The Spanish Grand Prix is done and dusted, and it was a strange race with lots of retirements. Kimi Raikkonen is of course the big winner in terms of extending his lead at the top of the Drivers Championship, and his team have now taken control at the top of the Constructors table thanks to another one-two finish. Whether their current dominance can last remains to be seen, but at the moment it would appear they have a bit in reserve should McLaren or BMW bring the fight to them.

Beforehand, I picked out those who I felt really needed to have a good race this weekend so let’s see how they faired.

  • David Coulthard :- It’s now four races without any points for the Scotsman and that must be incredibly frustrating for him - especially when his teammate Mark Webber again managed to finish in the points.In fact it was a frustrating weekend all round for DC. Despite being well up the timing sheets in both practice sessions on Friday and again on Saturday, his qualifying session went about as badly as it could. His 17th place on the grid was in no way an indication of his true pace and in fact this could have been one track where he actually outqualified his teammate Mark Webber.

    Confident that the car was good enough, he decided to save all his quick tyres for later on in the hope the harder tyres would be good enough to see him get through Q3. Traffic and a slight mistake cost him dear though as he wasn’t able to set a fast enough time - major disappointment at a track like this as overtaking is supremely difficult.

    In the race itself, he made a decent enough start and seemed to be minding his own business for most of the race until he was hit not once but twice by other cars in separate incidents. He really must be the unluckiest driver on the grid this year with the possible exception of Seb Vettel! Why do drivers not realise that there are times when you just can’t overtake?

    There’s not much DC could have done about either accident, but the root cause his qualifying on Saturday - had he been up in the top ten then he wouldn’t have been anywhere near the Force Indias and the likes.

    So despite being really in need of a good weekend, poor old DC had another stinker - he must be wondering just what it is he has done to deserve all this bad luck!

  • Lewis Hamilton :- It didn’t really look good for Lewis during the weekend leading up to the race, but he will be pretty happy with finishing up in third place.He made the perfect start, which was of course in harsh contrast with his last race, and managed to get right up behind the Ferraris. Kubica was disappointing at the start, and had he managed to hold his position then it may have been a different outcome - but he didn’t and all due credit to Lewis for taking his opportunity to get past him.

    Apart from the start he had a fairly boring race - it must have been a bit disconcerting to see his teammate crash, especially when it was due to a mechanical failure. Other drivers have said in the past that you cannot get into a car thinking it’s going to break down or that you are going to crash, but to see a car identical to your’s sticking out of a tyre barrier, it must surely affect you ever so slightly. Thankfully Kovalainen appears to have suffered only minor injuries, but the McLaren team will have to try and discover the cause of the crash before the next race to put everyone’s mind at ease.

    Despite Kimi Raikkonen extending his lead at the top, Lewis must be pretty pleased with his weekend. Third is not what he would have been aiming for, but in all honesty it was always going to be the best he could hope for barring unreliability from the Ferraris.

  • BMW :- Again it was a bit of a mixed bag for BMW. I’m sure they were half expecting to relinquish their lead in the Constructors Championship to Ferrari at some stage, they will have been disappointed for it to have happened so soon.In a strange repeat, we again saw one of their drivers have an excellent weekend and one to be slightly poorer - they really do need to try and ensure both are capable of scoring big points. This is the first race this year that they haven’t been represented on the podium yet though.Kubica was the driver to do the business in qualifying, with Heidfeld being pretty lacklustre - but I assumed this may be because he was very heavy with fuel. This didn’t turn out to the the case, although he was a bit heavier but not enough to explain the difference in laptimes.What was worse for Heidfeld was that he ran out of fuel just as Kovalainen suffered his terrible accident and so he simply had to pit despite the pitlane being closed. This resulted in a 10 second stop-and-go penalty which ruined any chances of picking up a point which remained. The new Safety Car rules have come in for some criticism and it really is time they were amended - for someone to be penalised so harshly just because another driver has had an accident is simply ludicrous.I can understand the principle behind it, but surely the FIA can see that it’s not working as intended? Come on Max, get it sorted out - I’m sure you have nothing else on your mind at the moment!

    It was another semi-decent weekend for BMW, but disappointing by their recent standards so I’m sure they will be endeavouring to put things right in time for the next race in a fortnight’s time. They really need to try and stablise things by picking up a decent haul of points otherwise they are in danger of freefalling down the Constructors table.

  • Felipe Massa :- He didn’t get a second successive win, but he did manage to drive well and pick up the points for second place. His team will be relieved to see that both of their cars are now bringing home the maximum number of points to help in their quest for the Constructors Championship.As far as his personal standing in the Drivers Championship, Massa is still trailing his teammate by some considerable margin but he is now just one behind Kubica and two points behind Hamilton. While he obviously wants to win, on current form he is unlikely to catch Kimi, but if the Ferrari dominance continues for the next couple of races then he will be up into second place in no time.So, despite not winning it’s still been a pretty successful weekend for Massa.

I was looking forward to getting the races back, and despite it actually being a fairly dull affair there was enough incident to make it a reasonably enjoyable race to watch.

Bring on Turkey!