The first lap was eventful for a number of reasons. Timo Glock was left up on his jacks by his mechanics and didn’t start the race at all due to engine failure. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso jumped the start and led Mark Webber who had taken revenge on fellow Red Bull driver and pole sitter Sebastian Vettel by passing him into the first corner. Behind them, Vitantonio Liuzzi dropped his Force India under braking and crashed into Kobayashi’s Sauber and Buemi’s Toro Rosso.
This accident heralded the arrival of the Safety Car and many of the front runners dived into the pits to change tyres as the first of the on-off rain showers which affected the whole race began to dampen the track. But the intermediate tyres the drivers had changed to only lasted about three laps, meaning everyone had to change their tyres yet again. This led to the main talking point of the race. Hamilton and Vettel entered the pits side by side and Hamilton only just squeezed ahead. The pair were then released at near enough the same time meaning they were again neck and neck, only this time actually in the pit lane. Vettel was now the one doing the squeezing, and Hamilton nearly drove into another team’s equipment as a result. The Stewards announced that they would investigate the incident after the race, and later gave both drivers a reprimand as to their future conduct.
By Lap 16 Hamilton was ahead of both Red Bulls and going wheel to wheel with the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher. The seven times World Champion prevented Hamilton from passing him on this lap, but Hamilton passed Schumacher the next time around with a beautiful double overtake. The guard has well and truly changed.
The next major piece of action came when Jamie Alguersuari broke his Toro Rosso’s front wing leaving debris on the track. The Safety Car was brought out again (when double waved yellows would have done) and the whole field bunched up. Alonso who was then over 70 seconds behind leader Button was now back in contention for the race win.
When the Safety Car finally came in it was time for Jenson Button to make everyone think: “Oh, is that allowed?” He slowed right down and the whole field concertinaed up. Hamilton was actually forced to take to the grass because there was nowhere else to go. At the re-start Vettel bumped into Hamilton, who in turned knocked ‘Canberra Milk’ spokesperson Mark Webber off the track and down the order.
Hamilton continued to scythe through the field, and on lap 29 he passed Robert Kubica’s Renault. At the same point a few seconds later, Alonso passed Adrian Sutil’s Force India.
Hamilton eventually jumped the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in the pits and the Woking based team were now running first and second. But as the race went on, both Button and Hamilton’s tyres began to fade away, but so were those of chasing pair Rosberg and Alonso. Nails were being bitten and nerves were jangling at an alarming rate! Especially when Button went off.
Russian Renault driver Vital Petrov was reward for a great drive in only his fourth Grand Prix as Mark Webber slid around turn 12, allowing him up to seventh to score his first six points in F1.
In the end Button and Hamilton crossed the finishing line comfortably ahead of Rosberg and Alonso, and I went mad! 😀 I’ve waited so long for a 1-2 finish and was so glad it had finally happened.
Roll on the Spanish Grand Prix on the 9th of May. That is if the paddock can get all their kit back home.
- Button 60pts
- Rosberg 50pts
- Alonso 49pts
- Hamilton 49pts
- Vettel 45pts
- Massa 41pts
- Kubica 40pts
- Webber 28pts
- Sutil 10pts
- Schumacher 10pts
- McLaren 109pts
- Ferrari 90pts
- Red Bull 73pts
- Mercedes 60pts
- Renault 46pts
- Force India 18pts
- Williams 6pts
- Toro Rosso 2pts