12th May 2014 (F1 Plus / Rosie Baillie) - The fifth round of the season was a bit of a slow burner, but the last few laps were riveting.
With both the Ferrari’s battling and Nico Rosberg closing in on Lewis Hamilton it was hard to take your eyes off the screen.
1st -Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 25 points
Once again Hamilton had a strong weekend, topping FP1 and FP2 and taking pole position on Saturday. To top it all off he took his fourth win of the year, managing to hold off Nico Rosberg to cross the line first.
The Briton looked very strong throughout most of the race only really coming under pressure from Rosberg towards the end.
Hamilton’s fourth win means he passes Rosberg to take the lead in the drivers’ championship.
2nd - Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 18 points
It looked like he may have been able to pip Hamilton to pole after topping the timesheets in Q1 and Q2.
He was unable to match his pace and started from second, closing in on Hamilton in the last few laps. Rosberg ran out of laps and had to settle for second place and said on the podium that had the race been a lap longer he believed he could have won.
3rd - Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing - 15 points
The Australian looked strong throughout the weekend and took his first (or second if you could Australia) podium finish - a trophy he will get to keep this time.
Ricciardo wasn’t able to get close enough to either of the Mercedes to put them under any kind of pressure and had to settle for being best of the rest.
4th - Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing- 12 points
The German endured a tough weekend after a wiring loom issue limited his running on Friday and a loss of drive in Q3 resulted in a gearbox change and a five place grid drop.
After starting from 15th Vettel worked his way up the field, aided by an early first pit stop. In the closing stages of the race he passed Valtteri Bottas for fourth place.
5th - Valtteri Bottas - Williams - 10 points
The Finn had a strong start, passing Ricciardo on the opening lap of the race, though he didn’t keep that position for very long.
Bottas looked set for a fourth place finish until Vettel stormed past him a few laps before the chequered flag.
His performance proves that this years Williams has got real pace and his fifth place finish was enough to put the team ahead of McLaren in the constructors’ standings.
6th - Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 8 points
On Thursday the Spaniard ruled out his chances of a podium but said on Saturday that a podium may be possible with some help.
Unfortunately that help never arrived and the Spaniard had to settle for sixth after passing teammate Kimi Raikkonen towards the end in a gripping battle.
Post-race Alonso said the team needed to look at all areas of the car and couldn’t see the team being able to challenge for a win ‘soon’.
7th - Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 6 points
The Finn looked on course for a sixth place finish but Alonso had other ideas. The pair put on a great battle in front of Alonso’s home crowd and it was Raikkonen who lost out and dropped back a place.
8th - Romain Grosjean - Lotus - 4 points
Things seem to be turning around for Lotus after Grosjean qualified fifth.
At his 50th race the Frenchman picked up the team's first points of the year by finishing eighth.
After the race Grosjean said he had been battling a power unit throughout the race which made fighting for position even harder.
9th - Sergio Perez - Force India - 2 points
The Mexican hit headlines over the weekend blasting Pirelli’s choice of tyres for the Spanish Grand Prix, which Paul Hembrey said was a ‘ridiculous excuse’.
Perez finished 9th, just one second behind Grosjean.
10th - Nico Hulkenberg - Force India - 1 point
Picking up the final point was Hulkenberg who said it was a case of ‘damage limitation’ on Sunday afternoon.
The Force India driver struggled with tyre degradation and added that the car wasn’t easy to drive, so he was happy to have come away with one point.
11th - Jenson Button - McLaren
The Briton said a gamble to make his second pit stop early compromised his strategy.
Daniil Kvyat followed him into the pits on lap 36, which meant the McLaren drivers release was delayed. He came out in front of Hamilton who he had to move aside for which resulted in him losing time and ended up finishing 11th.
12th - Kevin Magnussen - McLaren
A power unit issue brought a halt to qualifying for Magnussen after the team decided to retire the car during Q2.
He started 14th and wasn’t able to make much progress, though he later said he felt he could have scored points had he been able to take part in Q2.
13th - Felipe Massa - Williams
The Brazilian started ninth and made up one position on the opening lap. After the race Massa said he would have been able to make up more positions had Ricciardo not slowed him down.
Massa crossed the line 13th and said that he felt he could have performed better had his first stint been clean.
14th - Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso
During the opening stages of the race the Russian rookie performed well, getting up into eighth place at one point.
He struggled on the hard tyres but was able to press on when he switched to the mediums for the final stint but the lack of overtaking opportunities in Barcelona meant he could do no better than 14th.
15th - Pastor Maldonado - Lotus
The Venezuelan’s pace on Friday showed a marked improvement unfortunately Maldonado was unable to translate that into a good grid position as he spun into the wall at Turn 3 during Q1.
Maldonado started from the back of the grid and made contact with Marcus Ericsson five laps in, which resulted in a 5 second stop and go penalty and one penalty point.
16th - Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber
The young Mexican had a good start gaining two positions on the opening lap but was unable to hold on to them and finished 16th.
After the race Gutierrez said he struggled with the tyres and a lack of straight line speed.
17th - Adrian Sutil - Sauber
Sauber brought a lighter chassis to the Spanish Grand Prix along with some aerodynamic updates.
On Friday the German seemed happy with how things were working, however a lack of grip and the cars performance meant the best he could do was 17th.
18th - Jules Bianchi - Marussia
The Frenchman was able to move ahead of teammate Max Chilton at the beginning of the race to take 17th place and crossed the line 18th.
Though they were unable to take the fight to the Saubers they remained ahead of the Caterhams throughout the race.
19th - Max Chilton - Marussia
During Thursday’s press conference the Briton said he felt Marussia had a better car than Caterham. Biased as he may be, he was certainly right in Spain where they outperformed Caterham’s all weekend.
20th - Marcus Ericsson - Caterham
Caterham were really struggling for grip throughout the entire weekend with Ericsson branding the cars behaviour as ‘unpredictable’ following qualifying.
He finished last and later told F1Plus he felt the updates they had taken to Spain hadn’t worked as hoped.
DNF - Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso
A 10 place grid penalty for his right rear wheel falling off during FP2 meant the Frenchman started the race last.
Things didn’t improve much for Vergne when he was forced to retire with an exhaust issue.
DNF - Kamui Kobayashi - Caterham
Like his teammate, the Japanese driver also had a difficult weekend. On lap 39 he had to retire his CT05 when the front left brake failed.