Maldonado clinches historic maiden win in Spain

Williams, Ferrari, Lotus; we have to admit we can be a little old-school here at Sunday Afternoon Club so that’s a result that made us smile.

Williams? They’re a throwback, aren’t they? The only remaining breakwater against the prawn sandwich tide in F1. But it had looked like a seawall long-ago broached; last year, the team’s worst ever, was genuinely uncomfortable to witness. Are there any Sunday Afternooners out there who genuinely thought last year’s re-organisation at the team, culminating in the departure of Patrick Head, would deliver? And even if you did, did you think it would do so this soon?

So Pastor Maldonado, friend of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, £45million blue-eyed boy of PDVSA (his country’s national petrochem’), 2010 GP2 Champion and now, grand prix winner. And a grand prix winner won the hard way. That wasn’t his team-mate in his mirrors, but Fernando Alonso, this year’s most never-say-die driver. Until three laps from the end, Maldonado had to keep this thought from his mind; if anyone out there can get by me, it’s Alonso.

So Maldonado becomes the second first-time winner in 2012 and the fifth winner in five races and who can say how many more there will be yet?

Kimi Raikkonen could have won this race, as he could have done Bahrain, given a few more laps or, more realistically, a chance to dictate tyre strategy from the front. Team-mate Romain Grosjean followed him home in fourth. Given a little luck RoGros could win this year. And, need we remind you, Lewis Hamilton has yet to win a race this year, but that doesn’t seem to be bothering him. Despite more rotten luck/McLaren omni-shambles-ism (delete where appropriate) he’s kept his chin up and his head down (can you do that?); eighth place from last was the result of a pretty spectacular charge, putting him ahead of Jenson Button who started 11th. JB had one of those afternoons where he just somehow didn’t quite seem to be there. After the best of starts to the year, he’s starting to look like a man losing direction, or momentum, or both.

So the result; Maldonado, Alonso, Raikkonen, Grosjean we know…. Kobayashi, Vettel and Rosberg filled in the spaces before the McLarens and Hulkenberg grabbed the tenth spot for Force India. No Mark Webber in the points then and no Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher’s absence can be explained by what looked to everybody but Michael like a classic ‘ooops, I’m really terribly sorry, but I dove in to the back of you’ accident with Bruno Senna. Michael has made this something of a trademark since returning. (Do ‘older’ F1 drivers have to take a mandatory eye-test like your granny has to?). Yet it had looked like he’d sorted it this year, so the messy accident and the predictable denial was another disappointment. It wasn’t so long ago that we at the Sunday Afternoon Club were eating our words, having predicted this would be another season where the fairy tale didn’t happen. We don’t think it will now. Like Felipe Massa (15th in the same car that came second), it’s hard not to conclude Michael’s time in F1 has passed.

Does Bruno deserve his place as part of the new guard? Well, it’s easy to explain yesterday’s early exit from qualifying (he never really got over a simple mistake on the lap before he set his ‘fastest’ lap), but less so the nagging sense that in the first phase of the race, if there’s anyone likely to be throwing lumps of carbon fibre around, his own or others, it’s Bruno.

Don’t get us wrong; Bruno, we adore you over here. Now you know your car is a winner, please prove us wrong at Monaco in two weeks time young man. Imagine… As if today wasn’t already likely to induce a lump in your throat.

Comments are now closed

what happened to awwww poor lulu fans? Did he commmit suicide after vettel kept on losing this season? ha! sock it to red bull, Mclaren!

Report this comment

After Vettel kept losing……. Tell me, in the above article, where does it say that Vettel finished relative to the Mclarens? And where do Red Bull and Vettel sit in the championships?

Report this comment

Vettel and Alonso first place tied with 61 points. Red Bull 109 pointS first in constructors standings, followed by Mclaren with 98 points.

Report this comment

http://www.youtube.com/wa tch?v=s_0ZQSSNJz4 : this is if you want to see vettel fighting for his life.

Still, go Mclaren!

Report this comment

the link is an amazing short film, about 5:36 , but it’s full of action and funny events. Filmed before chinese grand prix.

Hamilton rules! Mclaren rule!

Report this comment

lol the guy blood boils at vettels name

drive through and nose change, 6th place finish is great. lewis drive was great also. but we already know these guys are top notch, mclaren pole pace w no fuel is great, vettel is the best so we can expect good driving a great passing from him.

maldonado and alanso are the stars here
the ferrari has good race pace but i think its just alansos will to win is the secret here, amazing stuff

kimi will win a few races mark, i expect him to do well, the guy is fantastic.

Report this comment

Hey There. I found your blog the use of msn. That is an extremely smartly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

Report this comment

Happy 40th birthday to bmw’s m division.

Report this comment

Ok, I think it’s time to get out the closet. I’m really gay for Lewis. That’s why I’m so biased, he is sooooo sexy!

Report this comment

who put that up?

Report this comment

@formuladude: what on earth do you mean?

Report this comment

I don’t know… I’m so confused! The only thing I know for sure is I love him and Nicole is a bitch. She doesn’t deserve him!

Report this comment

I feel Bruno Senna he’s had such a poor run of luck and difficult circumstances to make the most of his F1 career. Even this year his car’s been given over to Bottas whilst Maldanado has escaped that indignity. Good luck to him in Monaco where he with a bit of lady luck he can add another win to the Senna name around the streets of the Monaco Principality.

Report this comment

Report this comment

We focus on servers, head waiter parts and online services such as hosting & VPS services hardware and software repairs/maintenance, servers up-to-the-minute or succeeding furnish, head waiter parts, head waiter support, succeeding furnish laptops and desktops, IT solution instead of you and your affair. You will be able to rumor to single of our friendly team with the intention of is contented to help you and engender an IT solution. Our skilled IT technicians are untaken to aid you with your picking of equipment, . Please visit our position and knowing many more instead of Miki pros

Report this comment

who the hell is moonlighting,is it you anonymous 2

Report this comment

@formuladude: no!

Report this comment

@formuladude: and by the way, what the hell is MOONLIGHTING?

Report this comment

@formuladude: it looks like an impersonator is trying to make you embarrassed.

and i don’t copy others, i always stick as plain old anonymous 2, so stop falsely accusing me!

Report this comment