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Williams wins Spanish F1 thriller

2012-05-13 16:35

PERFECT BIRTHDAY GIFT: Pastor Maldonado's first F1 victory was also the perfect 70th birthday gift for team principal and founder Frank Williams.

BARCELONA, Spain - Pastor Maldonado grabbed an astonishing first Formula 1 victory during the Spanish Grand Prix and handed former champions Williams their first triumph in 132 races and nearly eight years.

The first Venezuelan driver to stand on an F1 podium, let alone win a race, Maldonado became the fifth different winner from five races won by five different teams... a phenomenon only ever seen before in 1983.

A 300-1 outsider before the race weekend, Maldonado delivered Williams' first win since Juan Pablo Montoya in Brazil 2004.


Maldonado shared the podium with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen  in second and third place repectively.

The pole had fallen into his lap after Lewis Hamilton was sent to the back of the grid because McLaren put too little fuel in his car during qualifying.

Alonso finished in second, 3.1 seconds behind, to move level with Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel on points at the top of championship.

Raikkonen was disappointed in third, taking the chequered flag 3.8 seconds behind Maldonado after running out of laps in a spirited chase for a possible victory.

Vettel, who finished sixth, and Alonso both have 61 points, with Hamilton on 53.

It was the 114th win for Williams, nine times constructors' champions whose last title was in 1997 with Jacques Villeneuve. The victory comes a day after Formula 1 celebrated team founder and principal Frank Williams' 70th birthday party.


The Circuit de Catalunya, the most predictable on the calendar until the arrival of moveable rear wings (DRS) and Pirelli tyres, served up a cliffhanger.

Alonso seized the lead at the start to the delight of the home crowd but that was just the opening salvo in a long afternoon full of thrills and overtaking.

While Hamilton showed off all his talents by carving his way through the field from last place on the grid to eighth, the battle at the front was on a knife-edge right to the very end.

With 10 laps to go there was less than a second between Maldonado and Alonso while Raikkonen was taking huge chunks out of their lead lap by lap.

Maldonado's team mate Bruno Senna was less fortunate than the Venezuelan victor, retiring on track after just 13 laps when Michael Schumacher ploughed his Mercedes into the back of the Williams in a shower of debris.

The seven times world champion, three years into his comeback but still without a podium place, branded the Brazilian an "idiot" over the team radio even though it looked like it was clearly his fault.

Schumacher said: "You can see he moves right to defend his position in the braking phase but then moves back left into me. I am very annoyed about that."

"He was a backmarker and not a real contender for the points. We may not have been race winners, but we would have got good points," he said.

Stewards are investigating the incident.

Vettel joined the list of unhappy Germans after he and Ferrari's Felipe Massa, again completely eclipsed by his team mate, collected drive-through penalties for failing to slow for yellow warning flags.

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.

Drivers' and Constructors points the Spanish F1 GP in Barcelona

1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 61 points
2 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 61
3 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 53
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Renault 49
5 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 48
6 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 45
7 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes GP 41
8 Romain Grosjean (France) Renault 35
9 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 29
10 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 22
11 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 19
12 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 15
13 Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams 14
14 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 4
15 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 3
16 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 2
17 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 2
18 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes GP 2
19 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 0
20 Charles Pic (France) Marussia 0
21 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Team Lotus 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Team Lotus 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 0

1 Red Bull 109 points
2 McLaren 98
3 Lotus 84
4 Ferrari 63
5 Mercedes 43, Williams 43
7 Sauber 41
8 Force India 18
9 Toro Rosso 6
10 Marussia 0
11 Caterham 0
12 HRT  0

Stay with Wheels24 for the Spanish Grand Prix.


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