Pastor Maldonado has claimed victory in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. The win makes him the first Venezuelan driver to be on the podium. It has been a long wait for the Williams team as their last victory came eight years ago in the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix. Pastor’s victory means we have five different winners in five different races. What an amazing season it has been so far!
The Venezuelan had the Spaniard Fernando Alonso breathing fire behind his back till the finish line. At one point in the race (around lap 53), it looked like Fernando would overtake Pastor and claim victory but it was not to be as the Venezualan kept his cool under pressure and drove brilliantly to deny the two time World Champion.
Initially, it was Fernando Alonso who led the race but during the second round of pit stops the Williams team decided to bring Maldonado into the pits before Alonso could make his pitstop in order to get him clear space to challenge the Spaniard. To the dismay of Fernando Alonso and the Spanish fans, Alonso got caught up in traffic with the back-markers while Pastor cruised through some crucial laps to claim the lead in the race. The sudden spurt allowed the Venezuelan to pass Fernando Alonso during the second round of pit stops — a tactic which is more commonly known as the undercut. From then on, Pastor Maldonado and the Williams team didn’t put a foot wrong and got to the chequered flag.
Behind Fernando Alonso followed the Lotus duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Kimi Raikkonen had a lonely race as he raced clear from his team mate during the early stages of the race but couldn’t keep up with the pace of Pastor Maldonado and Fernando Alonso. It was only during the last stages of the race that Kimi started closing the gap on Fernando as the Ferrari driver started facing tyre issues. Kimi’s team mate Romain Grosjean had a more lively race after being involved in a number of battles throughout the race, most noticeably with Bruno Senna.
Speaking of Bruno Senna, his bad run of luck continued from qualifying after being hit on the rear end of his car by the seven time world champion Michael Schumacher. The German was furious after the incident and was heard calling Senna an idiot over the team radio. The clash meant that both Bruno Senna and Michael Schumacher didn’t get to see the chequered flag due to substantial damage caused on both the cars. The incident that occurred between them is under investigation.
Kamui Kobayashi continued his good form by finishing at fifth place. The Japanese driver made some brilliant overtakes on Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg. Sadly his teammate Sergio Perez didn’t see the chequered flag after retiring with a wheel nut loose on his car.
Sebastian Vettel finished at what can be called a hard fought sixth place after incurring a drive through penalty for not slowing down in the yellow flag period. The German fought his way up to sixth place after making some brilliant passes on Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber didn’t have a good race as he had some issues with his front wing which meant he had to come into the pits for an unscheduled front wing change. This cost the Australian a lot of time and a potential point scoring position as he finished at 11th place one lap down.
The McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button finished at 8th and 9th positions respectively after a topsy turvy race for both the drivers. Jenson Button complained about the balance of his vehicle throughout the race and struggled to manage his tyres. Lewis Hamilton had a better outing than his team mate as he finished the race at 8th place after starting way down at 24th place.
Nico Hulkenberg finished the race at 10th spot and scored the final championship point; some consolation for Force India after a difficult weekend. His team mate Paul Di Resta finished pretty low at 14th place. Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne finished the race at 12th and 13th places respectively. The Toro Rosso team will be very disappointed as they had strong pace during the first four flyaway races but lagged when it came to race pace in Spain.
Felipe Massa faced further problems after finishing way down at 15th place. The Brazilian also had to undergo drive through penalty for not slowing down during the yellow flag period. Like Vettel, he couldn’t keep up the pace as he finished at 15th place. He was followed by the usual back markers. Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov finished at 16th and 17th places respectively for Caterham-Renault. They were followed by the Marussia-Cosworth’s Timo Glock and the HRT-Cosworth’s Pedro De la Rosa who ended up being the classified finisher. Charles Pic and Narain Karthikeyan had their race cut short after facing mechanical issues with their cars.
|2||5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||66||+3.1 secs||2||18|
|3||9||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||66||+3.8 secs||4||15|
|4||10||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||66||+14.7 secs||3||12|
|5||14||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||66||+64.6 secs||9||10|
|6||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||66||+67.5 secs||7||8|
|7||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||66||+77.9 secs||6||6|
|8||4||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||66||+78.1 secs||24||4|
|9||3||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||66||+85.2 secs||10||2|
|10||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||65||+1 Lap||13||1|
|11||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||65||+1 Lap||11|
|12||17||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||65||+1 Lap||14|
|13||16||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||65||+1 Lap||15|
|14||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||65||+1 Lap||12|
|15||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||65||+1 Lap||16|
|16||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||65||+1 Lap||19|
|17||21||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||65||+1 Lap||18|
|18||24||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||64||+2 Laps||21|
|19||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||63||+3 Laps||22|
|Ret||15||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||37||+29 Laps||5|
|Ret||25||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||35||+31 Laps||20|
|Ret||23||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||22||+44 Laps||23|