The 2012 season will be remembered for so many reasons; the title went down to the last race and there were seven winners in the first seven races, for example. One of those winners was none other than Pastor Maldonado.
After the announcement came this week that he wouldn’t be racing in F1 this season it is fair to say there was a very mixed response. Some shared the feeling that they will miss the driver and the great personality he brought to the grid; others continued to talk about all his negative qualities. There certainly were negative times but there were also positive ones and the Spanish Grand Prix 2012 wasn’t just a positive for him but for the entire F1 community.
Even on the Saturday the pace the Williams car showed was impressive as Maldonado was just beaten to pole by Lewis Hamilton. However, Hamilton’s car stopped on the track and he couldn’t make it back to pit lane. F1 fans didn’t need to wait for the announcement to be told that Hamilton would be disqualified and would need to start from the back of the grid. This put Maldonado back on pole and left excitement building for the race.
The Sunday was a tale of two halves. There was sheer delight as Williams won the race, but the delight soon turned into chaos as there was a pit lane fire after the race. The race was primarily won in the pit lane as Williams got their tyre strategy perfect.
Despite that, at times it looked like Fernando Alonso would take the win in his home country, but Maldonado held on and did everything he could to claim the sole win of his F1 career so far, for which he should be remembered. The fire after cast a shadow over what was an amazing celebration up and down the pit lane as it was the Williams garage which caught fire due to a fuel issue. It could have ruined the memories of that day but luckily injuries were kept to a minimum and the F1 community came together to support the winning team in Monaco the week after.
Maldonado didn’t always give off the best impression on the track but his speed and passion for the sport is undeniable. Not only that but he is a fantastic person outside the sport. He will do a great job in whatever form of racing he takes part in next.