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Europe is Ablaze

May 13, 2012

The one thing we seem to be able to expect from this season is the unexpected. This weekend, from start to finish, has been nothing short of unbelievable. Coupled with the thrilling conclusion to the English Premier League we have had a sporting weekend to remember!

The madness began during qualifying when Lewis Hamilton stopped on track without returning to the pits following a scorching lap which put him at the top of the timesheet. The team cited technical issues as the reason for stopping, however, after further investigation the stewards found that the McLaren did not have the required amount of fuel left in the tank to undergo testing. Hamilton was handed a stiff penalty which saw him starting from the back of the grid on Sunday afternoon. This meant that Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan, took the top spot after putting in some sterling laps to place second in qualifying.

While starting from pole almost always leads to victory in Barcelona it was by no means an easy race for Maldonado. Fernando Alonso, who started right behind him, made certain of that and spent the entire race hounding the Venezuelan, eager to claim victory in his home Grand Prix. In the latter stages of the race when nerves and tyres were becoming frayed Maldonado managed to retain his focus and his hold on the lead and drove his Williams FW34 to victory. Crossing the line he became the 5th winner in as many races this season and hoisted the first trophy for the Williams outfit since 2004.

Fernando Alonso claimed second place for Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen, who is looking faster and faster every race, rounded out the podium. The big guns, Red Bull and McLaren, will be looking to put this weekend behind them. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber came in 6th and 11th respectively. McLaren, who were in for a tough race once the stewards sent Hamilton to the back of the grid, will certainly want to forget this weekend. Hamilton managed to drive his way through the pack and finish in a respectable 8th place, but with Button in 9th behind them they didn’t claim nearly as many points as they will have been hoping for in Barcelona.

The weekend came to a bizarre conclusion when the Williams celebrations went up in smoke, literally. While posing for a team photograph a fire began in the garage. the ensuing blaze resulted in a number of Williams and Caterham team members having to be hospitalised; thankfully, no serious injuries or casualties have been reported.

The European leg of the 2012 could not have had a more exciting start. We have a couple of weeks to regain our breath as the teams pack up and head to Monaco. The Principality will come alive on the 27th of May with the sound of V8 engines winding through its historic streets. Who knows what will happen that weekend? I am certainly not going to be making any predictions.

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