Normally the 2017 Spanish GP is a race on the F1 calendar that fans circle as one to possibly nap during, as history shows it is one of the most boring races.
Not last year when the two Mercedes crashed into each other and the newly installed Red Bull driver Max Verstappen became the youngest race winner.
And not this this year either, with action a plenty.
An early crash took both Verstappen and Raikkonen out of the race, caused by Bottas. But the race was all about a monumental battle between Hamilton and Vettel. The German led to the second pitstop and snatching the lead at the first corner, but couldn’t keep Lewis Hamilton behind.
The Briton won from Vettel and Ricciardo. The Australian would have been delighted with third but not the 75 second gap. The Force Indias did what they do best, getting points when the front runners fail. Pascal Wehrlein got four points for Sauber and himself, which will put pressure on McLaren to get a car to the finish.
The below descriptions of the Good, Bad and Ugly were originally posted to the Fox Sports Academy – so to save getting in trouble for plagiarism of our own work – please refer to the link here.
We also forgot to add the Russian Grand Prix Good, Bad and Ugly, which can also be found at the Fox Sports Academy. Below we added those scores to our overall leaderboard.
Even if Alonso’s car had not have made the start of the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, he would have still been a hero after qualifying his McLaren-Honda seventh on the grid for his home race. Proving what could happen if he could get some reliability, the double World Champion showed some of the talent to show why he is still considered one of the best.
When the Yellow flags were shown after Alonso was very slow away for the formation lap, your heart sunk for the Spaniard, thankfully he got going and took his 7th place grid slot. He got caught up in the Raikkonen-Verstappen clash and dropped to 11th and Alonso struggled to get back into the points during the race, but showed plenty of speed and feistiness once again, and it was a welcome return.
It is a shame he won’t compete at Monaco, a place where talent can overcome mechanical deficiencies. But the chance to see him at the Indy 500 is mouth watering prospect, and for the record I say he will win that too.
The Briton took pole ahead of his main rival and team mate, but was beaten into the first by the lead Ferrari driver. After trailing Vettel for the first half of the race, he changed to the different tyre strategy to give himself every chance of spoiling the German’s race.
After the second pitstop of Vettel, he was right on the Ferrari’s tail for the next few laps, and looking every chance of going past. And going past he certainly did, and with authority, as he outbraked and drove around the outside of Vettel going into Turn One. Hamilton was able to stay in front from there onwards and was in control from that pass onwards.
He eventually took a comfortable win, and reduced Vettel’s championship lead was cut to just 6 points.
Got the jump into the first corner over Lewis Hamilton, and held a comfortable early lead over the two Mercedes in the early stages before pitstops. After he was stuck behind Bottas after his pitstop, the move on the Mercedes driver was decisive and high quality as he regained the lead of the race before half distance.
His second pitstop came too late, as the German came out just in front of Hamilton, but was unable to ultimately hold off the Mercedes driver who grabbed the lead at the first corner. He was closing at the end, but a minor delay with Felipe Massa for the second race in a row slowed his progress and he had to settle for second.
He could have been helped by slightly better strategy, but he still keeps the Championship lead, which is still a reason to be in a good mood. For now.
As an Aussie F1 fan, it has pained to keep listing the Australian in the negative fields, but 2017 on the whole hasn’t been a great season so far, but happily he can be put under the Good category for this week.
He was outpaced by his younger team mate Max Verstappen in every session, and off the line at the start, but that proved a blessing in disguise as he avoided the first corner contact to find himself in fourth.
The Australian also took advantage of Bottas’ engine failure and found himself in a podium position. And with the close racing up front, would surely have been hoping for a Hamilton-Vettel clash to take a victory not unlike compatriot Steven Bradbury.
Good to take a big haul of points and grab a podium whilst it is on offer, but the gap to the front runners of 75 seconds in race conditions will be worrying, especially given the updates were meant to get them closer on a track they won on last year, and that suits.
Is there a team that takes advantage of something happening ahead better than Force India? And especially Sergio Perez? After Raikkonen and Verstappen clashed at the first corner, the two pink cars found themselves 5th and 6th and converted their lower Top 10 starts into solid points with a fourth and fifth placed finish. Their 22 Constructor points earned in the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix was more than the lone Red Bull and Ferrari and sees them remain 4th on the table and miles ahead of fifth place.
After missing the first two races due to an injury picked up at the Race of Champions, and some indifferent form in a car that’s not a world beater, the promising German talent scored his first points for the 2017 season. He was in seventh when he was penalised by missing a bollard going into the pitlane, and as a result lost places with a 5 second penalty but managed to keep hold of a top ten position and points finish. Vital points for Sauber, dangerous result for the pointless McLaren.
No one maximises opportunity like Perez. 4th may be as good as it can get this year for the Mexican.
Points scored in every race this year, quality. Hamilton was probably the last to get such a run at the beginning of a career.
So the European season has started and Ferrari are still able to match Mercedes. Good times ahead of them.
Simply out of luck at the first corner, but is was another race where he was outqualified by his team mate, and could not match the result. He is looking more and more like the number two driver at Ferrari now, and will struggle to get in front of the German driver now for the Championship.
Although it was a touching moment with the young fan during the race, showing a nice side of Kimi.
Another race of invisibility for Palmer, who was second last of the runners in the race and after another poor qualifying. Renault may well start considering their options for next year at minimum and possibly think about cutting their losses for 2017. His team mate Nico Hulkenberg finished in the points again.
Promised much, delivered very little. Massa caught up in the first corner shenanigans, but struggled from then onwards. Lance Stroll has struggled all year, and is currently looking as out of his depth as his critics were suggesting going into the season. The Canadian finished 16th and last, Massa ended up three places better off.
After winning his first race in the previous round in Russia, the Finn need a great follow up here to prove his champion credentials.
Being outqualified by his team mate Lewis Hamilton is no crime, but he seemed very cautious going into the first corner, and then instigated the crash between Raikkonen and Verstappen.
Although he did well during the race, and played the good team man to keep Vettel behind for a few laps after pitstops, he was not a force for victory in the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, and a blown Mercedes engine capped off an ugly day.
ULTIMATE WINNERS AND LOSERS
Here’s where an extra bonus point is added and subtracted for the very best and very worst. Plus a valuable one point for the Free Practice hero of the weekend, to the driver that got a chance to shine where they normally never get the chance to in big sessions.
WINNER – Fernando Alonso. off to Indy to create history, but showed how much he can offer F1 with a decent car
LOSER – Williams – An awful weekend, Stroll looking like an anchor for the team.
FREE PRACTICE HERO – Jolyon Palmer – with very few chances to shine, he ended up 8th in P2 after giving his car away to Russian driver Sirotkin in P1.
2017 MARTINI-CHAVES MEDAL FOR GURGLER BEST/WORST OF THE YEAR
6.5 Points – Sebastian Vettel
3 Points – Fernando Alonso
3 Points – Lewis Hamilton
3 Point – Felipe Massa
2 Points – Sergio Perez
2 Point – Pascal Wehrlein
2 Points – Valtteri Bottas
1.5 Points Max Verstappen
0 Points – Carlos Sainz
-0.5 Point Lance Stroll
-1 Point – Antonio Giovanazzi
-1.5 Points – Dan Ricciardo
-2 Point – Kimi Raikkonen
-2.5 Points – Jolyon Palmer
2 Points – Force India
1 Point – Ferrari
1 Point – Toro Rosso
-1 Points – Williams
-1 Points – Haas
-1 Point – Renault
-1.5 Point – Red Bull
-6 Points – McLaren