At Long Last
It has been 132 races, 8 years, and countless weekends of bad luck, incompetence, errors and changing managements for one of Formula One’s most famous and much-admired teams.
Gone are the glory days of Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Ralf Schumacher and JP Montoya, but somehow, against most odds at Barcelona last weekend, 300-1 outsider Pastor Maldonado became the first Venezuelan ever to win an F1 Grand Prix race. Historically, this is a massive achievement, within a month of Chairman Frank Williams’ 70th Birthday- and has once again thrown open the debate to one of the most open starts to a season ever.
For the first time since 1983, and the second time overall, there have been five different winners of the first five races- demonstrating the sudden spurt of competitiveness in 2012, a season that has six former World Champions battling for the title.
Former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, back in the saddle after a couple of years, is enjoying his stint with a surprisingly competent Lotus Renault team, with partner Romain Grosjean. Yet to win a race, he has two podiums over the last few races- which puts him within striking distance of Alonso and Vettel at the top. Button is yet to come to the fore, after yet another disappointing McLaren effort- that saw an inspired Hamilton use a two-stop strategy to the fullest, and end in 9th.