Honda F1 website
Honda website

Spanish GP 2011

MAY 22, 2011

Race Notes - Vettel takes close win over Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Spanish GP 2011
© The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vettel won the Spanish Grand Prix in his Red Bull-Renault, being closely chased in the final laps by Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren-Mercedes, 0.6 seconds behind. His team mate Jenson Button finished third, 35.6 seconds behind the leader.

Vettel and Red Bull take their fourth win of the season in five races, and extend their lead in the world championship. The win is Vettel's 14th career victory.

Pole sitter Mark Webber (47.9s) finished fourth in his Red Bull, followed by early leader Fernando Alonso (1 lap) in his Ferrari finished fifth, Michael Schumacher (1 lap) in his Mercedes GP in sixth, his team mate Nico Rosberg (1 lap) in seventh, Nick Heidfeld (1 lap), after starting last in his Renault was eighth, Sergio Perez (1 lap) in the Sauber-Ferrari in ninth and his team mate Kamui Kobayashi (1 lap) finished in the final points paying position.

Before the start, most teams are expecting to make either three or four pitstops for tyres.

The previous ten winners at Barcelona have started from pole position.

At the start, pole sitter Webber cut across the inside to defend Vettel - Alonso runs down the inside of Webber from fourth and takes the lead, while Vettel sweeps into first corner from the outside and takes second place. Schumacher and Massa bump, but continue, Schumacher up to sixth.

At the end of lap one, the order is Alonso, Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Vitaly Petrov, Schumacher, Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Sebastian Buemi and Button in tenth. Heidfeld up to 17th after starting last.

Kobayashi pits for tyres at the end of the first lap with a puncture.

On lap 5 Button, who fell back to 10th at the start, passes Buemi for ninth.

Alonso running half a second ahead of Vettel and Webber.

On lap 8 Perez is the first to pit in his Sauber. Pastor Maldonado pits the next lap.

On lap 10 Vettel makes his first stop from second place, along with Buemi from 10th.

Vettel passes Button for eighth, and quickly passes Massa for seven. Button passing Massa as well.

On lap 11, Alonso, Webber and Schumacher pit.

On lap 12 Hamilton, Petrov, Rosberg, Massa, Jaime Alguersuari and Rubens Barrichello pit. Schumacher gaining a place of Petrov with a slow stop.

At lap 12, Alonso leads Vettel by 0.8 seconds, followed by Hamilton (1.8s), Webber (4.4s), Button (6.0s), Paul di Resta (17.3s), Schumacher (21.2s), Jarno Trulli (22.7s), Heikki Kovalainen (23.6s) and Petrov (24.0s) in tenth place.

Vettel is told by the pits to use all his KERS on every lap.

On lap 15 Button makes his first pit stop, rejoining ahead of Button Petrov in seventh place. Di Resta and Trulli pit the next lap.

Button sets fastest lap in the 1m28.7 seconds.

On lap 17 Kovalainen pits, along with Liuzzi and Glock.

On lap 18 Vettel pits from second place, putting on another set of soft tyres, and rejoins in fourth place.

On lap 19 Alonso and Webber both pit. Vettel running on clear track getting ahead as the Ferrari rejoins the race. Hamilton yet to pit - out in the lead.

Vettel sets fastest lap at 1m27.3 seconds.

On lap 22 Massa pits from ninth place. Heidfeld makes his first pit stop.

At lap 22, Hamilton leads Vettel by 14.4 seconds, followed by Alonso (20.0s), Webber (20.5s), Button (26.5s), Schumacher (39.6s), Rosberg (40.5s), Petrov (42.7s), Buemi (52.7s) and Alguersuari (60.8s) in tenth place.

On lap 23 Hamilton pits from the lead for more soft tyres, rejoining in second place, just ahead of Alonso and Webber. Vettel continues to drive strong laps.

On lap 25 Alguersuari pits from 10th place. Massa passes Di Resta for 10th place. Buemi pits the next lap. Heidfeld passes Kobayashi for 17th. Kobayashi pits the next lap.

On lap 27 Schumacher and Petrov make their second stops. Rosberg pits the next lap from sixth place.

Hamilton, running strong laps cuts Vettel's lead to 2.7 seconds. Alguersuari passes Sutil for 15th place.

On lap 30 Alonso and Webber pit from third and four places, coming out in the same order nose to tail. Perez and Trulli also pit. Button pits from third on the next lap.

Hamilton hoping that he can run longer on the stint and gain an advantage on Vettel.

Button being told that he will need to run 13 laps on his soft tyres. Webber pushing Alonso hard for third place.

On lap 33 Di Resta pits from 10th.

Vitantonio Liuzzi is out of the race.

On lap 35 Vettel pits from the lead for his third pit stop. Webber passes Alonso for third, but Alonso gets the place back.

Hamilton pits from the lead on the next lap taking on hard tyres, and rejoins in second place.

Button on fresher tyres passes Webber on the outside of the first turn to take fourth place, and quickly passes Alonso for third place.

On lap 37 Massa, Maldonado, Heidfeld and Alguersuari all pit.

At lap 37 Vettel leads Hamilton by 2.5 seconds, followed by Button (21.0s), Alonso (24.3s), Webber (24.9s), Schumacher (50.2s), Rosberg (50.7s), Petrov (63.6s), Massa (72.1s) and Buemi (79.4s) in tenth place.

On lap 38 Massa spins but continues.

On lap 40 Alonso pits for the fourth time and switches to the harder tyres, rejoining in fifth place - trying to run a long stint. Rosberg battling to pass his team mate Schumacher for sixth place.

On lap 42 Schumacher and Petrov pit. Hamilton closes to just over one second behind Vettel. Rosberg and Buemi pit the next lap.

Vettel laps Massa, who is running in eighth place. The Red Bull engineers tell Vettel to not use his KERS system.

At lap 45, Vettel leads Hamilton by 1.3 seconds, followed by Button (24.7s), Webber (33.6s), Alonso (57.5s), Schumacher (84.0s), Rosberg (85.6), Massa (1 lap), Di Resta (1 lap) and Perez (1 lap) in tenth place.

Vettel laps Rosberg in seventh.

On lap 48 Webber pits from fourth place, remaining in the position ahead of Alonso. Vettel pits the next lap from the lead. Button pits from third as well.

On lap 50 Hamilton pits from the lead, and rejoins just behind Vettel.

Vettel is told to use his KERS system again. Webber sets fastest lap in 1m27.1 seconds.

Kovalainen goes off, through the gravel trap at turn 4 and hits the tyre barrier. He walks away from the car, his day is done.

Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m26.7 seconds, and closes to under a second behind Vettel.

At lap 55 Vettel leads Hamilton by 0.6 seconds, followed by Button (32.5s), Webber (35.7s), Alonso (64.9s), Schumacher (1 lap) Rosberg (1 lap), Massa (1 lap), Petrov (1 lap) and Perez (1 lap) in tenth place.

Hamilton is right on Vettel, but can't quite get close enough to make a passing attempt.

On lap 59 Perez passes Massa for for eighth place, Heidfeld passes Massa as well.

On lap 60 Massa parks his car - his day is over. Heidfeld passes Perez for eighth, Kobayashi runs in tenth.

Hamilton continues to chase Vettel closely, but can't get close enough to the Red Bull.

Early leader Alonso is lapped by the leaders.

Vettel crosses the finish line and wins the race over Hamilton, Button, Webber and Alonso.