Webber charges to Spanish GP victory

Mark Webber took a dominant victory in the Spanish Grand Prix, while problems for his team-mate Sebastian Vettel prevented a Red Bull 1-2

Webber charges to Spanish GP victory

The Australian was never troubled at the head of the field, while behind him Fernando Alonso capitalised on Vettel's troubles and a late-race crash for Lewis Hamilton to take second.

Webber's only challenge had come at the start, where he made up for his mistake in Malaysia and fiercely defended from Vettel on the run to the first corner.

After that he was able to gradually ease away from the field, while Vettel could not shake off the attentions of Hamilton.

The McLaren driver then got ahead of the German at the pit stops, where Vettel was delayed. Hamilton, who pitted a lap later, rejoined as the Red Bull arrived at Turn 1, but Vettel was forced off the track as he tried to retain his position around the outside.

Hamilton briefly set about getting after Webber, but a relentless set of laps from the race leader extended his lead to more than 16 seconds by lap 49, after which he started to back off.

Hamilton kept up the pursuit as Webber eased his pace, but the 2008 world champion crashed at Turn 3 as he suffered a broken rim on the penultimate lap.

That handed second to Alonso and moved Vettel back onto the podium, after the second Red Bull endured a torrid final third of the race.

Vettel had been unable to do anything about Hamilton ahead of him, and he hit trouble on lap 53 when he went through the gravel at Turn 7 and pitted with an apparent loose wheel.

When he rejoined he was then instructed to look after his brakes, with his team fearing that they were on the brink of failing as the race came to an end.

The German was able to coast to the finish because of the huge gap between the leaders and the rest of the field, which was led home by Michael Schumacher's Mercedes.

While the seven-time world champion had enjoyed his most impressive weekend in comparison to team-mate Nico Rosberg, he was still a long way adrift of frontrunning pace.

However, he eventually came home fourth after jumping Jenson Button during the pitstops, and then frantically defending from the reigning world champion for several laps before the Briton dropped back slightly.

Their battle enabled Felipe Massa to close up, although the Brazilian's charge nearly came to an early conclusion when he tagged the back of Karun Chandhok's HRT car as the Indian was being lapped.

Adrian Sutil took an impressive seventh for Force India ahead of Robert Kubica - who was unable to make up for a poor first lap and had to settle for eighth behind him.

Rubens Barrichello made up most of his ground on at the start to eventually sneak into the points in ninth, while Jamie Alguersuari was promoted into the top 10 by Hamilton's crash.

Outside of the points, it was a disappointing race for Rosberg and the two Sauber drivers in particular.

The Mercedes driver, who came into this race second in the championship, was forced onto the grass at the start and dropped back, and then suffered a problem at his pitstop which cost him even more time.

Both Saubers had incidents on the opening lap which dropped Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa out of contention straight away. While the Spaniard retired early on with a damaged car, his Japanese team-mate eventually recovered to 12th.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; 66 laps; 307.104km; Weather: Dry. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h35:44.101 2. Alonso Ferrari + 24.065 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 51.338 4. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:02.195 5. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1:03.728 6. Massa Ferrari + 1:05.767 7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:12.941 8. Kubica Renault + 1:13.677 9. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 10. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 11. Petrov Renault + 1 lap 12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 13. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap 14. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 2 laps 15. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps 16. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 2 laps 17. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps 18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps 19. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 4 laps Fastest lap: Hamilton, 1:24.357 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 43 Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 28 De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 19 Senna HRT-Cosworth 1 Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1 World Championship standings, round 5: Drivers: Constructors:  1. Button 70 1. McLaren-Mercedes 119 2. Alonso 67 2. Ferrari 116 3. Vettel 60 3. Red Bull-Renault 113 4. Webber 53 4. Mercedes 72 5. Rosberg 50 5. Renault 50 6. Hamilton 49 6. Force India-Mercedes 24 7. Massa 49 7. Williams-Cosworth 8 8. Kubica 44 8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 3 9. Schumacher 22 10. Sutil 16 11. Liuzzi 8 12. Barrichello 7 13. Petrov 6 14. Alguersuari 3 15. Hulkenberg 1 All timing unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis
Author Glenn Freeman
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