Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011

Alonso goes from leader to lapped as Ferrari struggle on ‘super hards’

2011 Spanish GP analysis

Posted on

| Written by

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2011

The strong race pace Ferrari have shown this year was conspicuously absent in Spain.

Fernando Alonso led at the start but ended the race a lap down after struggling on Pirelli’s new hard compound.

Here’s all the data from the Spanish Grand Prix.

Lap 1

Lap 1 position change
Lap 1 position change

Fernando Alonso’s start from fourth place was absolutely remarkable. Not only did he make a quick getaway, he made the gutsy decision to try to duck down the inside of Mark Webber, just after Sebastian Vettel had backed away from doing the same thing.

Another drive who made a strong start was Michael Schumacher, gaining four places.

But in Jenson Button’s words he was “hung out to dry” and fell five places to tenth.

Pit stops

Pit stops
Pit stops

The jostling for position at the front meant that by lap 19 Alonso and both Red Bull drivers had each made two pit stops.

Lewis Hamilton began his third stint five laps later than Sebastian Vettel but couldn’t eke that stint out any longer to significantly reduce the time he had to spend on the hard tyres.

Button could, however, and as a result only had to spend 18 laps on hards. That compares to Alonso and Webber who had to run 37 laps – more than half the race – on the slowest compound.

Tyre compounds

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4Stint 5
Mark WebberSoftSoftSoftHardHard
Sebastian VettelSoftSoftSoftHardHard
Lewis HamiltonSoftSoftSoftHardHard
Fernando AlonsoSoftSoftSoftHardHard
Jenson ButtonSoftSoftSoftHard
Vitaly PetrovSoftSoftSoftHard
Nico RosbergSoftSoftSoftHard
Felipe MassaSoftSoftSoftHard
Pastor MaldonadoSoftSoftSoftHardHard
Michael SchumacherSoftSoftSoftHard
Sebastien BuemiSoftSoftSoftHard
Sergio PerezSoftHardSoftSoft
Jaime AlguersuariSoftSoftSoftHardHard
Kamui KobayashiSoftHardSoftSoft
Heikki KovalainenSoftSoftSoftHard
Paul di RestaSoftSoftSoftHard
Adrian SutilHardSoftSoftSoft
Jarno TrulliSoftSoftSoftHard
Rubens BarrichelloHardSoftSoftHardSoft
Timo GlockSoftSoftSoftHard
Vitantonio LiuzziSoftSoft
Narain KarthikeyanSoftSoftSoftHard
Jerome d’AmbrosioSoftSoftSoftHard
Nick HeidfeldHardSoftSoftSoft

Race progress

Vettel and Webber began their final stints within a lap of each other. But, crucially, Vettel did not run into the same trouble with his tyres that Webber did towards the end of the race.

Webber fell back from his pursuit of Button, but Vettel was able to preserve his tyres and keep Hamilton behind.

This chart shows how far each driver was behind the leader (in seconds) on each lap.


Mark Webber1.8351.851.3261.5111.3891.631.6782.0112.2764.08418.5114.4453.953.6253.4332.9882.3882.1054.77521.36621.0320.51918.147.4128.2079.39110.42211.83415.31933.78935.13736.38637.61937.60235.38823.07324.9426.85328.41428.11829.10530.27531.17231.9833.69735.68139.81453.85851.28235.16435.22734.57535.74636.21135.70735.50636.11137.11437.09237.48438.73939.85341.30242.84445.1247.966
Sebastian Vettel0.780.6010.5440.8780.680.6640.7190.8813.48918.44414.8020.8830.5710.7370.6040.6550.5093.03516.616.63715.43614.49211.65500000000001.30314.9670000000000000.66315.53100000000000000000
Lewis Hamilton2.4972.8742.5072.5062.2712.3592.5352.8353.0581.07101.8251.0921.1891.1771.2550.940.947000004.9254.2553.7583.4612.7732.0392.2141.6752.1241.215002.7462.5152.3241.8021.5541.2681.2851.4241.8711.3611.1011.192001.9962.4211.3091.0050.7520.6030.6110.6020.5890.770.7930.7550.7210.7750.6630.810.63
Fernando Alonso000000000014.26900000002.06520.02820.31120.02617.6216.8547.6758.6699.76511.19914.68433.25434.67336.02337.03136.85434.34922.28124.30426.34330.31548.89650.6252.41654.355.2957.58259.60161.48861.72162.24150.02153.1855.86460.10562.67464.94267.31970.29373.2276.32779.65682.48985.72691.17794.93398.937
Jenson Button6.5048.84211.0412.22313.00214.59816.69518.53920.28620.41417.9576.0497.57511.34427.92126.81525.60624.59423.73825.38226.41326.58924.69214.06615.56816.95918.56220.38921.75325.47443.41442.74341.49139.10935.58921.0521.01921.56321.86621.82622.06922.61123.50823.54924.7125.90227.65529.49344.92330.43230.89630.94932.37332.74732.51832.66233.71733.93934.09634.81236.2536.27236.3136.236.13435.697
Vitaly Petrov3.595.1726.1867.3558.5610.2112.13213.92615.7215.39516.8424.0126.4427.85129.85832.33833.27933.80934.26637.23340.11542.75145.18836.51640.71747.47570.8772.1173.60474.55976.16678.55178.42977.35674.07961.62663.66465.49267.6470.01775.06498.07100.876103.159107.333110.076112.892113.313113.851101.222104.535108.034111.445114.447117.917122.695128.282131.576134.685138.719142.495145.352148.773151.707156.231
Nico Rosberg4.6456.6178.19810.6211.89913.5715.39217.15818.72418.30319.8724.77227.84528.69130.22830.68531.11431.38131.84834.8437.71240.52940.30831.60535.42739.77446.53364.81767.71867.6168.31769.11468.53866.42462.87848.9750.71452.51354.85857.46159.1663.90383.22483.84585.60190.36292.30591.73591.49578.31381.15483.90686.57891.84994.29496.09397.953101.067103.41105.812108.53110.491112.975115.172117.651
Felipe Massa5.4857.2628.84310.93412.51114.31116.20118.12419.83320.08222.49426.84328.34129.2730.84432.72933.70434.31134.69137.73242.97361.61960.43449.07850.50951.35152.42253.99256.08556.77758.03859.78760.58860.18659.19650.45272.13277.79479.52281.20482.8485.70490.54692.95595.59298.232100.869101.483102.0692.11495.49298.371102.044105.469107.558110.653114.199119.541
Pastor Maldonado7.76110.66212.92115.65618.24520.40723.04828.50848.18647.05646.05733.91735.52938.63742.18844.42946.11547.69849.07556.94180.11880.4979.20170.19171.88874.14877.35680.55582.19583.04584.59186.48787.00186.68885.90177.00798.751100.438102.322103.745106.631109.014113.361115.399117.99120.62123.266123.178123.665111.852115.327121.063129.058150.179151.855153.666155.977158.464160.911163.508166.165168.412170.859172.185175.162
Michael Schumacher4.1396.1667.6969.68911.10912.78114.67716.32217.86820.03333.26421.29223.14624.63527.7229.32330.25730.94931.17334.42337.05839.64639.37730.60934.41839.50558.22560.66962.64963.37364.94866.02865.83964.03361.36148.54850.28751.64854.58156.59360.43279.40481.04381.87484.09586.37589.93890.50990.29377.2680.4282.60285.3489.90491.92294.11696.36399.164102.351104.861107.504109.662112.459114.245116.776
Sebastien Buemi6.1178.58610.66613.88515.83217.62719.68421.94126.65243.37940.3929.77131.65734.86638.17639.70941.13842.3143.4146.92849.95652.73353.46945.66352.65476.26677.86881.46184.49685.32986.68888.45992.9492.24189.94577.38979.47181.97484.82287.25992.411101.641124.718126.045128.416130.874133.005134.054135.776123.908127.09129.897133.571136.218138.589141.585144.867148.647151.468154.905159.043162.648167.385170.732174.92
Sergio Perez6.9399.58911.76614.42216.44718.45424.62348.02550.20349.30449.26940.51344.69346.97649.51252.14454.33456.25759.01264.41567.86170.70771.363.21467.16771.10775.34480.31889.12105.755105.219104.371102.53100.09195.98784.41185.75287.54289.92391.94993.2495.17397.12298.88100.92103.494109.867126.205124.008108.592109.273109.612111.814114.746113.786114.174115.002117.089118.968122.16128.478130.978133.531135.348138.686
Jaime Alguersuari7.38210.1812.37815.19917.43119.88622.56225.11827.4828.1531.33336.78137.79339.18742.56447.11747.97848.84249.73154.49557.75860.89963.39458.49877.70378.88381.984.00787.44387.89692.93794.48295.35295.51694.42788.2108.417111.759114.351118.982121.171124.162128.406130.423133.411137.152139.911140.896143.665134.678156.389157.682160.818162.797164.026165.704167.495169.537171.349173.64178.425180.898183.793186.732
Kamui Kobayashi23.09647.47649.44552.02554.19756.72259.52761.79664.02563.97563.60553.74858.21861.31964.65667.04369.06571.25974.11178.79283.52387.07788.18880.21889.026108.224109.518110.984111.071111.7113.743114.035114.211112.37109.20895.23197.11198.10499.266100.142101.547103.938108.217113.763133.719133.268133.405131.431129.107113.749115.679115.455116.412118.037118.934122.918126.405127.642128.667130.455133.368135.313137.522139.649143.404
Heikki Kovalainen9.78213.43116.21319.42422.04824.66627.51330.12332.79233.13532.63223.69529.53134.70240.78450.63770.72373.48875.15779.52383.87587.47688.49480.71786.66691.0496.641105.963125.957127.932129.823132.984133.453132.802130.684118.625121.241124.368127.754131.888140.922164.105166.919169.995179.606185.266188.74189.723
Paul di Resta8.31411.18613.63416.35319.01521.41324.10526.53328.39228.59928.85617.37920.35923.76230.20748.56648.83949.3850.39654.86758.16761.26859.96651.2454.33757.12760.51964.34467.46170.75474.52682.64499.53397.8695.19483.8585.24486.7187.98591.30192.73794.01395.81497.13799.088101.228103.491103.944106.55794.81101.909124.117127.525129.438131.781134.344137.43140.464144.389147.625150.614153.93156.892159.534162.592
Adrian Sutil11.61316.38720.80725.40529.52233.75137.85941.72345.24446.71748.439.97746.56566.63268.34970.0570.94671.53571.84174.69176.69478.68578.58969.82673.80578.06681.56286.26991.29598.076117.681119.189119.289118.619116.291102.822104.041106.543107.752108.948112.659114.612116.998118.621121.545126.439129.488133.484154.444141.163143.959144.911147.284149.26149.897151.151152.686154.252155.998157.696159.605163.161165.319166.583168.418
Jarno Trulli9.05912.21514.98518.12720.7623.62626.4529.18131.94632.19531.66122.61827.74833.42440.63261.74863.18464.59265.80769.46772.55875.11775.2966.40269.56973.13676.95583.00789.908111.023113.115116.454117.195116.709114.978102.264106.509109.17113.102116.025119.866123.263130.032153.894158.12162.459166.149167.714171.234161.744167.064171.559181.395186.589191.71196.418200.645205.291213.045219.275226.021231.066236.663244.126
Rubens Barrichello12.58316.95121.47426.15530.55334.76239.0242.80846.1847.90351.29265.7466.92769.81571.54572.93973.63874.28775.6780.21784.34987.97491.54199.278101.03102.71104.565106.287107.879108.856110.704112.584113.8114.571115.802122.239125.145128.142130.733133.042136.026138.643141.517143.648147.44151.693154.706155.672157.849146.407150.898155.315160.497167.765186.772186.123187.218187.591187.746187.475188.261188.641188.855188.887
Timo Glock13.06218.70623.96529.81634.83840.00545.22950.97956.25558.73660.27452.28259.15264.57871.09380.369103.92106.998111.622118.197123.043127.485129.609124.926130.483135.196140.358146.483151.561156.644162.251166.548170.744172.786173.436164.1170.259179.789209.084211.766215.314218.986222.77225.45229.481234.622238.524240.465245.657234.976240.213244.476252.685279.036285.242289.273296.651303.098309.034317.23327.122335.012348.128
Vitantonio Liuzzi12.24318.07223.47928.91533.80538.7764450.46355.2657.52758.50550.04555.27560.43166.54175.15498.986102.626107.147114.604120.603125.465128.326122.449130.302137.335144.489151.357
Narain Karthikeyan13.68919.41424.81830.50335.47842.51248.08653.67958.59161.13463.42556.76563.29476.226103.698108.225112.833117.792121.833132.547138.411143.658148.146145.119153.052162.51174.589189.585220.656225.728230.591235.069237.67240.935245.071236.064242.271249.43254.297261.589270.151278.929287.138294.509302.796312.561327.716354.291364.543360.294367.74375.131384.52394.508400.424406.722413.739420.758429.321437.722446.774
Jerome dAmbrosio14.07919.8225.2730.89736.17241.68446.95552.48957.33659.99761.49453.53460.16566.6673.9481.2891.223115.978118.41123.971131.092137.643140.122133.532138.997145.568154.389160.488167.134172.423182.344189.655196.076204.479226.683215.702219.809224.074228.184232.264236.139240.879245.875249.871254.802259.407263.994267.036273.165284.813290.735300.137306.035312.626317.82324.766330.504336.762343.172349.923360.343367.347
Nick Heidfeld10.6714.69618.6122.50825.92729.26133.19636.37539.23839.55439.05329.59934.12337.97341.9348.33252.33455.47758.45663.92572.85191.38589.79480.85183.64484.88685.93887.66892.7795.67196.10696.74597.00596.22994.8684.934104.577103.93103.347104.056103.783104.302104.388103.982105.877106.832108.134108.162108.24298.065116.001117.463117.615118.325118.117117.631117.258117.858119.329119.348119.101118.618118.304117.641118.096

Lap chart

The lap chart shows how Nick Heidfeld climbed from last to finish eighth. He crossed the line just 1.32s behind the two Mercedes.

It also shows how Kamui Kobayashi dragged his Sauber into the points despite picking up a puncture on lap one.

This chart shows the drivers’ positions on each lap.


Mark Webber1333333332364444443344444444445444445554444444444444444444444444444
Sebastian Vettel2222222224632222224422221111111111221111111111112211111111111111111
Lewis Hamilton3444444443213333332111112222222222112222222222221122222222222222222
Fernando Alonso411111111112111111123333333333433333444555555555555555555555555555
Jenson Button5101010999999955556555555555555553555553333333333333333333333333333333
Vitaly Petrov655555555544108878888888888810101010109999988888111111121212111111109991011121211111111111111
Nico Rosberg77777777775711109977777777777699888888777776677777777777777777777777
Felipe Massa8888888888881211101099999912111099766666666899999888888888888888810
Pastor Maldonado91313131313131213181716151515151111111113171616161413131211111111101010101414141415151414131313121213121314161616161615151515151515
Michael Schumacher10666666666713777566666666666877777777666667766666666666666666666666
Sebastien Buemi119991010101010101515141313111010101010109991014141312121212111111111010101010121616151515161515151515141414141413131313141414
Sergio Perez1211111111111114191919181817171716151515151313131312111111141615151515151312121212121010101010111313121110101099988999999
Jaime Alguersuari1312121212121211111110101616161612121212111110121216161615131313131212121518181818181817171617171716161818181717171717161616161616
Kamui Kobayashi142424242424242424242424222019181817171818181717171920202019191817171616161313131313131313171616141414131111111212111110101010101010
Heikki Kovalainen1516161616161616151413129121213151819191919181818181818182020202020202019191919192020202020202020
Paul di Resta1614141414141413121211966681413131312121110111110988991014141412111111111199999999991413131313131312121212121212
Adrian Sutil171818181818181817161617171821201919181717161515151515151616151919191919181516161616161515141414151717161616151515151514141414131313
Jarno Trulli18151515151515151413121189111217161616161414141413121214151817181818171717171717171718191919191919191919191919191919181818181818
Rubens Barrichello1920191919191919181718192424232220202020202019202020191919181716161617182020202020191919181818181818181717171818181818171717171717
Timo Glock20212121212121212121212120212021222322222222222222222121212121212121212121212121212121212121212121202020202020202020201919191919
Vitantonio Liuzzi2119202020202020202020201919181921222121212121212121222222
Narain Karthikeyan2222222222222323232323232323242424242424242424242424242424232323232323232323232323232323232323232322222222222222222222212121
Jerome dAmbrosio232323232323222222222222212222232321232323232323232323232322222222222222222222222222222222222222222121212121212121212120202020
Nick Heidfeld2417171717171717161514141314141413141414141520191917171717171414141313131416151515141412121111101010101412121211101099888888

Fastest laps

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race.

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’26.72752
2Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’26.8910.16460
3Nick HeidfeldRenault1’26.9580.23161
4Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’27.1620.43560
5Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’27.1870.460Set on 2 laps
6Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’27.2470.52055
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’27.5180.79163
8Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’27.6150.88852
9Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’28.7372.01022
10Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’28.7912.06452
11Felipe MassaFerrari1’29.0812.35424
12Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’29.1322.40552
13Nico RosbergMercedes1’29.1552.42834
14Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’29.3912.66464
15Michael SchumacherMercedes1’29.4632.73634
16Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’29.4692.74242
17Vitaly PetrovRenault1’29.5922.86535
18Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’30.0493.32227
19Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’30.6183.89134
20Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’30.7834.05634
21Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’31.6354.90840
22Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’32.5495.82236
23Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’32.8486.12133
24Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’33.8847.15722

All lap times

Having shown good race performance earlier this year, Ferrari were much slower on the new hard tyre compared to their closest rivals.

Once Vettel and Hamilton weren’t stuck behind Alonso, they were able to lap quicker than him on the soft tyres. But the switch to hard tyres hurt Alonso even more, as the lap times chart below makes clear.

He was around two seconds per lap slower like-for-like, which explains how he went from leading the race on lap 18, to being lapped before the end of the race.

His lack of pace on the hard tyres helps us understand why Ferrari didn’t risk using them in Q1. That only exacerbated his problem on race day, as it meant he went into the race with no fresh sets of soft tyres which could have shortened the time he spent on hards.

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) on each lap.


Mark Webber96.32990.82790.08290.19790.19690.2890.05590.49790.56894.633108.3889.52689.31489.45389.66489.45389.71690.19293.22104.61588.25988.51189.02989.70989.30689.72889.47889.80692.309108.17490.34690.4191.4891.25290.65591.21590.55690.47590.42688.65789.78989.36388.8389.79589.72490.07192.31104.45387.46187.18787.51987.18788.38688.10487.70387.6788.16288.43887.45287.55488.4688.78988.92989.60790.11891.228
Sebastian Vettel95.27490.63390.54990.34690.1290.02390.06290.32692.911107.7890.31189.67389.49789.94489.72389.94990.1793.001104.11588.06187.39488.07888.57188.78288.51188.54488.44788.39488.82489.70488.99889.16190.24792.572106.53388.56388.68988.56288.86588.95388.80288.19387.93388.98788.00788.08788.17791.072104.90587.77487.45687.83987.21587.63988.20787.87187.55787.43587.47487.16287.20587.67587.4888.06587.84288.382
Lewis Hamilton96.99191.18990.23990.01190.08390.12790.18390.46490.52690.83892.882105.41789.07689.87589.84489.97690.00190.48289.60388.02488.59589.02291.408105.36287.84188.04788.1587.70688.0989.87988.45989.6189.33890.05492.869106.27688.45888.37188.34388.70588.51688.2188.07289.43487.49787.82788.26889.21790.037105.30187.88186.72786.91187.38688.05887.87987.54887.42287.65587.18587.16787.64187.53487.95387.98988.202
Fernando Alonso94.49490.81290.60690.01290.31890.03990.00790.16490.30392.825108.22289.32389.80989.77889.85689.89890.31690.47592.615105.98788.87888.73789.00389.6789.33289.53889.54389.82892.309108.27490.41790.51191.25591.09290.36491.46290.71290.60192.837107.53490.52689.98989.81789.97790.29990.10690.06490.64290.55791.08590.61590.52391.45690.20890.47590.24890.53190.36290.58190.49190.03890.91292.93191.82191.846
Jenson Button100.99893.1592.80491.19591.09791.63592.10492.00892.0592.95391.49691.68491.33593.547106.43388.79289.10789.46389.69489.66889.62689.19889.51189.81190.01389.93590.0590.22190.18893.425106.93888.4988.99588.88789.34988.99188.65889.10689.16888.91389.04588.73588.8389.02889.16889.27989.9392.247105.46788.81487.9287.89288.63988.01387.97888.01588.61287.65787.63187.87888.64387.69787.51887.95587.77687.945
Vitaly Petrov98.08492.39491.6291.18191.52391.68991.92991.95892.09792.595.398110.76292.23991.18991.86392.37891.25791.00591.00790.99191.47791.65893.84591.76592.71295.302111.84289.63490.31890.65990.60591.54690.12590.19689.59291.07790.72790.3991.01391.3393.849111.19990.73991.2792.18190.8390.99390.8390.57590.67690.76991.33890.62690.64191.67792.64993.14490.72990.58391.19690.98190.53290.90190.99992.366
Nico Rosberg99.13992.78492.18792.43491.59791.7191.82991.9391.86992.40495.52108.49492.88290.62491.39390.35590.74590.74291.01791.01691.46791.83991.18791.73492.33392.89195.206106.67891.72589.59689.70589.95889.67189.15589.32389.62290.43390.36191.2191.55690.50192.936107.25489.60889.76392.84890.1289.83989.79790.12390.29790.59189.88792.9190.65289.6789.41790.54989.81789.56489.92389.63689.96490.26290.321
Felipe Massa99.97992.58992.18792.10391.89591.83991.89792.08792.01293.07496.365107.94191.30790.70791.4391.78391.29191.08290.9391.06593.836107.66890.22389.08189.94289.38689.51889.96490.91790.39690.25990.9191.04890.86791.87994.786110.36994.22490.59390.63590.43891.05792.77591.39690.64490.72790.81491.02390.61493.35990.83490.71890.88891.06490.29690.96691.10392.777
Pastor Maldonado102.25593.71392.86592.74792.90792.20192.64895.624109.98191.69592.95491.45291.42192.88693.40792.13992.00292.05891.92795.89111.77289.39490.11991.42790.20890.80491.65591.59390.46490.55490.54491.05790.76190.95692.08294.636110.43390.24990.74990.37691.68890.57692.2891.02590.59890.71790.82390.32190.52491.49290.93193.57595.21108.7689.88389.68289.86889.92289.92189.75989.86289.92289.92789.39190.819
Michael Schumacher98.63392.83992.13692.00591.73891.71191.90391.80991.84994.99107.18491.6291.66391.26792.94191.50191.2591.16790.77491.27491.2391.6191.13991.66992.3293.631107.16790.83890.80490.42890.57390.24190.05889.46390.19790.71790.42889.92391.79890.96592.641107.16589.57289.81890.22890.36791.7490.9889.82190.27290.61690.02189.95392.20390.22590.06589.80490.23690.66189.67289.84889.83390.27789.85190.373
Sebastien Buemi100.61193.28192.68693.23192.26591.83492.06492.42195.014109.55290.96492.97391.69592.98793.16691.43191.74591.64791.6591.54291.62391.79992.14492.63195.502112.15690.04991.98791.85990.53790.35790.93294.72890.5790.57390.97490.77191.06591.71391.3993.95497.423111.0190.31490.37890.54590.30891.45891.75991.43790.63890.64690.88990.28690.57890.86790.83991.21590.29590.59991.34391.2892.21791.41292.03
Sergio Perez101.43393.46292.78392.66892.34392.04696.176113.56692.48191.92693.91894.83693.98992.06192.39292.5392.50692.39893.30593.42792.04191.86892.00192.35192.46492.48492.68493.36897.626106.33988.46288.31388.40688.8388.76591.95490.0390.35291.24690.97990.09390.12689.88290.74590.04790.66194.55106.74787.8487.88988.13788.17889.41790.57187.24788.25988.38589.52289.35390.35493.52390.17590.03389.88291.18
Jaime Alguersuari101.87693.6192.80492.83392.5592.49492.68392.7292.66593.49597.136109.0490.82191.17293.23394.45191.17791.33991.43992.78891.85892.16393.90395.541107.71689.72491.46490.50192.2690.15794.03990.70691.11791.43391.7897.303108.90691.90491.45793.58490.99191.18492.17791.00490.99591.82890.93691.39492.80694.318109.16789.13290.35189.61889.43689.54989.34889.47789.28689.45391.9990.14890.37591.004
Kamui Kobayashi117.59115.19292.57592.59292.4992.56492.81292.43392.53292.77593.58393.73594.27992.87993.19392.28592.33892.66993.40292.70593.32692.57692.51992.46797.319107.74289.74189.8688.91190.33391.04189.45390.42389.42889.70789.55390.56989.55590.02789.82990.20790.58492.21294.533107.96387.63688.31488.43587.71387.94789.38687.61588.17289.26489.10491.85591.04488.67288.49988.9590.11889.6289.68990.19291.597
Heikki Kovalainen104.27694.46193.38893.22392.94292.65792.85492.77492.97293.16893.4594.65595.64594.94995.93899.751110.40293.2492.21992.3992.94792.62392.42692.6694.4692.91894.04897.716108.81891.67990.88992.32290.71690.61890.75191.47191.30591.68992.25193.08797.836111.37690.74792.06397.61893.74791.65191.392
Paul di Resta102.80893.68493.05492.73192.9892.43792.69992.59292.16293.03294.2192.11592.78993.18196.301108.25790.58991.01691.56692.49591.89592.12390.10691.71191.60891.33491.83992.21991.94192.99792.7797.279107.13689.59690.20392.18690.08390.02890.1492.26990.23889.46989.73490.3189.95890.22790.4490.86292.6591.55894.555110.04790.62389.55290.5590.43490.64390.46991.39990.39890.19490.99190.44290.70790.9
Adrian Sutil106.10795.58695.02694.6194.43594.26894.11594.02893.82494.29895.63695.16996.397109.84591.57391.59991.21291.06490.85690.87490.59891.01391.31291.67492.4992.80591.94393.10193.8596.485108.60390.66990.34790.59990.54190.06189.90891.06490.07490.14992.51390.14690.31990.6190.93192.98191.22694.405110.99790.02490.25288.79189.58889.61588.84489.12589.09289.00189.2288.8689.11491.23189.63889.32989.677
Jarno Trulli103.55393.96893.37693.15492.95192.90592.83192.89593.06893.07493.41994.54994.93995.45497.064111.01491.75291.88391.76591.68491.68691.58191.58191.54991.67892.11192.26694.44695.725110.81991.0992.590.98890.78391.13890.81692.93491.22392.79791.87692.64391.5994.702112.84992.23392.42691.86791.97493.55793.81592.77692.33497.05192.83393.32892.57991.78492.08195.22893.39293.95192.7293.07795.528
Rubens Barrichello107.07795.1895.12994.69394.71694.24894.26593.95293.67594.54897.342118.0490.99692.66691.58691.29291.01591.12491.93392.57192.72792.64794.975108.17490.26390.22490.30290.11690.41690.68190.84691.04191.46392.0494.1109.96791.59591.55991.45691.26291.78690.8190.80791.11891.79992.3491.1991.37592.21491.86391.94792.25692.39794.907107.21487.22288.65287.80887.62986.89187.99188.05587.69488.097
Timo Glock107.55696.45695.86595.86395.3495.20695.23195.91495.57995.30695.49195.696.67995.20496.37199.174113.86793.55395.17494.59993.44193.46493.53295.75494.06893.25793.60994.51993.90294.78794.60593.45894.44393.31193.51994.19494.84898.092118.1691.63592.3591.86591.71791.66792.03893.22892.07992.3595.22992.62492.69392.10295.424113.9994.41391.90294.93593.88293.4195.35897.09795.565100.596
Vitantonio Liuzzi106.73796.64196.01395.44895.20895.0195.23196.62795.195.09294.93195.13295.03994.93495.96698.511114.14894.11595.07195.48194.59493.88494.26994.5696.36495.57795.60195.262
Narain Karthikeyan108.18396.53796.0195.69795.29397.07395.58195.75795.21595.36896.24496.93296.338102.71117.32894.42594.92495.43494.59198.73894.45994.26995.89697.4196.44498.002100.526103.39119.89594.77693.86193.63992.84894.53497.00594.52394.89695.72193.73296.24597.36496.97196.14296.35896.29497.852103.332116.984100.28999.05694.90295.2396.60497.62794.12394.16994.57494.45496.03795.56396.257
Jerome dAmbrosio108.57396.55396.05695.63995.59395.55195.27895.69895.1595.48695.4595.63296.4496.27397.13697.238100.259115.2392.98293.58595.71695.57393.88793.84793.97695.11597.26894.49395.4794.99398.91996.47296.66899.672115.07392.54992.79692.82792.97593.03392.67792.93392.92992.98392.93892.69292.76493.45196.166114.95393.37897.24193.11394.2393.40194.81793.29593.69393.88493.91397.62594.679
Nick Heidfeld105.16494.83894.5293.9193.73793.37393.94293.34393.16693.14193.45294.13894.33393.62893.81396.394.31893.61893.52993.49397.521107.55689.81791.49491.30489.78689.49990.12493.92692.60589.43389.890.50790.49391.593.604108.33287.91588.28289.66288.52988.71288.01988.58189.90289.04289.47990.43790.11793.128105.39289.30187.36788.34987.99987.38587.18488.03588.94587.18186.95887.19287.16687.40288.297

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Spanish Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

66 comments on “Alonso goes from leader to lapped as Ferrari struggle on ‘super hards’”

  1. Looking at Heidfeld starting from 24th and finishing well ahead of Petrov who started 5th makes me wonder if it is worth skipping Qualification (or make a hard-tire effort only)…

    1. I was wondering why they dont simply use one set of hards to get into the top 10, reserving all the softs and two sets of fresh hards for the race. Starting 10th with a full allocation of fresh tires should work considering how well it works for those who start last.

      The difficulty would be getting into the top 10.

      1. Well, everyone but Mclaren and Redbull need the soft just to get to the top 10…if Ferrari, renault, and mercedes stay on hards in q2, then sauber, force india, and torrorosso get on the softs and make it q3…

        I see your point though, like shumacher this race, don’t fight for pole since you’re not going to get it, just get you highest position possible on hards and use them up in the first stint…then have your soft with a light car at the end of the race….

        1. I think Schumacher had a technical problem.

          1. He had a KERS problem, so he knew it was not going to be a good grid position anyhow and decided to take the chance for new tyres.

        2. Everyone except McLaren and Redbull need the soft to get into top 17, not just top 10. Even McLaren just made the cut for Q2 with the hards, cause everyone bar Redbull and McLaren ran Q1 on softs.

          The strategy of not using many softs might work very well for the likes of McLaren. No good vs. Redbull in Q, but utterly devastating in race pace. Throw in a couple of unused tyre sets in that equation and you have a winner…

    2. This progression from Malaysia on says we will see Q3 truly contested less and less. Sad. All the rules fiddling going on, we need to look at freeing up the saturday allocation. This time, we had a Mercedes sit out and lost out on a true battle for the poll because for Vettel, P1 wasn’t even worth it.

      1. It was contested, it’s just the Red Bull cars were so far ahead of everyone else the contest for pole was only between them!

  2. Maybe the Ferrari just wasn’t getting the hards up to temperature?

    1. That is indeed their problem because they are very kind to their tyres and a more hard tyre would be hard for them to get up to temperature.
      Mclaren seem to put more heat on the tyres and are generally handling the softs worst than Ferrari and Red Bull, but that helps them put heat on the new hard tyres. Maybe that’s why Hamilton could manage to threaten Vettel.

  3. Heidfeld was really impressive!

    1. Kobayashi was more impressive.

  4. First of all, it seems Ferrari were not able to get as much running out of the softs (might have been because of having only used ones for Alonso as Massa kept them longer with slower laps).
    But I figure they sort of forgot to tune the car in for the hards. Alonso stopped quite early hoping the second set would be better for him, but it didn’t improve his times.

    1. The softs were used too little and the secons set of hards as well.

  5. Good news everyguys!, I’ve got an interview with Ferrari on Tuesday to be Fernando Alonso’s race Strategy Director, any advice would be welcome, my main selling point to Ferrari will be that “What ever Mark Webber does, I’d do that to!”

    Wish me luck.

    1. Good luck!

    2. Good luck, although I suppose that Abu Dhabi shows that might need some boundary conditions, so prepare some thoughts on that too. Looking forward to seeing Ferrari get the strategy right under your guidance!

      1. Come on guys, I was totally messing.

        1. Oh! For shame!

    3. Everything in Ferrari is done by looking at a cristal ball. Be sure you take yours

  6. I notice Kobayashi stuck the hards on as soon as he could. He does enjoy having the later stints on softs. He had a good race, just a shame he couldn’t have stuck to his usual strategy (not including the puncture), we could have seen an even better result from him.

    Heidfeld did really well also. Seems the back of the grid isn’t THAT bad.

    1. It seems a pretty good way to get good points, if you have some speed but want to avoid using tyres, and battling the first few laps. But I don’t think it can get you a win in normal situations. Even that podium by Webber was only doable for a Red Bull car I think.

    2. He stuck the hards on because, falling back after the first lap is totally different from starting from last position. So his only hope was to go on a very long stint.
      Kobayashi’s tenth position is in my opinion much better than Heidfeld’s 8th.

      1. I agree. Also because the Renault is a faster car to begin with.

        Kobayashi is really thriving in the Sauber team and I think the Sauber team themselves really are starting to look like a really decent team in their own right, perhaps buoyed by their drivers’ performances. It’s easier when things go right perhaps, but at the moment they don’t seem to get mired in political mind-games quite as much as anyone else on the grid.

      2. Agreed. Even with that first stop after the puncture, he still only did three stops! That means apart from lap 1 he really only did three stints, so effectively a 2 stop strategy from the back of the grid. Those Saubers are really gentle on the Pirellis!

  7. Where’s the link to show the graphs full page?

    1. There has never been one.

      1. There was a “view interactive chart full screen” last year. As an example, here’s the link for 2010 Spanish GP analysis:

        1. Ah I see what you mean – but not with the non-Flash charts that have been in use since the end of last year.

  8. Adrian Morse
    22nd May 2011, 20:59

    Keith, it should be “Lewis Hamilton began his third stint five laps later than Sebastian Vettel”.

    I think it’s because there are so many pit stops, that it’s easy to get confused. The Dutch commentator Olav Mol was wondering why Webber and Alonso had switched to hard tyres on lap 29, as he assumed they had softs left, but in fact they had gone through three sets before half distance!

    1. Ah yes, thanks – fixed it.

  9. you guys gotta keep in mind that Fernando wasn’t able to use the DRS the entire race.

    1. how do you know? he never needed to use it anyway!

  10. “Button could, however, and as a result only had to spend 18 laps on hards. That compares to Alonso and Webber who had to run 37 laps – more than half the race – on the slowest compound.”

    Very interesting, Keith. Maybe you could include those stats (as an additional table) for every driver from now on?

    1. I have to agree.. hopefully, it’ll be relatively easy to get the lap time chart to include which tyres the driver was on at the time, rather than cross-reference with the table above. Or perhaps there’s some other visualisation that’ll help see what’s going on.

    2. Considering how slow the hard compound was it leaves me baffled how two of the top teams could both let that happen. It’s not like they weren’t planning ahead…..

  11. So it looks like Mercedes is really consistent, but consistently slower, on all types of tyre. That’s what lost Massa, and maybe Petrov, a lot of time until their 2nd stop; After that, Massa had about the same speed as Alonso. But that was the sort of speed Mercedes had already from the start, and getting slower near the end of the race.

    1. Agreed. Schumacher’s laptimes just show a very gradual trend towards quicker laps. If we didn’t know about the tyre changes, one would assume it was just because of the drop in fuel.

      Or was this because neither Mercedes ever got to run in clear air? Schumacher was constantly defending and Rosberg was running in dirty air throughout the race.

      1. Isn’t this a question of older “ego” versus younger “ability”? Makes me wonder about common sense and team orders.

        1. It is racing dude. Anybody has the right to defend position. Ego and ability thing is all in your dream.

        2. It was outright racing between the two, and Schumacher has a superb defense arsenal. The move he made to prevent Rosberg overtaking into turn 1 midway through the race was epic.

          1. Schumi’s defense might have been epic, but, I think if Rosberg had been allowed to pass Schumi early on, then Rosberg could possibl have taken Alonso. Which would have improved the teams performance, which is the more important consideration. Team points mean $’s.

          2. Maybe, W-K. But Team points meant $ at Suzuka last year too, and Rosberg didn’t move over for Schumacher who was clearly quicker after the final pit stops. I’m just happy that Mercedes is still being fair to both its drivers by not imposing team orders just yet.

  12. It is a bit sad, Ferrari seemed to think at the start of the season that they had made their car “easy” on the tyres, and would thus perhaps have slight issues heating up the tyres, but also a corresponding longer lifetime of them, which didn’t really happen in a useful way. It seems the Pirelli tyres get wrecked if aren’t fully heated up, effectively underloading them or something. And Ferrari have that problem more or less constantly with those harder tyres.

    As Massa said, I guess they will really be hoping the Monaco compounds will work better with their car, but there will be too few such races this year to save their season, it looks like.

    1. This new hard compound is, as we know it, different from the one used until Turkey, it’s a kind of ‘super hard’ which suits Ferrari even less (even harder to get temperature into them) and suits Lewis’ aggressive driving style even more. All in all I think this is the trye on which Lewis is going to get his best results this year, it’s perfect for him compared to the other three.

      I expect Ferrari to be much more competitive in Monaco on the softs and the super softs, Red Bull with less of an advantage, and McLaren as usual. But I still believe Vettel and Webber have the one lap pace to lock out the front positions so even with Ferrari keeping up with them they won’t be able to capitalise on this because overtaking in Monaco is impossible – even with DRS, because there simply isn’t enough space.

  13. Keith I had a thought with respect to these charts, which are great by the way and I really enjoy trying to analyse them.

    Anyway my idea was that it would be good to include in the ‘Pit Stops’ chart an indicator (“H” and “S” maybe) on the chart itself of the tyre used in each stint.

    Might need a smidge of re-design to avoid clutter, but I think it would be good.

    1. That would be great!

  14. I am beginning to question the wisdom of this FIA / Pirelli / FOTA? / Ecclestone decision to make tyres last substantially less and increase the number of pittstops. I was quite looking forward to it as last year’s Bridgestones, particularly the harder ones at each track, could potentially last the whole race, and I felt that the mandatory use of both types was (and still is) very artificial. But I’m beginning to have doubts …

    It certainly adds to the “spectacle” by decreasing the importance of driver skill (with the exception of “saving tyres” – pussy-footing – which I do not think is a proper part of racing) and putting responsibility into the hands of the team management’s computer geeks for “strategy” – to the point where even the professional radio/tv commentators are getting vague or even lost.

    Alonso came close to proving my point (and Keith’s graphs confirm it): a very good start that demonstrated the true “art” of a driver; two stints in the lead without the slightest hint of weaving or other dirty tricks to keep other cars behind him; then dropping slowly back to fifth because of tyre design. The Ferrari car might not have deserved better than fifth, but the Ferrari driver certainly did. Being lapped was ignominious.

    So, while the “Pirelli philosophy” might be acceptable for a constructors’ championship, I am getting more and more concerned for the drivers’ championship. It’s just too easy to say that “everyone’s in the same boat” and “manage your tyres”, but that does not allow driver skill to shine when it comes to scoring points.

    Hopefully we’ll see better at Monaco – every race is a new day.

    1. substructure
      22nd May 2011, 23:22

      totally agree, although i reckon saving tyres “should” be a part of racing, however only if its a viable alternative to going all out… i dont think theres anything wrong with button style tyre conservation, apart from it being a bit boring, but when its the only option its not really racing anymore. thats the problem with all of this i think – theres no room for multiple strategies

  15. Do we know why Lewis couldn’t make his tires last at least 3 laps longer than Vettel’s softs before the stop to change to hards? Did he use a set of old soft tires? I thought his shot for 1st probably ended right there…

    1. I think Hamilton used his set of new softs in his second stint, and Vettel did likewise in his third.

      1. Steven Burns
        22nd May 2011, 23:16

        Vettel went 0.5seconds quicker in his first 2nd sector after switching to the softs… this forced Hamilton into pitting when he did, as if he’d gone further he would just have slipped further behind. As it was, he was 2.5seconds behind when he came out of the pits. If he had stayed out this gap would just have widened and there was no benefit of the fresher tires at the end as the Hards were not going off as quickly as the softer compound.

        1. I was expecting Hamilton to stay out for at least a couple of more laps, or even not stopping at all, but unfortunately he didn’t. If he had made his final pitstop later, he would also have closed the gap, after which his better tyres would have enabled him to be close enough to make the DRS work.

  16. I know it’s not strictly true, but Kobayashi effectively did a two stopper. That’s very impressive and once again shows the Sauber is very good on its tyres. Which Kobayashi is too, it got him a great result in Valencia last year.

    Regarding the tyres in general, I really think with the Pirellis it’s time to drop the two compound rule, especially the two compound difference. It makes following a race especially with these amounts of pitstops needlessly complicated, while all it adds is forcing the teams and drivers to navigate around a tyre they rather wouldn’t use at all.

    Have Pirelli bring one compound and seperate qualifying tyres from race tyres. This would make qualifying more enjoyable and you would have either everybody, or nobody at all starting on the tyres they qualified on.

    Getting rid of all the needlessly complicated rules would go well with the Pirellis. With the marginal durability they would still serve the same purpose in racing, and tyre strategy would be limited only to the amount of stops, easier to track when there are 80 pitstops in a grand prix.

    It’s an artificial rule which doesn’t even serve the purpose of racing, just a means to keep the manufacturer in the picture. With this amount of stops they’re in the picture enough. Pirelli should be concentrating on developing a fast tyre, not on how slow to make the other.

    1. Yeah, there should be qualifying-tyres and race-tyres. The two compound rule is superfluous nowadays, as the demand for fresh tyres is high enough to use more than three sets of tyres in the race. Maybe it is an idea to let the drivers choose their compound for the rest of the weekend after the free practice. In that case, some drivers may sacrifice their qualifying-position in order to save pitstops in the race, although the hard Pirelli-tyre is a very poor substitute for the softer tyre.

  17. Remember when we used to talk about racing, and not about the crapshoot that is tire selection? Forcing teams to use both Bridgestones was artificial, but this current Pirelli situation is rubbish. What image is Pirelli hoping to foster with all this negative commentary about their tires? Will people be encouraged to buy them for their road cars because the premier racing tires are ****?

  18. Button did the best drive as he was struck in a bad position at the end of lap 1 but then recover best way possible.

  19. Williams F1!
    23rd May 2011, 4:15

    Barrichello had the second fastest lap during the race?!

    1. Yeah, the Williams is fast, but their tyre-strategy sucks. No, Barrichello pitted a few laps before the end of the race and switched to soft tyres.

  20. What a wasted effort from Alonso with his spectacular start. Ferrari must solve their problems soon as surely Alonso can win the title given a top car. But at the moment it’s like a drag, really slow when the hard tyres were used and for 2 stints. You can’t blame Alonso for not delivering. When was the last time we witness a start like Spain 2011 at Catalunya.

    1. If I remember correctly, the start of the 2004-edition of the Spanish GP was quite similar.

  21. It was great to see the Lotuses running in points-paying positions (Trulli P8, Kovy P9) before their first stop! Even if they did fall back, the fact that they were even there without the help of rain or other unusual circumstances shows they’re really beginning to move forward.

    1. Sound_Of_Madness
      24th May 2011, 11:00

      The fact that they had not stopped yet (in opposite to the majority of the field) does not count as an unusual circumstance?

  22. Well,
    I agree that the racing is a bit artificial now.
    The guy who can nurture his tyres best wins, not the one who can go faster.
    By the way, this is what is hurting Schumi these days: he is at his best racing for all the car is worth, punching out one “qualifying style” lap after another, not thinking about tyres, remaining fuel, etc.
    Now he gets a message from his race engineer on lap 3 (I think it was lap 3) to stop fighting and save the tyres so that he can do a 3 stop race.
    Sure, it takes a lot of skill to manage the tyres, but – somehow I liked the flat out racing better…

  23. Sound_Of_Madness
    24th May 2011, 11:02

    Is it me, or in opposite to the quali-best cars of STR and Williams, Sauber and FI have gone the way of building racey cars?

Comments are closed.