Pastor Maldonado clinched his maiden F1 victory today in a thrilling Spansih Grand Prix which gives his team, Williams, their first win since the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2004. Maldonado held off Ferrari’s Alonso and Lotus’s Raikkonen in an action-packed race which saw Lewis Hamilton climb up to 8th place having started in 24th.

In what has been a frantic start to the season, Maldonado’s victory for Williams means that five different teams have placed first so far, putting him up to ninth in the overall standings, with Alonso’s 2nd place finish meaning he is tied for the lead with Vettel who could only finish 6th.

Despite taking the lead at the first corner, Alonso could not hold off Maldonado as it was the pit-stop manoeuvres which put the race in the latter’s favour. Indeed, Alonso was lucky to finished second as Kimi Raikkonen closed the gap to just 0.6 seconds at the finishing line having been 20 seconds behind at one point.

The race’s big jumper was McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who was forced to start at theback of the grid after receiving a penalty during a mistake on qualifying despite initially being on pole, as he made his way into the points, beating his team mate Button who will never really got going all weekend.

Maldonado’s victory capped a special day for the Williams team, as they were celebrating Sir Frank William’s 70th birthday, and he was provided with the perfect present with a result that few would have predicted priis weekend. Attention will now turn to the Monaco Grank Prix, taking place in two weeks time, with the standings as open as they have been in recent times.

Michael Hincks