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
Blog: Shanghai Qualifying (Saturday April 19 2014)
2014 - China - Qualifying (Saturday April 19 2014)
2014 - China - FP3 (Saturday April 19 2014)
2014 - China - FP2 (Friday April 18 2014)
2014 - China - FP1 (Friday April 18 2014)
Hamilton working hard to catch Rosberg (Thursday April 17 2014)
Hass might join F1 grid in 2016 (Wednesday April 16 2014)
Red Bull lose appeal (Wednesday April 16 2014)
Brawn to return to Ferrari? (Tuesday April 15 2014)
Domenicali quits (Monday April 14 2014)
NASCAR owner confirms Formula 1 entry (Monday April 14 2014)
Red Bull appeal begins (Monday April 14 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 4 (Sunday April 13 2014)
Who will win the Chinese GP? (Sunday April 13 2014)
Mercedes hit out at Ferrari (Saturday April 12 2014)
Perez nearly quit F1 (Friday April 11 2014)
Mercedes stay on top in Bahrain (Thursday April 10 2014)
Red Bull & McLaren in legal row (Thursday April 10 2014)
Blog: The Battle of Mercedes (Thursday April 10 2014)
Mercedes on top in first test (Wednesday April 9 2014)
Formula One should celebrate new era (Wednesday April 9 2014)
F1 cost cap plan abandoned (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Two new teams to join Formula One? (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Maldonado punished (Monday April 7 2014)
Formula One puts on a showcase (Monday April 7 2014)
Blog: Bahrain GP Report (Monday April 7 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - Race (Sunday April 6 2014)
Blog: Sakhir Qualifying (Saturday April 5 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - Qualifying (Saturday April 5 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - FP3 (Saturday April 5 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - FP2 (Friday April 4 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - FP1 (Friday April 4 2014)
Cautious optimism for Schumacher (Friday April 4 2014)
Williams resolve team orders row (Friday April 4 2014)
Hamilton & Rosberg on par (Thursday April 3 2014)
Sauber have identified their issues (Thursday April 3 2014)
Sauber & Caterham make driver changes (Wednesday April 2 2014)
Alonso finds the positives (Tuesday April 1 2014)
Fuel-gate rumbles on (Tuesday April 1 2014)
Red Bull are closing the gap (Tuesday April 1 2014)
Massa defiant after ignoring team call (Tuesday April 1 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 3 (Monday March 31 2014)
Who will win the Bahrain GP? (Monday March 31 2014)
Hamilton dominant in Malaysia [w/VIDEO] (Monday March 31 2014)
Blog: Malaysian GP Report (Sunday March 30 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - Race (Sunday March 30 2014)
Blog: Sepang Qualifying (Saturday March 29 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - Qualifying (Saturday March 29 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - FP3 (Saturday March 29 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - FP2 (Friday March 28 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - FP1 (Friday March 28 2014)
Lotus trying to put two and two together (Thursday March 27 2014)
Sutil unhappy with weight issues (Thursday March 27 2014)
Video Feature: Malaysia Preview (Wednesday March 26 2014)
McLaren pushing hard (Wednesday March 26 2014)
Red Bull owner slams F1 (Tuesday March 25 2014)
Lotus hoping for improvement (Monday March 24 2014)
Date set for Red Bull's appeal (Monday March 24 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 2 (Sunday March 23 2014)
Who will win in Malaysia? (Saturday March 22 2014)
Red Bull looking to improve (Friday March 21 2014)
Kimi points finger at brake-by-wire system (Thursday March 20 2014)
F1's new sound (Thursday March 20 2014)
Williams delighted with Bottas drive (Wednesday March 19 2014)
Lotus problems down to MGU-K component (Wednesday March 19 2014)
Ferrari unhappy with Australia performance (Tuesday March 18 2014)
Perfect debut for Magnussen (Tuesday March 18 2014)
Disappointing weekend for Red Bull (Monday March 17 2014)
Bittersweet weekend for Mercedes (Monday March 17 2014)
F1 Blog: Australian GP: New dawn (Sunday March 16 2014)
2014 - Australia - Race (Sunday March 16 2014)
2014 - Australia - Qualifying (Saturday March 15 2014)
F1 Blog: Rain clouds have a silver lining (Saturday March 15 2014)
2014 - Australia - FP3 (Saturday March 15 2014)
Rd 1 - F1 Fans Forum Prediction Competition (Friday March 14 2014)
2014 - Australia - FP2 (Friday March 14 2014)
2014 - Australia - FP1 (Friday March 14 2014)
Stewards to be lenient in Australia (Thursday March 13 2014)
Chilton targets maiden point (Thursday March 13 2014)
Video: A closer look at Red Bull's RB10 (Thursday March 13 2014)
Video: Ferrari's internal battle (Thursday March 13 2014)
Small and encouraging signs for Schumacher (Wednesday March 12 2014)
F1 Blog: The Braces Are Off (Wednesday March 12 2014)
Lotus depending on Renault improvements (Wednesday March 12 2014)
Mercedes & Hamilton favourites say Horner (Wednesday March 12 2014)
Who will win the Australian Grand Prix? (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Williams positive ahead of new season (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Ecclestone targets Azerbaijan (Tuesday March 11 2014)
No change for Schumacher (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Qualifying tweaks confirmed (Monday March 10 2014)
F1 Prediction Competition - Round One (Saturday March 8 2014)
Lotus will recover (Saturday March 8 2014)
Ferrari behind Mercedes & Williams (Friday March 7 2014)
Pirelli announce tyre compounds for opening races (Friday March 7 2014)
Vettel concerned with lack of pace (Thursday March 6 2014)
More to come for Mercedes (Wednesday March 5 2014)
Where do McLaren stand? (Tuesday March 4 2014)
Red Bull will overcome problems, but when? (Monday March 3 2014)
FOTA folds with a whimper (Saturday March 1 2014)
Williams looking solid (Friday February 28 2014)
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