Maldonado Wins 'Fiery' Spanish GP
Pastor Maldonado ended Williams’ eight-year wait for a Formula One victory after taking out the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on Sunday.
The Venezuelan claimed his first-ever career victory and his country’s on the same weekend as team founder Sir Frank Williams’ 70th birthday, before later heroically saving his young cousin, wearing a protective brace on a broken foot, after a fire broke out in the team garage.
The Williams triumph was a big shock and another boost for this season’s Formula One championship with winners galore this season, meaning the title race is wide open at this stage, which is a far cry from last year when Sebastian Vettel ran away with the honour.
The Venezuelan driver produced a fine display behind the wheel to hold off Alonso, while title contenders Vettel finished sixth, Lewis Hamilton eighth and Jenson Button down in ninth, with Mark Webber pointless down in 11th in Spain.
“It’s a wonderful day for me and the team. An unforgettable race,” said Maldonado. “It was a tough race, with the strategy and a couple of laps we were struggling. But the car was so competitive from the first lap.”
On second-placed Alonso, he added: “There was some moments where he was so close but I managed the gap.”
Alonso pushed Maldonado towards the end of the race, after he had overtaken Raikkonen following the third stop.
“It was a fantastic start. We took the momentum there and led the race for the first start but Williams anticipated [our pit] stop and got in front,” said Alonso. “We tried a couple of times to get in front but it wasn’t possible.”
Vettel and Alonso are top of the standings on 61 points, ahead of Hamilton on 53, Raikkonen (49) and Webber (48).
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