On-Song or Gone-Wrong? – Spanish Grand Prix

Guiterrez shows signs of promise, while Mercedes fail to convert their front row lockout. Ferrari displays their power as Force India suffers pit stop woes.
Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13th, 2013 (F1plus/G. Polychronis).- On-Song or Gone-Wrong? is a segment provided after the completion of each race weekend. It is predominately dedicated to assess the surprise performances within the field, whether it is for better or worse. This week, Guiterrez took one step closer to silencing his critics, whereas Mercedes invited the criticism. Ferrari proved that they are a force to be reckoned with and Force India continued to struggle with technical issues.

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Esteban Gutierrez – On Song

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To say Guiterrez has suffered a lack lustre beginning to his debut season would be an understatement. His qualifying results for all Grands Prix have been well below par. He has been unable to gain any points in thefirst 5 races, which is of contrast to the man he replaced, Kamui Kobayashi who had already scored 9 points at the end of last year’s Spanish Grand Prix. Sunday’s race at Catalunya however, produced a glimmer of hope for Esteban Guiterrez. Although his qualifying position of 19th was nothing to boast about, he still managed to lead the race for a few laps, albeit pit stops were required. A points finish was starting to look extremely plausible for the Mexican, however his Australian opponent, Daniel Ricciardo, claimed that oh-so-glamorous tenth place. Nevertheless, Guiterrez will unquestionably claim a copious amount of confidence for the next race in Monte Carlo.

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team – Gone Wrong

After Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid, it was the general consensus that the team would be making a heavy impact on the race. This concept was indubitably quashed

as both Mercedes drivers commenced to slump down the field, with Hamilton eventually falling to 12th and Rosberg to 6th. Excessive tyre degradation appears to be the root of the team’s issues, which is something they must correct in order to seriously contend for the title.Despite their recent struggles with race pace, the team’s qualifying results have been outstanding to say the least. This is why Mercedes are irrefutably the favourite for the Monaco Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso reiterates:

“They will arrive as favourites. They’ve been on pole the last three races.”

Kimi Raikkonen also concurred:

“Mercedes will unfortunately be pretty quick there and after that it’s difficult to overtake.”

Scuderia Ferrari – On Song

Ferrari’s qualifying results did no real favours for a dual podium finish for both drivers, with Massa qualifying in 9th and Alonso in 5th. Nonetheless, both drivers capitalized on Mercedes’ lack of pace and Red Bull’s slowing speed to finish on the first and third step of the podium. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso have proven that they are a powerful combination to be reckoned with, as they have scored 117 championship points between them. The Massa-Alonso partnership is especially dangerous, as both drivers are capable of consistently finishing in the top 5.

Force India – Gone Wrong

Pit stops are evidently Force India’s Achilles heel. In Malaysia, both drivers were forced to retire due to a faulty wheel nut, which presumably was a result of the drivers’ respective pit stops, and Adrian Sutil suffered problems in the pit lane in Spain. Both drivers were looking for apoints finish, however what should have been a simple pit stop for Sutil resulted in fire and smoke. He was forced to turn off the car until the issue was resolved. As a consequence, Sutil finished 13th, out of the points.

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