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PPastor Maldonado

Race Review: Spanish Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus GP hold up Pastor Maldonado, Williams F1 Team as he celebrates on the podium after winning the race. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. 13th May 2012. World Copyright: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Allow me to get this out of the way before we start on the race review: What kind of ridiculous shenanigan is that for the FIA stewards to punish McLaren by placing Hamilton at the very back of the grid?! It pains me to see Hamilton qualified for pole and then, BAM!, ended up on the last spot on the grid. This whole situation got me all wound up heading into Race day. I have to admit it was great to see a new driver taking pole, and Maldonado was certainly in top form, but I couldn't help but wonder how the race would have turned out if Hamilton was on pole. And on the note of qualifying, I wonder if more teams will start bailing out of Q3 to save tyres.

Onward with the Race day happenings. It was definitely nice to see another shakeup on the line up, top teams like Red Bull, McLaren were nowhere to be found while Williams and Lotus were right at the top sandwiching a home crowd-pleasing Ferrari. The Ferrari looked to be back on winning form with Alonso on the P2. Alonso did not disappoint as he nabbed the lead from Maldonado right from the start and down Turn 1.

It's not a proper race if there was no drama on the race track. For the Spanish Grand Prix, that drama came in the form of Schumacher rear-ending Senna, resulting in an early exit for both. I hate to say it, but I think Schumacher's attempt to revive his glory days is a futile effort.

There were many great wheel-to-wheel battles and overtaking throughout the race, my favorite was Kobayashi deep-diving to make an inside pass on Button on Lap33. However, the MVP of the race, on overtaking and on doing the impossible, belongs to Hamilton. Hamilton never gave up despite the situation he found himself in, and pulling a jump of 16 positions to land on 8th from his starting position of 24th. That's not even considering the strange pit stop that he had. McLaren needs to really get their act together; their pit stops actually make me nervous for their drivers. In contrast, the Ferrari pit stops were beautifully slick and error-free.

After 66 laps and many nail-biting moments, Maldonado got the job done and took home the trophy for the Spanish Grand Prix. Fantastic to see a new winner, and the 1st Venezuelan driver at that! I am really loving how every race has yet another new winner. I'm calling it now - Hamilton to win Monaco!

Action on the track aside, I am sad to report no one has made it onto my Best Post-race hair list this time around. I did notice that Raikkonen got a much-needed haircut, and Button started growing some facial hair, in case anyone is keep track. Did anyone ever notice the race girls’ outfits? I haven't seen any that's memorable, the Spanish Grand Prix one was underwhelming. I look forward to a more glamorous version of the outfit at Monaco. Speaking of Monaco, the Monaco track is one of my favorite, there's just something special about a street circuit. Mark your calendars and get ready for another exciting race on the weekend of 5/25 at Monaco!