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Rookie wins Spanish GP sizzler

2012-05-13 15:46

FIFTH RACE WINNER CROWNED: William's rookie Pastor Maldonado managed to hold off dogged pursuit by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to achieve his first Grand Prix victory in Spain.

Barcelona - Williams rookie Pastor Maldonado managed to hold off dogged pursuit by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to achieve his first Grand Prix victory in Spain. Maldonado, Formula 1’s fifth race winner in 2012, has given William’s their first victory since Juan Pablo Montaya in Brazil 2004.

Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen earned himself a third place podium followed by team mate Romain Grosjean.

Spanish Grand Prix highlights:

Lap 1 - 10

During the opening lap of the race Sauber's Sergio Perez drove off the track with a rear puncture. Fortunately he made to the pits and was back on track for lap 2. In the first 10 laps of the race Alonso staved off challenge from Maldonado who held onto his second place spot. The rookie was followed by the Lotus duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Lewis Hamilton, who was dropped to the back of the grid, made it to 12th place by the end of the 10th lap.

Lap 10 - 20

Michael Schumacher slammed into the rear of Senna's car and was forced off track ending both of their Spanish Grand Prix runs. The incident will be investigated post race.

In lap 15 Hamilton headed for the pits for the first time but reportedly hit a wheel gun as he was leaving, bouncing his car into the air. Webber appeared to have been losing pace and fell behind in the grid before making a pit stop in lap 18. Webber equipped a new nose and a second set of hard tyres.

Alonso, Maldonado and Raikkonen continued to battle at the front, with the Ferrari ace holding onto his first place spot. Lotus' Grosjean moved ahead of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in fifth.

Lap 20 - 30

Vettel and Massa were both handed drive-through penalties for failing to slow down when the yellow flags were raised during lap 23. Hamilton and Massa duel for seventh place held by Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi in lap 24.

Maldonado hoped to pass Alonso once the Ferrari driver headed for the pits. During lap 26 his got his chance and after setting a new fastest lap time passed Alonso to gain first place chased by Raikkonen. Lap 26 also saw the end of Kartheyan's race as his HRT ground to a halt at the side of the track.

Lap 30 - 40

After swopping soft tyres, Jenson Button seemed to be gaining on Nico Rosberg for sixth place. Maldonado powered ahead of Alonso during lap 32 determined to hold onto first place. Button's hopes of passing Rosberg were dashed as Kobayashi muscled his way past the McLaren in lap 34. Marrusia's Charles Pic received a drive through penalty for ignoring blue flags in lap 36.

Lap 40 - 50

During lap 40 Sauber's technicians bungled a pit stop causing Perez to retire at turn 12. Maldonado suffered a six second pit stop due to a tyre issue. The front runners at the end of lap 49 remain Maldonado, Alonso and Raikkonen. Grosjean and Rosberg are in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Lap 50 - 66

Maldonado and Alonso were head to head for first place at lap 50 though Raikkonen was determined not to be left behind and set the new fastest time during lap 51. The battle for first was slowed down as they faced the traffic of the back of the pack. At lap 54, both McLaren battled for seventh place.

Raikkonen held onto his third place spot ahead of Lotus team mate Grosjean at lap 60.By lap 62 Maldonado extended his lead by two seconds ahead of Alonso.

By the end of lap 66 Maldonado is crowned Venezuela’s first F1 champion.

Results of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona:

1 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1hr 39mins 09.145seconds
2 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 00min03.195
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 00min03.884
4 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 00min14.799
5 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 01min04.641
6 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 01min07.576
7 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 01min17.919
8 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 01min18.140
9 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 01min25.246
10. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1 lap
11 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1 lap
12 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1 lap
13Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1 lap
14 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1 lap
15 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1 lap
16. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1 lap
17 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham 1 lap
18 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia  2 laps
19 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 3 laps
Retired Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 29 laps
Retired Charles Pic (France) Marussia 31 laps
Retired Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 44 laps
Retired Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams 54 laps
Retired Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 54 laps

Fastest Lap: Romain Grosjean, 1min26.250, lap 53.

For qualifying and practice results click here!

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