Webber Wins in Spain, While Puncture Robs Hamilton of Second

May 9, 2010

Mark Webber became the first driver to turn pole into a win in 2010, in this afternoon’s Spanish Grand Prix, while McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton suffered a front-left puncture with just two laps to go, and Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel came close to suffering brake failure.

The top six made a clean getaway off the start line, and it was Fernando Alonso who attempted to make the first overtaking manoeuvre of the race on Lewis Hamilton, with the latter holding on to third, catapulting himself down the pitstraight, attacking pole sitter Webber and second-placed Sebastian Vettel. By the end of the first lap, Webber had the lead over Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso, with Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher also retaining their starting positions.

Nico Rosberg was the driver who lost out in the opening corners, running wide onto the grass and dropping down from eighth to eleventh, with seventh place starter Robert Kubica also heading backwards through the pack, losing three places to Felipe Massa, up from ninth, Adrian Sutil, up from 11th and Jaime Alguersuari on the attack from 16th. Kubica found himself in 10th, with Rosberg 11th, and Rubens Barrichello up to 12th from 17th, with Pedro de la Rosa falling back with a puncture, Nico Hulkenberg holding on to 13th, and Kamui Kobayashi, Sebastien Buemi and Vitantonio Liuzzi all moving backwards.

The top twelve stayed where they were until the first round of pitstops, with Schumacher and Massa the first to pit from the front runners on lap 15. Rosberg came in next, but had to be pushed back into his pitbox after his front-right wheel started smoking.

On lap 17, Vettel pitted, losing two seconds in a fairly slow stop. Alonso was next in, followed by Button, whose mechanics had a problem with the wheel nuts, costing him fifth place to Schumacher.

On lap 18, Webber was the next to pit, with Hamilton following close behind. While Webber rejoined in the lead, Hamilton found himself fighting with Vettel into turn one, with the latter having to run wide through turn two after the back marker of di Grassi got in the way. Vettel’s trip off the track cost him second to Hamilton.

During the laps that followed, the action was between Schumacher and Button in their fight for fifth, and after the pair lapped Karun Chandhok on lap 25, Massa, who was following the pair past the HRT driver in the last few corners, found himself dislodging his wing following contact.

From then on, the race was Webber’s to lose, and while the Red Bull driver continued to pull out a gap to Hamilton, Vettel found himself running wide into turns seven and eight on lap 54, after problems with his front right tyre. The Red Bull driver was forced to pit, gifting third to Alonso, but managing to keep fourth from the clutches of Schumacher.

In the laps that followed, Vettel was repeatedly told to slow down after it became apparent he was suffering with brake failure, but on lap 65, it was Hamilton who was dealt the heavy blow, suffering a front-left puncture into turn three, seeing the end to his race, and waving goodbye to a possible 18 points to move him to within just a point of championship leader Button.

Hamilton said after the incident: “These things happen, I don’t know what it was. This is motor racing and you just have to keep your chin up and look forward.”

It wasn’t to be for Hamilton, and just over a lap later, Webber crossed the line to take his first win of the season, with Alonso finishing second in front of his home crowd. Vettel took the final podium position, nursing the sister Red Bull into third. Schumacher scores his highest finish of the season, in fourth, with Button settling for fifth, unable to get past the Mercedes driver. Massa, despite his broken front wing, was able to put in some faster laps following contact with Chandhok, to finish in sixth, holding on to the back of Button. Sutil finished seventh for Force India, with Kubica eighth, Barrichello ninth and Alguersuari taking the last point in tenth.

Button retains his lead in the championship, heading into next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix with 70 points, with Alonso just behind on 67. Vettel’s podium finish sees him in third on 60 points, with Webber in fourth on 53, and Kubica fifth on 50. Massa and Hamilton both hold sixth in the standings together, on 49 points each, but with 21 points separating them from Button, the 2008 rivals have some catching up to do in the coming races to hold on to their title hopes.

In the constructors’ standings, Hamilton’s retirement means McLaren are now only three points ahead of Ferrari on 119 and 116 respectively. Red Bull are close behind on 113.

After a three week gap between China and Spain, the next race is just days away, in Monaco next weekend. Free practice will be held on Thursday, instead of Friday, with qualifying on Saturday 15th May, and the race live on BBC1 at 1pm on Sunday 16th.



  1. […] and Alonso, with Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher also retaining their starting positions… More May 9, 2010 Laura Allard Categories: Formula One, Laura Marieee’s Musings […]

  2. […] Webber Wins in Spain, While Puncture Robs Hamilton of Second « An F1 Fanatic's Blog […]

  3. […] Webber Wins in Spain, While Puncture Robs Hamilton of Second […]

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