Date:Monday May 14 2012
The 2012 Formula One World Championship is more competitive than ever.
Following the fifth race of the season, we've now had five different race winners from five different teams.
Not since 1983 has a campaign started with five different winners but history repeated itself on Sunday.
If anyone thought that Formula One could become even less predictable this season, then they needed to watch events unfold in Spain as Pastor Maldonado, the 27-year-old Venezuelan took his first pole position on Saturday and then his first race victory on Sunday and all while driving a Williams, a car that last won a Formula One race in Brazil 2004 with Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel.
Seen by some as a pay driver, ourselves included, due to the amount of money he brings to the Williams team through sponsorship, Maldonado drove a faultless weekend.
He might not have finished Saturday afternoon on pole position, with his time half a second slower than the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, but second place in qualifying was still a wonderful achievement for Maldonado, especially when his team-mate Bruno Senna had dropped out in Q1.
Speaking immediately after qualifying the Williams driver told formula1.com: “We have been working so hard all year to understand these tyres and with the updates we have brought to this race we have made a very good step forward. The car is very consistent and its race pace is good so I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow. There has been a really positive atmosphere in the team all season and this is a great result for them and Venezuela.”
It was an even better result for them once the news broke that Lewis Hamilton would be excluded from qualifying due to breaking a rule in regards to fuel.
In a script that only Formula One could write, the news was released just as the team were celebrating Frank Williams' 70th birthday, would there be an even bigger present for the long standing F1 boss?
Going into the race no-one really gave Williams much of a chance of being able to convert pole position into the race win.
The much improved Ferrari, being cheered on by Fernando Alonso's home crowd, would surely be strong enough? The Lotus' of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean had both shown good long distance pace in Friday practice, surely they would be in contention?
Even the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel after saving tyres from qualifying would challenge?
The answer was an emphatic no, while Alonso might have taken the lead on the first corner and led the first phase of the race, the Williams team had the strategy nailed and Maldonado re-took the lead of the race after the first pit-stop and that's where he remained until the chequered flag fell.
Even a fairly early pit-stop wouldn't deny Maldonado from his first race victory, as Alonso's newer, fresher tyres, lost performance sooner than those on the Williams.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling winning my first race. The car felt really consistent, was fantastic to drive and our pace was strong throughout. Alonso was chasing me hard but we looked after our tyres well and I managed to open the gap towards the end. The team has worked so hard all year and this win is for them. To be the first Venezuelan to win a Formula One race is a big honour and hopefully I will win more races in the future.”
With just four points from his first four races, the twenty-five points earned from the win shot Maldonado up the drivers table to ninth.
Williams also climb the constructors table and are now level on points with Mercedes in fifth.
Date:Monday May 14 2012
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Williams end winter testing on top (Monday March 2 2015)
Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top (Monday March 2 2015)
New Force India impresses on first showing (Monday March 2 2015)
Dennis denies car failure behind Alonso crash (Friday February 27 2015)
Williams top first day of final test (Friday February 27 2015)
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Alonso released from hospital (Wednesday February 25 2015)
Alonso remains hospitalised (Tuesday February 24 2015)
Alonso airlifted to hospital (Monday February 23 2015)
Maldonado tops third day in Barcelona (Monday February 23 2015)
Red Bull on top on day two in Barcelona (Monday February 23 2015)
Maldonado tops first day in Barcelona (Friday February 20 2015)
F1 set for Qatar in 2016 (Thursday February 19 2015)
Wolff wants to wrap up Hamilton contract talks (Wednesday February 18 2015)
Raikkonen unfazed by uncertain future (Tuesday February 17 2015)
Force India to make Barcelona appearance (Monday February 16 2015)
Alonso just wants equality at McLaren (Friday February 13 2015)
Mateschitz pleased with Red Bull & Toro Rosso (Thursday February 12 2015)
Honda plan upgrades for next test (Wednesday February 11 2015)
Force India look set to miss second test (Tuesday February 10 2015)
Marussia push on with return (Monday February 9 2015)
Caterham's administrators to auction assets (Friday February 6 2015)
Force India block Marussia return (Friday February 6 2015)
Despite lack of running McLaren remain positive (Thursday February 5 2015)
Raikkonen and Ferrari on top in Jerez (Thursday February 5 2015)
Signs of progress for McLaren? (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Marussia to exit administration (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Sauber top third day (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Early struggles for McLaren Honda (Tuesday February 3 2015)
Vettel and Ferrari remain quickest in Jerez (Tuesday February 3 2015)
Hamilton set for contract talks (Monday February 2 2015)
Formula One teams hit the test track (Monday February 2 2015)
Bernie wants one wish (Friday January 30 2015)
Ferrari continue to beat the drum of F1 revolution (Thursday January 29 2015)
Force India looking to optimise wind tunnel time (Wednesday January 28 2015)
Could F1 lose German Grand Prix? (Tuesday January 27 2015)
Chilton lines up potential Indy Car switch (Monday January 26 2015)
New engines attract new fans (Friday January 23 2015)
Hockenheim to host 2015 German Grand Prix (Thursday January 22 2015)
Vettel's big gamble at Ferrari (Wednesday January 21 2015)
Honda allowed to make in-season changes (Tuesday January 20 2015)
Qatar bid for F1 scuppered? (Monday January 19 2015)
Spain and Austria to host in-season tests (Friday January 16 2015)
F1 introduce new Super Licence points system (Thursday January 15 2015)
More aggressive tyre strategy in 2015 (Wednesday January 14 2015)
Newey questions if anyone can catch Mercedes (Tuesday January 13 2015)
FIA confirm new virtual safety car procedures (Monday January 12 2015)
Robson swaps McLaren for Williams (Friday January 9 2015)
2015 Formula One Calendar (Thursday January 8 2015)
All change at Sauber (Thursday January 8 2015)
F1 teams to exploit engine rule loophole (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Korea dropped for 2015 (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Caterham's administrators will not fund testing (Tuesday January 6 2015)
Podromou is McLaren's master (Friday January 2 2015)
Long recovery for Ferrari (Thursday January 1 2015)
Red Bull Racing retain Buemi (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Bianchi's neurological status remains unchanged (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Talks to save Caterham continue (Tuesday December 30 2014)
Engine freeze is against the spirit of the sport (Monday December 29 2014)
Vettel had a great run at Red Bull (Friday December 26 2014)
Hamilton reflects on Rosberg rivalry (Wednesday December 24 2014)
Vergne joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 23 2014)
Clear & Bell to swap Mercedes for Ferrari (Monday December 22 2014)
Trio depart Ferrari (Friday December 19 2014)
Ecclestone to propose v8 return (Thursday December 18 2014)
20 stolen Red Bull trophies recovered (Wednesday December 17 2014)
Gutierrez joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 16 2014)
Hamilton wins SPOTY (Monday December 15 2014)
Best option for the future is McLaren says Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
Dennis does not anticipate any issues with Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
McLaren confirm Alonso return (Thursday December 11 2014)
McLaren confirm Button on multi-year deal (Thursday December 11 2014)
Button stays at McLaren (Thursday December 11 2014)
Ricciardo surprised himself (Wednesday December 10 2014)
Red Bull factory ram-raided (Monday December 8 2014)
McLaren board meeting fails to decide (Friday December 5 2014)
Force India to use Toyata's wind tunnel (Friday December 5 2014)
2015 - Formula One's biggest season yet (Thursday December 4 2014)
FIA file report on Bianchi crash (Thursday December 4 2014)
Virtual Safety Car to get debut in 2015 (Wednesday December 3 2014)
Vettel completes first day at Ferrari (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Caterham could run old cars in 2015 (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Toro Rosso announce Sainz Jr for 2015 (Monday December 1 2014)
Williams announce Wolff as test driver (Monday December 1 2014)
Teams fail to agree on engine regulations (Friday November 28 2014)
Formula One scrap double points round (Friday November 28 2014)
Vergne announces Toro Rosso departure (again) (Thursday November 27 2014)
Problems for McLaren Honda continue (Thursday November 27 2014)
Successful season for Williams (Wednesday November 26 2014)
McLaren Honda manage 3 laps (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Caterham takeover complete 'in weeks' (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Ferrari announce third team principal of 2014 (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Audio: Abu Dhabi Recap (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Mercedes and Hamilton to re-open contract talks (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Alonso's new project will challenge Mercedes (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Force India confirm Perez place (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Wolff praises Mercedes team-mates (Monday November 24 2014)
Greatest day for Hamilton (Monday November 24 2014)
Rosberg wins friends in defeat (Monday November 24 2014)
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