BARCELONA, Spain — Fernando Alonso drove a perfect race to give his adoring countrymen the result they dreamed of in in Sunday’s Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya.
The Spaniard had to bide his time after failing to get past either Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes or Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull at the start, though a brilliant lunge around the outside took him by the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen and then the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at turn three.
Ferrari were the first of the front runners to make the switch from Pirelli’s medium tire to the hard, first with fifth-placed Felipe Massa on lap eight, then with Alonso one lap later.
Rosberg and Vettel stopped on the 10th lap, leaving Esteban Gutierrez temporarily in the lead for Sauber as he had yet to pit, and though Rosberg resumed in second place behind the Swiss car, Alonso was able to slot into third ahead of Vettel.
That was Alonso’s first crucial move. The next came on lap 13 as he overtook Rosberg. That triggered a fateful slide from second place to fifth for the German as Vettel and Massa also overtook him.