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Millionaire man Maldonado answers critics

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Andrew Benson | 19:16 UK time, Sunday, 13 May 2012

At the Circuit de Catalunya

The smile on Pastor Maldonado's face dropped in the immediate aftermath of the frightening fire that broke out in the Williams garage after the Spanish Grand Prix, but it soon came back again once he was told nobody had been seriously hurt. You can bet it will stay for quite some time.

Maldonado started this season as a man who owed his place in Formula 1 to the millions provided to his Williams team by the Venezuelan government.

After yet another bizarre and unexpected twist in this most unpredictable of seasons, he leaves Barcelona as a grand prix winner and talking about a possible championship challenge.

Maldonado drove a superb race at the Circuit de Catalunya, mature and controlled in a way of which few in the paddock believed him capable.

He came into F1 with a reputation for being quick but fiery and a bit accident-prone. In his first season last year he fitted the mould.

This season started in the same way - Williams's upturn in form had him battling with some unfamiliar rivals close to the front. But he started the season wrecking what would have been a strong points finish in the first race of the season when he crashed chasing Ferrari's Fernando Alonso for fifth place on the final lap.

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Since then, though, Maldonado has turned a corner with some strong performances. But no-one - not even Williams - expected what happened in Spain.

The Mugello test before this race went well, and Williams knew they had improved their car. They thought they had made a step forward, Friday practice confirmed it, but not in their wildest dreams did they imagine they would qualify on the front row.

Second place, half a second behind Lewis Hamilton, was impressive enough, but it became pole position after the McLaren driver's penalty and, despite losing the lead to Alonso at the start, Maldonado always looked in contention for victory.

Alonso is the most formidable of rivals, but Maldonado kept him in sight in the first and second stints, before Williams succeeded in 'undercutting' the Ferrari at the second stops.

Ferrari almost certainly made a mistake in leaving the Spaniard out for two laps before his stop - nearly all of which he spent behind Marussia's Charles Pic, who was subsequently penalised for not letting Alonso by.

But Maldonado's pace on his first lap out of the pits suggested he might well have taken the lead anyway.

The pressure never relented, though. After the final stops, Alonso came back at Maldonado, but the Williams driver raced like a veteran and always looked in control of the situation.

The win does not change the reality of why Maldonado has his drive - but it certainly proves beyond all doubt that he deserves his place in F1, even if one inevitably has to wonder what the Williams would be capable of with Alonso or Hamilton behind the wheel.

To his credit, Maldonado does not seek to hide the financial support he is given, nor the fact that he is basically a state-sponsored driver who has the personal backing of his President, Hugo Chavez. In fact, he embraces it.

"I'm very lucky to have a country behind me, pushing so hard, to see me here in Formula 1 and especially to be here, between these guys," he said in the post-race news conference, as he sat between Alonso and another world champion, Kimi Raikkonen.

"I'm pretty happy for Venezuela, I'm happy for Williams as well. They did a wonderful job to give me a great car for this race. We are getting better and better, race after race."

There has been no magic in Williams's revival this year after several seasons in which they seemed to be inexorable decline.

There have been changes at the top of the engineering team, and a focus on fixing obvious, major operational and technical problems.

"We made big changes in the factory," Maldonado said. "We have new staff in some of the departments and completely changed the approach to building the car.
"I need to say that this year's car has great performance, great potential to become even stronger than it is and, for sure, this is great for motivation, to motivate the team, the factory, to keep pushing like that. I think this is the way. We are motivated and we need to keep pushing."

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Whether Williams can maintain this form remains an open question - but the same goes for every other team in this incredibly topsy-turvy season.

There have been five different winners from five different teams in the first five races. It is the first time that has happened since 1983, when Williams were reigning world champions and were also, incidentally, the fifth winner.

Monaco could easily provide the sixth winner in six races, as Raikkonen's Lotus team also seem on the verge of a victory.

The 1983 season eventually settled down into a title fight between three teams. This one may well go the same way, but you wouldn't count on it right now.

The new tyres created by Pirelli this year have left all the teams scratching their heads.

One weekend you can be winning, the next you can be nowhere and not know why, as world champions Red Bull found out in Spain, following Sebastian Vettel's victory in Bahrain last time out.

As Alonso put it after the race: "We were 57 seconds behind Vettel in Bahrain, and we were lapping (his team-mate Mark) Webber here. No one understands probably. Not us either."

There is a recognition throughout the sport that this unpredictability is adding to the superficial appeal of F1, especially as the years of Michael Schumacher's domination with Ferrari are not so very long ago.

Nevertheless, there is also a growing sense of unease - largely unspoken publicly until now, apart from Schumacher's comments after Bahrain - that it's somehow not quite real.

The tyres, some feel, are introducing too much of a random element that demeans the sport in some ways. That F1, whisper it, may have gone too far the other way.

Fun, though, isn't it?


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    woo hoo 1st post

    schuey youre a legend but man up and own your mistakes

  • Comment number 2.

    Hamilton; "Someone told me that I was only the person on a two-stop, so I think that considering everyone keeps telling me that I am hard on tyres and how much smoother my team-mate is, I think that should show them.

    ont't know about you, but i am oving the new attitude hami has on only looking at the positive.

    Keep up hami!!

  • Comment number 3.

    congratz to MAL and Alonso on a gread race, not a lot of overtaking but from where their team was last season, you have to be impressed, considering wherre their team mates are in the ranking.

  • Comment number 4.

    Random element? only the drivers who are used to winning are saying that. The hardly unchanged rules have allowed cars to catch up and thus it is a more level playing field. Now we just need to get rid of DRS and it'll be brill!

    Well done Mal. Don't like Alonso but another great drive. Possibly favourite this season. Button is having a hard time unfortunately. Also Kimi is having a stormer!

  • Comment number 5.

    And after the race I turn over to the red button and discover there is football and no f1 forum, perhaps I m issed something. I'm sure the football could of been put on bbc 1 instead. However, pretty good race and pretty good race coverage. Pretty slow with gettings the blogs on the website though.

    Anyway, great drive from Maldonado, Alonso, Raikkonen and of course Hamilton. Surely Massa has to be retired, maybe even before the end of the season. As for Webber I can't see him getting another year and Michael, well that was another shocking mistake i'm afraid age seems to be getting to some of these drivers. Another disappointed display from Button after his early season form, it is not what we expected. Not surprised if we see Williams, Lotus and Sauber suddenly being the best teams from now on with Mclaren and Red Bull of course.

  • Comment number 6.

    Shame Lewis was not able to keep pole. It would have been good to see how the Mclaren performed after the upgrades. Jenson had a forgettable race today too.

  • Comment number 7.

    Congratulations to Pastor and Williams on a superb race win and what a present to give to Sir Frank on his 70th...

    I want to however personally thank the cameraman who follows David Coulthard around the track...given an opportunity, he's got that lens fixed on the real unsung heroes, those who dream of world peace and saving the children around the world from hunger and starvation...

    I am of course referring to the Grid and Pitlane Girls.... These poor things have to stand up all day in all weathers with no rest from their weary make ups ...
    They do it for the intense love of the sport, whilst hoping their commitment and desire is reciprocated from their heroes in other ways after the please keep it up BBC...the more exposure the better... oh what a carry on! ;)...

  • Comment number 8.

    Congratulations to Maldonado, it was a great drive and he showed great composure. Alonso was good as well so was Kimi. Happy for Lewis, he drove superbly and managed to finish 8th despite his team yet again messing up his 1st pit stop.

    Coming back to Lewis, are the rules adjusted always to punish him or what? I just realised had he defended like Roseberg in Bahrain, he would have been punished as well/ This one came out of thin air. And as many people have pointed out, drivers are often ordered to stop right after the race, an example Bahrain where Vettle was stopped soon after crossing the flag i suppose to save fuel and reach the available minimum for FIA testing. So why then should drivers be allowed to stop after the race and not in qualifying? Couldn't it be possible an under fuelled car which i'm sure the FIA wants to avoid will run out of fuel in the closing laps of a race and allows others to pass making the difference fair? There has to be a clarification of the rule as i supposed the FIA are just too happy to punish Lewis with the maximum penalty if possible. To be honest i don't get excited about his podiums or results any more unless a day or 2 after because you could find out he was giving a penalty from excessive celebrating a podium place by the FIA. A list of never ending victimisation i will say.

    Also team McLaren has been a let down. I mean such incompetence couldn't be excused for ever? The build a good car but mistakes are costing them valuable points and Lewis and Jenson are suffering as a result of it. Lewis more.

    And for the Perilli tires, i think the excitment from them is reaching a deminishing return. Surely shouldn't there be a balance in some races where the tires are more durable and some when they degrade faster? It will mix better. Seeing a whole season where every races is about tires and calls of nurse the tires is getting a bit boring. We want a good mix but not at the expense of drivers driving slowly and can't chase down others because the tires will fall off.

  • Comment number 9.

    This may not be the right article to add this comment to, and it may also have been suggested already, but if a driver chooses not to set a time in Q3, he should forfeit a set of tyres.
    This way there is no advantage to denying the paying spectator (and TV viewer) the chance to see cars at full tilt.

  • Comment number 10.

    Another great race of 2012! It really has been a sensational season so far.

    I'm not a massive Hamilton fan but I was really dissapointed by the decision to put him to the back of the grid. That was a totally ridiculous decision and for once I think Eddie Jordan was talking sense when he said that he should only have lost his Q3 time and been demoted to 10th. F1 is a spectator sport and Hamilton went out and drove the wheels of that Mclaren which was great to see, then gets punished. What about the guys that just sat in the pits and gave us no show what so ever!

    I have to say as well, its been a great start to the season and I am really enjoying it but is it that unpredicatble...Vettel and red Bull lead both the standings...sounds familiar to me....

  • Comment number 11.

    welcome home williams! this was a dream from the nightmare of last year but i really feel sorry for bruno after bbeing 'bullied' into retirement by the ego of shumy. also it does seem the new attitude lewis in the mclaren is the real deal and is my tip for the title

  • Comment number 12.

    good week end of racing... it was good to see lewis buttons and whitmarshs faces in the last couple of races... everything is shaping up quite nicely... lol

  • Comment number 13.

    Every team other than McLaren must be wondering "How are we doing so well?"

    Based on their cars performance thus far neither Alonso or Vettel should be tied for first place. McLaren SHOULD be running away with this season - three poles and two second place starts for Hamilton in five races. What's helping everyone else is that McLaren continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

  • Comment number 14.

    Great Drive from Maldonado, can't help thinking that Hamilton would have won if he'd started from pole. His qualifying has been great but penalties and team mistake have cost him.

    Have a good feeling about Monaco though

  • Comment number 15.

    Andrew, I'll admit that, as a self proclaimed F1 "know all", I had doubts about Maldonado's place in F1 - but I think much of this is the result of the "Hulkenberg effect" - replacing the mega - talented Hulk, and just after his Brazil pole too, made any financial gain to Williams by signing Maldonado high profile, and this I think distracted from an important fact - Maldonado WAS the GP2 champion at the time, and that, apart from Pantano, usually means promotion to F1. Final thought; I do not believe that Bruno Senna is any mug - almost a GP2 champion himself but for some bad luck - and at the moment he is being completely overshadowed by Maldonado...

  • Comment number 16.

    This is a result that confirms Maldonado's credibility as a racing driver, never again will you hear the words Maldonado and pay driver in the same sentence. Good for him too because he deserves after his performance today he kept a cool head and delivered the goods. Hamilton against answered his critics this weekend and it just dissapointing that he had to start from the back because today could have been his day.

    Vote for your driver of the day

  • Comment number 17.

    McLaren really should be ashamed of themselves this year, pit screw ups at almost every race and atrociously underfueling Lewis' car. To be fair Jenson hasn't been driving particularly well after a fantastic 2011, but Lewis seems to be getting the brunt of the misfortune.

    The decision today was ridiculous. What sense does it make to strip him of his first time when he got back to the pits fine on his first run? None at all, not gonna say anything like "the stewarts wanted hamilton down" or something which I could know nothing about, but for some reason I can't see the same punishment being inflicted on Maldanado or Alonso.

  • Comment number 18.

    >"why then should drivers be allowed to stop after the race and not in qualifying?"

    Because that is the rule. Allow me to quote:

    "Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power."

    That clearly does not apply to the race itself.

    I was surprised that Hamilton was placed at the back of the grid and not in 10th, but that was a penalty on McLaren (who were at fault here) and not on Hamilton personally.

  • Comment number 19.

    This is the fourth time out of five races where McLaren has cost Hamilton either a podium finish or a victory. It seems like they really getting so good at it that they rob him of the chance before the race even starts....It's just too weak! What is going on at McLaren - something needs to be done or heads need to roll otherwise they will lose one of the quickest and best racers out there to competition. Rookie teams don't make that many mistakes!! Time for Ron Dennis to step in?

  • Comment number 20.

    Congrats to Maldonado and Williams, had real doubts over this guy last year, but he has come good excellently. A mention for how Rosberg's move from Williams to Mercedes in 2010 was percieved to be so he could be in a race winning car, and he won his first race just two grands prix before Williams got their next race win. Excellent performance by them.

    Kimi could be an outside bet for the title this year, he's right up there in a quick car and he's very consistent, could be a winning partnership. Grosjean's performing well also.

    It is so frustrating watching Mclaren, Hamilton and Button should be in a two-way title fight, but are third and sixth due to team errors. But a great mention to how tight the field is this year, who would have thought after 5 races, 18 drivers in the points, nine on the podium (in seven different cars), and five race winners (in five cars), it is the best start to a season for years! Can't wait for Monaco!

  • Comment number 21.

    Agree with no. 8, seems that to know the result of qualifying or the race, you have to check online for a few days afterwards to make sure it still stands.

    Personally, I'm getting a bit fed up with these Pirelli tyres. It's not fun to watch what seems like totally random performances from the teams. Also not fun to watch 24 cars travelling around at 8 seconds off qualifying pace.

    I want to see a return to when F1 was about the fastest, where the drivers sprinted, not ran at 70% capacity, teasing the tyres.

    Also, teams have got to have a greater number of tyres allocated for the weekend. I felt absolutely cheated to see only 7/10 drivers battling in Q3.

  • Comment number 22.

    Congratulations to Maldonado, and especially Sir Frank on what must have been a pleasant surprise of a belated birthday present.

    Completely agree with post no.8 - if Hamilton had done what Rosberg did in Bahrain, he'd have had the book thrown at him. It seems like every opportunity that arises to punish Lewis in some way goes ahead. And I also agree with the commentators regarding Lewis's driving and composure this season. Last year, he was guilty of making a few silly mistakes born out of frustration (aside from the "bullying" decisions from the stewards). This year, he's more calm, composed, and level-headed. He's qualified brilliantly throughout the 2012 season so far, and yet, is still waiting to register his first win. Which takes me to this question - can anyone remember McLaren making so many mistakes, and offering so many lame excuses, under the guidance of Ron Dennis?

  • Comment number 23.

    @10. I didn’t think of that. He should have only lost his Q3 time. The regs need some tweaking.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that McLaren tries to hold Hamilton back.

    Why tell him not to overtake and wait for slower cars to pit?
    Make hay when the sun shines. You have to get into a gap and clean air and when they pit let them try to catch you.


    Anyway, great race in the end. Happy for Maldonado and Williams, also would be glad to see Senna on the podium soon.

  • Comment number 24.

    Great season so far 5 different drivers from 5 different teams who could ask for more, and congratulations to Pastor Maldonado. Relatively inexperienced but showed he could take the pressure. Very disappointed with McLaren who keep making mistakes at the pits stops. They need to eliminate these if they are to keep fighting for the championship.

    Nonetheless, I can't help feel that all this excitement is at least in part artificially created with the development of fast wearing tyres. Formula One should still be about skill and there is not much skill in overtaking the car in front whose tyres are completely worn out. Much as I like closer racing, it needs to be genuinely created. Surely, it's enough to keep KERS and create stable rules for several years allowing the teams to catch up with each other in terms of development

  • Comment number 25.

    Today was a day which showed just how much money talks in Sport.

    Maldonado the pay driver wins in Spain and Man City buy the Premier League title in Football.

    I was hoping that Alonso would win his home Grand Prix but it is quite clear that Hamilton would have won had he not been penalised so severely. I think that Mclaren should have made a bigger fuss about this penalty.

    Talking of penalties, I still to this day do not understand how Maldonado wasn't given a lengthy ban for deliberately crashing into Hamilton at the end of the second part of qualifying at one of the races last year (Spa or Monza I think) when everyone had passed the chequered flag and no one was setting a time. It was incredibly dangerous. Nelson piquet junior got banned for life for deliberately crashing. Maldonado got away with it.

  • Comment number 26.

    I think Monaco will bring our first double winner

    If McLaren dont screw up in the pits (which is unfortunatly likly at this moment) then Lewis and Jensen should waltz to a 1-2. The McLaren is soooo good in low downforce corners, and appears to be decent at preserving the tyres (but again who knows).

    Pastor was superb!!!! Its brilliant to see Williams back.

    Hamilton was sent to 24th beacuse the Stewards are Spanish, and almost all Spaniards seem to hate Hamilton beacuse of 2007

  • Comment number 27.

    @21 I so agree with you about the tyres. To have the current world champ opting not to race for pole in order to preserve tyres....well, there's something seriously wrong about that and I'm glad RBR strategy backfired. Admittedly this season is intriguing due to the tyres and it's great to see the likes of Rosberg and Maldonado having maiden wins. But on the other hand, it feels like tyre management is the 'be all and end all' of every race...there needs to be a happy medium.

    Congrats to Maldonado for a mature drive and well deserved win. Also a valiant effort by Lewis, and I was really impressed with him putting a brave face on the farce created by his own team. What on earth is going on in the McLaren camp?

    Lastly, just wanted to say excellent commentary by Coulthard and Edwards - good job guys.

  • Comment number 28.

    Although I am a ferrari man myself, I have to say that Maldonado had drove his car superbly and very fluently.
    Also, the guys at McLaren did a good job on the car that really help Maldonado, and the fact that he was chosen because the Venezuelan government gave money to McLaren and he did well, shows his place in their team is well deserved.

  • Comment number 29.

    Great race, for a Barcelona GP. Williams and Ferrari at the sharp end of the grid, in dry, hot, regular conditions, with no safety cars/strategy gambles. Could be ominous to the rest of the grid.

    People moaning about Hamilton's penalty. Yes it is a shame. You could argue when he set his previous time, he had loads of fuel, so could have just had his last time disqualified, so he would have been 2nd. Or disqualified from Q3, starting 10th/11th. But it was Hamilton and McLaren that caused the rule to be introduced in the first place.

    McLaren had these options:
    1) As soon as Hamilton completed his final flying lap, they could have told him he was in danger of running out of fuel. Switch to a lean mix, run on less cylinders, open the DRS, use all your kers, don't touch the brakes, drift as much as you can.
    2)Told him after his first flying lap that he needs to come in this lap as he doesn't have enough fuel to complete another flying lap and in-lap. You would at least save your tyres for 1 lap.

    His first hot lap was great too. Its not as if he cocked up. Both of those options sound a whole lot better than 'lewis stop the car, theres a serious problem'. I guess McLaren were hoping it was better to not finish the inlap but have a fuel sample, rather than the other way round.

    To top that all off, Hamilton hit a tyre in his pitstop. Didn't cost him, but shows the team is rattled. After you screw up an opportunity you start to get doubts. And it can't help when you see Ferrari making perfect pitstops, and so close behind in points after 4 races, with a dog of a car, and now a much more competitive car.

    McLaren need to really sort things out. No other team makes these mistakes, not even HRT/marussia.

  • Comment number 30.

    Ok Maclaren made a mess up with the fuel then why penalise the driver??? I feel Lewis should have kept his position but Maclaren should have all the constructers points deducted that the team gained is that not fairer as Lewis does not put fuel in the tank!!!!

    Talking of Maclaren making mistakes a top racing team making a string of mistakes with the car of their best driver who has not yet signed a contract!!! are Maclaren or should i say Martin Whitmarsh trying to make a statement??? thats just a thought

  • Comment number 31.

    That race had it all. Absolutely magic.

    Bit concerning that the Spanish Grand Prix Fire crew consisted of men in their shorts with fire extinguishers though.

  • Comment number 32.

    Get that boy in a Ferrari (and get rid of Massa who is useless)

  • Comment number 33.

    Great Race! was willing Maldonado on the whole race, Alonso has worked wonders with his Ferrari somehow sometimes I wonder how they are there! I thought Hamilton done a brillaint Job considering he started from the back! to be honest most people are right, if Hamilton had did the move what Rosberg did on him then It would've been a penalty, and I suspect Hamilton would've won the race had his car been fuelled properly. Hoping he carries his momentum through to Monaco, 6th Different Race winner? I think so.

  • Comment number 34.

    That fire put a real downer on Williams win today. Just saw the footage on the forum

  • Comment number 35.

    Really happy for Williams, after the disaster of last season glad to see them back up the top.

    @31 Piggyback
    Bit concerning that the Spanish Grand Prix Fire crew consisted of men in their shorts with fire extinguishers though.

    What spanish fire crew??? I was watchin on the 'other' channel filming from the pit lane & there wasnt a race / fire marshal to be seen for at least 10 min!!!

    that fire was delt with by the brave mechanics from williams & the other teams who did a fantastic job to prevent it from been even more serious, most of them without any fire proof overall or equipmant on.

    Think theres is gonna be a big shack up of safety in the pits due to this. Also cant belive that they dont even have built in sprinkler systems!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    Big congrats to FW and the Williams engineers for their car and well done Pastor, especially under pressure. Great laptimes all race yet again by Alonso in the midfield Ferrari, Frank should sign him for next year ;)

    What is going on at McLaren! Jenson especially, and Lewis should have been at the Mugello test to sort out their race pace in traffic, and to practice their pitstops. Who'd have thought in the Spanish heat that Jenson can't get his tyres to work and that Lewis could do a two stopper without the tyres dropping off!

    RedBull had a shocker too, especially Webber's race weekend. Sebs pace, like Kimis, was great at the end of the race, why did they not do a lap in Q3 for tyre choice, then pit so early?

    Hope everyone is fine after the fire. Ditch KERS, keep DRS now the FIA are getting the zone lengths right. Love the racing on Pirellis, perfect balance between fast racing and variety on different compounds with the risk of drop-off mixing things up at the end.

  • Comment number 37.

    It was absolutely shocking. On the "proper" channel, EJ and Jake was going on about how we had great facilities and safety standards in the paddock and how the fire would be quickly and easily handled... I was thinking, really? You had the team pit crew wearing just their team shirts on, within inches of the fire and inhaling the smoke putting out the fires. I heard a hell of a lot of coughing, poor guys. Then after a few mins the guy in shorts pulled over in his makeshift pickuptruck and grabbed a couple of fire extinguishers from the back. THAT was the fire crew.

  • Comment number 38.

    anyone noticed how empty the stands were?

  • Comment number 39.

    It was really nice to see Williams win a race again after so many years of failed hopes and dreams.

    I have been impressed with Kimi too this season , he is showing all his previous critics that he still has the fire inside of him to race and to race well!

  • Comment number 40.

    Superb to see Williams return to the top with Sir Frank and family in attendance. As someone who grew up watching F1 in the 80s and early 90s, it's been hard to see Williams in the pack whilst McLaren in league with Mercedes fight it out with Ferrari and a works Renault team in a world ruled by big budgets. Finally we have a situation where the engineers can make a difference with resource caps, stability in regulations and engine freezes - why should it be a surprise to see Williams back on winning form after their history of engineering excellence?

    Maldonado drove a great race and I think it rather sad that this article has to include the line "even if one inevitably has to wonder what the Williams would be capable of with Alonso or Hamilton behind the wheel". The guy had some strong drives last season but, as a rookie, made some hotheaded mistakes and was too often overdriving an uncompetitive car - the engine, it would seem, playing a major part in that by being both underpowered and unreliable. I thought he'd done enough to deserve a seat, in spite of his points return, and am utterly over the moon for him following this result. How does someone get the reputation of a Hamilton or Alonso? By winning races. Give the guy a chance before making such throwaway remarks.

    Such a shame that F1 has fallen to such depths that a mere pay driver can win a race ;) Well done Pastor - now let's see how it's followed up. After such a mature race under pressure from a double world champion on home soil, will this be a weight off his shoulders or will he struggle with the newfound expectation? I really hope it can be the former. Can anyone get a run of good results together? I have to say, having seen Imola '94 on live TV, seeing the "Senna - Williams Renault" caption makes me feel a little uneasy so hopefully he can get a good result too.

  • Comment number 41.

    26. At 22:10 13th May 2012, Average_Man wrote:

    ......Hamilton was sent to 24th beacuse the Stewards are Spanish, and almost all Spaniards seem to hate Hamilton beacuse of 2007


    Would that be the German Dr Gerd Ennser, Denmark’s Tom Kristensen, or Radovan Novak of the Czech Republic?

  • Comment number 42.

    Well done Pastor. He has come on well this year but I wonder what Rubens would have done in the car this year? Either way F1 2012 is in good shape and Pastor is very quick round Monaco so maybe he can win there also!

    Great stuff and lets hope all are well after that fire.

  • Comment number 43.

    @25 "it is quite clear that Hamilton would have won had he not been penalised so severely. I think that Mclaren should have made a bigger fuss about this penalty."

    Doubt that, his lap times were nowhere near as consistently fast as Pastor, Fernando or Kimis even when he had clear air.

    He was penalised because it is blatant cheating by McLaren, not Hamilton, to fill a car in qualifying for two laps instead of three laps (out, fast, and in laps). The weight advantage and therefore tyre saving and laptime improvement is massive. They did is before in Canada with Lewis and the rules were sorted then they do it again! It was incredibly stupid as Lewis was fast enough to have had a go for pole legally.

    As for these comments...
    "for some reason I can't see the same punishment being inflicted on Maldanado or Alonso"
    "if Hamilton had done what Rosberg did in Bahrain, he'd have had the book thrown at him. It seems like every opportunity that arises to punish Lewis in some way goes ahead."
    "Hamilton was sent to 24th beacuse the Stewards are Spanish"
    @8 "Coming back to Lewis, are the rules adjusted always to punish him or what?"

    Daft comments, the team were penalised for serious cheating in qually. That last comment is about as extreme the other way if someone said 'Lewis passed Perez off the track in turn 1 of the first lap, that's two off track passes now, are the rules always ignored just for him or what?'

    Some Lewis fans need to be happy he's in a quick car this year, he has a good shut up and drive attitude, he's not hitting Massa anymore, he is positive for the first time since mid-2010. Mind you it may not be enough, Kimi for the title anyone?

  • Comment number 44.

    Congratulations to Pastor Maldonado on a mature drive today to win his first GP, and it is nice to see Williams back to winning ways as well.

    It was a crying shame to see the fire put a dampener on the team celebrations (no pun intended), but respect to the mechanics from Williams, Force India & Caterham who put the fire out before the official fire services arrived. Glad to hear that there are no serious injuries, or worse.

    Finally, I have to say I was disappointed to see the FI Forum end so abruptly whilst the fire, and the story were still developing. Why could they not have stayed on air to bring further coverage, and reassure worried families and friends of the teams concerned? After all, the coverage was on the red button, it's not as though it would cut across another programme?

    I thought the BBC's Charter was to "Inform, Educate and Entertain". Sadly they fell short on the first of those. I had to watch Sky's excellent after-race coverage to get the full story. Still, at least we know how to check for an ankle sprain now, eh Jake?!

  • Comment number 45.

    Well done Williams! and two points... Mclaren (I'm a big fan) are an absolute disgrace. Ron Dennis needs to remove Martin Whitmarsh for the total lack of control, the mistakes just keep coming. Hamilton should be streaks ahead at this stage and well done to him for showing such maturity.
    Secondly, I'm so glad to see comments about the tyres, I have been saying it for ages. This is not racing!!! More than happy with Kers and DRS but driving super carefully looking after the tyres is not fun to watch. Even qualifying is a joke with front line teams not bothering to run Q3 to 'save' the tyres! Multi million pound sport? ridiculous!
    World peace and hugs to all xxx

  • Comment number 46.

    Great to see Williams back with a great win, fair and square. I do wish some of the other contributors to this board would give up all the silly conspiracy theories about their favourite drivers. It's all nonsense. The rules these days are far more comprehensive than they were 20 years ago and the teams know what they're doing. If they mess up, it's their fault, not the stewards.

    Five races, five different winners, we've been waiting for years for a return to a more open field, let's celebrate it while it lasts. Here's hoping for a sixth different winner in Monaco, a Lotus Renault or Sauber win would be great to add to the mix.

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    Well, if the object of the new tyres was to make for closer and more unpredictable racing, then Pirelli have succeeded brilliantly.
    Every race we are seeing top drivers in (supposedly) top cars scratching around in the middle of the field, whilst previously unknowns are coming home with the points.
    About the only thing that wouldn't surprise this writer is if Kimi wound up with another world title.
    A note here though on Mclaren. They have no chance of being in the mix if they can't sort out their pit disasters, which have now become endemic. They've already cost both their drivers dearly.
    It seems pretty clear that Whitmarsh is no Ron Denis

  • Comment number 49.

    Agree that McLaren are spoiling their own season, They need to tighten things up in the pits. Hamilton has his head down and is'nt complaining, but he cant be impressed with the team right now. Has Whitmarsh lost control or is it just bad luck? Its hard to think these kind of incidents would happen on Ron Dennis' watchful eye.

    As for Ferrari, any chance Sutil takes Massa's drive after Monaco, or perhaps a return from Rubens?

  • Comment number 50.

    Excellent drive by Maldonado. Kept Alonso at bay very well. Im a massive Hamilton fan and was gutted to hear about his penalty. I agree with people who believe mclaren should be punished possibly deducting constructor points rather than punishing the drivers. Mclaren are really holding Lewis back at the moment, and if things don't change I would like to see Lewis move to a different team to benefit his career.
    Great racing to finish 8th though, and beat his team mate Button having started from the back of the grid. I'm sure button is feeling a little red faced tonight!!

    Role on Monaco and Hamiltons continued inspiring form

  • Comment number 51.

    Fantastic effort from Maldanaldo, honestly didnt think he had the consistency and maturity to hold the likes and of Alosno off! well done!

    Hamilton however, when will his bad luck end! i honestly believe all this bad luck has been put on him for a reason so that he will absolutely dominate Monaco and Canada! ill be at the bookies putting money on him for the pole and the win!!

    We all know he deserves it, have a feeling he'll beat Jenson by a cheeky 4 tenths at Monaco qualifying too.

  • Comment number 52.

    if somebody ask you where F1 is heading just tell them making big show and big bag of money! what? everybody wanted It's was boring

  • Comment number 53.

    Just a word on the tyres, although it spices the racing up, which is amazing and exciting, ultimately this is not formula 1!

    Imagine if the likes of Senna and Villeneuve were alive, and were told that drivers these days don't drive as fast as they can in races but rather, 'preserve' tyres! Its rubbish, especially for drivers like, Hamilton, shuey and Webber who all have aggressive styles and love to push the cars to the limits.

    on the other hand drivers like Button and Perez are laughing because it suits their smooth styles, which I can completely respect and appreciate, as it is a style which has been successful in the past with the likes of Prost.

    Personally i prefer to see the cars rung by the neck! Lets be honest who'd you rather watch race, Kobayashi or Rosberg.

  • Comment number 54.

    As the cars become more even in performance they've had to introduce and element of randomness to split them up and that seems to be the tyres. Do they all get the same tyres or do they vary between teams and team mates? If so, then that would explain a lot. But is that really racing? It's not in my view. They've gone too far and made it silly again. They were doing well with tyres that need some management but varying the tyres between teams and drivers is nuts.

  • Comment number 55.

    F1 is becoming a farce. Whatever happened to the best driver in the best car winning? I mean what is the point of tyres that wear out after a couple of laps and then have to be nursed for another 15? How does that advance the technology on today's road cars? Isn't that what they pretend the sport is about?

    What I'd like to see is tyres capable of lasting the entire race, and if yours get punctured, tough, you're out of it. Okay, that might need some modification to allow for weather conditions, but basically I want things back to basics with the emphasis on driving skills rather than artificial devices which have turned the sport into a lottery.

  • Comment number 56.

    If I were Hamilton I'd quit McLaren at the end of the season and join a more professional outfit. The number of times in recent years that he's been screwed by tactical and strategy mistakes, poor pit crew skills, fuel irregularities (as this week in Spain), behind-the-scenes politics, etc etc is beyond a joke.

  • Comment number 57.

    Hamiltons drive was superb not only was he able to make a 2 stop work by the end he was leaving Button and almost passed Rosberg who had much fresher rubber. Add to that the amount of tyres he had used to secure pole only for it to be taken away. A few myths buried there I think.

  • Comment number 58.

    Not knowing the rules could someone explain why couldn't McLaren have just not claimed the other fast time and had the fastest one scrubbed. If you set 2 times don't you have the option to choose the slower one, e.g. if you really flat spotted on the fastest time and wanted the better rubber for the race ?

  • Comment number 59.

    lol at the hamilton haters,started dead last,he completely overshadowed button who started 14 places higher,made a 2 stop work making his 2 stop tyres work for 32-33 laps the longest so far in the whole season making a mockery of button as a smooth,careful driver.if the stewards/ferrari/mclaren didnt take his pole he would of cruised to the win.congrats pastor im geniunely stunned that no disrespect he can win a race so this season is f'ed up average drivers like rosberg and maldonado can win races and sauber is so competitive.these tyres are a nightmare.some of hamiltons passes were out of this world,other than the ever lasting chase by alonso on pastor hamilton was the by far the only driver to entertain,worst race of the season so far

  • Comment number 60.

    @8 the rule is clear that there has to be a minmum of fuel after quali for fuel legality testing. Mclaren broke this rule, even if it was inadvertently, (they seem to be inventing new ways for the pit crew to be incompetent at every race)' and the team were penalised. This was not victimisation of Hamilton. It is also fair to otner teams as there is a big performance advantage for under-fuelling. I am sorry for Hamilton but it is fair. Maybe a 5 place penalty would have been fairer however.
    All that aside... Well done Williams and Maldonado! Lets hope they can keep this up.

  • Comment number 61.

    @58, no sadly as in this case there is no proof that Hamis car was not underfuelled throughout quali. It is very harsh but that is the rule.

  • Comment number 62.

    Well done Maldo, this makes a fantastic change in formula 1, no squickie sounds from same individuals about how they thank the boys at the factory, blah blah blah, this is what formula 1 should be about, good competitiveness. The only sad thing in F1 remains on the victimization of LH. I am beginning to think these so called stewards are very biased people. If its a strategy of removing LH from F1, then I am sure we need the governing body to investgate the stewards.

  • Comment number 63.

    If the stewards are Spanish, surely F1 is as biased as I thought they would be. Who allows them to make such decisions at a whim. The reason why F1 is this way is because they have no Integrated governing bodies like football. They are allowed to be racist at a cost if Bernie Ecclestone allows it. How can such a big sport be ran by one individual?Are Stewards a picked at random depending on the country they are in?

  • Comment number 64.

    Would just like to say kudos to all the teams that came to the aid of Williams when they had that horrible fire , It just goes to show that despite all being rivals out on the track when it really matters they just got stuck in , Bravo chaps , Well done .
    NOT so the track firefighters , where the hell were they ? , that needs proper investigation..
    Oh and please PLEASE can we get rid of these horrid , stupid tyres , They are utterly ruining F1 ...

  • Comment number 65.

    At last, people are starting to say what I have been for the last season and a half - get rid of (T)Whitmarsh! The McClaren crew were always one of the best, but they now resemble The Keystone Kops.

    Excellent, mature drive by Pastor - there's not many who can hold Nando at bay without putting a wheel wrong, but he did, and so very happy to see a Williams win once more.

    I am enjoying the unpredictability that the Pirelli tyres are bringing - do we really want a repeat of last season, possibly ad nauseum like with Schumacher, who by the way was a total prat for driving into the back of Bruno.

    Roll on Monaco!

  • Comment number 66.

    Forgot to say, kudos to the brave men who put the fire out in the Williams pit - I hope they're all okay.

  • Comment number 67.

    Firstly, it was fantastic to see a Williams win a race after such a long time and hopefully, this is the beginning of a new competitive era for the team. It was without doubt an exciting race and yes it makes for great viewing when there are different winners from different teams each race. But is it F1 as we know it? Is it F1 as it should be in the future where drivers are made to pace themselves and think tactfully rather than push on flat out? Tyres will always need to be looked after to some extent, but when the drivers and teams don't even know how much looking after they need it begins to make a mockery of the idea.

    Secondly, Hamilton's penalty which affected directly the outcome of the race, but which did allow Lewis to show his talent. Obviously it was a team error and needed punishment of some sort, but did the punishment fit the crime? Not for me. The extra fuel needed for the lap to be legal would not have changed Hamilton's pole so there was no advantage gained. I think a 10 place grid penalty would have sufficed. Lewis is in a good place right now and the McLaren is generally looking like a winning car but all the errors and (in this case) a harsh stewards ruling can't be giving him much cause for optimism for this year's championship.

  • Comment number 68.

    Always thought it was particularly unfair that Maldonado was GP2 CHAMPION in 2010 - so MORE successful than most of the other ex-GP2 drivers who made it to F1 - and was treated like he was just a money decision. Of course it's a no-brainer for a team like Williams to employ someone who is a proven, successful driver in the feeder series and yet also has the benefit of bringing money - why on earth would they not want the money AS WELL (not INSTEAD OF)?

    Hopefully his win will cast some light on how the F1 media's clamour to provide a reactionary "bottom line" about a driver for the casual fan can lead to a real lack of insight.

  • Comment number 69.

    I'm pleased to hear "whispers" about the tyres in the paddock. It's clear that when one element of any race day predominates all others it has become THE defining aspect of the sport.

    Sure we don't want the borefests of yesteryear but equally it can't be allowed to the only factor, regardless of driver ability, that dominates the festival. whacky-races will always be more unpredictable but is it a truer to F1 ideal of best driver competition?

    The point may come this year when there won't be a top 10 shoot out because to set any time would be a disadvantage in the race. In fact could Vettel's place on Sunday be down to his NOT setting a time in Q3?

    Congratulations to Williams. Great recovery by Lewis. Did I detect a "play" for Lewis in positive comments by Ferrari? Interesting.

  • Comment number 70.

    @43 "Doubt that, his lap times were nowhere near as consistently fast as Pastor, Fernando or Kimis even when he had clear air."

    Because he was on a two stop strategy from the back of the grid his race was completely compromised. He had to be easier on his tyres to make sure they lasted, as well as make up as mainy places as possible. If he was running at the front he may have gone with the more common 3 stop strategy, and had chance to push harder on the tyres and put in some faster lap times.

    So it's impossible to compare his lap times with the top three even in clear air. It was likely he would have been a strong contender for victory starting from pole.

  • Comment number 71.

    "mainy places"? many!

  • Comment number 72.

    I am beginning to understand how the Hamilton fans come up with their conspiracy theories. The worst that should have happened to Hamilton was for his Q3 to have been discounted, sending him back to 10th. Kobayashi stopped on track at the end of Q2 and received no punishment.

    There should be a punishment for sitting out a qualifying session, particularly Q3, for tactical reasons, as it takes away the whole purpose of qualifying. Or, perhaps, every car that makes it to Q3 should be awarded a new set of tyres with which they must set a competitive time.

    Congratulations to Maldonado and Williams for getting themselves out of the doldrums at last. Amazing how they came from nowhere to claim pole and win. Some might suspect the weekend was rigged, or maybe I just watch too many crime programmes! Hope nobody was hurt in the process of putting out the fire.

    Roll on Monaco. Let's see what conspiracy theories that brings!

  • Comment number 73.

    @58, 61, and others.

    The reason that Hamilton was disqualified from quali is that the fuel in the car is required for analysis afterwards - it is compared to a "control" sample provided at the start of the season, and must be the same. Fuel legality can't be checked after Q1 or Q2 if the car has progressed through those sessions, it can only be checked at the end of quali. As there was not enough fuel to prove that the car was running legal fuel in Q3, the team cannot prove to the FIA/stewards that the car was running legal fuel in Q1 or Q2 either. It may be harsh, but you'd be amazed at some of the things F1 teams have done in the past...

    It has nothing to do with running underweight, as the car is weighed dry. This is whyBAR/Honda were banned a few years back; they had a system for hiding fuel in the car when they claimed it was empty.

  • Comment number 74.

    Happy for Maldonado. Sincerely, don't see any reason for the constant reminder he is sponsored by the government of Venezuela. Makes no difference. People get into formula 1 or any other sports via various routes. Calling him a ‘Pay driver’ is really not fair.
    It is kind of strange and palpable that, on this forum and eurosport, Alonso gets only passing comments. And it is more negative than positive. No one seems to give this amazing and truly driving supremo the credit he deserves. So much has been made about the shortcomings of Ferrari's car this season and in the same vein highlighted the mighty, wonderful, high speed Mclaren. However, the results tell a different story. You can blame it on whatever you want – team error, strategy. Who cares!! Being a champion or winning is not built on only 1 parameter. It is a mixture. Maybe it is high time people began to give Alonso the credit he rightly deserves. NO OTHER driver would have amassed as much points as Alonso has done.

  • Comment number 75.

    There is nothing wrong with the Pirelli tyres, as shown by the right strategy, qualify on pole and win the race as done by Rosberg, Vettel and Maldonado. Button won from 2nd on the Grid and Alonso won in the wet.
    Saving tyres for the race has not affected a normal lights to flag victory in any race this season and was of no value in the rain. All saving tyres for the race has done is strand fast cars down the field.

  • Comment number 76.

    By stopping out on track, McLaren ensured that there was enough fuel for the sample, therefore it could have been proved that Q1 and Q2 were legitimate.

  • Comment number 77.

    @73 Ok thanks for that. What is to stop a team running illegally I.e. not enough fuel to give a sample at the start of q3, set the fast lap, come in fuel up go out set a slower time and give a sample ?

  • Comment number 78.

    It is sad to say that there is one glaring conclusion that could be made regarding the troubles currently suffered by McLaren and the success of Williams; one Sam Micheal, team Sporting Director. Presided over the years of decline at Williams and seems to bring the same skill set to use at McLaren...

    Call me a cynic?

  • Comment number 79.

    Someone said earlier that the reason you can punish hamilton at the end of qualifing for not having enough fuel is because in the rules you have to get back to the pits under you own power but this isn't the case for the end of the race. Whilst I'm sure that may be true but that's not the point surely the point should be why is it ok to underfuel your car for a race and gain an advantage for every lap but underfuelling for an advantage on one lap is far more serious and punished overly seriously. Surely it's time to just make one rule either you have to complete a full in lap all the time or never I don't understand why you need to have different rule for quali vs the race

  • Comment number 80.

    18. At 21:13 13th May 2012, Twirlip wrote:
    >"why then should drivers be allowed to stop after the race and not in qualifying?"

    Because that is the rule. Allow me to quote:

    "Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power."

    That clearly does not apply to the race itself.


    Sorry to be a pedant, but that rule says "after a practice session", so doesn't really answer the guys question about why it applies after Qualifying but not after the Race.

    I too don't understand it. It was after Bahrain, I think, where 2 or 3 drivers stopped at the end of the pit lane after crossing the chequered flag. One stopped out on track. Why are they not disqualified from the session, as Hamilton was? If the rule is there to allow for fuel samples, then surely it makes absolutely no difference what session you're in.

    I can only assume that the race is treated differently as its a long haul thing and fuel usage will vary (although this is a weak excuse - the teams can tell their drivers to turn the engines down to ensure they have enough to get back to the pits, and should all be part of race strategy and fuel management), whereas in qualifying the team know (almost) exactly how much fuel they need for their run. As such, they (presumably) think McLaren deliberately under-fueled him to gain an advantage, and therefore were punished for attempting to deceive the stewards.

    I accept that he broke a rule, and was given the only punishment which the rulebook allows. I do not have an issue with that, per so. Only that the rule seems inconsistently applied. If it is there for fuel samples, and those samples are required after the race as well as after qualifying, then the rule should be equally applied in both cases. The fact that they ignore it after the race but thrown the book at Hamilton is of course going to irk people - especially Hamilton fans.

  • Comment number 81.

    At 09:58 14th May 2012, spikyone wrote:

    @58, 61, and others.

    The reason that Hamilton was disqualified from quali is that the fuel in the car is required for analysis afterwards - it is compared to a "control" sample provided at the start of the season, and must be the same. Fuel legality can't be checked after Q1 or Q2 if the car has progressed through those sessions, it can only be checked at the end of quali. As there was not enough fuel to prove that the car was running legal fuel in Q3, the team cannot prove to the FIA/stewards that the car was running legal fuel in Q1 or Q2 either. It may be harsh, but you'd be amazed at some of the things F1 teams have done in the past...

    It has nothing to do with running underweight, as the car is weighed dry. This is whyBAR/Honda were banned a few years back; they had a system for hiding fuel in the car when they claimed it was empty.


    they did give a sample mate, infact 1.3 litres worth of fuel was given so what are you talking about?
    Read up the rule 1st next time please

  • Comment number 82.

    77. At 10:10 14th May 2012, Yorkshire_Golden_Ale wrote:
    @73 Ok thanks for that. What is to stop a team running illegally I.e. not enough fuel to give a sample at the start of q3, set the fast lap, come in fuel up go out set a slower time and give a sample ?


    Well, the rule is not there to check fuel levels as such - it is to check fuel mixture; to ensure you haven't tampered with the fuel to improve performance.

    The fuel level is only really relevant because you need to have enough in the tank that they could get a sample out.

    So Hamilton isn't punished for explicitly not having a certain level of fuel in his car. He is punished for not having enough fuel for them to run the tests with.

    So why could he run with tampered fuel, empty it out, then refill with normal fuel? Presumably because residue of the illegal stuff would still be detected and cause him to fail the test against the sample taken at the start of the session. I can't imagine emptying and cleaning out an F1 fuel tank is particularly easy work.

  • Comment number 83.

    Ok Williams get a good win after a long period without and Mclaren are going backwards. What is the common factor , Sam Michael. Lets see if Mclaren getany more podiums this year.

  • Comment number 84.

    @5.TheBBCFan wrote:

    "And after the race I turn over to the red button and discover there is football and no f1 forum, perhaps I missed something."

    Yes the Forum arrived 6 and a half hours late, the BBC mislead the viewers again and even mistitled the forum on the EPG to aid the deception.

    Although when it was eventually broadcast it was very good, EJ on the trolley had us in stitches, and there was a good spread of interviews, and no tabloid sensationalism with regards to the pit fire, and certainly no blurting out the names live on TV of some of those injured, unlike another less professional TV company did.

  • Comment number 85.

    Nice to see an unpredictable race winner again, really thought Alonso was going to romp away with it though.

    Yesterday if nothing else proved that Massa's career as a Ferrari driver is well and truly coming to an end fairly soon. I like Massa and I wanted him to win the title in '08, but since then, coupled with his accident, he's just been so far off the boil. In all my years of watching F1 I can't remember when the number 2 at Ferrari was performing this bad. You can excuse reliability related retirements for non point scoring, but at the moment he doesn't look like threatening the top 10 at all.

    As for Lewis, bit of bad luck, but the team knew how much fuel was going in the car, half a second quicker or not, inevitable he was getting a penalty.

  • Comment number 86.

    I wonder what would have happened if Alonso had stopped after setting his practice time? Demoted to back of grid nfor his home GP? No chance.

    These largely nameless, faceless stewards have to go, and a group of publicly recognised and respected people take their place on a consistent basis. It's not just about being fair - which I doubt they totally are - but being seen to be fair, which they clearly aren't.

  • Comment number 87.

    And english, #85; Of course he deserved a penalty, that's without question.

    It's the nature of the penalty which left a nasty smell - back to 6th, or 10th, no problem.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    With that sort of infringement, is it exclusion from qualifying, i.e. having his time erased. Or do the stewards at the circuit determine the punishment.

  • Comment number 90.

    Bruno Senna,my best ever.New boyfriend MP from my work,I can't keep pics with me from someone else .Only him everywhere,I am worried for you,long time ago.Ciao

  • Comment number 91.

    @35 djolir

    Not sure I'd want sprinkler systems in the pits. Electics/fuel and water don't tend to mix too well.

    @55 Oskar_the_dog

    Surely the best car is the one which can run fastest on the tyres that are provided whilst doing minimum wear to the tyres.

  • Comment number 92.

    Too far the other way nothing! This is by far the most fun F1 has been in years, and I just want more of it. I'm not interested in a hierarchical structure of teams who believe that they are somehow entitled to be considered one of the big boys purely by their heritage or budget. Every team and driver has the same tyres each race, and they've got to knuckle down, stop complaining and make them work as well as they can. Points to those who can, none to those who can't no matter who you are. Absolutely brilliant season thus far, and here's to a Lotus win in Monaco! Viva Pirelli!

  • Comment number 93.

    #89 My understanding, from EJ's comments, is that it is up to the stewards - otherwise his complaint that 'the stewards got it wrong' would be nonsense, and in that case I'd be fine with it as Alonso or anyone else would then have got the same punishment.

    But I'm no expert, perhaps somebody can quote chapter & verse...

  • Comment number 94.

    #89 Although thinking about it - either way highlights the same problem.

    Either it's the stewards' decision, in which case it looks unfair; or it' the way it's been done which is wrong, becauser it STILL looks unfair even if it isn't.

    If the stewards had no choice, but we had a senior steward who comes out and explains these things to the media, then the punters get to understand. They seem to think they have no duty to explain to the fans why they make decisions which totally change results.

  • Comment number 95.

    @81 "they did give a sample mate, infact 1.3 litres worth of fuel was given so what are you talking about?"

    The point was that if McLaren finished their in-lap, like they have to in the rules, then they would have used up the 1.3 litres and then can't give a sufficient sample.
    Running less fuel than everyone else is an unfair advantage. Is it right it was another McLaren mechanic mistake when they wrongly sucked fuel out of LHs car instead of topping up, then realised it but he had to go out for his final run before all the fuel went back in?

    @77 "What is to stop a team running illegally...set the fast lap, come in fuel up go out set a slower time and give a sample ?"
    Think it is just that they could be randomly pulled in at the pit entrance by the stewards and checked.

    Anyone know what the penalty is say if McLaren did their in lap and a sample couldn't be taken? Must be harsh, like exclusion from event, if they prefer to make a driver stop on track.

    Also, BBC sort out the timings and coverage of the few live races you actually have, no qually press conference 'because the rugby is on' and no F1 forum after the race - or was this further compromises as part of the pathetic TV deal.

  • Comment number 96.

    The stewards decisions seems to affect one selected individual. Schuamy rammed himself behind senna's car, what does he get, 5 grid penalty, From the spectators's view he was very aggressive prior to the crash but no he did a good job nearly killing somebody, LH would have been banned from F1. Rosberg 's infringement was overlooked, It was OK to fault LH and Alonso, These are not conspiratorial theories but it is plain open how the system needs changing. The stewards got it wrong.

  • Comment number 97.

    Great race getting very very annoyed with the stewards every year we have the same problem with consistency because they have different stewards 4 every race surely the logical thing to do would be to have the same stewards who apply the rules in the same way that way drivers and team will know where they stand also having more than 1 former driver would help.

    Disgrace to send hamilton to back of grid easiest thing would be to demote him to tenth.
    Disgrace to give schumacher a 5 place grid penalty when senna moved in the braking zone.

    Also getting annoyed with the pirelli tyres as seen with perez yesterday grosjean gives him a puncture (where was the penalty 4 that?), he then struggles for the rest of the race because of the tyres.

    Yes it adds to the racing but takes away from the drivers ultimate test of skill which is driving the car to its limits on these tyres you just can't do that.

    Also really starting to dislike alguerasi thats two pops he's had at schumacher now from a mediocre driver thats just...... well cheeky to say the least

    As for the race it was greta to see williams return to winning ways they deserve it more than most as they suffered so much last season. Can't wait 4 monaco think kimi might do it there.

  • Comment number 98.

    Alonso is the best, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  • Comment number 99.

    I am sure LH deserves a win too this time as much as Kimi. Nice change to F1 this year, enjoying seeing other teams win thus putting a damper on regular golden boys.

  • Comment number 100.

    Hi all, Really enjoyed the race and it was great to see Maldonardo drive with such composure for a deserved win.

    The penalty against Mclaren. Whether or not you deem it as fair. An important point to remember is that these rules are set. The teams know them and agree to race under them.

    F1 teams have consistently over the years looked to play the rules and gain an unsporting advantage at every turn. They can not be trusted and draconian penalties are in place for any team who don't follow the rules to the letter. It is past dishonesty that has led to the assumption of guilt for minor indecretions.

    It may have been a "mistake" but even if it wasn't, the team in question would claim it was and that is no defense as they know the rules.

    On a side issue of stopping on track after the race, which is not permitted in qualifying. If you have to do an in lap after the race the race has become an extra lap. If this were allowed in quali im pretty sure that we will see all teams stopping on track because they are all after that edge and a lap of fuel can make the difference with such a tight field.


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