2012 Spanish Grand Prix must be one of the oddest races in the history of F1, both because of the race itself and what happened after that. The thrill of the Spanish race began Saturday when stewards took the pole position off Lewis Hamilton and gave it to Williams F1 Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado. He ended up winning the race after a close fight with Fernando Alonso. Moments after Williams’ first victory in eight years, their garage burned down!
Cause of the fire is unknown at the moment, but something sparked a small fire which then reached one of the fuel rigs and resulted in an explosion. Fortunately, the incident claimed no causalities, but one of the mechanics got badly burned on his feet and had to be airlifted to a hospital, while nine others suffered from minor injuries.
The financial damage is pretty substantial though, and so is the amount of destroyed kit, chief among which Bruno Senna’s car. It was left at the pits after exiting the race following an incident with Michael Schumacher.
Rivals have offered to help Williams to get back on its feet for the next race in Monaco.
As for the race, it was a momentous victory for Williams-Renault, whose new partnership has just been revived for 2012. Renault especially enjoyed the Spanish GP as 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-Renault drivers Vettel and Webber had a bad day, finishing 6th and 11th.
A bitter-sweet victory for Williams. We wish them all the best.