2015 Spanish Grand Prix Race Review

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On Saturday, we saw Nico Rosberg take Pole Position ahead of Lewis Hamilton for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg leads the field at the start of the Spanish GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg leads the field at the start of the Spanish GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The Spanish Grand Prix gets underway! Nico Rosberg gets a good start as does Sebastian Vettel who is ahead of Lewis Hamilton after a poor start where he got too much wheel spin off the line. Felipe Massa also got a good start too.

Kimi Raikkonen is then able to pass Carlos Sainz Jr for position. There is a battle between Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen with both trying to pass each other and keeping drivers such as Raikkonen at bay. Jenson Button had an poor start and lost position to Nico Hulkenberg at the start.

Lap 2 sees Rosberg leading Vettel by 1.1 seconds. The next lap sees Massa passing Sainz Jr in a brilliant move into Turn 1. The following lap sees positions in the midfield changing all the time. Grosjean is then able to pass Sainz Jr for position, Massa passing Verstappen into Turn 1, Maldonado passing his team mate and Ricciardo passing Grosjean himself into Turn 5.

Sebastian Vettel in the early stages of the Spanish GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Sebastian Vettel in the early stages of the Spanish GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

On Lap 6, Ricciardo is able to pass Sainz for position. By Lap 8, Rosberg leads Vettel by 4.7 seconds. Maldonado is able to pass Verstappen on track for seventh place. At the end of Lap 10, Hulkenberg pits. The next lap sees Vettel and Hamilton battling for second place. Ricciardo tries to pass Verstappen on the track; but Ricciardo went in too deep and Verstappen was able to retain his position.

At the end of Lap 13, Hamilton makes his first pit stop but there is a problem with his left rear which then cost him time to Vettel as he rejoined the race behind Maldonado. On Lap 14, Rosberg leads the race ahead of Vettel by 7.9 seconds, Hamilton very quickly passes Maldonado and Vettel pits at the end of the lap.

Nico Rosberg leading the Spanish GP in its early stages. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg leading the Spanish GP in its early stages. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Rosberg now leads Bottas on Lap 15 of the Spanish GP. Meanwhile, Pastor Maldonado has done some damage to his rear wing and appears to be struggling with the Lotus-Mercedes E23 on the track and is moving further down the grid. At the end of the lap both drivers pit as well as Maldonado.

Nico Rosberg leading Sebastian Vettel on Lap

Nico Rosberg leading Sebastian Vettel on Lap 18 of the Spanish GP. All rights reserved to LAT. 

Lap 16 sees Raikkonen leading the race ahead of Rosberg by 3.6 seconds. At the end of the next lap, Raikkonen pits. Rosberg now leads Vettel by 5.4 seconds on Lap 18. Four laps later, Rosberg has built up his lead to 6.5 seconds. On team radio, Grosjean is asked by the Lotus team to back up on the “bad gear” (which is fourth gear) or the Mercedes engine will blow up. Grosjean shows his frustration and Lotus’ Director of Trackside Operations Alan Permane reinforces the earlier message.

On Lap 23, Ricciardo passes Verstappen at Turn 1 and takes ninth place away from him. At the end of Lap 27, Fernando Alonso while pitting for new tyres suffers a brake failure and stops beyond his marks in the pitlane and the front jackman saw this coming and luckily moved out of the way. As a result of this, Alonso officially retires from the Grand Prix.

By Lap 34, Hamilton has pitted for his second stop and he is able to pass Raikkonen for position. The next lap sees Hamilton passing Bottas into Turn 1 for track position. Lap 41 sees Grosjean pitting for new tyres, takes far too much speed and knocks his front jackman up into the air, Luckily he was okay and Grosjean was able to continue running in the race.

Nico Rosberg leading the Spanish GP in the final stages of the race.

Nico Rosberg leading the Spanish GP in the final stages of the race. All rights reserved to LAT. 

Lap 42 sees Rosberg leading Hamilton by 24.6 seconds. At the end of the lap, Bottas pits. Two laps later sees Grosjean and Kvyat into Turn 1 battling each other for ninth place but Grosjean in a beautiful move passed him for position. At the end of Lap 45, Rosberg pits.

Pastor Maldonado and the damage to his rear wing

Pastor Maldonado and the damage to his rear wing before his retirement on Lap 47. All rights reserved to LAT. 

Lap 46 sees Hamilton leading Rosberg by 2.9 seconds; but he has to make another pit stop. There is a battle going on between Massa and Raikkonen for fifth place and the next lap sees Raikkonen at Turn 1 taking the position away from Massa. At the end of the lap, Maldonado officially retires from the race. At the end of the Lap 51, Hamilton pits.

Lap 52 sees Rosberg leading Hamilton. Six laps later, the battle between Bottas and Raikkonen for fourth place intensifying. On Lap 63, Verstappen passes his team mate Sainz Jr for position. On the final lap of the race, Rosberg leads Hamilton by 6.2 seconds. While this is happening Sainz Jr and Kvyat make contact with each other and Sainz gains track position. But the stewards have announced that an investigation is taking place.

Nico Rosberg wins the Spanish GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg wins the Spanish GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The final lap is complete and Rosberg completes his final lap and wins his first race win of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix and also becoming the ninth different winner at the event. Hamilton is a brilliant second 17.5 seconds behind Rosberg and Vettel finishes a brilliant third 45.3 seconds behind Rosberg.

Bottas is a credible fourth 59.2 seconds behind Rosberg, Raikkonen finished fifth 60 seconds behind Rosberg, Massa was sixth 81.3 second behind Rosberg, Ricciardo finishes seventh 1 lap down behind Rosberg, Grosjean was eighth 1 lap behind Rosberg, Sainz Jr finished in ninth 1 lap behind Rosberg and Kvyat picked up the final point in tenth one lap behind Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton leads the 2015 Driver’s championship with 111 points, Rosberg is second with 91 points, Vettel is third with 80 points, Raikkonen is fourth with 52 points, Bottas is fifth with 42 points, Massa is sixth with 35 points, Ricciardo is seventh with 25 points, Grosjean is eighth with 16 points, Nasr is ninth with 14 points and Sainz is tenth with 8 points.

Mercedes lead the 2015 Constructor Championship with 202 points, Ferrari is second with 132 points, Williams is third with 81 points, Red Bull is fourth with 30 points, Sauber is fifth with 19 points, Lotus is sixth with 16 points, Toro Rosso are seventh with 14 points. Force India are eighth with 11 points.

Conclusion

I feel that McLaren have had an disappointing race today after their issues throughout the weekend. After showing promise in FP2 especially with Button, he was struggling with the rear tyres and general balance of the MP4-30 and couldn’t do anymore with what he had underneath him

Also, Alonso had a disappointing weekend. Even though he spun in Friday practice, Alonso has gotten as much pace out of the car as he could do and very lucky not to have hurt his front jackman after suffering brake failure today.

This weekend has shown that McLaren have had a small step with their performance and pace with the car but the McLaren team have a lot of work to do in order to try and extract performance from their car that they need in order to get back to competitive ways once again as quickly as possible.

The biggest surprise this weekend for me was Bottas getting fourth place in the race today. I do feel that Bottas drove a superb race to gain second today and it is very well deserved. He did a brilliant and strong job in Saturday in qualifying to achieve fourth place and has shown that despite not having the outright pace to challenge the Mercedes, he drove a great race to claim this result today.

Sainz, Kvyat, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Massa, Raikkonen,and Vettel do deserve mentions. Firstly Sainz deserves a mention for most of the weekend with the car been able to extract a little bit more pace and performance. As I have already stated before, I believe that Sainz managed to extract some performance from the car and was rewarded with points for his efforts. But I believe that Toro Rosso took their chance to secure with the good points they have scored this weekend and all credit to Sainz for a good performance today.

Also, Ricciardo did a credible job to finish seventh today. But I do feel that he did struggle with aspects of the car and was only able to finish in that position. Throughout the race, Ricciardo showed that he can race and race well if provided with the opportunity to do so but I am sure that he will only use this to push himself further to perform in 2015 after a brilliant first season with Red Bull.

Kvyat did extremely well to gain tenth place today. Kvyat this weekend has managed to extract pace and performance from the car, but has looked a bit uncomfortable as you would be with the issues with the Renault power unit at the moment. And I feel that the results that Kvyat and even Ricciardo achieved today will only spur on Red Bull to try and keep this momentum going further into the 2015 season and try to catch the Williams team.

Grosjean did a credible job to finish eighth place today. His race didn’t go according to plan due to the problems he had with fourth gear but he battled through to get some points and this will only motivate the team and himself further to keep this up as the European season moves to Monaco in a few weeks time.

This weekend has saw Massa picking up some much needed points but has not had a strong weekend as many thought that he would do. He did perform reasonably well in Qualifying but he drove a strong race to bring home some much needed point for the Williams team today despite not having the performance to challenge the Ferraris and the Mercedes and will hopefully use this experience to be better during the rest of the season.

Grosjean did a reasonable job today to secure eighth place today. Even though there he won’t be happy with his performance today, the main thing is that he scored points today. And this weekend for him had to be damage limitation for him and Ferrari in their last race together in a team he has loyally served for five years.

Raikkonen had a good race to get fifth place. This season we have seen Raikkonen showing why he was re-signed with Ferrari in the first place and that he is without a doubt a potential winner this season if he can get everything together in a weekend. He has had a fantastic season so far and his result ensured the Ferrari team with second in the Constructors and extending the gap to the Williams team.

Vettel deserves a mention. He drove a solid race today to third place. He may not have won the battle with Hamilton; but he did a great job to maintain his great start to the season with a podium at every Grand Prix in 2015 so far. Also, Hamilton drove a great race to second place. Despite the mistake in the pitstop, he battled his way through and showed why he is a world champion and managed to gain the place back in a damage limitation weekend for him.

But Rosberg has done a superb job this season and he should be proud of himself with the way he has performed this season. And he is a well deserved runner up in the drivers championship.

All that is left to say about this race is that Rosberg deserved to win today and become world champion for the second time. His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race. Mercedes has built on the results that they have gained so far this season with him.

There is no denying that Rosberg has done a great job this weekend and has been rewarded for his efforts with the win.

But we have seen Mercedes dominating the grid this season with a brilliant car in the W07 and saw a great battle between Hamilton and Vettel during the race today; which Hamilton was able to gain second place away from Vettel. But with Ferrari, WIlliams, Lotus, Red Bull and Toro Rosso trying to catch them, Mercedes will still need to make sure that they develop and improve the car as much as possible to maintain the gap that they hold in both championships.

Will Monaco in two weeks time be yet another race Mercedes will win? Or can their rivals catch up to them? And who will be leading the championship, will it be Rosberg or will it be Hamilton? Only time will tell!

Also, please listen and join in to my #JonesonF1 Promotional Partner Pit Stop Radio tomorrow who are celebrating their THIRD YEAR ANNIVERSARY at 8pm BST for their Spanish Grand Prix Race Review. You can join in the chat by visiting www.pitstopradio.blogspot.com. If you need any further information, you can follow Pit Stop Radio on Twitter @PitStopRadio.

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