Pastor Maldonado sealed the first victory for the newly revived Williams-Renault partnership in today’s Spanish Grand Prix. The Venezuelan scored the victory from pole position, marking the first win for the collaboration in its latest incarnation. The Williams-Renault link was renewed for the 2012 season after its initial run from 1989 to 1997. The win is the 114th for Williams, the 64th for the Williams-Renault partnership and Renault’s 144th in F1.
Lotus F1 Team put a second Renault engine on the podium with Kimi Raikkonen finishing in third position. Team-mate Romain Grosjean came home in fourth, giving the Renault RS27 engine a total of three of the top four positions.
Red Bull Racing-Renault experienced a more difficult race, with Sebastian Vettel finishing in sixth. The reigning world champion served a drive-through penalty for not observing yellow flags and then took on a new front wing at his last pit stop. Mark Webber came home in 11th, just outside the points after an early stop for a new front wing.
Caterham F1 Team again achieved a double finish with Heikki Kovalainen 16th and Vitaly Petrov 17th. Unfortunately Williams’ Bruno Senna retired from the race on lap 13 after an incident involving Michael Schumacher.
Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are tied for the lead of the drivers’ championship while Red Bull Racing continues to lead the constructors’ championship. Lotus F1 Team has edged closer to second, with Williams sixth, on equal points with Mercedes. Caterham remains in 11th.
Jean-François Caubet, Renaultsport F1 managing director
“Naturally we are delighted for Williams and we are all very proud that the collaboration is doing justice to its heritage. The engine-chassis package has worked very well all season and has promised to score some huge results – obviously this one is the best we can get! It’s a testament to all at Grove and Viry that the new deal can achieve success so early on in its life cycle.
Naturally, we were concerned that the celebrations were mitigated by the fire in the Williams garage after the race. No one from Renaultsport F1 was seriously injured, but our thoughts go to our colleagues at Williams and also our partners at Caterham who were involved. We wish them all a speedy recovery.”
Rémi Taffin, Renaultsport F1 head of track operations
“Across all our clients, the engine has performed efficiently this weekend. We know Barcelona incredibly well from the winter testing but there are nevertheless some tricky parts to get right, including providing drive and response in the slower sections while retaining good top speed down the straight. To get three engines in the top four again is fantastic and shows our preparations paid off.
Congratulations to Pastor for his first win and to Williams for its first win since 2004. Scoring a victory so early on in an engine-chassis partnership is a fantastic achievement and shows just how aligned the systems and procedures on both sides of the table are.
We wish all our colleagues at Williams well, particularly in light of the incident after the race, and look forward to continuing the momentum throughout the season”.