Pastor Maldonado became Formula One's first Venezuelan winner 2012 - Los Hechos y el Derecho TV LHD TV

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Pastor Maldonado became Formula One's first Venezuelan winner 2012

Pastor Maldonado became Formula One's first Venezuelan winner 2012

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Pastor Maldonado, Venezuelan, Formula One Winner/ Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado became Formula One's first Venezuelan winner and gave Williams its 114th triumph but first since the 2004 Brazilian GP.

Pastor Maldonado held off Fernando Alonso to win the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, giving Williams its first Formula One victory in eight years.

The celebration quickly gave way to concern when a fire in the Williams team garage left 16 people injured.

Maldonado started from the pole and withstood the challenge by Alonso's Ferrari to take the 66-lap race at the Catalunya Circuit by 3.1 seconds.

Maldonado drove with confidence down the final stretch despite Alonso bearing down on him. It was Alonso's fourth runner-up finish in Barcelona to go with a 2006 victory.

"We tried a couple of times to get in front but it wasn't possible," Alonso said.

Michael Schumacher, in the midst of a terrible season, failed to finish for the third time. He ran into the back of Bruno Senna's Williams on lap 14, knocking the Brazilian out of the race.

Pastor Maldonado nos just winner but also Hero saving his cousin

Pastor Maldonado carries cousin after fire breaks out in Williams garage to ruin Spanish GP victory celebrations. Pastor Maldonado today turned from grand prix winner to hero as Williams' celebrations for his debut victory went up in flames.

Maldonado, criticised for being nothing more than a 'pay driver' last season during a wretched debut campaign in which he scored just one point, this weekend proved finally he has what it takes to compete in Formula One.
Starting from pole position, following Lewis Hamilton's demotion to the back of the grid as punishment for a fuel irregularity in qualifying yesterday, Maldonado eventually won a seesaw battle with Alonso by just over three seconds come the conclusion.
It was Williams' first victory for 132 races, their last coming in Brazil in 2004, and the first by a Venezuelan in F1 history.

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