Mark Webber has been on it all weekend! In fact he’s been on it since setting the fastest lap on the last day of testing at this circuit just over a week ago.
Starting seventh, he recovered from an early setback which dropped him one place, to storm through to a fantastic fifth place at the end of 66 action packed laps. Red Bull Racing thus doubles its points total to eight, moving up to sixth in the Constructor’s standings, leapfrogging our engine supplier Renault.
David Coulthard’s Spanish Sunday was less successful, as he hovered outside the points zone until a knock from Glock. The resulting puncture and pitstop left DC at the back of the pack but a fierce battle with Sato in the final stages of the race saw him edge closer and closer before eventually taking the Japanese driver on lap 62 to finish a creditable 12th at the chequered flag, five places higher than his grid position. Toyota drivers aside, we had a 100 per cent reliable race weekend with no real problems at all: a big and very important step forward from this time last year. Not all teams were as successful, however. Fernando Alonso – having had a miraculous qualifying, beginning the race in second – pitted early but his home race was ended after 34 laps as he was forced to stop his Renault, by now on fire. Although the Spanish fans did get to see a bit more of him as he waited for his lift back to the pits.
More serious was Heikki Kovalainen suffering a puncture which resulted in him ploughing straight into the tyre wall at Turn 9. The sight of the medical car coming out of the pit lane with the Safety Car to attend to him had the Finn’s fans alarmed, but as he was stretched to a helicopter to take him to hospital he gave them the thumbs up to show he was OK. Heidfeld was given a ten-second stop-go penalty for refuelling while the pitlane was closed while the McLaren was lifted off the circuit. The action didn’t stop there either as Barrichello was forced to retire after he left the pitlane with his nose cone hanging off his Honda and Nico Rosberg had to take the shortcut over the barrier to the pits when he parked his troubled Williams. It’s the Ferraris who now dominate the tables, they’re now 12 points ahead of BMW and race-winner Raikkonen nine points in front of Hamilton with Kubica lying third.
Mark Webber“I’m very, very happy. The team worked very hard following the test to get all the parts ready in time and it paid off. We didn’t have a great start to today’s race, but we had good pace and we were there at the end, it’s a great to get a strong finish. I didn’t have very good grip in the final stint, but we weren’t under pressure at that point, so were okay. I’m happy with my driving and the team did an excellent job.”
David Coulthard“It’s a horrible thing about being down near the end of the grid – you try to keep out of trouble, but it’s never so easy. I got whacked by Sutil going into Turn four and picked up some light damage to the side of the car, but after that I was running okay.
Christian Horner“It was an excellent race for Mark, well executed by both driver and team, his pace was strong all weekend and we’re very pleased with fifth place. For David, the nightmare of yesterday’s qualifying session continued. It looked as though he might be able to pick up a couple of points at one stage in the race, but unfortunately things just didn’t go his way today, I’m sure his luck will change soon.”
Fabrice Lom, Renault"It’s a very good result for us, fifth place is a strong place to finish. We’ve taken a step forwards in performance and we were quicker than Williams and Toyota today. For David, it was difficult starting so far back, it was always going to be hard to recover from there.”