F1 Race Review: Spanish GP 2010

Since the season opener at Bahrain, Saturday qualifying has dominated Sunday’s race results with rain or incidents making any difference. This weekend’s race at Catalunya with its known difficulty in passing wasn’t an exciting prospect either. In the end, although it was Mark Webber of Red Bull who won, it was local hero Fernando Alonso and his second place that was a treat to the Red-dominated grandstands.

With great pace all weekend, it all looked as if Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel would repeat their Malaysian Red Bull 1-2 feat. While Webber won his third race in 143 starts without incident, it was Vettel’s RB6 that exposed their vulnerability with front wing issues and loss of braking in the closing laps. His third was definitely a lucky one! Nevertheless his use of engine braking in the closing laps was a phenomenal feat!

Both the Red Bulls had made a perfect start leaving Lewis no room to pass, things stayed put till the first round of pit stops. At the exit, Lewis smartly put a back-marker between himself and Vettel at Turn 3, thus splitting the Red Bulls. Vettel lost out further, this time to Alonso as he pitted again for fresh rubber. It was only Lewis’ unfortunate tyre burst on lap 64 that handed a comfortable second place to a slower Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher would be reasonably pleased with his weekend as he went faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg in Qualifying and the Race for the first time in his comeback year! But this was bad news for championship leader Jenson Button who after his trouble-ridden pit-stop, fell behind Schumacher. Button stayed bottled up behind the legend, slip streaming him and lining up for a pass that never happened.

Force India never had a better season! After a brilliant fifth place at Sepang, Sutil followed Massa for a splendid seventh, thus taking his personal tally to 16 points and his team’s tally to 24 and a sixth place in team championship. At this rate, expecting a podium at the Indian GP next year could actually be a possibility! Indian driver Karun Chandhok on the other hand retired on Lap 28 with Suspension failure.

In the championship chase, Jenson Button still leads with 70 points and is followed closely by Alonso at 67. The Red Bull drivers Vettel and Webber follow with 60 and 53. While Schumacher lags at ninth with 22, his younger team-mate Rosberg is fifth with 50. Guess who follows Schumi? It is Force India’s Adrian Sutil & Vitantonio Liuzzi! For the team title, it is still a three-horse race between McLaren, Ferrari & Red Bull.