May 13, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
Fernando Alonso’s victory in the Spanish Grand Prix was put in jeopardy by a late problem with one of his tires.
Alonso only revealed the problem after winning the race. It occurred during his fourth stint when he was running on medium tires and forced the team to change their strategy plan.
“We had to bring forward the final stop because of a slow puncture which meant the left rear tire was losing pressure in the final part of the lap,” said Alonso. “But fortunately, that had no effect on the final outcome.”
The Ferrari driver was under pressure from Kimi Raikkonen at the time but still finished over nine seconds clear of the Lotus. He said the tire failure was the only problem in an otherwise perfect race: “After a far from easy qualifying, everything went perfectly, the start, the strategy, pit stops, tire management.”
Alonso was one of several drivers to experience tire problems during the race weekend. Jean-Eric Vergne suffered a puncture during the race, though it occurred after contact with Nico Hulkenberg in the pits.
Like Alonso, Paul di Resta also had a left rear tire fail during practice, which has led Pirelli to consider revising the structure of their tires.