Maldonado ends Williams drought in Barcelona

Maldonado ends Williams drought in Barcelona

13 May 2012 – Extending the remarkable start to the 2012 season, Pastor Maldonado has triumphed for Williams in the Spanish Grand Prix. He becomes the first Venezuelan to win in F1 history, having held off the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso as Kimi Räikkönen completed the podium for Lotus. The result marks Williams’ first victory since the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix and five winning teams from as many races this year.

Alonso delights the crowd by leading again in Barcelona

Neutral Formula 1 fans could not have dreamed of such a start to the campaign, with any solid predictions for winners remaining impossible. At half past seven on Saturday night, Lewis Hamilton was disqualified as not enough fuel remained in his car for an FIA sample; this left Maldonado on a career-first pole position. Rain containing sand then hit Barcelona over night, threatening for a dusty off-line track today.

Under overcast skies but with rain holding off, the European season began with Alonso doing exactly what he had done in Barcelona last year – leading the race by the first corner, much to the delight of the Spanish crowd and despite a strong defence from Maldonado. Behind, Sergio Pérez was tagged by Romain Grosjean at Turn 3, resulting in a left-rear puncture and unscheduled pit-stop for the Sauber. Further back in the pack, the third corner was also the scene of a spin for Marussia’s Charles Pic.

Schumacher takes Senna out at the end of the main straight

Each making three stops, Alonso and Maldonado began their race-long duel with the Spaniard heading the pack; both sustained a strong pace, with the latter jumping ahead by pitting one lap earlier for his second stop. On the third visit to the pits, Williams made a small error but the 2010 GP2 Champion was still able to hold his advantage, then having to defend as Alonso moved in and out of DRS range. Following Grosjean’s final stop, the Frenchman dropped to fourth and released team-mate Räikkönen who doggedly zeroed in on the pair of leaders; the Finn was just sixth tenths of a second behind Alonso by the time the chequered flag fell.

Elsewhere in the race, Michael Schumacher was initially furious after slamming into the back of Bruno Senna’s Williams at the first corner. The seven-time World Champion, who last won in Spain eight years ago, appeared to dramatically misjudge his braking point when attempting to pass the Brazilian, who had been yet to pit and was running with significantly lower levels of grip; as Schumacher ended his race in the gravel trap, Senna was forced to stop with a puncture. Both men blamed one another.

A solid drive for Kamui Kobayashi included forceful moves on Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg to bag a top five result in the closing stages; also making ground in the final third of the race was Sebastian Vettel, managing to overhaul Rosberg and prevent losing his now shared championship lead. The World Champion's day was hindered by a drive-through penalty for ignoring yellow flags; a punishment also taken by Ferrari's Felipe Massa. Both Red Bulls took on new front wings during the race, but Mark Webber was worst off and sunk back into the pack; despite his efforts, he could not steal the final point off Nico Hülkenberg’s Force India.

Bitterly disappointed to lose pole yesterday, Hamilton fought in determined fashion to rise to as high as fourth place from the very back of the field, prior to his first stop. Later in the race, despite hitting an errant wheel when leaving a pit-stop, he would begin to suffer for adhesion but was still able to beat team-mate Button; his charge ended in eighth position, just metres behind Rosberg’s Mercedes. Joining Schumacher and Senna on the sidelines were Narain Karthikeyan and the aforementioned Pic, as well as Pérez who suffered a loose wheel after a pit-stop and was forced to pull over.

Before today, the best F1 finish for a Venezuelan had been sixth place for Johnny Cecotto, driving for Theodore in the 1983 Grand Prix of Long Beach. As Alonso’s tyres went off the cliff in the closing minutes, the winning margin extended to 3.1 seconds which comfortably allowed for Williams’ 114th Grand Prix victory; an ideal way to end the celebration weekend of Sir Frank’s 70th birthday. 27-year-old Maldonado is now ninth in the drivers’ standings, with his team moving up to joint fifth position with Mercedes-Benz. The fight for the 2012 titles is still wide open.


The dramatic and unpredictable 2012 Formula 1 season continues on the legendary Monte Carlo street circuit in a fortnight’s time

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 29 July 2014

  2. Kubica ready for 'Finnish Grand Prix' outing 12:51

    Kubica ready for 'Finnish Grand Prix' outing

    Former BMW and Renault F1 driver Robert Kubica will tackle Rally Finland this week buoyed by his maiden victory at the wheel...

    WRC
  3. Ferrari dismiss reports Fry has been sacked 11:31

    Ferrari dismiss reports Fry has been sacked

    Ferrari has refuted claims it has parted company with Engineering Director, Pat Fry. According to Sky Sports F1, Fry has...

    F1
  4. Jones: Ricciardo grows horns when it counts 10:41

    Jones: Ricciardo grows horns when it counts

    1980 Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones believes fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo is now "a contender" and has proved he...

    F1
  5. Hamilton: I will come back stronger after break 09:49

    Hamilton: I will come back stronger after break

    Lewis Hamilton says he will use Formula 1's summer break to "re-energise" himself and get even "fitter" and he is confident...

    F1
  6. 09:08

    Photos: Hungarian GP in black and white

    F1
  7. Winners and Losers at the Hungarian Grand Prix 08:00

    Winners and Losers at the Hungarian Grand Prix

    The Hungaroring produced a thrilling encounter ahead of the Formula 1 summer break, with Red Bull sensation Daniel Ricciardo...

    F1
  8. Video of the Day: Arsenal vs Force India – Part 1 05:00

    Video of the Day: Arsenal vs Force India – Part 1

    See what happened when Gatorade brought Arsenal and Force India together.

    F1
  9. Monday 28 July 2014

  10. Porsche SA buys Kyalami circuit at auction 15:00

    Porsche SA buys Kyalami circuit at auction

    South Africa's Kyalami circuit, which hosted F1 for almost two decades, has been bought by Porsche. The 72-hectare...

    F1
  11. Post-race penalties hand Marciello point 14:32

    Post-race penalties hand Marciello point

    Racing Engineering driver and Ferrari youngster Raffaele Marciello has moved into the points for the second Hungaroring GP2...

    GP2
  12. Horner lauds 'truly sensational' Ricciardo 13:31

    Horner lauds 'truly sensational' Ricciardo

    Christian Horner has heaped praise on Hungarian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo for delivering a "truly sensational"...

    F1
  13. Mattiacci: We must not delude ourselves 12:39

    Mattiacci: We must not delude ourselves

    Marco Mattiacci says Ferrari must keep its feet firmly on the ground after claiming a sizeable points haul at the Hungarian...

    F1
  14. Video: Rosberg reflects on Hungarian GP 11:07

    Video: Rosberg reflects on Hungarian GP

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg reflects on an eventful Hungarian Grand Prix, which included a costly Safety Car period, a team...

    F1
  15. Villeneuve: Rosberg tried to ruin Hamilton's race 10:47

    Villeneuve: Rosberg tried to ruin Hamilton's race

    Jacques Villeneuve believes that Nico Rosberg tried to "destroy" Lewis Hamilton's Hungarian Grand Prix. Rosberg was...

    F1
  16. Caterham team facing legal action from ex-staff 10:10

    Caterham team facing legal action from ex-staff

    The Caterham F1 team is facing legal action from around 40 former employees, laid off earlier this month. Since Tony...

    F1
  17. Sutil positive despite narrowly missing point 09:32

    Sutil positive despite narrowly missing point

    Adrian Sutil extracted the positives after narrowly missing out on his and Sauber's first point of the season at the...

    F1
  18. Lauda backs Hamilton over team orders 09:02

    Lauda backs Hamilton over team orders

    Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman Niki Lauda says Lewis Hamilton was completely within his rights to ignore instructions to...

    F1
  19. Räikkönen says sixth was maximum result 07:23

    Räikkönen says sixth was maximum result

    Kimi Räikkönen says finishing sixth in the Hungarian Grand Prix was the most he could have hoped for after a disastrous q...

    F1
  20. Video of the Day: Stories from Senna's mechanic 05:14

    Video of the Day: Stories from Senna's mechanic

    Neil Trundle, former Chief Mechanic to Ayrton Senna, discusses his time working with a legend of the sport.

    F1
  21. 03:06

    Championship standings after Hungary

    F1
  22. Sunday 27 July 2014

  23. Bottas feels tyre strategy cost podium shot 19:54

    Bottas feels tyre strategy cost podium shot

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas reckons he could have been in the podium fight in Hungary if he had chosen a better tyre...

    F1
  24. Mercedes to discuss Hungary team orders 18:18

    Mercedes to discuss Hungary team orders

    Mercedes says it will hold internal discussions with its drivers after the outfit issued team orders during the Hungarian...

    F1
  25. Force India drivers apologetic after incidents 17:56

    Force India drivers apologetic after incidents

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez have both apologised to their team after retiring from the Hungarian G...

    F1
  26. Button laments misleading weather forecast 17:14

    Button laments misleading weather forecast

    Jenson Button was left to lament a missed opportunity after getting caught out by false rain predictions in the Hungarian...

    F1
  27. Rosberg: First Safety Car wrecked race 16:57

    Rosberg: First Safety Car wrecked race

    Nico Rosberg says the timing of the first Safety Car period ruined his chances of winning Sunday afternoon's Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  28. 16:40

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    F1
  29. 'Nice surprise' for Alonso and Ferrari 16:39

    'Nice surprise' for Alonso and Ferrari

    Fernando Alonso says finishing on the Hungarian Grand Prix podium came as a "nice surprise" to himself and his Ferrari...

    F1
  30. Hamilton grateful to recover to podium 16:28

    Hamilton grateful to recover to podium

    Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was grateful to recover to the podium after a first lap error during the Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  31. Ricciardo: Safety Car did not hand me win 16:00

    Ricciardo: Safety Car did not hand me win

    Daniel Ricciardo says he was made to work for his Hungarian Grand Prix victory, playing down the role of two Safety Car...

    F1
  32. 15:25

    In full: Hungarian Grand Prix race result

    F1
  33. Ricciardo wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix 15:03

    Ricciardo wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix

    Daniel Ricciardo claimed the second victory of his Formula 1 career during an incident-packed Hungarian Grand Prix. The Red...

    F1
  34. 13:40

    Follow the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix live!

    F1
  35. Button tips Hamilton to finish on podium 11:37

    Button tips Hamilton to finish on podium

    Jenson Button has tipped Lewis Hamilton to recover from his qualifying woes and finish on the Hungarian Grand Prix...

    F1
  36. 10:29

    Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP2
  37. Vandoorne takes GP2 Sprint Race victory 10:28

    Vandoorne takes GP2 Sprint Race victory

    McLaren young driver Stoffel Vandoorne came out on top in the GP2 Sprint Race at the Hungaroring after taking the lead at...

    GP2
  38. 09:05

    Latest GP3 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP3
  39. Niederhauser controls second GP3 race 09:04

    Niederhauser controls second GP3 race

    Arden driver Patric Niederhauser claimed his first GP3 victory since 2012 in the second race of the weekend at the...

    GP3
  40. Briatore to assist Formula 1 popularity drive 07:00

    Briatore to assist Formula 1 popularity drive

    Ex-Formula 1 team boss Flavio Briatore is set to be involved in a new working group being put together by Bernie Ecclestone...

    F1
  41. Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide – Part 6 05:00

    Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide – Part 6

    Sauber's Head of Aerodynamics, Willem Toet, continues his talk on the science of F1 wind tunnel design.

    F1
  42. 03:00

    Revised starting grid for the Hungarian GP

    F1
  43. Saturday 26 July 2014

  44. Mercedes apologises to Hamilton for fire 20:06

    Mercedes apologises to Hamilton for fire

    Mercedes has apologised to Lewis Hamilton after he suffered another technical problem during Hungarian Grand Prix...

    F1
more news