Vettel was followed home by his team mate Mark Webber who was well clear of a spirited battle over sixth place between Nico Rosberg and Paul di Resta. It was a much calmer affair behind them, with Jenson Button running just ahead of McLaren team mate Sergio Perez. Given the furore and ensuing fall-out that surrounded their battle at Bahrain, and with all the focus on team principal Martin Whitmarsh's job security this weekend it was no surprise that a strict "hold station" instruction was issued to both men and that they obeyed to the letter without argument. Given how things had looked overnight for the Woking squad, a double-points finish was something of a dream outcome for them - especially as Button had even got to overtake the ailing Mercedes of former team mate Lewis Hamilton along the way in a case of rather satisfying schadenfreude
. Meanwhile while Daniel Ricciardo succeeded in securing the final point on offer in Spain by finishing in tenth place narrowly ahead of Gutiérrez and a despondent Hamilton.
It might have not been the most exciting or thrilling race of the season so far, or even the easiest to follow amid that snowstorm of pit stops, but it had certainly been unpredictable and in terms of what it means for the world championship we couldn't have asked for better: Vettel still leads by 89 points but that's only four clear of Raikkonen, while Alonso moved closer with 72 points in third place.
And if nothing else, the home crowd in Spain certainly couldn't have been happier at the sight of the victory of their man Fernando Alonso at the line for the second time.
See full race results.