Well, we certainly didn’t see that one coming. Fresh from being completely and utterly terrible for the majority of last season, everyone’s favourite F1-based Venezuelan really pulled the cat out of the bag in Albert Park.
Let’s just take a moment to remind ourselves about the wasteland that was Maldonado’s 2011 season:
- Highest placed finish – 10th (Spa)
- Points – 1
- Retirements – 6
- Finishes 14th or below – 10
So, after qualifying in a very creditable eighth position, things were already looking up.
Then, when he found himself fighting for fifth place with Fernando Alonso at the end of the race, it was all like a rather wonderful dream. Not one of those ones where you run really slowly though.
Considering the car Williams had last year and the manner in which he drove it, it was all rather remarkable.
However, as with all good things, it had to end and, when it did, it came to a close with a rather large bang. One moment he was innocently hunting down Alonso and the next he was smeared into a wall. Such is the life of an F1 driver.
There are still a number of unanswered questions – was that his best chance to score good points this season? Can Williams develop the car to keep up with everyone else? Who will win the Venezuelan Presidential election?
All that aside, it was (for the most part) a very good drive. You didn’t get any points Pastor, but you do get the Top Dog award. Stick it in your trophy cabinet.