Maldonado voted Spanish GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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The surprise winner of the Spanish Grand Prix, Pastor Maldonado, was voted the Driver of the Weekend by the F1 Fanatic readers.

The Williams driver was followed by Lewis Hamilton, who recovered from starting last to finish eighth. He had less than half Maldonado’s votes tally.

Fernando Alonso, who finished second, was ranked third.

Driver of the Spanish Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three

1. Pastor Maldonado – 56.8%
2. Lewis Hamilton – 27.5%
3. Fernando Alonso – 6.4%

Pastor Maldonado

Started: 1st
Finished: 1st

Maldonado qualified second but was promoted to his first ever pole position when Hamilton received a penalty.

He lost the start to Alonso, but overtook the Ferrari driver in the pits. He came under considerable pressure from Alonso in the second half of the race, but held the lead to deliver his first ever win and the first for Williams since 2004.

Looked lively all weekend. Amazing qualifying lap, worked his strategy well and kept behind one of the best drivers on the grid. What more could you ask for?

Easily Pastor Maldonado, didn’t make a single mistake all weekend. Brilliant qualifying, aggressive in the race when he needed to be, calm and composed when he needed his tires to last, while fending off two attacks from Alonso in the final stint. There were more good drives, but only one great one.

Impossible not to give it to Maldonado on his maiden victory.

A near faultless drive, including substantial pressure from Alonso towards the end. Both were conserving tyres and aware of Raikkonen closing rapidly. This is a difficult balancing act to hold together, particularly with the vastly more experienced double world drivers’ champion Alonso closing in on younger tyres.

Lewis Hamilton

Started: 24th (Excluded from qualifying after setting fastest time)
Finished: 8th

Hamilton looked to have set his third pole position of the year in qualifying, but was relegated to the back of the grid after his team stopped him on his return to the pits due to a fuel shortage in his car.

He responded with aggressive yet sensible driving picking up places and fighting his way through the field to finish in top ten, ahead of his struggling team mate. He was the only driver to run a two-stop strategy, suffering a delay in his first pit stop when a tyre was left in the path of his car.

I think starting from the back of the grid and finishing eight beating your team-mate who qualified tenth (after a penalty) is something special. And then go on a set of tyres for 30 laps and only going into the pits twice.

Not to take away from Pastor’s win, but Hamilton is definitely a worthy runner up, if not driver of the day

I voted for Hamilton. He was completely without peer on Saturday, and in spite of starting from the back through no fault of his own, he put his head down and put in a great race. He made the hard tyres work better – for longer – than any other driver, had some great overtakes, kept his nose clean, and altogether brought home more points than he should have been able to.

Lewis Hamilton couldn’t have been asked to do any more – took an excellent pole by half a second, but disqualified for a team error. Still, he put that behind him, and stormed through the field to beat Jenson Button easily, with good passes along the way, like on the Toro Rossos.

He didn’t even lose his cool after the pit error in the race. He’s got himself into the right frame of mind since the start of this season.

Fernando Alonso

Started: 2nd
Finished: 2nd

In an upgraded Ferrari, Alonso started the race from the first row for the first time this season. He took the lead when the lights went off, but lost it to Maldonado in the pit lane.

He looked like ready to fight for the win, but his tyres went off towards the end of the race and he found himself under pressure from Kimi Raikkonen at the end.

Alonso: again, as usual, completely dominated his team mate and wrung 100% out of the F2012. Great start, but questionable pit strategy probably cost him the lead to Maldonado.

Chased Pastor bravely during the final stint, but seemed to abuse his tires in vain trying to pass the Williams. All around great drive.

2012 Driver of the Weekend results so far

First Second Third
Australia Jenson Button (43.6%) Fernando Alonso (21.1%) Sergio Perez (8.2%)
Malaysia Sergio Perez (61.4%) Fernando Alonso (28.1%) Bruno Senna (3.7%)
China Nico Rosberg (69.1%) Lewis Hamilton (10.0%) Jenson Button (6.4%)
Bahrain Kimi Raikkonen (56.3%) Sebastian Vettel (19.3%) Paul di Resta (10.6%)
Spain Pastor Maldonado (56.8%) Lewis Hamilton (27.5%) Fernando Alonso (6.4%)

Pastor Maldonado is a fifth different winner of the Driver of the Weekend poll this season. Alonso is the driver who is in the top three most frequently so far – the Ferrari driver is there for the third time.

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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Image © Williams/LAT

12 comments on “Maldonado voted Spanish GP Driver of the Weekend”

  1. I dislike Pastor Maldonado, I’ think he don’t diserve to be in F1. I voted him as the best driver in the spanish grand prix. This is gonna be a great year!

    1. xeroxpt (@)
      2nd June 2012, 19:11

      same thing here, to add up I dont like “pay drivers”, he is more of a paid driver he was hired by Mr Chavez, who is sadly dying from cancer.

      1. xeroxpt (@)
        2nd June 2012, 19:26

        Let’s start the random fight.

    2. Fernando Cruz
      5th June 2012, 12:14

      Compare Mansell in his second year in F1 and Maldonado also in his second year and you will see Maldonado has already done more than Nigel. Only in his 4th full season (1984) did Nigel beat his teammate Elio de Angelis, while Maldonado was at the level of Barrichello in his rookie year. Now, in his second year, he is naturally stronger, unbeatable in qualifying and has already won, right the first time he had a car capable of fighting for a win! Anyway he was the GP2 champion in 2010, so that talk of him being a pay driver that doesn’t deserve to be in F1 has absolutely no sense. Many F1 champions did not achieve what Maldonado did in junior categories and one of them (Damon Hill) didn’t even win a single race in F3000, the GP2 of his time!

      It’ s true that Hulkenberg didn’t deserve to be sacked from Williams at the end of 2010 (and I agree he is more talented than Maldonado) but the venezuelan more than deserves to be in F1.

  2. He did exceptionally well in Spain but it remains to be seen whether he’s the real one or another sometime-deliver driver.

    1. @eggry Pretty much. Spain wasn’t a fluke with regards to the result, he worked very hard for it and drove a very mature race. However, was it a fluke by performance? We won’t know for a while.

  3. Maldonado may be quick at times. He may be quite talented. His aggressive approach may be quite exciting to watch. But his ridiculous behaviour simply prevents me from liking him.

    1. He’s a bit like A Senna in that way.

      1. @infy – with one major difference; Senna was quick ALL the time, and I certainly don’t see Maldonado winning 3 world championships with competition as good as Mansel, Prost etc. or being able to very nearly win in the wet at Monaco in an uncompetitive car in his maiden season.

      2. disgruntled
        4th June 2012, 2:35

        yeah like 2% Senna

  4. Alonso has definately been the most consistent this season and has had some fantastic drives. He has completely out-shadowed his teammate in a car that was very difficult to drive in the opening 4 rounds and still isn’t the fastest on the grid yet is leading the drivers championship.
    Deservedly he has been voted as being a top 3 driver the most of all and I think he has a great chance of winning the drivers championship (but I still think Vettel will get the triple).

  5. Couldn’t agree more with ‘BS’s comment. Pretty much echoed my own. A deserved victory for Maldonado and some great comments about Hamilton too.

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