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2010 Season

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2010 Spanish Grand Prix

Round 5 - Circuit de Catalunya - 9th May 2010

Spain marks a return to Europe for F1 and the majority of teams arrived with major updates to their cars.

Practice

Christian Klien made a welcome return to F1 as HRT’s new Test Driver. He replaced Karun Chandhok for Prac 1 in order to help the team develop the car. 

Lewis Hamilton lead a McLaren 1-2 in Practice 1, but it was Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel who locked out Prac 2 and 3, setting a dominant pace that looked ominous to the rest of the field. 

Qualifying

Q1 produced the scalp of Rubens Barrichello who was unable to progress any further than 18th. He blamed traffic and the car not being fast enough. The usual suspects of Virgin Lotus and HRT were behind him. 

Kamui Kobayashi produced an impress run to get into Q3 and the Top 10 shoot out, but it was the Red Bull’s and in particular Mark Webber who looked the strongest. Vettel set the benchmark pole time but was overhauled by the Aussie to claim his 3rd ever Pole Position.

Race

Both Red Bulls made good starts as Webber quickly closed the door on anyone trying to make a move down the inside into Turn 1. Hamilton got a great start and arrived at speed on the inside into the thick of it, but Alonso took a wider line and held his former teammate off.

Not so lucky was Nico Rosberg starting 8th, he was pushed wide onto the grass by Kubica where he lost traction and several positions. Robert Kubica also got caught up with Pedro de la Rosa through the long turn 3, costing the Pole time and the Spaniard a trip to the pits for a new set of tyres. A few laps later Pedro retired, citing damage from the first lap incident as the reason.

The first - and only - round of pitstops saw Lewis Hamilton gain a place on Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull driver’s pit stop took several seconds longer than the Brits because of congestion in the pit lane. Nico Rosberg’s afternoon got worse with a botched pit stop where the front-right wheel didn't go on properly and he had to be pushed back into the pit box.

A rejuvenated Michael Schumacher also gained a place during the pit stops on the other McLaren of Button. And that's where the Brit stayed for the remainder of the race as the German comfortably dealt with anything that Button threw at him. From there it was a two-pack race. Webber, Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso at the front, with Schumacher, Button and Massa fighting over fifth. 

The Catalan circuit lived up to it's reputation with little in the way of overtaking, but there was plenty of action. Karun Chandhok was on the receiving end of most of the incidents, first from Feilpe Massa who damaged his own front wing when he tagged the back of the Indian driver's HRT. A few laps later he was on the receiving end again as Jaime Alguersuari took the Indian drivers front wing off in an ill-timed move under blue flags.

Around 15 laps from the end Vettel ran wide through turn 7 and again at turn 13. He pitted for new tyres and over the radio the team said that his RB6 had brake problems. A message that was repeated to him a number of times as he nursed the car home.

Two laps from the end Lewis Hamilton, running in 2nd was pitched into the wall when his MP4-25's front-left wheel delaminated. Vettel and Hamilton's incidents promoted Alonso to the second step of the podium in an otherwise quite race from Ferrari. Adrian Sutil got the best of the rest, beating Kubica for 7th. Rubens Barrichello and local boy Jaime Alguersuari completed the top ten points paying positions.

But none of this stopped Mark Webber who becomes the first man to convert a pole position into a race win this season as the Aussie took the chequered flag for his 3rd career win.

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Catalunya Track Plan - ©
Circuit de Catalunya
Montmelo, Barcelona, Spain
9th May 2010
66 laps
Lap Record: Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:21.670, 2008
Michael Schumacher just ahead of Jenson Button in the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix - © MercedesGP

Button couldn't find a way past the Schmacher chicane © MercedesGP

Position Driver Team Time
1 J Button Brawn 1:37:19.202
2 R Barrichello Brawn +13.0 secs
3 M Webber Red Bull +13.9 secs
4 S Vettel Red Bull +18.9 secs
5 F Alonso Renault +43.1 secs
6 F Massa Ferrari +50.8 secs
7 N Heidfeld BMW Sauber +52.3 secs
8 N Rosberg Williams +65.2 secs