Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Red Bulls Triumph in Spain; Webber Wins First F1 Race in 2010

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

With less than a quarter of the Formula 1 schedule in the books, the 2010 season has been full of some interesting surprises through the initial Asian and Australian grand prix rounds. With Formula 1 teams in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix, drivers, teams and fans may be watching if some form of consistency will take shape on the tour.

In pre-race speculation, the Red Bull Racing team should be the favoured operation. Achieving pole in every Formula 1 race in 2010, the Red Bull Racing team has shown little problem finding speed through the qualifying. However, with only one win so far in the Malaysian Grand Prix, the team has had minimal success in capitalizing on their prime grid positions. Starting 1-2, Mark Webber led teammate Sebastian Vettel at the start catching the start lights perfectly eager to complete the race where he's beginning.

As Webber pulled out a sizable interval on the field, the fight for position rested in 2nd place as Sebestian Vettel motored to keep the McLaren-Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at bay early. Hamilton would eventually be able to pass the 2nd place Red Bull-Renault as the McLaren pit crew worked their magic to place the 2008 World driver champion in front of Vettel.

Behind the top-3 at the early stage of the Spanish Grand Prix, Fourth place Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was holding off the charge given by the Italian team's storied past resident Michael Schumacher. After the mid-point of the event, Alonso found himself catching the Vettel-driven Red Bull-Renault. Due to brake fade, Sebastian Vettel spent the final 12 laps of the event holding onto his race car slipping into fourth as Alonso cleared the Red Bull driver.

While Sebastian Vettel appeared out of a podium position, a late race incident shook the front running order. With only 2 laps remaining for Hamilton, his McLaren-Mercedes suffered a left-front tire failure heading into turn 3. Tearing apart the wishbone suspension system, Lewis Hamilton came to rest safely off-track but lost his 2nd place run. Examining the tire following the incident Bridgestone engineers was confident the tire construction was not the fault for the McLaren retirement. The race team will be investigating the cause of the problem as they prepare for the Monaco Grand Prix in less than a week. Benefiting from the misfortune of Hamilton, both Alonso and Vettel were promoted on the podium.

Setting his wheels in the right place all race, Mark Webber wins the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix with a 24 second margin on the second place car of Fernando Alonso. Webber captured his 3rd victory in his Formula 1 career. All of the Australian's wins came in the past 14 grand prixs.

Inheriting the runner-up position, the Spanish crowd could care less how their native driver Alonso achieved the feat. Emerging from his Ferrari F2010, the Spaniard was cheered on to a volume surpassing the applause for the race winner.

With Sebastian Vettel finishing on the final spot on the podium, the Red Bull Racing driver best 4th place Michael Schumacher by 1.8 seconds. Collecting his best finish since has comeback to Formula 1, Schumacher was flying high on the advances Mercedes GP made on his race car. The 38 year-old German driver consistently outran his younger teammate Nico Rosberg throughout the weekend. Overall, Mercedes GP leaves the Spanish Grand Prix somewhat mystified as it seems only one driver on a given grand prix weekend can be competitive so far this season.

In one week's time, the Formula 1 tour will eager set sights on the series' most prestigious round, the Monaco Grand Prix. The Barcelona Airport in Spain has canceled numerous flights as ash clouds from the Icelandic volcano eruptions is still causing havoc for European air travel. However, unlike the trip from China, the Formula 1 convoy could move on land to Monaco without too many logistical troubles.

2010 Formula 1
Spanish Grand Prix
Race Results

1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
4. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari
7. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
8. Robert Kubica Renault F1
9. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
10. Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari
11. Vitaly Petrov Renault F1
12. Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari
13. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
14. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes
16. Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth
17. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth
18. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth
19. Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth
20. Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
21. Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth
22. Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari
23. Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth
24. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth

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