Pastor Maldonado scored his first Formula 1 win and ended a Williams victory drought dating back to the end of the 2004 season, as the Venezuelan defeated local hero Fernando Alonso's Ferrari in an absorbing Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona's Catalunya track.
The Williams and Ferrari were absolutely together going into the final laps, but the superbly composed Maldonado was able to edge away and secure victory, leaving Alonso to fend off Kimi Raikkonen's flying Lotus for second.
Alonso had taken the lead at the start by beating Maldonado into the first corner, and then inched into a three-second lead during the first stint, as they pulled clear of the rest of the field.
But the combination of a stunning out-lap by Maldonado and Alonso getting stuck behind Charles Pic's Marussia on his in-lap saw the Williams leapfrog the Ferrari at the second pit stops, and then storm away for a few laps until 7sec clear.
Alonso then started coming back at Maldonado, getting the gap down to 4.2sec before the Williams had a slightly slow final pit stop with a left-rear issue. A few laps behind Raikkonen, who was running much further before his final pit stop, meant the leaders were absolutely nose to tail going into the closing laps as both tried to keep their tires intact.
For a while it looked inevitable that Maldonado would succumb to Alonso's pressure, but it was the Ferrari that started to lose pace in the final stages, and the lead gap began to increase again – allowing Maldonado to take a very unexpected victory by 3.1 seconds.
Raikkonen's fresher tires allowed him to gain on the leaders at a ferocious rate as the race neared its end, but he ran out of time to catch Alonso, finishing six tenths of a second adrift. Romain Grosjean finished fourth in the other Lotus, with Kamui Kobayashi pulling off some characteristically bold passes on the way to fifth for Sauber.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel produced a late charge to take sixth after losing ground with a drive-through penalty for failing to heed yellow flags and requiring a new front wing at his final pit stop.
Nico Rosberg's Mercedes and both McLarens fell victim to Vettel's surge up the order, with Rosberg then fending off last-place starter Lewis Hamilton for seventh as the Briton managed to make a two-stop strategy work against expectations. His teammate Jenson Button struggled for pace all day and finished ninth.
Force India's Nico Hulkenberg resisted huge pressure from Mark Webber, who lost ground on lap one and needed an out-of-sequence pit stop for a new front wing.
Behind the Toro Rossos and the second Force India of Paul di Resta, Felipe Massa had another bad race for Ferrari. Penalized for a yellow flag infringement, he finished only 15th.
Retirements included Michael Schumacher and Bruno Senna, who tangled at Turn 1 when the fresh-tire-shod Mercedes ran into the back of the yet-to-pit Williams, and Sergio Perez. The Sauber picked up a puncture while trying to attack the Lotus pair at the first corner, and later parked just after a messy pitstop.
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS
The Spanish Grand Prix
66 laps; 307.104km;
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Maldonado Williams-Renault 1h39:09.145
2. Alonso Ferrari + 3.195
3. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 3.884
4. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 14.799
5. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:14.641
6. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 1:17.576
7. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:27.919
8. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 1:28.100
9. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1:25.200
10. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
11. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 1 lap
12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
13. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
14. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
15. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap
16. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
17. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
18. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps
19. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 3 laps
Fastest lap: Grosjean, 1:26.250
Driver Team On lap
Perez Sauber-Ferrari 38
Pic Marussia-Cosworth 36
Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 23
Senna Williams-Renault 13
Schumacher Mercedes 13
World Championship standings, round 5:
1. Vettel 61 1. Red Bull-Renault 109
2. Alonso 61 2. McLaren-Mercedes 98
3. Hamilton 53 3. Lotus-Renault 84
4. Raikkonen 49 4. Ferrari 63
5. Webber 48 5. Williams-Renault 43
6. Button 45 6. Mercedes 43
7. Rosberg 41 7. Sauber-Ferrari 41
8. Grosjean 35 8. Force India-Mercedes 18
9. Maldonado 29 9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
10. Perez 22
11. Kobayashi 19
12. Di Resta 15
13. Senna 14
14. Vergne 4
15. Hulkenberg 3
16. Schumacher 2
17. Massa 2
18. Ricciardo 2
All timing unofficial
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