2007 Spanish Grand Prix
|Race 4 of 17 in the 2007 Formula One season|
Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona
|Date||May 13, 2007|
|Official name||XLIX Gran Premio de España Telefónica|
|Location||Circuit de Catalunya
|Course||Permanent racing facility
4.655 km (2.892 mi)
|Distance||65 laps, 302.449 km (187.934 mi)|
|Weather||Sunny and warm|
|Time||1:22.680 on lap 14|
The 2007 Gran Premio de España Telefónica was a Formula One motor race, fourth round of the 2007 Formula One season, won by Felipe Massa. It was held on the weekend of May 11–13 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.
Prior to the Spanish Grand Prix, the Circuit de Catalunya went through some circuit revisions to encourage overtaking and make the racing more exciting and also to improve safety standards. The revisions included a chicane placed at the final two corners. "Although I have always really enjoyed the final two corners and their speed, the new chicane at the end of the track will hopefully lead to more overtaking during the race, which is great for the spectators," Fernando Alonso commented. Because of the revisions, the fastest lap of the race, (recorded by Massa), was fractionally over six seconds longer than the fastest lap of the race in 2006, (also recorded by Massa).
Just over a week before the weekend of the grand prix, there was an organised test session at the track for four days, with primary focus on aerodynamic set-ups. However, due to heavy rain on the Tuesday, many teams abandoned their initial test schedule and instead looked to focus on wet-weather set-ups. Both Ferrari and Red Bull took advantage of these conditions and scored first and second fastest times respectively on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The wet weather eventually led to a fourth day of testing, in which Red Bull driver David Coulthard broke Ferrari's run and set the fastest time by 0.2 seconds.
The aerodynamic focus was evident in the unveiling of two new and radical front aero designs by both the Honda and McLaren teams. Both teams would be understandably reluctant to release figures to support their reasoning for using such radical winglets, although McLaren's consistent speed throughout the testing is noted by only having out-paced championship rivals Ferrari once. Honda, however, ended up half a second down on the nearest car on the final day of testing where they unveiled their "elephant ear" winglets. McLaren punctuated their need for aero testing over rain testing by withdrawing on the rained-out Tuesday.
Lewis Hamilton headed the first practice session in his McLaren, just 0.4seconds ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso, who was in front of his home crowd. Kimi Räikkönen was third in his Ferrari, but his team-mate Felipe Massa was demoted to fifth in the closing moments, as Robert Kubica took fourth in his BMW. Anthony Davidson finished sixth in his Super Aguri, with the Toyotas of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher in 7th and 8th. Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button rounded out the top ten.
Alonso turned the tables on Hamilton in the second practice session, with Alonso three tenths ahead of the rest of the field, but Hamilton was back in fifth. McLaren team boss Ron Dennis said that they had made the "best possible start to the weekend". The Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen produced a late surge to finish 2nd and 3rd, ahead of both Ferraris, who were down in 4th and 6th. However, Renault's engineering director Pat Symonds played down the times, saying they were "done with a lower fuel load" and "are therefore unrepresentatively high in the timesheets". Behind the top three teams, Nico Rosberg was again in the top ten in his Williams, with engineering director Patrick Head saying they've been "playing catch up today", after a high speed crash by Rosberg during the Barcelona test. Although out of the top six, Nick Heidfeld said his eighth place "doesn't reflect how competitive we are", with Webber and Scott Speed rounding out the top ten.
It was the second McLaren one-two of the weekend as Hamilton took first ahead of Alonso in Saturday practice. Behind them, both BMWs were in front of both Ferraris. They were split by David Coulthard in the Red Bull. Anthony Davidson put in another good practice performance with eighth in his Super Aguri, with Nico Rosberg and Heikki Kovalainen rounding out the top ten.
Fernando Alonso looked likely to take pole at his home Grand Prix. Alonso crossed the line at the end of Q3 to take pole, unaware that Felipe Massa still had one lap in hand. The Brazilian pipped pole from the home hero by three-one hundredths of a second.
The first start was aborted when Toyota driver Jarno Trulli stalled on the grid, forcing another formation lap and decreasing the race length to 65 laps. The race got underway shortly thereafter with both Felipe Massa and World Champion Fernando Alonso going into the corner ahead of their team-mates Kimi Räikkönen and Lewis Hamilton respectively. This order was short-lived as Alonso and Massa touched briefly going into the first corner, sending Alonso over the gravel with him returning to the track behind Räikkönen's Ferrari in fourth.
The first lap saw the first of eight retirements, that being Austrian Alexander Wurz as he was caught unaware by Toyota driver Ralf Schumacher braking suddenly to avoid Giancarlo Fisichella, as the Italian returned to the track after a minor off. Six laps later, as Massa was building a lead over Hamilton, Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber retired when the hydraulic problems that plagued him during qualifying returned. A lap later, Trulli, who had started from the pit lane after stalling on the grid, also pulled into the pits and retired due to a failing fuel line.
On lap nine the electrics on Kimi Räikkönen's Ferrari failed, leaving him to coast to the pits from half way around the track. Scott Speed's tyre failed spectacularly on the main straight shortly afterwards, leaving debris that remained there for the rest of the race.
As the first round of pit-stops took place, a fire briefly lit into full blaze on the back the remaining Ferrari of race leader Felipe Massa. The car was undamaged and after all the cars had stopped he was still some ten seconds ahead of Briton Lewis Hamilton. The remaining Toro Rosso of Vitantonio Liuzzi suffered similar hydraulic problems to those befell him in qualifying.
Italian Renault driver, Giancarlo Fisichella, battled with the Honda of Rubens Barrichello, passing the Brazilian after the second stops. While most drivers negotiated their second stops smoothly, BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld lost a probable fourth position, which would have been his fourth in as many races, when his right front wheel was not properly secured during the pit stop. He coasted around the circuit for another stop and returned to the track more than a lap down.
More drama followed the Hondas as drivers Barrichello and Jenson Button touched as the latter exited the pits. Button was forced to return to the pits for a new front wing whilst Barrichello raced on, futilely attempting to catch Fisichella's Renault.
Through all the retirements and bungled pit-stops, Red Bull driver David Coulthard raced to what became a strong fifth position despite losing third gear in the team's new quick shift gearbox. Despite Williams driver Rosberg's best attempts, he was unable to pass the Scot. This was Red Bull's strongest result so far this season and highlighted the improving performance of the Adrian Newey designed RB3 chassis.
Renault's day went sour after problems with the refuelling rig meant that both Fisichella and Kovalainen had to pit again forcing Heikki down to 7th of what would have been a probable 5th and pushed Giancarlo out of the points altogether. He still remained ahead of the Hondas of Button and Barrichello and the Super Aguri for Anthony Davidson.
Ralf Schumacher retired with 20 laps remaining in the race. On American SPEED Channel coverage, commentator Bob Varsha joked that Schumacher was pitting from "somewhere around Andorra" alluding to the German's very slow pace all day.
Massa went on to win the race by almost seven seconds over the McLaren pair of Hamilton and Alonso, respectively second and third. This result meant that Hamilton, after a Formula One career of only four races, led the championship. He is the youngest driver to do so, taking the record from McLaren team founder, Bruce McLaren.
Pole Robert Kubica made up for his team-mate's gearbox induced retirement by continuing the team's run of fourth place finishes, while Aguri Suzuki's Japanese Super Aguri team notched up their first ever points with an eighth place by Takuma Sato. "I just cannot describe how happy we are and a point means much more than anything else for us and this is an absolutely fantastic result" Sato went on to say.
|Pos||Driver||Constructor||Part 1||Part 2||Part 3|
|5||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||1:21.941||1:21.381||1:22.253|
|7||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||1:21.625||1:21.113||1:22.389|
|9||David Coulthard||Red Bull-Renault||1:22.491||1:21.488||1:22.749|
|13||Takuma Sato||Super Aguri-Honda||1:22.090||1:22.115|
|15||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri-Honda||1:22.295||no time|
|16||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:22.508||no time|
|19||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1:23.398|
|22||Scott Speed||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||no time|
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2007 Spanish Grand Prix.|
- "Spanish track changes to aid overtaking". Official Formula One website. May 4, 2007. Archived from the original on May 8, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
- "Three day testing after five week break". Official Formula One website. April 30, 2007. Archived from the original on May 2, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
- "Rain hits test". Official Formula One website. May 2, 2007. Archived from the original on May 20, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
- "Ferrari fastest". Official Formula One website. May 3, 2007. Archived from the original on May 5, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
- "Coulthard sets fastest test time.". Official Formula One website. May 4, 2007. Archived from the original on May 8, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
- "Honda grows elephant ears.". Official Formula One website. May 3, 2007. Archived from the original on May 5, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
- "McLaren debut radical front wing.". Official Formula One website. April 30, 2007. Archived from the original on May 2, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
- "Davidson pleased with Aguri pace" ITV-F1. Retrieved May 11, 2007
- "Practice 1: Lewis heads McLaren 1–2" ITV-F1. Retrieved May 11, 2007
- "Renault plays down practice speed" ITV-F1. Retrieved May 11, 2007
- "McLaren happy with perfect Friday" ITV-F1. Retrieved May 11, 2007
- "Williams makes up for lost time" ITV-F1. Retrieved May 11, 2007
- "Second crash at Spanish GP track" BBC Sport. Retrieved May 11, 2007
- "Heidfeld: There's more pace to come" ITV-F1. Retrieved May 11, 2007
- "Practice 2: Alonso thrills home fans" ITV-F1. Retrieved May 11, 2007
- "Sat practice: Lewis gears up for pole bid" ITV-F1. Retrieved May 12, 2007
- "Massa takes dominant win in Spain.". Official Formula One website. May 13, 2007. Archived from the original on May 15, 2007. Retrieved May 14, 2007.
- "2007 Spanish Grand Prix.". Official Formula One website. May 13, 2007. Archived from the original on May 17, 2007. Retrieved May 14, 2007.
- "Historic First Point for Super Aguri.". Official Formula One website. May 13, 2007. Archived from the original on May 15, 2007. Retrieved May 14, 2007.
2007 Bahrain Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
2007 Monaco Grand Prix
2006 Spanish Grand Prix
|Spanish Grand Prix||Next race:
2008 Spanish Grand Prix