From triumph to terror: Maldonado’s unforgettable win


On this day 12 years ago, Pastor Maldonado defied the odds to claim a famous win at the Spanish Grand Prix, denying Fernando Alonso a win on home soil.

However, shortly after Maldonado's win, a horrific fire broke out in the Williams garage, caused by a malfunctioning KERS unit.

The fire broke out during the team's celebrations of its first win since Juan Pablo Montoya won the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2004. To this day, no Williams driver has been able to raise the checkered flag since Maldonado.

After winning the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, Maldonado became the first Formula 1 race winner from Venezuela to take a podium finish, marking a significant moment for his home country.

How Maldonado defied the odds

Maldonado put himself in the perfect position to have a chance at victory after taking pole, while Alonso started alongside the 27-year-old on the front row.

Lewis Hamilton would have started on pole in place of Maldonado but was ruled out of the session after his lap ran out of fuel.

As the lights went out, Alonso overtook Maldonado at Turn 1, causing chaos among the home fans.

Losing the lead so early did not bother the Williams driver who stayed within striking distance of Alonso.

Maldonado staying close to Alonso allowed the Grove-based team to perform an undercut. The Williams driver's stop on lap 25 ensured he returned to the race in clean air, while Alonso faced traffic.

This meant that when Ferrari called Alonso to pit, his advantage over Maldonado was not significant enough to emerge from the pit in the lead. But at Maldonado's next stop, his right rear tire was slow to move, opening the door for Alonso.

Alonso was suddenly much closer to the Williams driver after his final pit stop, although Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen at the front was trying to follow an alternative strategy.

On the older tyres, the 2007 world champion was slow, which held up Maldonado and allowed Alonso to make a big gain on the pair after stopping for the final time. It was very important that Maldonado found a way past Raikkonen to reduce Alonso's threat.

This is exactly what the Venezuelan did two laps after Alonso's final stop after an excellent move on Raikkonen in the first corner with the help of DRS.

It was a move that secured Williams' famous victory before Maldonado played champion after the fire broke out as he carried his 12-year-old cousin Manuel to safety as the boy suffered a broken foot.



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