F1 Spain – Qualifying

I never expect much from the Spanish Grand Prix,
I grew up in the times when every F1 team tested at Barcelona basically every week which lead to some quite boring races. Nothing prepared me for the excitement and eventual jubilation that I would feel from just a qualifying session!Before you go any further, I feel I should clarify a few things

    I am a massive Williams fan
    I am not a fan of the McLaren team
    I am a fan of Lewis Hamilton

It’s fair to say that Williams have had a much better season than many expected already, in fact the BBC in their season preview magazine predicted that Caterham would finish above them in the Constructor’s Championship this year (it was at that point that I threw the BBC magazine to the floor in disgust, never to look at it again!), but somehow in Spain they seem to have made a fantastic step forward in performance and Maldonado especially was setting some good times in the Practice sessions. Excellent, I thought, at least one of them should make Q3 and may even nudge at a top five grid position.

Unfortunately for Senna he maybe tried a bit too hard at the end of Q1 and spun off into the gravel and will start the race in 18th, thankfully Maldonado made it through to the second session and surprised the World by setting the fastest lap just as the session ended. Was it a fluke? Was it because of a last minute drop in temperature making track conditions better late on in the session?

Q3 would prove that the Williams and Maldonado actually had the pace, he qualified second on the grid behind Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren, and a wave of emotion washed over me, I was so happy I almost couldn’t contain myself. But then the British driver stopped on his way back to the pits and this started my mind wandering, the questions coming thick and fast; why had he stopped, it couldn’t be fuel again? Not after the row he got at Canada last year?! Will his fastest time be deleted? Will Maldonado get the Pole?!

Initially, McLaren were claiming a technical problem but wouldn’t say what that problem was. Basically it turned out that someone had made a mistake whilst fuelling the car and they didn’t have enough fuel left in the car to make it back to the pits and provide the necessary sample to the race stewards – although Martin Whitmarsh claimed that there was.

By this time I was following what was happening on Twitter and no one really knew what was going on, and then it came, the deluge of tweets saying that Hamilton had been disqualified and as a result Pastor Maldonado would start from Pole position! I screamed with happiness! I danced around the living room! A Williams on Pole for the first time since Brazil 2010, amazing!

Do I have sympathy for Lewis Hamilton? Yes. McLaren? No. How many times will this supposedly top team makes this kind of mistake? Plus trying to claim a technical issue so as not to get a penalty when it was apparently a human error is just not cricket and you would have thought they’d have learnt their lesson on that with the ‘liegate’ thing a few years ago.

So a very happy Compton GP is looking forward to a fantastic Spanish Grand Prix, unfortunately work comes first so I’ll be watching delayed and my phone will be switched off until I have seen the race.



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