Surprise of the Year: Pastor Maldonado wins in Spain

Podium (L to R): Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari, race winner Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1.Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday 13 May 2012.BEST IMAGE

Dec.23 (Grand Prix 247) Pastor Maldonado surprised everyone when he powered to remarkable triumph in the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya, a popular win which returned Williams to the top step of the podium after a long drought.

Maldonado’s victory was extra special because in the process he beat two of the sport’s toughest drivers – Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen who proceeded to hoist him on their shoulders during the podium ceremony – to claim his maiden Formula One victory. He also did a great deal to boost his reputation which took a hammering early on in the season. But nothing could erase the memory of his finest moment to date.

Maldonado said of his triumph, “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.”

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