Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Spain 2013 - Race highlights - A strong day for Ferrari, as Mercedes lose their grip on the front row

Published by Christine

Race start in Spain on Sunday
Credit: Sahara Force India

The build-up to this race made a lot of the statistic that the front-row drivers were most likely to end up winning. 2013 was ready to provide something a bit different, and as the number of pit stops and tyre changes grew, so the lead kept on changing hands.

Three retirements, a couple of drive through style penalties, and some errant wheels on track saw a really exciting race culminate in a successful weekend for Ferrari.

If you missed any of the action, or want to relive lap by lap coverage of the race, here's the Factbyte Factbyte highlights for the entire Spanish Grand Prix.

As it happened: Spain 2013 - The race

  • 12:30

    Hello! Welcome to the Factbyte Factbox, it's nearly time for the Spanish Grand Prix. Are you ready?

  • 12:34

    We've got an all-Mercedes front row, with Nico Rosberg lining up on pole position.

  • 12:34

    There were two penalties after qualifying yesterday, with both Felipe Massa and Esteban Gutiérrez dropping three places for impeding. The full starting grid is available here:

  • 12:36

    Sergio Pérez starts from eighth place, the first time he's outqualified teammate Jenson Button - the Brit starts from fourteenth.

  • 12:36

    Sergio Pérez on the driver's parade, via @McLarenF1.

  • 12:37
    Circuit Data
    Circuit de Catalunya
    Local timezone+02:00 GMT
    First race1991
    Number of laps66
    Circuit length4.655km
    Race distance307.104km
    Start offset0.126km
  • 12:40

    Quote Romain Grosjean on teammate strategies: “Everything is possible, we know the cars in front of us are slow on the long run - Mercedes. We’ll do our best, it’s 66 laps, that’s a lot of tyre degradation. It depends on what the simulation says, for here at the moment, we are more or less on the same thing. It can change in the race, we have two laps, we can swap at the end if one is sure he can do it and not the other one.”

  • 12:41

    Fernando Alonso starts from fifth on the grid, and has the home crowd behind him. Lots of flags waving for the Spaniard in the crowd.

  • 12:42

    Drivers are on the grid, many of them deep in conversation with their engineers for last minute preparations.

  • 12:43

    QuoteInterview with Nico Rosberg: "Yesterday, of course I was very happy, it was a great qualifying for me. We know that our weakness is still race performance. We've been working on it, I'm sure we've improved, but if it's enough to win the race, I'm not sure."

  • 12:45

    Interview with Paul Hembery: "If the temperature drops, which it will do during the afternoon, the medium tyre opens up the gap really... Three stops certainly, four if you get caught in traffic."

  • 12:46
    2013 Race Wins
    1S Vettel2
    2K Räikkönen1
    2F Alonso1
  • 12:48

    QuoteInterview with Felipe Massa: "I try to forget what's happened yesterday, try to gain the positions I've lost and more. The car showed good pace on Friday, I hope we can see the same today and be strong all the time from the beginning of the race."

  • 12:52

    QuoteInterview with Nico Hülkenberg: "Difficult race for us. In terms of speed, we’re not competitive enough. But it’s racing, many things can happen, we’re just trying to get through. Hopefully I can have a good start, a good first lap, and see where we go."

  • 12:52
    Lap Data
    (data from Williams F1)
    Fuel consumption2.5kg
    Fuel lap time penalty0.3s/10kg
    Full throttle56%
    Top speed318kph
    Average speed200kph
    Longest straight1310m
    Pit lane loss19.8s
    Pit lane length367m
  • 12:54
    Grid Position
    1N RosbergMercedes
    2L HamiltonMercedes
    3S VettelRed Bull
    4K RäikkönenLotus
    5F AlonsoFerrari
    6R GrosjeanLotus
    7M WebberRed Bull
    8S PérezMcLaren
    9F MassaFerrari
    10P Di RestaForce India
  • 12:56

    TweetTweet from @MyCaterhamF1: The countdown continues. Both drivers now in their cars and radio checks between drivers Race Engineers taking place. 6 minutes to go.

  • 12:57



    Wind speed1.7mps
  • 12:58

    Tough race ahead for the Williams pair, both starting near the rear of the field. For last year's race winner Pastor Maldonado, 17th place is not a good grid slot!

  • 13:00

    The grid clears of mechanics and engineers, and Nico Rosberg leads the pack away for the formation lap.

  • 13:00

    All 22 cars leave the grid, and the mechanics dash back to their pit lane positions. There's weaving all the way down to the first corner, as the drivers try to get the tyres warmed up.

  • 13:01

    All drivers except the last three (Bianchi, Chilton and Pic) are starting on the medium tyres.

  • 13:02

    Team radioTeam radio to Nico Rosberg: "We need to bunch the field plenty."

  • 13:03

    Green flagRace started!

  • 13:04 Lap 1

    Vettel goes round the outside of Hamilton as the Brit locks up into the first corner. Slow-ish start for Rosberg, but he retains the lead.

  • 13:04 Lap 1

    Alonso goes round the outside of pretty much everyone and moves up to third, also taking Hamilton in the first few corners.

  • 13:05 Lap 1

    Massa moves alongside Pérez, but the McLaren stays ahead for now.

  • 13:05 Lap 2

    Down the home straight, Massa easily storms past Sergio Pérez, up to sixth. Jenson Button, meanwhile, has dropped down to 17th.

  • 13:06 Lap 2

    Mark Webber has also dropped back, he started from 7th and is currently running 11th.

  • 13:06 Lap 2

    Meanwhile, Adrian Sutil had a great start, he was 13th on the grid, and is up to 8th, ahead of his teammate.

  • 13:07 Lap 3

    Race controlDRS enabled.

  • 13:07 Lap 3

    Rosberg leads Vettel, with four cars following them round. The gap between Massa and Pérez is going, splitting the lead pack away.

  • 13:08 Lap 4

    Jules Bianchi has pitted from the rear of the field, he had some damage to the front wing.

  • 13:10 Lap 4

    The endless replays of the start show us just what a great flat spot Lewis has put on his front left tyre, during that first corner lock-up.

  • 13:11 Lap 5

    Team radioTeam radio from Jenson Button: "It feels like I can't get any heat in the tyres."

  • 13:12 Lap 6
    Driver Positions
    10N Rosberg
    2+1S Vettel
    3+2F Alonso
    4-2L Hamilton
    5-1K Räikkönen
  • 13:13 Lap 7

    Felipe Massa is now closing up to Räikkönen, hoping to make up another position in these early stages.

  • 13:13 Lap 7

    In turn, Kimi has Lewis Hamilton in his sights, there is less than a second between the three cars.

  • 13:14 Lap 8

    Kimi Räikkönen pulls out alongside the Mercedes and passes Hamilton for fourth place.

  • 13:14 Lap 8

    Mark Webber is instructed to "box this lap", an early stop for the Red Bull driver!

  • 13:15 Lap 8

    Hard tyres go on Webber's car as he's the first of the runners to take a scheduled stop.

  • 13:15 Lap 8

    Massa pulls a similar move on Hamilton, sweeping around and into fifth place, as the Mercedes driver drops further back.

  • 13:16 Lap 8

    The Ferrari mechanics stroll into the pit lane, as Massa pulls in for his stop. A Force India comes in behind him.

  • 13:16 Lap 9

    There was a brief yellow flag, and now Romain Grosjean is pulling into the pit lane very slowly with tyre damage and more.

  • 13:17 Lap 9

    In the pit lane, a horrible slow stop for Sutil and there's smoke billowing from the Force India car.

  • 13:17 Lap 10

    It looks like race over for Grosjean, too much damage for his car. Sutil is back out on track, but last.

  • 13:18 Lap 10
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverF Alonso
    Pit lane18.909s
  • 13:19 Lap 11

    Rosberg, Vettel and Räikkönen all come into the pits, the first three runners in that order. A super quick stop from Red Bull but Mercedes squeeze Rosberg out in front of him.

  • 13:19 Lap 11

    As they exit the pit lane, Alonso rounds the Red Bull and moves into second ahead of Vettel. He's up close and sniffing the lead from Rosberg.

  • 13:20 Lap 11

    Race controlDrive through penalty for Maldonado - Speeding in the pit lane.

  • 13:21 Lap 12

    Esteban Gutiérrez is leading the race at the moment, but Nico Rosberg retains the theoretical lead... for now. Alonso isn't giving up, and it's testing Nico's defensive moves again.

  • 13:22 Lap 13

    Fernando Alonso finally makes it past Nico Rosberg for the potential lead of the race. The crowd goes wild.

  • 13:23 Lap 13

    Sebastian Vettel sweeps past the Mercedes for effective second place. Rosberg's defensive moves have run out.

  • 13:23 Lap 13

    Replays of Grosjean out on track show the rear tyre just going wonky and ruining the suspension, but it's unclear if there was contact or if it just happened by itself.

  • 13:23 Lap 13

    Massa has already got past Rosberg and Räikkönen is lining him up too.

  • 13:24 Lap 14

    Gutiérrez pits, putting Alonso into the lead of the race, with Vettel behind.

  • 13:25 Lap 14

    Maldonado has taken his drive through penalty, heading through the pit lane and rejoining in 17th place.

  • 13:25 Lap 15

    Rosberg sees yet another driver pass him as Kimi gets ahead of the Mercedes. Fifth for Rosberg now.

  • 13:26 Lap 15

    Team radioTeam radio to Vettel: "Look after your tyres, last five laps are the ones that matter."

  • 13:26 Lap 15

    Replays show more evidence of the shocking Mercedes pace, as Daniel Ricciardo storms down the home straight past Hamilton and takes 9th place.

  • 13:28 Lap 16
    Driver Positions
    14F Alonso1
    21S Vettel1
    36F Massa1
    40K Räikkönen1
    5-4N Rosberg1
    61M Webber1
    71S Pérez1
    82P Di Resta1
    92D Ricciardo1
    10-8L Hamilton1
  • 13:30 Lap 18

    QuoteInterview with Romain Grosjean: "Mechanical car failure on the rear right of the car braking into turn ten. I don't know if it started earlier, but suddenly the wheel came really loose. it was like three wheels driving, not very nice. No contact, nothing. Poor start but then the pace was there, we were quietly waiting to go for it, then it just broke."

  • 13:31 Lap 18
    Gap Analysis
  • 13:31 Lap 18

    Team radioTeam radio from Webber: "Trouble with the front left, mate."

  • 13:32 Lap 19

    Ricciardo is flying through the field, he's passed Paul di Resta for eight place, and has Sergio Pérez in his sights.

  • 13:34 Lap 20

    Paul di Resta came into the pit lane, and Massa, after complaining about tyres on the pit lane, is called in to pit at the end of this lap.

  • 13:34 Lap 21

    Another set of the hard tyres go on the Ferrari, as Massa exits the pit lane in seventh. Webber comes into the pits.

  • 13:35 Lap 21

    The two Sauber drivers are chasing each other, with Gutiérrez hustling teammate Hülkenberg for 9th. Ahead of them, Hamilton will be hoping their tussle will give him some breathing space.

  • 13:35 Lap 22

    Alonso pits from the lead of the race.

  • 13:36 Lap 22

    It was a bit slow from the Ferrari crew, the stop one entire second longer than their previous effort.

  • 13:38 Lap 23

    Fastest lap for Massa, he puts in a 1:28.132 on fresh rubber.

  • 13:38 Lap 23

    Giedo van der Garde reported a lap or two ago that his wheel came off, and replays show it just bouncing off, thankfully away from the track. The Caterham driver does manage to get back to the pit lane.

  • 13:39 Lap 24

    Massa makes it looks easy sweeping past Rosberg for fourth place.

  • 13:39 Lap 24

    Race controlIncident involving Giedo van der Garde will be investigated after the race - unsafe release.

  • 13:40 Lap 25

    Vettel currently leads the race ahead of Kimi Räikkönen... except he dives into the pit lane to leave the Lotus in charge.

  • 13:41 Lap 25

    They're battling Alonso for position, as the Ferrari has stopped twice already. Vettel exits the pit lane in fifth place.

  • 13:41 Lap 26

    Van der Garde's errant wheel.

  • 13:42 Lap 26

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Paul is on track with medium tyres, and is setting his fastest laps of the race. #FeelTheForce

  • 13:42 Lap 26

    TweetTweet from @Marussia_F1Team: Jules is closing the gap to the cars ahead with a succession of strong laps

  • 13:43 Lap 26

    Lewis Hamilton comes in for his second stop of the day, he's off and out again, rejoining the action in 14th place.

  • 13:44 Lap 27

    Räikkönen stops for his second, fresh tyres on the Lotus and he rejoins in fourth behind Vettel. Alonso leads, with teammate Massa behind him.

  • 13:45 Lap 28

    Replays show Hamilton being overtaken by Maldonado for 14th place.

  • 13:45 Lap 28

    Nico Rosberg pits, a good stop from the Mercedes crew, and he rejoins in 11th place.

  • 13:47 Lap 29

    Gutiérrez and Button both come into the pit lane, and drop down the order as they do so.

  • 13:49 Lap 30

    Team radioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Okay, Lewis, rear left reaching top of the window. So look after it."

    Reply: "I can't drive any slower."

  • 13:50 Lap 31

    Räikkönen is now super close to Sebastian Vettel, but backs off a little after a missed attempt. Third place could be up for grabs here.

  • 13:52 Lap 32

    Despite warnings about the tyre situation, Hamilton regains his position on Maldonado.

  • 13:52 Lap 33

    Räikkönen pulls alongside Vettel, but the corner is unforgiving and pushes him off onto the kerbs. He needs to regain the gap again now to make it work.

  • 13:53 Lap 33

    Down the home straight, Kimi brakes late and keeps his foot in to take the position, Vettel had to give him room and the Lotus is through!

  • 13:55 Lap 33
    Gap Analysis
  • 13:57 Lap 36

    Replays show Nico Hülkenberg was released from his stop straight into the path of an incoming Vergne. The Toro Rosso and Sauber collided, with carbon fibre shedding on both sides.

  • 13:58 Lap 36

    Race controlIncident involving Hülkenberg and Vergne under investigation - unsafe release.

  • 13:58 Lap 37

    Hülkenberg is back into the pitlane for a new nose after that collision.

  • 13:58 Lap 37

    It's a quick turnaround for Ferrari as they bring in Alonso, and then Massa follows him in on the same lap.

  • 13:59 Lap 37
    Top Speeds
    Sector 1K Räikkönen272kph
    Sector 2F Alonso266kph
    Sector 3A Sutil279kph
    Speed trapF Alonso318kph
  • 14:00 Lap 38

    Massa has been instructed they need to get 12 or 13 laps from this set of tyres.

  • 14:01 Lap 38

    Race control10 second stop/go penalty for Nico Hülkenberg - unsafe release.

  • 14:02 Lap 38

    Fernando Alonso passes Kimi Räikkönen and moves back into the lead of the race - they're on different strategies but both, we assume, have one pit stop left to complete.

  • 14:02 Lap 39

    Replays show a damaged right rear tyre for Vergne, the shredding tread we have seen before. He slowly returned to the pit lane and is back on his way again.

  • 14:03 Lap 40

    Hülkenberg has taken his stop/go penalty, waiting waiting waiting. He returns to the action in 18th place.

  • 14:04 Lap 41

    Jenson Button is hustling Gutiérrez for position, the Brit is up to eighth place at the moment, and looking for even more.

  • 14:06 Lap 42

    Button takes the place and is up to seventh. Rosberg is less than a second up the road.

  • 14:08 Lap 43
    Driver Positions
    14F Alonso3
    22K Räikkönen2
    36F Massa3
    4-1S Vettel3
    52M Webber3
    6-5N Rosberg2
    77J Button2
    811E Gutiérrez2
    91P Di Resta3
    10-2S Pérez3
  • 14:12 Lap 46

    Kimi Räikkönen dives into the pit lane, from second place. That's an early stop if he's three-stopping.

  • 14:14 Lap 46

    Bianchi's putting in a strong drive, leading those at the back (including Vergne after all those issues).

  • 14:16 Lap 23

    Räikkönen leaves the pit box to continue his quest for the lead, via @Lotus_F1Team.

  • 14:18 Lap 50

    Fernando Alonso pits from the lead of the race, a great stop from Ferrari, and he rejoins the race still in the lead. Massa heads down the home straight to stay second.

  • 14:19 Lap 50

    Hamilton's told that Rosberg is protecting his left tyres by lifting through turn three. It's slowing him down but saving the tyres and making the difference.

  • 14:20 Lap 51

    Webber dives into the pitlane for his fourth stop of the day. Meanwhile, out on track, Button passes Lewis Hamilton for 11th. Lewis quickly heads for the pitlane.

  • 14:21 Lap 52

    Massa and Vettel come in for their stops. Close ups of Kimi's front left tyre show bits falling off in front of our very eyes.

  • 14:22 Lap 53

    Hamilton gets shown blue flags as Räikkönen makes his way through the traffic.

  • 14:23 Lap 53

    Webber manages to regain his fifth position, sweeping past Paul di Resta with the home straight DRS.

  • 14:24 Lap 54

    Vergne told to retire due to damage on the left rear.

  • 14:26 Lap 55
    One to Watch
    L Hamiltonvs.A Sutil
  • 14:28 Lap 57

    Nico Rosberg is instructed to keep Paul di Resta behind him, as they are racing him. At the same time, he has to look after the tyres. Good luck Nico!

  • 14:29 Lap 57

    Felipe Massa sets the fastest lap of the race so far, a 1:26.394.

  • 14:30 Lap 58

    Scratch that, Esteban Gutiérrez - of all people - has a new fastest lap: 1:26.217.

  • 14:32 Lap 59

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Paul behind Rosberg, Adrian behind Lewis. It's a Sahara Force India vs Mercedes battle on track right now.

  • 14:34 Lap 61

    Pérez is given a bit of a coded radio message - don't damage the tyres too much trying to get past. Button is about half a second ahead, the pair 8th and 9th.

  • 14:36 Lap 62

    The biggest "loser" so far this race is Hamilton, who has dropped ten places, currently running 12th. The biggest "winner" Gutiérrez, who is up eight places and sitting just ahead of Lewis.

  • 14:37 Lap 63

    Just four laps to go, things are looking more settled now, but there are a couple of positions that still could change.

  • 14:38 Lap 63

    Paul di Resta is hunting down Nico Rosberg, who we know is a defensive expert.

  • 14:39 Lap 64

    There's 0.3 seconds between the Mercedes and Force India driver, but they are moving into backmarker traffic now, so DRS could come into play.

  • 14:41 Lap 66

    The final lap begins then, and Alonso leads the way. The crowd are cheering and waving their flags as their hero heads towards the line.

  • 14:43

    Chequered flagFernando Alonso wins the Spanish Grand Prix!!

  • 14:44
    Race Winner
    DriverFernando Alonso
    Race time1:39:16.596
    Race distance307.104km
    Average speed185.605km/h
  • 14:44

    Kimi Räikkönen crossed the line second, with Felipe Massa in third. Vettel just missed out on the podium, finishing ahead of Mark Webber - still a strong 4th and 5th for the Red Bull team.

  • 14:45

    Alonso clutches a flag as he heads round for the cool down lap.

  • 14:46
    Driver Positions
    14F Alonso4
    22K Räikkönen3
    36F Massa4
    4-1S Vettel4
    52M Webber4
    6-5N Rosberg3
    73P Di Resta4
    86J Button3
    9-1S Pérez4
    101D Ricciardo4
  • 14:47

    Interview with Stefano Domenicali: "Very happy for everyone because I think it was a good day for the team, Fernando, Felipe, and the people that are working very hard at home. I haven't considered the points but let's hope [we close the gap]."

  • 14:48

    Fernando flies the flag.

  • 14:48

    Alonso and Kimi chat in the green room, as Massa arrives. Big smiles on all three driver's faces.

  • 14:50

    Ferrari teammates hug.

  • 14:51

    Big cheers for the drivers as they head out and up onto the podium. Ferrari flags wave as the national anthem plays out.

  • 14:51
    Gap Analysis
  • 14:52
    Championship Standings
    1S Vettel89
    2K Räikkönen85
    3F Alonso72
    4L Hamilton50
    5F Massa45
  • 14:53
    Championship Standings
    1Red Bull131
    5Force India32
  • 14:54

    The trophies are delivered and the champagne sprays out. Alonso takes a good swig.

  • 14:54
  • 14:57

    QuotePodium quotes - Fernando Alonso: "It definitely was a fantastic emotion, the crowd really helps because you feel the support from everybody. We want to do well here in front of our fans. We did it, we're happy for that but we don't want to stop here, obviously.

    We know that we five races only, some up and downs, some races we had a good race with no problems and we finish on the podium on all of them. Some races we have mistakes, and mechanical problems... we know we have a car to fight for the top... we want to do so."

  • 14:57

    QuotePodium quotes - Kimi Räikkönen: "I'm here only to do as good races as we can. Obviously we want to win and it's disappointing to finish second but sometimes we have to take what we get... We do our work and we're happy with what we do, and obviously try to achieve the big goal in the end."

  • 14:58

    QuotePodium quotes - Felipe Massa: "I was a bit disappointed yesterday after qualifying but the race was good for us. Very aggressive straight away, I gained back the positions... overtaking cars, struggling a bit on the tyres to make it survive every stint in a good way, but I think the race was very good for us."

  • 15:04

    TweetTweet from @OfficialSF1Team: great to see ALO on top of the podium at his home race. fans go crazy, fantastic atmosphere #SpanishGP. #F1AlwaysRocks

  • 15:07

    Post-race Lewis Hamilton is very quiet, disappointed and grumpy. "A lot of work to catch up," he says.

  • 15:09
    R GrosjeanSuspension9
    G van der GardeThree wheels!23
    JE VergneAccident damage54
  • 15:11

    A fabulous home win for Alonso, with Massa on the podium too sealing a strong weekend for Ferrari.

  • 15:11

    The Mercedes team really need to take stock of what happened today, as the qualifying pace just vanished in the race. Red Bull also had less pace than they may have anticipated going into the weekend.

  • 15:12

    Daniel Ricciardo picked up a point as well, in a strong outing for Toro Rosso - unfortunately Vergne suffered at the hands of Sauber.

  • 15:14

    That's all for this weekend, then. It's been mega! And in two weeks time, Formula One heads to Monaco for the shiny, happy race around the rich streets of Monte Carlo.

  • 15:15

    As ever, stay tuned to and for all the fun, facts and figures in between, and see you next time!

All content in the series Spain 2013