Ferrari′s Alonso captures Spanish Grand Prix | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.05.2013
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Ferrari's Alonso captures Spanish Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso has won the Spanish Grand Prix, beating out Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen. It was the Ferrari driver's second win of the season, and first in Barcelona since 2006.

Alonso thrilled his home fans as he finished well ahead of Raikkonen Sunday, with Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa coming third.

"What a fantastic feeling, you feel the support from everybody, we wanted to do well here in front of our fans, so many people supporting Ferrari," said Alonso, who became the first driver to win in 23 years at the Circuit de Catalunya after starting from outside the top three grid positions.

Germany's Sebastian Vettel finished fourth, with his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber taking fifth.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who started from pole position, managed to defend his lead until being overtaken in lap 13. In the end he finished sixth, ahead of Force India's Paul Di Resta, McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez and Sauber's Daniel Ricciardo.

Eighteen of the Catalan circuit's previous 22 races were won by the driver who started from pole position.

Tire problems

Most of the race's drivers were forced to adopt a four-stop strategy due to an ongoing problem with Pirelli's quickly degrading tires. The tires have been shredding much faster than normal despite pre-race modifications.

Alonso trailed behind Vettel initially before overtaking the three-time world champion during a pit stop. He finished the race a comfortable 9.338 seconds ahead of Raikkonen. Massa finished 26 seconds behind Alonso, while Vettel was more than 38 seconds back.

It was the 31-year-old Alonso's second win of the season after capturing the Chinese Grand Prix last month, and 32nd career victory.

Despite missing out on the podium, Vettel still leads the world championship standings with 89 points, ahead of Raikkonen (85) and Alonso (72).

The Spanish Grand Prix marks the opening of the "European season," which constitutes the bulk of the middle of the campaign.

dr/kms (Reuters, AP, AFP dpa, SID)