Spanish F1 GP 2008 – Wolf’s Race Review

It has been busy few days for me and it took me 2 days to finish the Spanish GP review. Here it comes finally… I apologize for a dull format without pictures this time :-( .

Four races, three Ferrari wins, two 1-2 finishes, red cars leading both championships and Ferrari friendly Turkey track next … Things have turned around a bit since Melbourne …

After Fernando Alonso squeezed in between Raikkonen and Massa in qualifying there was a chance Renault may spoil the race for Ferrari. Massa’s good start put an end to those worries and from then on it was Ferrari’s race. The gap between them and Hamilton and Kubica was not that big but this may be down to the safety car period and Ferrari preserving the machinery towards the end of the race.

Hamilton returned to the podium for the first time since Melbourne. The race of both McLarens has been compromised by their qualifying. Fifth and sixth places on the grid are not the best places from where to launch the attack on the podium. The positive sign for McLaren is that they did not seem to be too much off the pace of Ferrari. The worry must be the BMW Sauber … The talking point of the race however was the heavy crash of Heikki Kovalainen. It looked very scary and to me even worse than the crash of Robert Kubica in Montreal last year. It is amazing to see how much protection the current F1 cars give to drivers. It is hard to believe that somebody can survive an impact like that with pretty much no injuries at all. At the same time crashes like this are a reminder that F1 is still a dangerous sport …


Robert Kubica continued his run of great performances. He missed out on the podium this time, but his pace behind Hamilton’s McLaren was impressive. If I am not wrong, his current 3rd place in drivers standings is his career best. Hard to believe that just 3 years back this guy raced in Macau … This was a weekend to forget for Nick Heidfeld. Not so great qualifying relegated him to 5th row on the grid. Bad luck with the timing of his pit stop combined with stupid safety car rules pretty much ruined his race. Let’s hope for the sake of all the drivers that some sensible changes to these rules can be agreed on and applied quickly.

Despite double DNF the Spanish GP must have been very encouraging for Renault. Front row start for Alonso was quite unexpected. The quick qualifying pace raised some doubts about the fuel level in Alonso’s car. But the race has shown he was only a lap lighter then Massa and perhaps 2 laps lighter than Raikkonen. The updated Renault car seems to be genuinely quick. It looks unlikely Renault will be able to challenge Ferrari anytime soon but if Barcelona is sign of things to come, McLaren and BMW Sauber may have new competition … Unfortunately for Renault, they only have one competitive driver … Nelson Piquet starts to look more and more like a liability…

Red Bull must be happy with Webber’s 5th. The high number of retirements definitely helped a bit, but this was 3rd point finish in a row for Mark Webber. He is becoming a top eight regular. David Coulthard however seems to have a very different agenda this season – to get involved in racing incidents with as many drivers as possible. As the season only has 18 races but there are other 21 drivers there inevitably must be races where hits or gets hit by more than one driver. Spanish GP was one of them and this time Sutil and Glock were Coulthard’s partners in crime 

Honda with the new Dumbo aero package scored their first points of the season thanks to Jenson Button’s 6th place. Button’s gap to 5th Webber was however quite big and it is safe to say that the points for Honda are more result of high attrition rate among other midfield cars rather than significant improvement of Honda package.

Kazuki Nakajima finished in points for the second time this season after rather quiet race. The team could have scored more points but unfortunately Rosberg’s car did not last the race distance. There has been lots of criticism going in Nakajima’s direction but 5 points after 4 races is not bad for the Japanese almost rookie.

Toyota did not have the best of days but at least Trulli continued raking up the points. Timo Glock was unlucky to get near David Coulthard …

Giancarlo Fisichella had another good race. He scored his first top 10 finish in Force India team after running as high as 8th for a while. His battle with Nick Heidfeld was for me one of the highlights of Spanish GP. Adrian Sutil continues to disappoint …

Not much to say about Toro Rosso. Vettel’s race lasted less than a lap, Bourdais only six more. Sebastian Vettel is the only driver yet to finish a race this season.

Super Aguri made it to the grid and Takuma Sato made sure their cars get noticed on track for the right reasons. Unfortunately it is still very much possible that 2008 Spanish GP was the last race to feature Super Aguri team…

5 Comments Post a Comment
  1. StewNo Gravatar says:

    Glad to see someone else had a busy time like me.

    I did like some things I saw in the race. I thought Lewis Hamilton drove a very good race and although he wasn’t able to close gaps, he put the hammer down.
    Wow, Alonso was pretty good out there until the retirement, but still, his interview after was very up beat and the team have some smiles about the pace of the car now. Hope it carries on.

    Mark Webber is really the shining light for Red Bull this year. He just quietly gets the job done.

    Yes, I swallowed hard and was glued to the TV during the rescue and care of Heikki. That was some impact he had, but as you said, the cars along with the tire barriers saved a life for sure.

    What can you say about Sebastian Vettel. He just can’t buy a break.

  2. marcNo Gravatar says:

    “Sebastian Vettel. He just can’t buy a break.”

    Hell even if Vettel could buy one it would probably come without a money back guarantee.

    marc’s last blog post..Losses Keep Mounting for “Littlest Perv” Mosley

  3. BrunoNo Gravatar says:

    I am personally disapointed by Sebastien Bourdais crash. An unfortunate collision really.
    I do hope he will show us his skills as the season progress. 4 times Champ Car world series Champion, should be able to put him at least in the mid table.
    I have confidence things will look up for him.
    http://f1-in-singapore.blogspot.com/2008/03/bonne-chance-sebastian-bourdais.html
    Interesting Race overall, glad that Heikki is fine and well.

    Bruno’s last blog post..EXCLUSIVE VIDEO EDIT – SPAIN HIGHLIGHTS

  4. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    Too bad Fernando didn’t make it. Looks like we’re going to get at least 4 competitive teams with consistent podiums.

    But I’ve to say Hamilton move after the start was great, although he almost brought down Heiki.. And..yes, wassup with DC?

    Black Zedd’s last blog post..My Philantrophic Responsibilties Explained…

  5. ShaunNo Gravatar says:

    Good to see Kovalainen will be ok, looked like a bad crash.

    Shaun’s last blog post..The KTM X-Bow

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