Pastor Maldonado scores maiden Grand Prix win

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado has defeated local hero Fernando Alonso to take the first Grand Prix victory of his career in Spain.

The Venezuelan ran second to the fast-starting Alonso early in the race before taking the lead by pitting two laps earlier at the second round of stops.

The margin between the pair grew to as much as 7.5s during the third stint, before a slow final stop for Maldonado helped Alonso close in on the tail of the Williams with 25 laps remaining.

Maldonado withstood the pressure before pulling away over the final 10 laps to take Williams’ first win since the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen finished just 3.7s adrift of Maldonado in third, one place ahead of team-mate Romain Grosjean.

Raikkonen had emerged from his final stop in excess of 20s behind the leaders having completed a long penultimate stint. The Lotus pair had earlier gone against the trend by remaining on the soft tyres for the second stint.

Kamui Kobayashi made up several places in the final stint to finish sixth, while Sebastian Vettel overcame a drive-through for failing to obey yellow flags and a front-wing problem to take seventh.

Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton – who undertook just two stops after starting from the back of the grid – and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top 10.

Mark Webber finished a lap down in 11th having required a front-wing change during the race. Compatriot Daniel Ricciardo was 13th after coming out on the losing end of a race-long battle with team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.

Felipe Massa managed just 15th in the second Ferrari after joining Vettel in receiving a drive-through for a yellow flag infringement.

Michael Schumacher and Bruno Senna made a spectacular exit from the race when the seven-time World Champion ran into the back of the defending Williams at Turn 1 on Lap 13.

Charles Pic and Narain Karthikeyan also failed to finish after suffering mechanical problems, while Sergio Perez pulled off the circuit after 37 laps having earlier suffered a contact-induced puncture in the opening corners.

Maldonado’s performance means that five different teams have won in the first five races of the 2012 season.

Vettel and Alonso currently share the top of the championship standings with 61 points apiece. Hamilton is eight points further adrift, while Raikkonen and Webber round out the top five.

See below for the full race report

Pos

Driver

Team

Laps

Time/Retired

Grid

1 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 66 Winner 1
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 66 +3.1 secs 2
3 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 66 +3.8 secs 4
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 66 +14.7 secs 3
5 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 66 +64.6 secs 9
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 66 +67.5 secs 7
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 66 +77.9 secs 6
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 66 +78.1 secs 24
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 66 +85.2 secs 10
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 65 +1 Lap 13
11 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 65 +1 Lap 11
12 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 65 +1 Lap 14
13 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 65 +1 Lap 15
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 65 +1 Lap 12
15 Felipe Massa Ferrari 65 +1 Lap 16
16 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 65 +1 Lap 19
17 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 65 +1 Lap 18
18 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 64 +2 Laps 21
19 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 63 +3 Laps 22
Ret Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 37 +29 Laps 5
Ret Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 35 +31 Laps 20
Ret Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 22 +44 Laps 23
Ret Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 12 Accident damage 17
Ret Michael Schumacher Mercedes 12 Accident 8

See below for the updated points standings

Pos

Driver

Points

1 Sebastian Vettel 61
2 Fernando Alonso 61
3 Lewis Hamilton 53
4 Kimi Räikkönen 49
5 Mark Webber 48
6 Jenson Button 45
7 Nico Rosberg 41
8 Romain Grosjean 35
9 Pastor Maldonado 29
10 Sergio Perez 22
11 Kamui Kobayashi 19
12 Paul di Resta 15
13 Bruno Senna 14
14 Jean-Eric Vergne 4
15 Nico Hulkenberg 3
16 Daniel Ricciardo 2
17 Felipe Massa 2
18 Michael Schumacher 2
19 Timo Glock 0
20 Charles Pic 0
21 Vitaly Petrov 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan 0

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