Webber wins at a canter in Barcelona
The only thing that was certain before today's race was that one of two statistical sequences was about to be broken: the last nine winners of the Spanish GP in Barcelona had started from pole position; the first five pole positions of the 2010 season had all gone to Red Bull, yet the pole-sitter failed to win in any of them.
Mark Webber brought this mini run to an end, leading the race imperiously from start to finish. It was the first victory from pole this year and the tenth in succession on the Circuit de Catalunya. The only point at which Webber had to defend his position was on the first corner when he came under pressure from team-mate Sebastian Vettel with Lewis Hamilton charging up from behind. From then on, Webber forged ahead and bossed the race. Claiming the two other podium places were Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel blew his chance of the runner-up spot on his first pit stop which took longer than expected and cost him a decisive tenth in the duel with Lewis Hamilton. The British driver came out of the pit lane just ahead of Vettel and would have successfully defended his second position to the chequered flag if he hadn't suffered a puncture to his front left tyre on the penultimate lap. The McLaren driver smashed into the tyre wall and kissed goodbye to 20 championship points.
This gifted the remaining podium spot to Vettel. During the course of the race, Vettel's front wing adjuster failed, though this didn't seem to affect his speed in any way. Unlike a short excursion into the gravel bed ten laps from the finish which forced him to take a second pit stop and temporarily took him out of contention for third place. The tyre change dropped the German driver back from third to fourth. But Hamilton's stroke of bad luck took him back onto the podium. Over the last few laps, Vettel's team were constantly urging him over the radio to go easy on the brakes and slow down.
The Spanish fans were delighted to see local hero Fernando Alonso secure a podium finish in his home race. Fourth place went to Michael Schumacher - his best comeback performance so far, though he was made to work hard for it. Schumacher emerged from his pit stop just ahead of Jenson Button's McLaren and then had to defend his position against the reigning champion for lap after lap until Button realised that his superior pace still wasn't going to take him past on the long straight and eventually eased off. Making up the rest of the Top Ten were Felipe Massa, Adrian Sutil, Robert Kubica, Rubens Barrichello and Jaime Alguersuari.