escape an overtake so far.

  • 13:52 Lap 33

    It won't be long, though.

  • 13:54 Lap 34

    Hamilton is keeping up with Vettel but the pair aren't facing any other trouble.

    Gap Analysis
  • 13:54 Lap 34

    In the last six laps, Hamilton has closed the gap from 3.4 seconds to 1.2 to Vettel.

  • 13:54 Lap 35

    Vettel pits.

  • 13:55 Lap 35

    Webber passes Alonso, but the Ferrari gets the position back again.

  • 13:56 Lap 36

    Hamilton pits from the lead.

  • 13:57 Lap 36

    He returns to the track behind Vettel, the gap between them now increased again.

  • 13:57 Lap 36

    Jenson Button makes a move on Webber down the straight to Turn 1. He makes the position stick, although there may have been contact.

  • 13:58 Lap 37

    Replays show there weren't contact, and then back to the action where Jenson passes Alonso as well. He's up to third now.

  • 13:59 Lap 37

    Replays show that Alonso ran a bit wide around turn 10, and Button was able to take the inside line and take the position.

  • 13:59 Lap 37

    Massa pits, along with Maldonado, Heidfeld and Alguersuari.

  • 14:00 Lap 38

    Button is still on the soft tyres at the moment, whereas his rivals are on the harder compound.

  • 14:00 Lap 38
    Driver Analysis
    DriverJ Button
    Last lap1:28.991
    Best lap1:28.490
  • 14:01 Lap 39

    Super slow-mo replays show three chunks missing out of Alonso's front left tyre.

  • 14:03 Lap 40

    Felipe Massa spins, losing the rear end and a lot of time, but gets going again.

  • 14:03 Lap 40

    Alonso has pitted, without Webber this time!

  • 14:03 Lap 40

    Alonso's tyreAlonso has got rid of this one now.

  • 14:04 Lap 41

    Rosberg is still chasing Schumacher for position - Michael currently in 6th, but Nico looking faster.

  • 14:05 Lap 42

    If it finished like this...

    Live Championship Standings
    1Sebastian Vettel118
    2Lewis Hamilton77
    3Mark Webber67
    4Jenson Button61
    5Fernando Alonso51
  • 14:06 Lap 42

    Schumacher pits from 7th place, Petrov follows him in.

  • 14:06 Lap 42

    Mercedes are looking at a three stop strategy, so that would be Michael's last stop.

  • 14:07 Lap 43

    Hamilton has caught Vettel again - just over a second between them.

  • 14:08 Lap 43

    Rosberg has pitted now, one lap after Schumacher, and again for potentially the last time.

  • 14:08 Lap 44

    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.

  • 14:09 Lap 44

    Hamilton gets caught up trying to overtake an HRT, a quick gesture of frustration as he finally gets by.

  • 14:10 Lap 45

    Jenson Button has just lapped Felipe Massa, which means all cars up to 8th have been lapped.

  • 14:10 Lap 45

    I'm definitely not doing my backmarker watch table with that many.

  • 14:11 Lap 45

    Sebastian Vettel appears not to be using KERS, and radio instructs him not to discharge it.

  • 14:13 Lap 47

    TweetTweet from @sidepodcast: @factbytefactbox what happened to liuzzi?

  • 14:14 Lap 47

    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.

  • 14:14 Lap 48

    Lotus pitstopHeikki stops for the third time, currently down in 20th.

  • 14:15 Lap 48

    Red Bull mechanics head to the pitlane, it looks like it's for Webber's fourth stop.

  • 14:15 Lap 48

    Webber returns to the track in fourth position.

  • 14:16 Lap 49

    McLaren mechanics scramble into the pitlane as well, as Vettel makes an incredibly fast stop.

  • 14:16 Lap 49

    Button comes into the pitlane, as does Pérez from 11th place.

  • 14:17 Lap 49

    Vettel's stop was actually 3.8 seconds, compared to 3.7 and 3.6 earlier. Technically his slowest stop of the day!

  • 14:17 Lap 50

    Lewis Hamilton pits from the lead.

  • 14:18 Lap 50

    TweetTweet from @Pirelli_Media: Everyone now onto the hard's a long run to the flag next.

  • 14:19 Lap 51

    Vettel's radio confirms his KERS is back up and running.

  • 14:19 Lap 51

    Yellow flags as Kovalainen is off into the barriers.

  • 14:20 Lap 51

    The Lotus is off at Turn 4, he's gone through the gravel and bumped the tyre barriers, but climbs from the car okay.

  • 14:20 Lap 52

    Webber sets the fastest lap of the race 1:27.187.

  • 14:21 Lap 52

    Heikki crashedHeikki's crash.

  • 14:22 Lap 53

    Now Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap - 1:26.727.

  • 14:22 Lap 53

    Impressive to be setting fastest laps under yellow flag conditions.

  • 14:22 Lap 53

    Although the yellow flags have gone now.

  • 14:23 Lap 53

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Lewis, you were one second faster than Vettel on that lap."

  • 14:24 Lap 54

    The gap between Vettel and Lewis now one second. DRS to come!

  • 14:25 Lap 55
    One to Watch
    Sebastian Vettel
    vs.Lewis Hamilton
  • 14:25 Lap 55
    Driver Analysis
    DriverS Vettel
    TeamRed Bull
    Last lap1:27.215
    Best lap1:27.215
  • 14:25 Lap 55

    The pair are coming up amongst traffic now as well.

  • 14:26 Lap 56

    They've navigated the cars for a bit of free air now. Hamilton is so close into the first corner.

  • 14:27 Lap 56

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: Petrov is ninth but Perez is on his gearbox in 10th as they come through the final complex.

  • 14:28 Lap 57

    Both cars are using KERS down the main straight, and Hamilton is being instructed to use blue buttons, yellow buttons, anything to help.

  • 14:28 Lap 57
    Top Speeds
    Sector 1Webber278kph
    Sector 2Hamilton274kph
    Sector 3Heidfeld281kph
    Speed trapPérez330kph
  • 14:29 Lap 58

    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.

  • 14:31 Lap 59

    Button sits third, with Webber fourth. Alonso is having tyre issues, but Ferrari don't want to bring him in for another stop.

  • 14:31 Lap 59

    Nick Heidfeld is up to tenth, which is a great position from his last place start.

  • 14:32 Lap 59

    TweetTweet from @MyTeamLotus: Heikki's back with us now, he's absolutely fine. Pace has been good, so real shame.

  • 14:32 Lap 59
    Lap Analysis
    Hamilton on lap 57
    Sector 124.2276kph
    Sector 233.2274kph
    Sector 330.0278kph
  • 14:32 Lap 60

    The gap between Vettel and Hamilton to Button is up to 34 seconds now.

  • 14:33 Lap 60

    Pérez is up to eight place, whilst Heidfeld has moved up to 9th, passing Felipe Massa.

  • 14:33 Lap 61

    Yellow flagYellow flags shown at turn 7.

  • 14:34 Lap 61

    Massa runs off into the gravel and comes to a halt.

  • 14:35 Lap 62

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: THere is a problem on Felipe's car stopped on T7

  • 14:35 Lap 62

    Five laps to go.

  • 14:35 Lap 62

    TweetTweet from @chainbear: @factbytefactbox slow burning start build to a crescendo, this race

  • 14:36 Lap 62

    Massa off trackMassa pulls off track.

  • 14:36 Lap 63

    RadioTeam radio to Vettel: "Come on, try to shake him off."

  • 14:37 Lap 63

    The Hamilton/Vettel battle continues, but there are just four laps left now.

  • 14:37 Lap 63

    TweetTweet 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.

  • 14:37 Lap 63
    Sector 1 Comparison
    S Vettel24.1276kph
    L Hamilton24.0277kph
    J Button24.3277kph
    M Webber24.1278kph
    F Alonso24.7269kph
  • 14:39 Lap 64

    Rob Smedley makes a swift exit from the Ferrari pitwall.

  • 14:39 Lap 64

    QuoteComment from RG: Both Saubers in the points.... lovely.

  • 14:40 Lap 65

    It looks like Hamilton will run out of time for this one.

  • 14:40 Lap 65

    Meanwhile, the lapped cars count increases as Alonso - in fifth place - is no longer on the lead lap.

  • 14:41 Lap 66

    Final lap.

  • 14:42

    Chequered flagSebastian Vettel wins the Spanish Grand Prix!

  • 14:42

    QuoteComment from rethymno racer: First time in 10 years that the pole man hasn't won.

  • 14:44

    Vettel is joined on the podium by Hamilton and Button, with pole-sitter Webber coming in fourth.

  • 14:45

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "That was a magnificent effort mate. Sorry we couldn't get you that one step up."

  • 14:47
    Driver Positions
    1+1S Vettel4
    2+1L Hamilton4
    3+2J Button3
    4-3M Webber4
    5-1F Alonso4
    6+4M Schumacher3
    70N Rosberg3
    8+16N Heidfeld3
    9+3S Pérez3
    10+4K Kobayashi3
  • 14:48

    Vettel goes to hug his mechanics and bumps into the camera as he makes his way to the pre-podium room.

  • 14:48

    Button and Hamilton have a chat about their tyres, and downforce. When Vettel arrives, they congratulate him on a tough battle.

  • 14:50

    They make their way to the podium and the National Anthems play out.

  • 14:50
    Driver Championship Standings
    1Sebastian Vettel118
    2Lewis Hamilton77
    3Mark Webber67
    4Jenson Button61
    5Fernando Alonso51
    6Nico Rosberg26
    7Nick Heidfeld25
    8Felipe Massa24
    9Vitaly Petrov21
    10Michael Schumacher14
  • 14:51
    Constructor Championship Standings
    1Red Bull185
    7Toro Rosso6
    8Force India4
  • 14:53

    The champagne is sprayed, the officials hurriedly making their way off the podium.

  • 14:55

    Vettel and Hamilton are basically on top of each other, and way ahead of the rest.

    Gap Analysis
  • 14:56

    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."

  • 14:57

    Vettel the winnerVettel, the winner.

  • 15:01

    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."

  • 15:02

    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."

  • 15:03

    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."

  • 15:06

    TweetTweet from @EliGP: Hamilton, Button, Webber and Alguersuari under investigation for ignoring yellows

  • 15:07

    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."

  • 15:10

    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."

  • 15:12

    The stewards will investigate the yellow flag issue, with the potential for time penalties to be handed out.

  • 15:13

    At the time I did ponder it, posting: "Impressive to be setting fastest laps under yellow flag conditions."

  • 15:15
    Felipe MassaSuspected gearbox61
    Heikki KovalainenCrash51
    Tonio LiuzziVanished32
  • 15:16
    Fastest Laps
  • 15:17

    Although it might not be accurate, given the investigation.

  • 15:18

    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?

  • 15:19

    Red Bull need to sort out the KERS issue, although in the interests of keeping the championship alive, perhaps they don't.

  • 15:19

    Hamilton seems to have the pace, and the determination to keep tabs on Vettel which could make future races interesting.

  • 15:20

    Incredible pace at the front, with all bar four cars lapped. Just two teams with the pace at the moment.

  • 15:20

    Further back, Heidfeld did really well, as did Pérez, whilst Maldonado failed to live up to his qualifying performance, finishing 15th.

  • 15:21

    Barrichello couldn't make any improvement on his grid slot either, meaning Williams' bad year continues.

  • 15:21

    Schumacher finished ahead of Rosberg, and seemed a lot more fired up and less crash-happy today.

  • 15:21

    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.

  • 15:22

    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.

  • 15:23

    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.

  • 15:23

    Vettel will still win, either way.

  • 15:23

    See you next week, fact fans, it's been a blast.

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