2014 Spanish Grand Prix
The 2014 Spanish Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Pirelli 2014) was a Formula One motor race held on 11 May 2014 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmeló, Catalonia, Spain. The race was the fifth round of the 2014 Formula One World Championship season, and marked the 44th edition of the Spanish Grand Prix as part of the Formula One World Championship, and the 24th running of the event at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The 66-lap race was won by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton after starting from pole position. His teammate Nico Rosberg finished in second and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo took third.
|2014 Spanish Grand Prix|
|Race 5 of 19 in the 2014 Formula One World Championship|
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
|Date||11 May 2014|
|Official name||Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Pirelli 2014|
|Location||Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Montmeló, Catalonia, Spain|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.655 km (2.892 mi)|
|Distance||66 laps, 307.024 km (190.826 mi)|
|Driver||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
|Time||1:28.918 on lap 55|
|Third||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
Hamilton won the 35th pole position of his career by recording the fastest lap in qualifying and he maintained his startline advantage on the approach to the first corner. He maintained the lead until his first pit stop at the end of lap 18, promoting Rosberg into the position for the next three laps. Hamilton's Mercedes had an oversteer that was rectified by closing his differential in turns three and four but he accumulated discarded tyre rubber that created understeer. Rosberg retook the lead for two laps when Hamilton made a second pit stop at the 43rd lap's conclusion. He lowered the gap to Hamilton to less than a second by lap 59. Hamilton responded by increasing his pace by switching to a higher-powered engine setting to keep Rosberg behind and took his first victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, his fourth successive win of 2014 and the 26th of his career.
The result of the Grand Prix left Hamilton with 100 points and the Drivers' Championship lead for the first time in his career since the 2012 championship. His teammate Rosberg fell to second and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso remained in third. Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull moved to fourth and Ricciardo advanced from sixth to fifth. Mercedes further increased their advantage over Red Bull at the top of the Constructors Championship to 114 points while Ferrari moved ahead of Force India and Williams progressed to fifth with fourteen races left in the season.
The 2014 Spanish Grand Prix was the fifth of 19 scheduled single seater races of the 2014 Formula One World Championship, the 24th running of the event in Barcelona and the 44th overall edition as part of the series. It was held at the 16-turn 4.655 km (2.892 mi) Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmeló, Catalonia on 11 May. The track is heavily dependent on aerodynamic performance due to its number of quick and medium-speed corners. Overtaking is difficult in Barcelona and it required a balanced car setup between the corners and its more technical portions and the circuit is demanding on every car's tyres.
Tyre supplier Pirelli brought the white-banded medium-compound "option" tyres and the orange-banded hard-compound "prime" tyres. The drag reduction system (DRS) had two activation zones for the race: one was on the pit lane straight between the final to first corners, and the second was on the straight linking turns nine and ten. After the 2013 round, the kerb on the approach to turn one was renewed and the verge behind it was laid with asphalt. The kerbs leaving turns nine and twelve were replaced and the artificial grass beside it was extended. The 7 m (23 ft) wide gravel trap to the outside of turn eleven was replaced with asphalt.
Entering the event, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg led the Drivers' Championship with 79 points, four ahead of his teammate and nearest rival Lewis Hamilton in second. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third with 41 points and Nico Hülkenberg of Force India placed fourth with 36 points. Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top five in the standings with 33 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes led with 154 points; Red Bull were in the second position with 57 points and Force India stood in third with 54 points. Ferrari was in fourth place with 52 points and rounding out the top five teams was McLaren with 43 points.
Mercedes had dominated the season up to the Spanish Grand Prix with Hamilton winning the previous three races and his teammate Rosberg took the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and three more podium finishes. Despite his recent performance Hamilton spoke of his belief that the momentum would shift between him and Rosberg on the different tracks and sought to narrow the performance deficit, "My job this year was to try to close the gap a little, which I did - it wasn't [nearly] half a second like it was last year in qualifying - it was [less than] three tenths. What I'm really trying to focus on is those circuits where I am maybe weaker, or not as close to him." He also said that he anticipated Red Bull and Ferrari to be closer to Mercedes in Barcelona due to his suspicion that their cars were more aerodynamically efficient. Rosberg spoke of his admittance that he needed to regain momentum and sought to win the Spanish Grand Prix and extend his Drivers' Championship lead, "Every weekend is crucial but the results momentum is on his side and I need to try to turn it around."
Several teams made technical changes to their cars. Red Bull introduced a duct near the RB10's rear tyres to redirect airflow and make its underfloor more efficient. The team also provided Vettel with a new chassis to his car for improved performance. Ferrari reverted to using a single pillar rear wing support on the F14 T's centre line, aimed at reducing airflow disturbance and increasing the amount of downforce, and therefore grip, produced by the bodywork. Force India debuted a new rear wing mainplane and endplates on the two VJM07s, while McLaren's MP4-29s had its rear bodywork altered to house a revised rear suspension arm and its front wing featured new endplates. Sauber introduced a revised aerodynamic package version of its C33 chassis, which included a modified front wing, new side-pod fins, engine cover and deflectors, reducing the car's overall weight. For both of its E22s Lotus brought a reconfigured engine mapping programme with a revised cooling system and bodywork package and a updated rear wing.
For the first practice session, Sauber test and reserve driver Giedo van der Garde utilised Esteban Gutiérrez's car for the third time in the season, and Valtteri Bottas relinquished his Williams to GP2 Series entrant and the team's reserve driver Felipe Nasr for the third round in a row.
Per the regulations for the 2014 season, three practice sessions were held, two 90-minute sessions on Friday and another 60-minute session before qualifying on Saturday. In the first practice session, which took place in clear weather conditions, Hamilton was fastest with a lap of 1 minute and 27.023 seconds, 0.868 seconds faster than McLaren's Jenson Button in second who was quickest until Hamilton's lap. Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull, Alonso, Rosberg, Kimi Räikkönen, Kevin Magnussen's McLaren, Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, Sergio Pérez of Force India and Williams' Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten. Van Der Garde's brakes failed on the approach to turn one's run-off area, although he avoided clouting the left-hand side wall beside the circuit at high speed, as trackside photographers took cover. Pérez's front-left rear view mirror detached from its mounting although a retaining strap kept it intact. Adrian Sutil in the second Sauber ran wide at the uphill turn nine and lost control of his car. Vettel stopped at the side of turn six with a damaged wiring loom that forced him to miss the second session while his team rectified it.
In rising air and track temperatures, Hamilton set the day's fastest lap on the medium compound tyres in the second practice session at 1 minute and 25.524 seconds. His teammate Nico Rosberg was second and Ricciardo was third. Alonso and Räikkönen in the two Ferraris were fourth and fifth. The McLarens of Magnussen and Button followed in sixth and seventh, with Massa, Maldonado and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat in positions eight to ten. Engine problems for Max Chilton of Marussia restricted his running early in the session before he completed several laps later on. Yellow flags were waved at the entry to the final corner when a chunk of rear bodywork around the exhaust system of Chilton's car detached and was subsequently retrieved by a track marshal. Chilton later locked his tyres and was beached in the turn four gravel trap. After the session, Jean-Éric Vergne of Toro Rosso incurred a ten-place grid penalty because the stewards deemed him to have been released from the pit lane with a incorrectly attached right-rear wheel that detached in turn one; the team were fined €30,000.
The third practice session was held in warm weather conditions and teams analysed the degradation levels of the hard compound tyres. Rosberg set the fastest lap of 1 minute and 25.887 seconds on the medium compound tyres in clear air. Hamilton in the other Mercedes was 0.869 seconds slower in second and Alonso was third. Massa was fourth-fastest, Lotus' Romain Grosjean came fifth and Magnussen placed sixth. Ricciardo, Button, Maldonado, Vettel completed the top ten ahead of qualifying. During the session, where several drivers struggled for rear grip, Chilton locked his front-left wheel and beached his Marussia in a gravel trap to the right of turn five.
Saturday afternoon's qualifying session was divided into three parts. The first part ran for 18 minutes, eliminating cars that finished the session 17th or below. The 107% rule was in effect, requiring drivers to reach a time within 107% of the quickest lap to qualify. The second session lasted 15 minutes, eliminating cars that finished 11th to 16th. The final part of the qualifying session determined the positions from first to tenth, deciding the pole position. Cars who progressed to the final qualifying session were not allowed to change tyres for the race's start, using the tyres with which they set their quickest lap times. Hamilton went fastest in the third session on his final timed lap to earn his first pole position at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, his fourth of the season and the 35th of his career with a time of 1 minute and 25.232 seconds. He was joined on the grid's front row by his teammate Rosberg who was 0.168 seconds slower despite being fastest in the first and second sessions but it was the fourth time Mercedes began on the front row in 2014. Ricciardo qualified third and a set-up change put Bottas fourth. Grosjean extracted extra speed from his car to start from fifth. The two Ferraris had improved car balance, grip and rear stability under braking and took sixth and seventh with Räikkönen ahead of Alonso. Button had a large amount of understeer on his final timed lap and was restricted to eighth. A loss of rear car control through driver error after braking for the turn 10 hairpin meant Massa qualified in ninth.
Vettel did not set a lap time in the final session because of a gearbox fault that emerged when he exited his garage and stopped him at turn three. It prompted a brief stoppage with less than ten minutes remaining while track marshals extricated his car. Vettel later changed his gearbox, and incurred a five-place grid penalty, since gearboxes were required by to last a minimum of six consecutive races per series regulations. Hence, Hülkenberg began from tenth by changing his car's setup, and his Force India teammate Pérez started from eleventh after slower traffic compromised his final timed lap, which he aborted to conserve his tyre allocation. Kvyat drove on the hard compound tyres en route to 12th and Gutiérrez was the faster of the two Saubers in 13th. Magnussen's running was curtailed by an engine problem that prevented him from recording a fast lap and began from 14th. Sutil in the second Sauber had overheated tyres that lost him time and took 16th while Chilton began from 17th. His teammate Jules Bianchi ran deep at turn 10 on his second timed lap. Marcus Ericsson in 19th out-qualified his Caterham teammate Kamui Kobayashi in 20th for the first time in the season; Kobayashi ran two timed laps on the medium compound tyres but a car imbalance and a delay by Bianchi slowed him. Maldonado failed to set a lap time after he lost control of the rear of his car on the artificial grass at the exit of turn three and he spun into the inside concrete barrier. This damaged his front right suspension and stopped the first session for seven minutes.
Maldonado was granted permission to start the Grand Prix from the stewards who judged him to have lapped within the 107% limit in all three practice sessions. At the pre-race drivers' briefing, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile race director Charlie Whiting told drivers that if they did not maintain a consistent and acceptable pace along with an improvement in behaviour during the formation lap, then they faced being penalised.
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:28.053||1:26.613||1:26.285||3|
|10||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:27.958||1:27.052||no time||151|
|11||27||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.155||1:27.685||10|
|12||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.469||1:28.002||11|
|13||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:28.074||1:28.039||12|
|15||20||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:28.389||no time||14|
|16||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:28.194||no time||212|
|107% time: 1:32.837|
|NC3||13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus-Renault||no time3||22|
- ^1 — Sebastian Vettel was given a five place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change after qualifying.
- ^2 — Jean-Éric Vergne was given a ten place grid penalty for an unsafe pit lane release in the second practice session.
- ^3 — Pastor Maldonado failed to set a lap time during qualifying. He was allowed to participate in the race after a dispensation from the race stewards.
The race took place in the afternoon from 14:00 Central European Summer Time (UTC+02:00). Overnight rain made the track damp though it was sunny and warm by the race's start. The air temperature ranged from 21 to 23 °C (70 to 73 °F) and the track temperature was between 34 to 37 °C (93 to 99 °F); conditions were forecast to remain consistent during the event with no rainfall. 91,480 spectators were in attendance. A three-stop strategy was determined to be the optimal strategy but a two-stop strategy was theorised to give a driver better track position. Every driver, bar Vergne, began on the medium compound tyre. Hamilton made a clear start to lead the field entering the first corner. Bottas got ahead of Ricciardo to move into third and put pressure onto Rosberg who held him off. Fifth-placed Grosjean locked his front wheels but he resisted a challenge from the Ferraris of Räikkönen and Alonso. He blocked Räikkönen's attempt to pass at the turn four hairpin. At turn 14, Button forced his teammate Magnussen wide into a gravel trap but the latter continued despite contact with Vettel. At the end of the first lap, Hamilton led Rosberg by 1.1 seconds with Bottas the same deficit adrift in third.
Hamilton began to pull away from the rest of the field, extending the lead over his teammate Rosberg to two seconds by the start of the fourth lap, with a further five seconds covering Bottas in third and the fourth-placed Ricciardo. In the meantime, Räikkönen defended from his teammate Alonso while Maldonado and Ericsson made contact as Maldonado got ahead of Ericsson for 20th on lap three. Two laps later, Maldonado advanced a further position with an overtake on Kobayashi for 19th. On lap six, Ricciardo was advised by his team to drop back from Bottas so that he did not put additional stress on his tyres by driving in dirty air for a long period of time. He nonetheless used DRS and went to the right of Bottas in an attempt to pass going into turn one on the next lap but Bottas had enough momentum to hold the third position. Ricciardo told his team over the radio on the eighth lap that he had decided that their suggestion was correct and he fell back from Bottas. That lap, Kvyat passed Gutiérrez for 11th. Gutiérrez lost another position when Button overtook him for 12th and Vettel passed him on the right for 13th on lap nine. On the same lap, the stewards informed the Lotus team that Maldonado incurred a five-second stop-and-go penalty for his contact with Ericsson on lap three and had to take it at his first pit stop.
Button ran wide on lap 12 and held off Vettel. Red Bull then called Vettel into the pit lane for the first of three pit stops at the end of the lap. He had the hard compound tyres installed on his car and emerged in 21st, behind Chilton but ahead of Ericsson but into a less congested section of the track. Two laps later, Magnussen overtook Gutiérrez for 13th position. Ricciardo entered the pit lane at the conclusion of lap 14 for the medium compound tyres in an attempt to get by Bottas but remain on a two-stop strategy. Williams elected not to bring Bottas into the pit lane in response and he remained on track to keep a consistent pace without sustaining rear tyre degradation. On the 16th lap, Vettel lined up an overtake on Kobayashi approaching turn nine for 19th but the latter defended the position. Vettel tried again at the following corner and was successful that time round. After Massa made his stop on the previous lap, Alonso asked Ferrari to bring him into the pit lane as his rear tyres were worn during the battle with his teammate Räikkönen but the team refused until lap 16 because of no significant gaps in traffic. That meant Räikkönen entered the pit lane a lap later than Alonso and remained narrowly in front of the latter – partly because Alonso was baulked by Sutil.
Rosberg lowered the deficit to Hamilton to 1.6 seconds by the time of his teammate's first pit stop at the end of lap 18 for the medium compound tyres and a minor front wing angle adjustment. Ricciardo drew to within 12 seconds of Bottas, and when the latter made his first stop two laps later, Ricciardo moved past Bottas, who rejoined the track narrowly ahead of Grosjean. Rosberg was confused when his engineer Tony Ross called him into the pit lane at the end of lap 21 for the hard compound tyres because he believed he would have a new set of the medium compound tyres. He rejoined almost four seconds behind his teammate Hamilton, who was told over the radio to increase the gap over the next 20 laps. On lap 24, Räikkönen attempted to pass Grosjean on the right into the first corner for fifth but he ran deep and Grosjean kept the place. He tried again approaching the same turn on the next lap and got ahead as Grosjean had a partial motor–generator unit kinetic failure. On lap 25, Vergne retired in the pit lane with a broken exhaust. During the same lap, Grosjean locked his tyres going into turn ten and allowed Alonso to challenge him. Alonso used DRS to pass Grosjean on the inside for sixth heading towards turn one on lap 26.
Upfront, Hamilton requested assistance to rectify an oversteer on his car and Mercedes suggested he close the car's differential in turns three and four. It worked for a short period of time but the empty slots accumulated discarded tyre rubber, causing an understeer. Massa made his second pit stop for the hard compound tyres on lap 28, releasing Vettel into clear air. On lap 29, Gutiérrez was overtaken by Maldonado and moved to 15th. Vettel caught Grosjean by the 32nd lap but entered the pit lane for his second pit stop to the medium compound tyres because he believed he could not pass the Lotus driver on the track. He rejoined the race in 14th. Two laps later, a front-left brake failure put Kobayashi into the turn one run-off area but he avoided hitting the wall. He rejoined the circuit and drove into the pit lane to retire from the Grand Prix. Ferrari brought Alonso into the pit lane on the 35th lap in response to Vettel's earlier pit stop. He emerged in tenth, just ahead of Massa. Alonso overtook Magnussen going into the first corner with DRS for ninth on lap 36 and Vettel got ahead of Massa to move into eighth on the following lap. On lap 40, Massa used DRS to pass Magnussen for tenth heading towards the first turn.
At the end of lap 42, Hamilton was called into the pit lane but he remained on track as he asked for further adjustments to the Mercedes' front wing in order to counter a possible oversteer with a new set of tyres. He entered the pit lane on the following lap for the hard compound tyres but the stop was problematic: Hamilton's pit crew had difficulty fitting the right-rear wheel and he was stationary for 4.3 seconds. Rosberg led for two laps before his second stop for the medium compound tyres at the 45th lap's conclusion. He began gaining on his teammate Hamilton, who questioned the decision to bring him into the pit lane before Rosberg and asked for the gap and speed difference. On lap 49, Magnussen overtook Kvyat on the outside approaching turn one for 12th and Pérez moved past his teammate Hülkenberg for ninth. Three laps later, Vettel entered the pit lane for his second pit stop and Alonso did the same in response for the medium compound tyres the lap after. As Alonso exited the pit lane, Vettel got past him for sixth on the outside approaching turn one. An oversteer for Räikkönen leaving turn nine slowed him on the back straight and allowed Vettel to pass him under braking at the turn ten hairpin for fifth.
Rosberg was less than a second behind his teammate Hamilton by lap 59 and used DRS. However, Hamilton was within a second of Button entering the final corner and used DRS to nullify Rosberg's better pace. It was around this point that Hamilton switched to a forbidden higher-powered engine mode to improve his performance and keep Rosberg behind. As Rosberg returned to DRS range on lap 62, Alonso duelled his teammate Räikkönen into the first turn but did not affect a pass. On the following lap, Alonso went to the left of Räikkönen going into turn three and switched to the right at turn four. That allowed Alonso to draw alongside Räikkönen and overtake him for sixth. Later that lap, Vettel passed Bottas for fourth on the outside at the turn ten hairpin. Hamilton locked his wheels under braking for turn ten and ran wide on lap 65, allowing his teammate Rosberg to unsuccessfully attempt a pass. He led Rosberg by six-tenths of a second at the final lap's start. Rosberg attempted to pass Hamilton with DRS but he locked his tyres at turn ten, allowing Hamilton to take his first win at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, his fourth successive victory of 2014 and the 26th of his career by six-tenths of a second. Ricciardo came third for his first career podium finish and his teammate Vettel was fourth.[n 1] Bottas came fifth and the Ferraris of Alonso and Räikkönen finished in sixth and seventh. Grosjean earned Lotus' first points of the season in eighth and Pérez and Hülkenberg completed the top ten. The final finishers were Button, Magnussen, Massa, Kvyat, Maldonado, Gutiérrez, Sutil, Bianchi, Chilton and Ericsson.
At the podium interviews, conducted by former team owner Eddie Jordan, Hamilton said his first victory at the Spanish Grand Prix "means everything to me" and he had not envisioned Mercedes having a large advantage over the Red Bull team. Rosberg spoke of his belief that he required one additional lap to pass Hamilton, "I wasn’t close enough to give it a go there but next lap I would have. But unfortunately that was it. So, a bit gutted but still, second place, still close to the championship and many more races to go anyway." Third-placed Ricciardo stated that Red Bull were aware they could not equal Mercedes' performance and revealed the team focused on tyre conservation. In the subsequent press conference, Hamilton said Mercedes' form of five consecutive victories meant the team appeared stronger for the foreseeable future and was certain the journalists who criticised his move to the manufacturer in 2013 had changed their views. Rosberg said there was a large amount of positive aspects to take forward from the Grand Prix and was motivated to extract additional pace to beat Hamilton. Ricciardo revealed that a loss of traction at the start caused him to drop behind Bottas but said he was satisfied to finish in third.
Bernie Ecclestone, the owner of Formula One's commercial rights, was visited by race promoters from 17 different countries in Barcelona and they voiced their concerns over declining attendance figures because of Mercedes' five successive victories and "maintaining the unique feeling of Formula One". Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said of the situation, "We have a choice -- we either pack up and go home or we fight. Obviously, maximum points every weekend is putting [Mercedes] in a very strong position, but we are going to push like hell all the way to the last race." In response, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the marque was aware of potential criticism for a dominant team and stated his belief that an intra-team battle would help maintain interest in Formula One, "We owe this to the fans, we owe to the sport and what we owe to the brand Mercedes. This is our philosophy straight from the beginning with all the risks you have by letting them race."
Bottas said his fifth-place finish was "a step forward" with the updates to his car and believed Williams had to be satisfied with the result and felt they were the championship's third fastest team, "So I really feel that we need to be happy, you always want more and will look to see if there is anything we can do better in the future, but from my side I think the race was one of my best - good start, in the beginning I kept Ricciardo behind even though he was quicker and the Mercedes engine helped with that and yeah, no mistakes on my side." Button revealed that his 11th-place finish, which resulted in McLaren failing to score any points in the previous three rounds for the first time since the 2009 season and the first for the driver since the 2008 championship, was down to a slow start and an incorrect pit stop strategy, "I had a terrible start and the problem is you cannot overtake here, so once you lose ground you cannot make it up. We weren't really quick enough. I think if everything had gone to plan then we could have scored a point, but we are not massively quick"
Räikkönen questioned over the radio the decision to change his strategy on the way back to the pit lane after the race due to his belief that Alonso was being prioritised over him. He later explained that his choice of wording was to clarify the situation and attempted to make the problem appear less important, "Obviously there was not much between it. We still finished far away from the others. It did not make much difference to the result." Alonso spoke of his insistence that Ferrari sought to finish ahead of Vettel and not win against his teammate, "They said Vettel was on three so if we stopped now, we covered him. And I said 'we do it'. I tried to protect the position from Vettel and it was not possible. The intention was just to keep Vettel behind once we'd changed strategy. We didn't manage it and it was a shame." For the collision between Maldonado and Ericsson, Maldonado incurred one penalty point on his super licence, his fourth of the season. after he was given three penalty points for contact with Gutiérrez at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The result of the Grand Prix left Hamilton with 100 points and the Drivers' Championship lead for the first time in his career since the 2012 championship. His teammate Rosberg fell to second on 97 points and Alonso remained in third with 49 points. Vettel's fourth-place finish enabled him to move to fourth with 45 points and his teammate Ricciardo's third-position result advanced him from sixth to fifth with 39 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes (with 197 points) increased their lead over the second-placed Red Bull to 114 points. Ferrari moved past Force India for third and Williams progressed to fifth with fourteen races left in the season.
Championship standings after the raceEdit
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
Notes and referencesEdit
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