Pastor Maldonado claimed his maiden F1 victory in Spai on Sunday, as the Williams driver added the great result to Sir Frank Williams´ birthday celebrations.
It was a weekend of emotions and elation, as the Williams team celebrated the team principal´s 70th birthday on Saturday, as well as Maldonado´s pole position, which came after Lewis Hamilton were pushed to the back of the grid. And though many expected Maldonado to do well, not many thought he could drive with the pressure of a pole dangling in front of him.
As Alonso took the first turn, a collective sigh was almost audible in the Williams garage, but the young Venezuelan driver kept his cool and drove a fantastic race, eventually winning the race and taking the team´s first win since Brazil 2004.
“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.”
Mark Gillan, chief operations engineer:
“What can I say – a massive result for the team and a stunning drive by Pastor. The whole race went well from start to finish with every team member playing a vital part in this victory. We will allow ourselves a bit of time to savour the win and then will refocus to concentrate our efforts on continuing to improve throughout the remainder of the season. Obviously it was disappointing that Bruno got taken out of the race by Michael but Bruno is looking forward to getting back into the car in Monaco.”