FERRARI’S Fernando Alonso closed the gap on Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel with a home triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona yesterday.
Alonso pipped Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, with the Spaniard’s team-mate Felipe Massa third and Vettel fourth. Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton slipped from the front of the grid to sixth and 12th respectively.
Victory leaves double world champion Alonso third in the drivers’ standings with 72 points, 13 adrift of Finland’s Raikkonen and 17 behind Vettel of Red Bull. Britain’s Hamilton slipped to fourth with 50 points.
Alonso started fifth on the grid but passed Raikkonen and Hamilton on turn three of the first lap and by lap 13 had the lead. Despite making four pit stops to Raikkonen’s three, Alonso held on for only his second win at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Hamilton vented frustration at having to protect his tyres, saying over the radio: “And now I’ve been passed by a Williams [car]!”.
F1 TITLE STANDINGS
1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull 89
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus 85
3. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari 72
4. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 50
5. Felipe Massa, Ferrari 45