Fernando Alonso thrilled his countrymen on Sunday as he took a big bite out of Sebastian Vettel's championship lead at home in Spain.

Fernando Alonso thrilled his countrymen on Sunday as he took a big bite out of Sebastian Vettel's championship lead at home in Spain.

The victorious Spaniard finished three places ahead of Red Bull's title leader Vettel, who suffered with tyre wear and saw his lead to Alonso reduce by a factor of 13 points, to 17 points after five races.

"We have only had five races and there have been some ups and downs but we know we have the car to fight with the top cars," Ferrari's Alonso said on the podium.

"If we (continue to) do well we can compete for the championship."

Lotus' ever-consistent Kimi Raikkonen finished second, and is now just 4 points behind Vettel for the championship.

As ever in 2013, and arguably even more so this weekend in Barcelona, the race was all about managing the heavily degrading Pirelli tyres.

As predicted by many in the paddock, qualifying dominators Mercedes reversed down the grid in the race as they burned through the Italian rubber.

Pole sitter Nico Rosberg finished sixth, and Lewis Hamilton scored no points at all.

"We both went backwards," Hamilton told the BBC, "but I went back a long, long way, and I don't know why. We have got a lot of work to do."

Four pitstops per driver, and nursing the disintegrating rubber in between, was the order of the day on Sunday, which added up to well over 80 pitstops for the entire race.

"I've had enough of the 'T'-word," said Sky commentator and former driver Martin Brundle.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: "When you are telling drivers not to push because we are saving tyres, it isn't great for the sport of for the fans.

"We need to push the drivers harder and allow them to drive properly."

Indeed, immediately after the chequered flag on Sunday, Pirelli's Paul Hembery acknowledged the problem and hinted changes are on the way.

"Today was too many stops, we got it wrong, too aggressive," he wrote on Twitter.

"We will make changes, probably from Silverstone."

 RESULTS

 

Pos

Driver

Team

Time/Retired

Pts

1

Fernando Alonso

Ferrari

1:39:16.596

25

2

Kimi Räikkönen

Lotus-Renault

+9.3 secs

18

3

Felipe Massa

Ferrari

+26.0 secs

15

4

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing-Renault

+38.2 secs

12

5

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing-Renault

+47.9 secs

10

6

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

+68.0 secs

8

7

Paul di Resta

Force India-Mercedes

+68.9 secs

6

8

Jenson Button

McLaren-Mercedes

+79.5 secs

4

9

Sergio Perez

McLaren-Mercedes

+81.7 secs

2

10

Daniel Ricciardo

STR-Ferrari

+1 Lap

1

11

Esteban Gutierrez

Sauber-Ferrari

+1 Lap

 

12

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

+1 Lap

 

13

Adrian Sutil

Force India-Mercedes

+1 Lap

 

14

Pastor Maldonado

Williams-Renault

+1 Lap

 

15

Nico Hulkenberg

Sauber-Ferrari

+1 Lap

 

16

Valtteri Bottas

Williams-Renault

+1 Lap

 

17

Charles Pic

Caterham-Renault

+1 Lap

 

18

Jules Bianchi

Marussia-Cosworth

+2 Laps

 

19

Max Chilton

Marussia-Cosworth

+2 Laps

 

Ret

Jean-Eric Vergne

STR-Ferrari

Accident damage

 

Ret

Giedo van der Garde

Caterham-Renault

+45 Laps

 

Ret

Romain Grosjean

Lotus-Renault

Suspension

 

 

 

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