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

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, 2012Pastor 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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42 comments on Maldonado says “It’s a wonderful day” after first win

  1. Neusalz (@dpod) said on 13th May 2012, 16:33

    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.

  2. ~A~ said on 13th May 2012, 16:35

    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.

  3. Edge said on 13th May 2012, 17:15

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

  4. csingu (@csingu) said on 13th May 2012, 19:26

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

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 13th May 2012, 20:04

    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.

  6. David-A (@david-a) said on 13th May 2012, 20:36

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

  7. Palle (@palle) said on 13th May 2012, 22:17

    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.

  8. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 13th May 2012, 23:44

    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.

  9. Kimi4WC said on 14th May 2012, 5:23

    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.

  10. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th May 2012, 7:16

    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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