Top ten pictures from the Spanish Grand Prix

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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A selection of ten of the best pictures from the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

Fernando Alonso, Friday practice

All eyes were on Ferrari at the beginning of the weekend as their updated F2012 took to the track.

The initial signs were good: Fernando Alonso was quickest in first practice by almost four-tenths of a second having been eight-tenths or more off the pace in every previous FP1 session this year.

Alexander Rossi, Friday practice

Two drivers made their first appearances at an F1 race weekend: Caterham’s Alexander Rossi and HRT’s Dani Clos.

The American logged 25 laps in the CT01 on Friday morning. The weekend before he had raced for Caterham’s Formula Renault 3.5 team at another Spanish track, Motorland Aragon, taking a best finish of fifth.

Lewis Hamilton, qualifying

McLaren paid the price for instructing Lewis Hamilton to stop on the track after qualifying after he had low on fuel – the stewards sent him to the back of the grid.

After the race McLaren revealed they had become aware of Hamilton’s fuel situation after he had begun his qualifying lap. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh conceded the correct course of action would have been to tell Hamilton to abandon his qualifying effort.

Spanish Grand Prix start

Hamilton’s penalty handed pole position to Pastor Maldonado. But for the second year in a row it was Alonso who led into the first corner.

Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton, race

Former McLaren team mates Heikki Kovalainen and Hamilton scrapped for 16th place early on. The battle didn’t last long – Hamilton eventually finished eighth.

Kimi Raikkonen, race

Kimi Raikkonen finished on the podium for the second race in a row.

Although the crowd on the bank in the foreground looks substantial, the dearer grandstand seats in the background have only a smattering of spectators. Attendance continued to fall at the race due to Spain’s economic troubles.

Mark Webber, race

Both Red Bull drivers had to change their front wings during the race due to damage. Mark Webber finished out of the points for the first time this year in 11th.

Pastor Maldonado, Fernando Alonso, race

An early second pit stop for Maldonado allowed him to claim the lead back from Alonso. The Ferrari driver gave chase, but it was in vain, Maldonado edging clear in the final stint to win by three seconds.

Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, race

The Mercedes gave its tyres a hard time in the final stint and Rosberg fell back into the clutch of Vettel, who demoted him for sixth place. Rosberg held on to seventh place, chased across the line by Hamilton.


The man of the hour is raised aloft by two world champions at the end of the race.

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2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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Images © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Caterham/LAT, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Caterham/LAT, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Red Bull/Getty images, Williams/LAT, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei, Pireli/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Top ten pictures from the Spanish Grand Prix”

  1. Dd anyone else notice how empty the grandstands were? Is this usual for Spain or is it an indication of the economy?

    1. I think this is the indication of the economic troubles and high unemployment currently present in Spain. In previous years they were actually putting up new grandstands because the interest was so great.

      1. @thecollaroyboys @gabal plus they have 2 races… surely some go to Valencia in the summer to attend the race there, splitting public between both rounds.

        1. There were big crowds at the MotoGP a few weeks ago at Jerez.

          1. I’ll bet that the MotoGP tickets are a lot cheaper than the F1 tickets. If they’re not then F1 has some real problems.

    2. The grandstands weren’t that empty, there were some 80k people on race day. But I think the capacity is well over 100k at Barcelona, so much like China, it looks easily like there aren’t any spectators.

  2. Wait, is that a smile from Kimi?

    1. Could be wind.

  3. @keithcollantine – Thanks for putting these together. I think the Top Ten Pictures articles have become my new favourite part of the blog. There’s always a plethora of high-quality shots taken over the course of the weekend, but you always pick out ten of the very best for these articles.

    1. I agree with that, nice picks Keith.

      1. +1! My favourite article after a GP :)

    2. Together with stats ‘n facts!

    3. Best new feature of 2012. :D

  4. The podium picture is probably the money shot (along with that image of Pastor carrying his young cousin away from the smoke) – but I really like the Rossi picture too.

    I’m enjoying these Top Tens too @keithcollantine – how about making them into a vote?

    1. @bullfrog where is the pic of maldonado and his cousin? didn’t see it.

      1. Not here – I should have made that clearer – but very popular in the papers and internet. Not sure whose it is (it’s credited to “Twitter”…)

        1. lol he has a guilty look on his face, maybe he started the fire on Senna’s car :D

    2. Indeed, the ‘start’ photo has been my desktop wallpaper this week.

  5. These top 10s is a nice addition. My next favorite after the stats article..

  6. Have to say I’m increasing impressed with Alonso’s gentlemanly acts; from his handshake for Lewis after qualifying to lifting Pastor on the podium (& even getting Kimi involved!) just great stuff from world class individual. If your Pastor, how awesome to be on the podium with 2 WDC in the air!!

    1. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1)
      15th May 2012, 12:49

      Alonso is such a cool guy

    2. I agree it was top class act from both of them (I never saw it before and I have to say I loved it). Great race Maldonado, class act from Kimi and Alonso.

    3. Last photo is definitely the best

  7. i asked this yesterday but was overlooked why whas one torro rosso running with both sets of compound on at one point but nothing was done

    1. Hi everybody, just to clarify this mix tyre story, it was well a soft tyre but the yellow marking went off after a contact in the first lap.

      That’s what he tweeted earlier today.

      1. thanks for that i was wondering why pirreli hadent picked up on the fact

  8. great pictures!
    would be great if we had a shot or two from fire incidence or its aftermath…I know it’s a sad part of the weekend, but necessary for a photo archive of Barcelona GP.

  9. The 8th picture really gives an indication of what it’s like to be on the marbles. You just can’t make that sort of thing out on TV.

  10. Can’t wait for the Monaco top 10 pictures. Looking at the Hamilton picture makes me realise just how good the chrome affect is on the McLaren. Also a quick question, on the first picture what are the orange marks on the Ferrari’s suspension?

    1. The orange stickers are temperature sensors.

      1. Thanks mate

  11. I like the picture of the Caterham and McLaren having a bit of a race. I sure hope that Caterham can work their way up the grid and battles like these can be fought on merit. Although having said that, one could argue they really should be closer to the front…

  12. like the last picture…. but no one did that for Rosberg in china!!!!

  13. Nice, in the McLaren picture you can (barely) see that the logos in the sidepods are actually stickers, I wonder how the car would look without all the sponsors.

  14. First picture has every single car in it. Looks brilliant.

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