Maldonado says “It’s a wonderful day” after first win

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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Pastor Maldonado said “I think it’s a wonderful day” after winning his first race in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Speaking in the press conference after the race he said: “For me, for the team, we’ve been pushing so hard to try to improve race by race and here we are.

“Yesterday we had a great qualifying and today again it was a tough race because the strategy as well was hard because the rear tyres after a couple of lap we were struggling.

“But I’m really happy because the car was so competitive since the first lap. Fernando did a better start than me but I was just following the pace and it was so great.

“It’s my first podium and my first victory so you can imagine what I feel.”

Maldonado took the lead after making his second pit stop before Fernando Alonso, but came under pressure from the Ferrari driver at the end of the race:

“It was so close,” said Maldonado. “We were looking to manage the tyre degradation so I wasn’t pushing that hard just to keep the tyres alive for the end of the race and Fernando got too close.

“There was some moment that he was so close especially at the end of the race. But I was managing the gap and controlling everything. I think our pace today was pretty strong. The car looks fantastic even the team made a small mistake in the last pit stop but it doesn’t affect our performance.”

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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Image © Williams/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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42 comments on “Maldonado says “It’s a wonderful day” after first win”

  1. carlito's way
    13th May 2012, 15:20

    So happy for Maldonado and Williams!

    1. Ian (@valkyrassassin)
      13th May 2012, 15:33

      Me too, over the moon – always good to see a new driver win, and great to see Williams winning again after so many years.

    2. Really happy for Williams.

  2. First podium!! And directly on the top step.
    I guess only Vettel has done this before

    1. The winner of the very first grand prix as well

    2. Giancarlo Baghetti won in his first race :P

      1. I had a quick look, and I could find a handful (Brabham, Fangio, Fittipaldi, Jones, Bonnier, Pedro Rodriguez). Could be more though.

        1. Since when did them lot win their first race?

  3. Maldonado had been threating to do something big for a while now, I just didn’t expect him to win.

  4. Remember when he “attacked” Hamilton at Spa last year? Everybody hated him… Now look at him.

    Go Pastor!

    1. As much as I’m very happy for him now, that event last year still looms in my mind a bit.

      1. For me too @mouse_nightshirt. Like Lewis own behaviour last year, like Vettel in Turkey 2010, etc. Doesn’t mean I can’t value a good drive by the drivers, luckily, but yeah, it sticks in my mind. But, great drive by Maldonado today, and during this whole weekend, well done by him and the Williams team.

    2. His attitude is a different story. Schumi was an ass on the past but he was winning. Still that didn’t make him a nice guy.
      Last year Maldonado brush off badly to me because of Monaco and Spa. If he makes another two years in F1 and behaves decently i can say that those where just one of time incidents and consider them not important.

  5. Nice, he proved his critics wrong!

  6. Brilliant drive. He deserves it. after final lap crash in Aus, he certainly learned a lot.

  7. I can’t wait for Monaco! We could see strong Alonso and Maldonado again soon.

    1. Maldonado was pretty stellar in that Williams at Monaco last year. Unfortunately, a deranged lewis put his race to an untimely end.

      I expect both him and Fernando fighting for a podium finish in Monaco.

  8. Deserved win for him and Williams. They both turned the tables very quickly: Maldonado polishing his errors and getting all together right this time and Williams turning around a car which was rubbish to a race winning racer.

  9. Great thing what Maldonado just did, i’ts unbelievable!! He’s making us Venezuelans so proud right now.
    Grande Pastor!! Vamos Venezuela!!

    1. Ferrari doesn’t know that either or ever since the Pirelli tires got back into f1. Alonso would have won the race if he would have pitted in the same lap or at least a lap later than Maldonado. No 2-3 laps later. The one that pits first is at least 2-3 seconds faster than the one that is running at the end of the tires’ life.

      1. I don’t think You are right. It seemed as if Alonso’s tires was shot at the end and he had to let Maldonado go. If Alonso had pitted 2 rounds earlier, he would have fallen victim to Raikonnen at the end. I think the situation was that both Williams and Ferrari made the best available strategic calls, the Williams car and Maldonado just a little better today.

  10. I cant quite understand F1 at the moment. Mclaren won in Australia, then they were nowhere in Malaysia. Ferrari won in Malaysia, no performance in China. Merc won in China, terrible in Bahrain. Red Bull won in Bahrain, two wing changes today.
    How can teams’ performance swing so drastically? Tyres I know

    It somehow feels as if Pirelli are setting up the championship for us. “Okay, lets make this guy a winner next”

    1. Pirelli hasn’t changed the composition of the tyre compounds. It’s up to the teams to adjust.

      1. Exactly @ryne I don’t know where people get these ideas from sometimes!

  11. And to think I thought of him as a pay driver… Congratulations.

  12. Fantastic drive by Pastor and Well done to Williams amazing turn around, struggling to score points last season and now scoring well and I’m glad they got that monkey off their back, the perfect present for Sir Frank

  13. Seemingly he over-egged the celebrations – Williams garage is now on fire!

    1. Latest news – explosion and KERS fire.

  14. 10- the best championship. Unpreditable. Anyway i’m a little confused. Which is the best car?? As Ferrari improve or RB and McLaren loose???

    1. More a case of certain tracks suiting certain cars characteristics. Also the teams dont all release updates on the same weekends. Some teams for instance will bring updates to Canada while the ones who brought them this weekend will not. the teams might all end up playing a game of leep-frog in the development race throughout the season.

    2. I can’t tell who’s faster but consistency wise (race pace+quali) I’d say Maclaren, Lotus, Red Bull.

  15. I haven’t followed F1 at all this week. I didn’t see a Williams win coming for a good while yet – well done to them and Pastor!

  16. That has been quite a weekend for Pastor. I will not deny that I am a critic of Pastor, probably because of last years incident and poor performance so I still question his maturity and overall driving ability. He needs to improve his consistency and avoid collisions as he has had plenty last year. I do wish him a good year though, as he is still a pay driver to me but if he continues to have weekends like these than I will admire him in no time.

    I will note that his cool behavior on the radio after the race has made me respect him more as he showed no arrogance and seemed genuinely thankful for what Williams have done to help him.

  17. Exceptional performance by both team and driver in this case. It was interesting to see how much risk they took with pitting Maldonado earlier than Ferrari did with Alonso both times. It turned out to be the right thing because he could go out and put in very quick lap times on the new tyres right away, but it always includes the risk of getting to the end of the stint with tyres that are a few laps further in the degradation / wear cycle, so you might get into that “dead zone” where everything hurts and the car is just sliding sideways in every corner.

    I also really enjoyed the respect and acknowledgement shown by the other drivers. It’s a sign of a good climate between the drivers at least in general when you can recognise there was someone else on this day who put in a better performance overall, rather than having Alonso or Räikkönen sit down with dreary faces, upset they were upstaged by someone else.

    Generally, I’m just enjoying how many teams are in contention for podiums this year. That will make it very interesting to see who will eventually have some consistency to pull ahead in the championship.

  18. Congrats Pastor Maldonado and Williams, brilliant!! Happy birthday Sir Frank Williams what a present.
    Just heard the Williams garage accident hope everyone is ok

  19. Just imagine reading this headline in January, instant ticket to a mental hospital.

  20. He was so relaxed about it at the end of the race. I think that goes hand in hand with his race too; cool, calm and collected. He didn’t bow to any pressure from Alonso and in only a few races he has gone from ‘promising but clumsy’ in Australia to ‘promising and professional’ in Spain. Great turnaround for him and the team.

  21. Very well driven by Pastor, well done to him and Williams. :)

  22. I think the Australia-crash showed a Maldonado, who isn’t just content with making it to the finish line in whatever position he has. He wanted to get a scalp which was there to get and he was willing to take the risk. As it turned out he crashed, but he gave it an honest try, luckily without taking Alonso out. It convinced me that Maldonado was not so bad after all, even if the “Maldonado, 5 years” revenge stunt on Hamilton at Spa last year was pulling in the wrong direction. Winning here with an impressive drive, keeping his cool, withstanding the pressure from Alonso wasn’t bad for a pay-driver.

  23. Wow…certainly the best race at Catalunya, if not the best race this year, or for that matter, one of the best I’ve seen. I knew the Williams was quick, but just wow. So happy for Maldonado, and I am one of the many people he has proven wrong.

  24. Very happy for Maldonado, amazing stuff he kept his cool.

    All drivers under pressure now, and very strong characters will benefit from this. You need to be just two tenth slower to loose 6-8 places. Usually drivers enjoy luxury of being slower now and then, but this year everyone so close they have to be on top of their game all the time, little miss hap and it looks like everything went wrong.

  25. Great drive from Maldonado, lovely pitstop timing from Williams. Well deserved win.

    On another note, this is exactly what Chavez needs before the election and on his return from Cancer treatment in Cuba. Seems to have been a very good investment into Williams and Pastor now.

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