BARCELONA, Spain -- Fernando Alonso gave his Spanish home fans exactly the kind of daring and dominant drive they came to see. Keeping them celebrating at the end of the season might be a lot more difficult, though. Alonso won the Spanish Grand Prix with a commanding performance on Sunday, but then said Ferrari still needs a little bit more pace to topple three-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel in the race for the Formula One title. Alonso was fifth on the grid but used an aggressive start to take control of the race and ended up beating Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus by nearly 10 seconds, with teammate Felipe Massa 26 behind. More importantly, Vettel was a distant 38.2 back in fourth, meaning the Alonso cut the gap to the German to 17 points in the overall standings after five races. With two Ferrari drivers on the podium and none from Red Bull, Alonso still cautioned that the Italian team still hasnt caught up to its main rival. "Last year we didnt win (the championship). We were one second off (the pace), but we managed to fight until the Brazil race," said Alonso, a two-time former champion. "This year we have a package that is still not the fastest but we are working on it." Alonso lost out to Vettel by three points last year, but will head to Monaco in two weeks time in an optimistic frame of mind. "We are not the quickest over one lap, we maybe do not set the fastest time in the race, but we have fantastic pit stops, starts, (limited) tire degradation," said Alonso, who started from fifth on the grid. "Many ingredients to have a competitive car to fight for the championship ... In the four years with Ferrari this is the best (car) weve had." Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali dedicated the day to those working behind the scenes to make Ferrari faster. "For sure, very, very happy. It was a good day for the team," Domenicali said. "The win was for the people who are working hard at the factory." The race was once again heavily affected by Pirellis fast-degrading tires, which forced teams into four-stop strategies when they had planned for three. "Our aim is to have between two and three stops at every race, so its clear that four is too many," Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said. "In fact, its only happened once before, in Turkey during our first year in the sport." There is no time for Pirelli to make changes in time for Monaco. "Well be looking to make some changes, in time for Silverstone," Hembery said. "To make sure that we maintain our target and solve any issues rapidly." Red Bull struggled a lot more than Ferrari with the tires, and the mood in the teams camp was subdued after the race. "The first three cars were a little bit too fast for us and regarding looking after the tires, they did a better job," said Vettel, who finished ahead of teammate Mark Webber. "We need to catch up; were not going the pace of the car, were going the pace of the tires and obviously we do something to make the tires wear more. The start was good, we then tried to hold on with a three-stop strategy, but had to change to four stops." Raikkonen finished second for the third straight race. It was Alonsos second win in Barcelona -- the first coming in 2006 -- and his seventh career podium on the Circuit de Catalunya. "Its very special winning at home and it doesnt matter how many times you repeat it," said Alonso, who moved up to third overall, while Raikkonen is only four points behind Vettel. Massas performance was arguably even better than Alonsos, as he started from ninth due to a grid penalty in qualifying. "I think we are in the right direction so I hope from now on we are fighting for the podium in every race," Massa said. Mercedes had a disappointing day after Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton started on the front grid. As has been the case this season, the Mercedes cars -- which are fast in qualifying -- again lacked race pace and durability as Rosberg finished sixth and Hamilton drifted way back to 12th. "Theres a growing gap to three teams ahead of us which we need to get on top of," Rosberg said. "We have a very quick car but we have to make it work for us in the race." Lotus driver Romain Grosjeans back wheels locked up early on and he had to pull out due to mechanical failure. Caterham driver Giedo van der Gardes left rear wheel came off entirely and he also had to retire. It was a busy afternoon in the pits as Sauber released Nico Hulkenberg too early and he bumped into the back of a Toro Rosso and with Pastor Maldonado -- last years surprise winner -- pitting in the wrong place. Custom Philadelphia 76ers Jerseys . The FA rejected Wilsheres appeal that the length of his punishment was "clearly excessive" and said Thursday his suspension begins with immediate effect. 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INDIANAPOLIS -- Jimmie Johnson has two victories this year, guaranteeing him a spot in the NASCAR postseason. He remains the only driver to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup in each of its 13 seasons.And yet the six-time Sprint Cup champion could really use a win.He hasnt run well. Thats putting it mildly. He has no top-10s in his past six races. Up next is Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a place where he has won four times, including three in championship seasons.If he ever raced at a track that could help boost his season, Johnson will race at one Sunday afternoon in the Brickyard 400.The magnitude of this race, in the red vest [Lowes paint scheme] car, the chance to tie Jeff [Gordon] as the winningest [driver at the Brickyard]?-- theres a lot of things to look to for motivation, Johnson said. But, man, it can honestly happen anywhere. Even at a road course.Johnson believes it is easier to run the Chase with some momentum but thats not a requirement to have a great Chase. Sometimes the Chase comes down to a simple part breaking, as what happened to Johnson last year at the end of the first round at Dover.So whats the big deal? Johnson said the big deal is the team hasnt had the speed.You could debate those results due to some crashes and stuff, but Im not trying to sugarcoat it at all, Johnson said. Were not where we want to be. Its been a couple of years since weve had the raw speed that we have grown accustomed to.There has been a lot of hard work and change that has gone on over the last three years, and were not stopping.The reason the team has put in so much work points to the realization that the answers arent readily available. The team tried a new short-track car for last week at New Hampshire, and it didnt perform as well as hoped. At least Johnson knows that when he returns there for the Chase.Based on history, we had some stuff weve been interested in trying and were like, Heck with it, lets try it, Johnson said.Unfortunately it didnt yield the success that we wanted. Now we know and we wont come back in the fall Saturday night [the night before the race] making a bad decision [on the setup].That was pretty indicative of how the season has gone for Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports as a whole. Johnson, in ninth, ranks best among Hendrick drivers in the standings this year.Unfortunately were not having the instant change that we would all hoope we would find, Johnson said.dddddddddddd Honestly, it tells us its not one thing. Its a lot of small things.I feel like the Chevrolet body, its the same one that was on the car when the SS started [in 2013] and hopefully we can get a little help there [from NASCAR]. I know the other manufacturers have had multiple changes.Any hopes of Chevrolet body changes wont come until next year. As far as the now, Johnson hopes that having Jeff Gordon substituting for Dale Earnhardt Jr. will provide a small benefit in a hugely negative situation.He believes Gordon might not only be able to see what is causing the issues, but also whether they need commitment from management to make some drastic changes, Gordon now can speak from the experience of being inside the car.As connected as he can be in literally living it and going into a management meeting or some kind of office meeting and be able to sit there with all honesty and a fresh opinion and say, Yeah, this is what we need to do, I think is helpful, Johnson said.Johnson compared it to being like Denver Broncos general manager John Elway getting back in the huddle.He is a huge, huge asset in being a former player but its been a while since hes been in the huddle, Johnson said. You look at Gordon evolving into that role potentially at Hendrick Motorsports, and, Oh by the way, I just played one of the biggest games of the year.He comes back in the room and has a fresh perspective.Team owner Rick Hendrick said his shop has become a salvage yard with wrecked cars. He hopes that Gordon can give Johnson and the rest a lift.Ive been doing this long enough that you cant stay on top forever, Hendrick said. You have to work hard to get back. And I think weve made a lot of improvements.I think well see some, hopefully, this weekend.That doesnt mean Johnson wants to see Gordon beat him to the finish line. Johnson needs that win. Hed get into Gordon -- or Earnhardt for that matter -- if he had to for the win.Which driver would Johnson rough up more?Thats a tough one, Johnson said with a laugh. Maybe Id feel bad if I had to put a fender to Junior because he doesnt have a Brickyard yet and Jeff has got five.It would be a little easier to lean on Jeff than Junior. ... 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