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Maldonado Seizes Maiden Victory

By Mav | 13 May 2012 | 2 Comments | 1,657 views

Race five. Winner number five. Team number five. He has had more than his fair share of critics since joining Williams but Pastor Maldonado had the last laugh with a sensational win in Spain. Beaten off the grid by local favourite, Fernando Alonso, Williams made a perfect strategy call in order to undercut the Ferrari. Once out in front, the Venezuelan withstood the pressure of a two-times World Champion on his tail, Alonso having his own worries in the late stages as his tyres began to fade with Kimi Raikkonen closing in in third.

Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean had a relatively quiet run to fourth with a minute gap back to Kamui Kobayashi in fifth. Sebastian Vettel was sixth after taking a drive-through penalty for ignoring yellow flags. He passed Nico Rosberg late in the race who barely held on against Lewis Hamilton who put an impressive performance to recover from the back of the grid as his two-stop strategy took him to eighth and limit the damage. It was one-place better than his team mate as Jenson Button struggled with his car throughout the race while the final point went to Nico Hulkenberg who bravely held off Mark Webber.
 
Williams F1/Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic
 
Driver of the Day:
An easy one this week: Maldonado was undeniably the man of the moment. Hoisted on to the shoulders of two World Champions on the podium, the Venezuelan has more than justified his place on the grid and sent his own one-fingered salute to those who called him simply a pay driver.

Good Day:
After yesterday’s drama, Hamilton’s mature drive through the field was particularly impressive given how emotional he tends to be about these setbacks. Managing his tyres in order to make one less stop than his rivals, he sent his own message out to his critics.

Bad Day:
One driver yet again failing to answer his critics was Felipe Massa who ended up down in 15th. A drive-through penalty didn’t help but it certainly wasn’t the whole story. Still, at least he avoided the embarrassment of driving into the back of somebody – stand up please, Herr Schumacher…

Talking Point:
What do you make of this season? It’s certainly hard to predict but is that entirely a good thing? The playing field has been leveled and while that may be great as entertainment, is it truly what Formula One should be about? Are the way the tyres suit a particular car on a particular circuit now dominating the pattern of a Grand Prix weekend too much?

Race Rating:
There was some good overtaking, notably from Hamilton and Kobayashi. However, this was a race dominated by the drama of strategy unfolding and a surprise victor rather than all-out action.

Full Result:

1. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1h 39:09.145
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +3.195
3. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault +3.884
4. Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault +14.799
5. Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari +64.641
6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +67.576
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes      +77.919
8. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes      +78.140
9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +85.246
10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes      +1 Lap
11. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +1 Lap
12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari      +1 Lap
13. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 Lap
14. Paul Di Resta Force India-Mercedes +1 Lap
15. Felipe Massa Ferrari +1 Lap
16. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault +1 Lap
17. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault +1 Lap
18. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth +2 Laps
19. Pedro De La Rosa HRT-Cosworth +3 Laps

 
Fastest Lap: Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault, 1:26.250

Fastest Pitstop: Fernando Alonso, Ferrari – 19.456s (entry-exit)

Not classified/retirements:

Sergio Perez     Sauber-Ferrari     Lap 38     Loose Wheel
Charles Pic     Marussia-Cosworth     Lap 36     Transmission
Narain Karthikeyan     HRT-Cosworth     Lap 23     Transmission
Bruno Senna     Williams-Renault     Lap 13     Collision
Michael Schumacher     Mercedes     Lap 13     Collision

 
Championship Standings:

1. Sebastian Vettel 61 Points
2. Fernando Alonso 61 Points
3. Lewis Hamilton 53 Points
4. Kimi Raikkonen 49 Points
5. Mark Webber 48 Points
     
1. Red Bull-Renault 109 Points
2. McLaren-Mercedes 98 Points
3. Lotus-Renault 84 Points
4. Ferrari 63 Points

 
What did you make of the Spanish Grand Prix? Who do you think was driver of the day? Who had a weekend to forget? Would Hamilton have won without McLaren’s mistake? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

Photo: Williams F1/Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic

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2 Comments »

  • saltire

    It was lovely to see Pastor get the win and to see Williams back on form, it’s just a shame that their celebration was so cruely spoiled by the fire. There’s been very little said on the condition of the injured mechanic still in hospital so here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.

    I have to say Lewis did brilliantly, he puts in some of his strongest performances when he is fighting from the rear of the pack so it would have to be either Pastor or Lewis who gets my vote.

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  • str8y

    Unbelievable

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