Spanish Grand Prix gets highest rating for five years

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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Pastor Maldonado held off Fernando Alonso to claim his first F1 win in the Spanish Grand Prix.

The race was rated 8.274 by F1 Fanatic readers, making it the third best of five races this season.

It’s the highest a Spanish Grand Prix has been rated since we began doing these polls in 2008.

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say about this year’s race:

Mphipps was one of many who enjoyed seeing Williams back at the top:

Fantastic drive by Pastor and awesome to see Williams back on top after so many years: brought a little tear to the eye!

There was entertainment all the way down the field:

Fantastic, loads of interesting stuff going on. I liked the Ferrari-Williams battle, and seeing Red Bulls and McLarens out of position added an extra element to an already interesting midfield battle.

No one predicted Maldonado would win, which illustrates just how interesting this season is:

Crazy and unpredictable, just like the whole season. I’ve massively failed in my predictions once again and I’m loving it.

Hamilton’s demotion prompted hundreds of comments on Saturday evening, and some felt it might have cost us an even better race:

Hamilton’s penalty ruined a little bit. It might’ve been an exciting battle in front had he started in sixth or even tenth.

But still a very tense and amusing race! I never thought to see so many overtakes outside DRS zone in Barcelona! Kobayashi on Button and Hamilton on both Toro Rossos were great!

The debate over the tyres continues:

Was so looking forward to watching a great fight between Alonso and Pastor but the tyres made Fernando fall back and destroyed a potentially great scrap.

Maldonado’s set were three laps older, he played it intelligently, managed his race well and beat Alonso fair and square. Alonso, one of the top drivers simply wasted his tyres early on.

This has little to do with Pirelli and pretty much everything to do with a skilled drive by Pastor.

The tyres were actually the best they’ve been all season. The hard tyres, unlike the softer compounds, perform more or less as they should – they go off, but not at a ridiculous rate, and allow some real racing.

Hamilton managed to run a 30-lap stint at the end, and dice with Vettel for a couple of laps.
Nigel Bates

Readers were divided over DRS. Some thought it worked well – Adrian Morse was among those who disagreed:

I thought this race accurately highlighted some of the downsides of DRS. With quite a few DRS passes, the attacker was already a car length ahead by the time they got to turn one.

Not terribly exciting; otherwise, there may have been more side-by-side battles in the first corner.
Adrian Morse

What did you make of the Spanish Grand Prix? Have your say in the comments.

Previous rate the race results

Spanish Grand Prix rate the race results

Race Average rating
2008 Spanish Grand Prix 5.085
2009 Spanish Grand Prix 5.33
2010 Spanish Grand Prix 4.919
2011 Spanish Grand Prix 7.319
2012 Spanish Grand Prix 8.274

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Spanish Grand Prix articles

Image © Williams/LAT

27 comments on “Spanish Grand Prix gets highest rating for five years”

  1. I have to disagree with DRS objections – re: Spain.

    DRS was designed to stop cars obviously quicker than those they were catching being stuck in the “dirty air”. A Phenomenon more recent in F1 as aerodynamics became more and more important.

    The aero effects of a slower car were in reality a defensive mechanism to which prevented quicker cars doing what they could do (before wings etc).

    Alonso had several attempts to pass Maldonado using the DRS and failed – because Maldonado drove intelligently towards the end of the lap ensuring he was never too close to complete the DRS pass.

    You can only use DRS if you are within 1 second of the car in front (where the dirty air predominently is). So it is most likely that a car using DRS has been catching the car it makes a DRS assisted move on, and would have been prevented from doing so by the “dirty air”.

    1. @aj, my criticism was not aimed at there being too much passing, but that the DRS-assisted passes were too easy. A good example was Vettel vs. Hamilton; Vettel got a good, determined exit out of the final turn but was still a little behind. Without DRS, I think the slipstream would have gotten him alongside into the first corner, and we might have seen some fair (as opposed to Hamilton being at a disadvantage), interesting racing. With DRS, Hamilton needn’t have bothered defending the inside line.

      I think all who witnessed it will always remember Senna – Mansell, Spain 1991, side by side for the entire straight. Who will remember Hamilton – Vettel, Spain 2012?

      1. Fair point re: memories – though – the Vettel/Hamilton thing was also (maybe more) to do with tyre situation. Hamilton did 31 laps on his last set of tyres. As such Vettel probably – as you say – didn’t need DRS at all – but that pass was going to happen with or without DRS.

        On the other hand, Alonso was on tyres 3 laps newer than Maldonado and had several attempts with DRS activated to pass Maldonado and failed.

        I don’t know about anyone else, but I was as enthralled with the Alonso/Maldonado battle as the Senna?Mansell battle in Monaco 1992. – Maybe more as that was for 3/4 laps only this was much longer.

        1. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was as enthralled with the Alonso/Maldonado battle as the Senna?Mansell battle in Monaco 1992. – Maybe more as that was for 3/4 laps only this was much longer.

          Alonso/Maldonardo was nowhere near as good as Senna/Mansell, Especially once Alonso’s tyres started to fall off the cliff.

          story of 2012, potential battles ruined by artificial gimmicks like drs, kers & silly tyres.

          having said that however i’ve less issue with tyres than i have the completely ridiculous artificial gimmick known as drs.

          1. What a granny talk.

            “Back in my day ice cream was good and cheap”

      2. I remembered Hamilton and Vettel, Spain 2011. Albeit that was with a shorter DRS zone.

  2. Totally agree regarding Maldonado’s use of the tyres. He drove an intelligent race throughout I thought. He defended his position from the start as much as possible and when he was leading he didn’t succumb to any sort of pressure from Alonso. Heck, even his demeanour at the end of the race really proved how confident and calm he was throughout, no jubilant celebration.

    1. Same from me, I really liked the race to see how he and his team got it exactly right.

  3. I don’t agree with the fact that tyres didn’t influence the battle. While Maldonado was very good and calm from the attacks of Alonso, it doesn’t mean that Alonso was not as skillful in managing the tyres. He was attacking all the way, what could one expect? His tyres were ruined because of the pressure he was putting on Maldonado, should he be considered less skilful for that? These tyres just drop off performance, especially when one driver is behind another for some laps, the case of Alonso vs Maldonado. That’s how I see it.

  4. I wonder whether races that are shown live on the BBC will tend to get higher ratings than the ones with delayed highlights? It certainly influences my vote – it’s a much better experience to watch alongside live timing, live driver tracking, etc .

    1. I can’t say I’ve noticed much difference in how quickly the votes come in on Sky-only versus BBC-and-Sky races.

      Obviously the Sky deal doesn’t affect those outside the UK this way so it’s only a problem for a minority of site users. And it seems a lot of those who don’t have Sky are watching live anyway via other means.

      1. maxim van buynder
        23rd May 2012, 6:14

        the fact that it’s no longer live on bbc every race is a disaster for people outside uk, I think everyone in europe who can recieve bbc was watching it over there because program before race and quali is amazing, sky isn’t possible to get unless you pay a ******** of money! it(s a shame

    2. If you have a device that’ll run the official timing app, you can replay sessions in the app to synch up with your non-live race coverage. That’s how I watch most of the races here in the US as I’m incapable of waking at 4:30AM.

  5. A Spanish GP at Catalunya that is rated higher than an 8? This world is coming to an end.

    1. If Valencia is rated higher than an 8 the world will come to an end.

      1. If Valencia is rated the world will come to an end

  6. Aditya Banerjee (@)
    22nd May 2012, 17:47

    And yet this year had almost half the overtakes there were last year.

    1. Where do you find race by race statistics on overtakes?

      1. They have overtaking stats back to the early 80s here, you need to sign-up & lon-in to view them:

        1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
          24th May 2012, 7:53

          Thanks @StefMeister !!!

    2. just further proof that more passing doesn’t = better racing!

      can we get rid of drs now please & give them more durable tyres that can be pushed so we can get back to some proper racing as im not sure how much of this artificial bs era of f1 i can put up with, especially with indycar been so damn good this year with some proper racing & some real overtaking.

      1. Yes because they are allowed to defend the racing line aren’t they ;)

        And they don’t have push to pass giving them an extra 100BHP.

        Indycar is good but it’s not F1

      2. Aditya Banerjee (@)
        24th May 2012, 7:50


  7. Tom (@newdecade)
    22nd May 2012, 21:18

    “Driver A took Driver B off the line, however neither driver could pass each other during the race, so it was won when Driver B managed to regain the lead at the pit stops”

    Refuelling era or Pirelli era?

  8. best pass had to be Hamilton vs the 2 torro ross’s.
    absolute class that was.

    1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
      24th May 2012, 7:52

      In a McLaren with new tyres vs two Toro Rosso rookies with worn tyres?
      It was nice to see, but wasn’t particularly difficult to carry out.

  9. I still think that it was the best race this year!

Comments are closed.