Pastor Maldonado drove an excellent race to take the chequered flag at the Spanish Grand Prix in Catalunya.
This win was the first for the Williams team since the 2004 Brazilian grand prix won by Juan Pablo Montoya. Also there was a fire that broke out in the Williams garage in the fuel storage area, while the mechanics were celebrating.
Maldonado is the first driver from Venezuela to win a Grand Prix. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took second place, 3.1 secs behind the leader after fighting hard in the finishing laps. Alonso had an excellent start, leading the race for the first 27 laps. He was over taken after the first round of stops. The second round of stops offered some hope to the Ferrari driver, who pushed hard for a win but had to be content with second place. Kimi Raikkonnen of Lotus was third. Lotus showed some excellent pace during the practice sessions and Kimi was disappointed after finishing third. After the race he commented "The car did not run when it mattered the most" as the car struggled in the initial stages and only threatened the Ferrari towards the end. Kimi finished only half a second behind Alonso.
It was a great sight to see Kimi and Alonso hoisting Maldonado at the podium after his first win. Kimi's teammate Romain Grosjean finished fourth. Behind him, Kamui Kobayashi survived a brush when overtaking McLaren's Jenson Button to take an excellent fifth for Sauber, who lost Sergio Perez early on after the Mexican collided with Grosjean in the first corner and had to make a pit stop at the end of Lap One. Later after a mechanic fell over the right-rear wheel during a stop, Perez lasted only as long as it took him to figure out that the wheel was not properly secured.
Vettel gave everything he got to finish sixth. He got past the Mclaren's and also had to change a nose while he was struggling to make a headway. He also received a drive through penalty for ignoring the speed limit under the yellow flag.
Rosberg held on to the seventh position ahead of Mclaren's Lewis Hamilton who attacked late but missed Rosberg by just .2 seconds. Hamilton drove brilliantly given the fact that he had to start from the back of the grid due to insufficient fuel to reach to the pits in qualifying and submit the one liter sample required for testing.
Team mate Jenson Button finished ninth struggling for grip all day. In the end neither of the Mclaren's could hold Vettel. Nico Hulkenberg took the final points for Force India as he finished ahead of Webber, who came close several times, but Nico finally held his nerve to finish 10th.
Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher crashed out after his Mercedes hit the back of Senna's Williams on lap 13. After running into a gravel trap, Schumacher unscrewed his steering wheel and threw it out of the cockpit in disgust. The stewards after looking into the incident handed Schumacher a 5 place penalty in the next race at Monaco.
So it was a remarkable race and Maldonado did not put a wheel wrong in it and this is the first season in 29 years where five different drivers have won the first five races.
It moves Alonso to joint first place in the drivers' championship with Vettel, both with 61 points. Hamilton's great damage limitation run keeps him in play with 53 with Raikkonen on 49, Webber 48, Button 45, Rosberg 41, Grosjean 35, Maldonado 29 and Perez 22. In the constructors' stakes Red Bull have 109 to McLaren's 98, Lotus's 84, Ferrari's 63, Mercedes and Williams on 43 apiece and Sauber on 41.
|2||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||+3.1 secs||18|
|3||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||+3.8 secs||15|
|4||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||+14.7 secs||12|
|5||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||+64.6 secs||10|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||+67.5 secs||8|
|7||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||+77.9 secs||6|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||+78.1 secs||4|
|9||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||+85.2 secs||2|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||+1 Lap||1|
|11||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||+1 Lap|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|15||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|16||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||+1 Lap|
|17||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||+1 Lap|
|18||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||+2 Laps|
|19||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||+3 Laps|
|Ret||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||Accident damage|