'A wonderful and unbelievable day' – Maldonado
13 May 2012 – Before today, sixth place had been the best result for a Venezuelan in a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Now 27-year-old Pastor Maldonado has banished that statistic and confirmed Williams’ first Grand Prix victory in over seven years.
The GP2 Champion of 2010 impressively held off the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, with Kimi Räikkönen also closing in dramatically for Lotus.
“It was so close,” Maldonado said after the race. “Fernando was getting very close at the end of the main straight but I was managing the gap, controlling everything and looking after my tyres. Our pace was strong and the car and team fantastic today.
“This is a wonderful and unbelievable day for the team and I. We’ve pushed so hard since last year to be able to improve this car race by race. And here we are! It was tough, especially because of the rear tyres which I was struggling with, but I’m pretty happy because we were just competitive from the first lap.”
Maldonado is the second man this season to celebrate a first pole position and victory on the same weekend, as Nico Rosberg did the same at the Chinese Grand Prix.