Another Red Bull front grid, but this time it’s Webber on pole with the McLarens and Alonso behind. Can Alonso take the win for his home crowd?
Well, it was almost business as usual at the front of the grid for the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix. Almost, but not quite.
Instead of Sebastian Vettel sitting on pole we had team mate Mark Webber finally getting his 2011 act together and putting the young German in second place. But another Red Bull lock0out nonetheless.
Sitting behind were the two McLarens, at least until Fernando Alonso had an injection of crowd power at the last minute and split the McLarens on the grid, pushing Button down to fifth.
And another injection of crowd power saw Alonso drive straight through the Red Bulls at the off to take first place – and the roars of the crowd.
Sadly, thanks to the topsy-turvy nature of F1 in 2011 where all depends on multiple tyre-stops and endless strategy changes from the pit wall, the Spanish crowd were silenced by Alonso’s eventual fifth place.
Button, by contrast, managed to slip from fifth on the grid to tenth, but thanks to his innate ability to manage his tyres did a three-stop race and ended up in third place.
Poor Mark Webber managed to drop back to third and become the first pole-sitter in the Spanish Grand Prix in years not to turn pole to victory.
Vettel managed to pass Alonso by jumping in to the pits early and set up a brilliant joust with Hamilton, who chased him down relentlessly.
Lap by Lap Hamilton harried and hustled Vettel – staying with the one second window to keep his DRS available – but Vettel kept reclaiming the gap Hamilton closed on the straights in every bend.
Here were two cars evenly matched with drivers at the peak of their powers. Each had different strengths on the day, but in the end Vettel kept his nose ahead, winning by just 0.6 seconds.
A properly thrilling F1 Grand Prix in Spain.