The excitable Spanish crowd had something to celebrate on Sunday as Fernando Alonso took his second Formula 1 win of the 2013 season.
Alonso finished the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona over nine seconds ahead of second place Kimi Raikkonen, while Felipe Massa completed a podium double for Ferrari.
Despite a strong qualifying performance from Mercedes, which saw Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton lock out the front of the grid, the team slipped badly during the race itself. The two drivers finished six and 12th respectively as they struggled to maintain tyre performance in comparison with their closest rivals.
The centre of attention however was always going to be Alonso, and even though he only started fifth on the grid the Spaniard was in a sprightly mood as he ran over to fling his cap into the crowd before the start of the race.
Both crowd and car responded to his enthusiasm, and Ferrari’s four stop strategy was enough to secure him the win and push him up to third in the drivers’ standings.
“You feel the support from everyone and it helped,” Alonso said afterwards. “We want to do well here in front of our fans. We did it and we are happy for that but we don’t want to stop here obviously.”
McLaren’s disappointing season continued, with Jenson Button eventually managing to finish eighth after a poor show in qualifying left him 14th on the grid. Teammate Sergio Perez was ninth.
British driver Paul di Resta continued his good form with Force India, earning yet another points finish in seventh.