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Spanish GP 2012

MAY 13, 2012

Race Notes - Maldonado wins for Williams in the Spanish GP!

Fernando Alonso, Pastor Maldonado, Kimi Raikkonen, Spanish GP 2012
© The Cahier Archive

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado has won his maiden F1 victory in a Williams-Renault, 3.1 seconds ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Kimi Raikkonen finished in third in the Lotus-Renault, 3.8 seconds behind the winner.

There now have been five different winners from five constructors in the first five races of the 2012 season. The win is the first for the Williams team in eight years - since the 2004 Brazilian GP with Juan Pablo Montoya driving, and Maldonado is the first Venezuelan to win a Grand Prix. Alonso is now tied with Vettel for the Drivers Championship, while Red Bull-Renault still lead the Constructors' Championship.

Alonso took the lead at the start and edged away to a three second lead in the first part of the race, but at the second pit stop, through a combination of a quick out-lap by Maldonado and Alonso being held up by Charles Pic's Marussia on his in-lap, Maldonado was able to take the lead, and then held off Alonso to take the win.

Romain Grosjean (14.7s) in the second Lotus was fourth, followed by Kamui Kobayashi (1m04.6s) in the Sauber-Ferrari was fifth, Sebastian Vettel (1m07.5s) in the Red Bull-Renault was sixth, Nico Rosberg (1m17.9s) in the Mercedes GP was seventh, Lewis Hamilton (1m18.1s) in the McLaren-Mercedes was eighth, his team mate Jenson Button (1m25.2s) was ninth, and Nico Hulkenberg (1 lap) in the Force India-Mercedes finished in the final points paying position.

After qualifying Hamilton is penalised and will start from last on the grid. Maldonado takes over starting from the pole, Alonso joining him on the front row.

At the start Maldonado squeezes Alonso towards the inside on the run down to the first corner. Alonso holds the position and takes the lead. Behind the pair Raikkonen gets past his team mate in third, Rosberg fourth, Grosjean

Grosjean and Serio Perez touch and Perez suffers a left rear puncture and pits at the end of the first lap. Hamilton up to 19th. Mark Webber and Paul di Resta touch, Webber takes the position.

Charles Pic spins, but continues.

On lap 3 Alonso leads Maldonado by 1.1 seconds.

On lap 5 Felipe Massa and Webber close on Jean-Eric Vergne in eighth. Webber pits for hard tyres and rejoins in 23rd. The next lap his team mate Vettel pits to hard tyres as well.

On lap 8 Rosberg has fallen away from the top three runners.

On lap 9 Kobayashi pits from eighth and switches to hard tyres.

On lap 10 Rosberg, Button and Di Resta all pit - Di Resta stays on another set of soft tyres.

On lap 11 the leader Alonso pits from the lead along with Grosjean. The next lap Maldonado pits from the lead and takes on hard tyres. Raikkonen pits and stays on softs. Alonso leads Maldonado and Raikkonen.

On lap 12 Alonso sets fastest lap at 1m29.1 seconds. Grosjean and Bruno Senna make minor contact - Grosjean takes the position.

On lap 13 Michael Schumacher hits the rear of Senna - the two going into the gravel trap. Schumacher is stuck, his day over - Senna continues with a punctured left rear tyre. Senna then pulls off on the side of the track and retires.

On lap 15 Hamilton is the last runner to make his first stop - he runs over a wheel gun leaving the pits.

At lap 15 Alonso leads Maldonado by 2.8 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (7.1s), Rosberg (19.7s), Grosjean (20.2s), Vettel (22.0s), Button (23.1s), Kobayashi (24.1s), Webber (29.8s) and Di Resta (30.6s) in tenth place.

On lap 16 Grosjean passes Rosberg into the first corner to take fourth.

On lap 17 Di Resta passes Webber for ninth. Webber falls back further as he is passes by Vernge, Massa, Hamilton and Hulkenberg.

On lap 18 Webber pits and takes new tyres and a new nose. Perez makes his first scheduled stop.

On lap 20 Webber sets fast lap, but is eclipsed by Perez with a 1m28.6s.

On lap 23 Rosberg pits for his second stop and changes to hard tyres. Vettel and Massa are under investigation by the stewards. Webber passes Petrov for 16th place.

On lap 24 the stewards announce that they will investigate the incident with Schumacher and Senna after the race. Di Resta, Vergne and Narain Karthikeyan all pit. Maldonado pits from second place the next lap and stay on the harder tyre.

On lap 26 Button pits from sixth place, switching to softs. Daniel Ricciardo pits as well.

On lap 27 Maldonado sets fastest lap at 1m27.9s, while Alonso gets held up by traffic and then pits from the lead. Maldonado gets past Alonso on the track. Karthikeyan retires.

On lap 28 Raikkonen pits from the lead and switches to hard tyres. Vettel also pits. Vettel and Massa are given a drive-through penalty for failing to slow for a yellow flag.

On lap 29 Massa serves his drive-through penalty.

At lap 30 Maldonado leads Alonso by 7.2 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (19.6s), Grosjean (33.1s), Hamilton (39.7s), Vettel (who pits), Rosberg (42.9s), Button (43.6s), Kobayashi (44.7s) and Hulkenberg (53.4s) in tenth place.

On lap 30 Button challenges Rosberg for seventh. Vettel pits the next lap to serve his penalty.

On lap 34 Kobayashi passes Button for seventh place. Hamilton complains that his tyres are going off. Kobayashi closes on Rosberg in sixth.

On lap 36 Hamilton pits from eighth and stays on hard tyres. Alonso closes the gap to Maldonado to 6.1 seconds.

On lap 37 Pic pits to serve a penalty for ignoring the blue flags and holding up Alonso - he retires in the garage.

On lap 38 Vettel passes Button on the outside of the first corner to take seventh place. Button makes his third stop the next lap, switching to soft tyres.

On lap 40 Hulkenberg and Ricciardo pit. Perez pits and a team member falls, but everyone is all-right. Perez then retires.

On lap 42 Maldonado, Rosberg, Webber and Vergne all stop. Williams has a slow stop with a problem with the left-rear tyre, and rejoins in third. Kobayashi pits the next lap from sixth. Button passes Massa for ninth.

On lap 43 Vettel pits from fifth - the team changes the front wing. Di Resta pits as well.

On lap 44 Alonso pits from the lead and stays on the hard tyres. Raikkonen (yet to pit) and Maldonado pass him as he is in the pitlane. Webber sets fastest lap at 1m27.8s.

At lap 45 Raikkonen leads Maldonado by 0.7 seconds, followed by Alonso (3.8s), Grosjean (17.6s), Rosberg (51.1s), Kobayashi (53.2s), Hamilton (57.8s), Button (59.6s), Vettel (64.5s) and Massa (64.5s) in tenth.

Alonso sets fastest lap at 1m27.390s. Maldonado is being slowed up by Raikkonen. Alonso now trails Maldonado by 0.3 seconds. Maldonado passes Raikkonen for the lead.

On lap 49 Alonso passes Raikkonen on the front straight DRS zone to take second place. Raikkonen pits at the end of the lap - and rejoins ahead of his team mate in fourth.

Alonso runs 0.9 seconds behind Maldonado in the lead, and is running faster lap times on his fresher tyres.

On lap 50 Raikkonen sets fastest lap at 1m26.9 seconds. Alonso is stalking Maldonado in the lead.

On lap 51 Grosjean pits from fourth place.

Through traffic Maldonado pulls out to a 1.3 seconds lead.

On lap 53 Grosjean sets fastest lap at 1m26.2s. Button is challenging his team mate Hamilton for seventh place.

At lap 55 Maldonado leads Alonso by 0.9 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (17.1s), Grosjean (33.8s) , Rosberg (54.3s), Kobayashi (55.5s), Hamilton (64.6s), Button (66.0s), Vettel (67.7s) and Hulkenberg (78.4s) in tenth place.

Alonso closes to within range to use his DRS.

On lap 57 Alonso is now just 0.6 seconds behind the leader. Raikkonen is running a second a lap quicker than the leaders buy is still 13.7 seconds back.

On lap 59 Vettel passes Button for eighth place. Maldonado stretches his lead to 1.4 seconds. Kobayashi is hounding Rosberg for fifth place and takes the position.

On lap 60 the gap to Alonso is 1.7 seconds. Vettel closes on Hamilton.

On lap 62 the lead stretches to 2.3 seconds. Vettel passes Hamilton for seventh.

On lap 64 Maldonado's lead is 3.0 seconds ahead of Alonso. Raikkonen is closing fast on the pair.

On lap 65 Vettel passes Rosberg to take sixth place.

Maldonado holds on to win his first career victory over Alonso and Raikkonen.