Pastor Maldonado's maiden GP victory was the first for Venezuela, which becomes the 21st winning country in Formula 1.
It also ended Williams' wait for its 114th grand prix win - a sequence which stretched back to the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix (with Juan Pablo Montoya). Before Spain, the team hadn't led a race since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix, while a podium finish was also long awaited - it hadn't happened since Singapore 2008 (with Nico Rosberg).
Juan-Pablo Montoya, Brazil 2004; Williams' last grand prix victory before Spain © LAT
It was ironic in some ways that the breakthrough came at Catalunya. Last year Williams did not even make the points, while the squad hadn't been on the podium in the past nine years.
Maldonado set the tone for his weekend on Saturday, when he became the first Venezuelan to start from pole in Formula 1 history. It was the first time Williams had been on pole since the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix (with Hulkenberg), and the first time the team had been on the front row in Catalunya since 2005. With Fernando Alonso in second, it was the first Williams-Ferrari front row since the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix, when Juan Pablo Montoya had alongside him Rubens Barrichello.
In contrast to Maldonado, team-mate Bruno Senna suffered an early exit when he and Michael Schumacher came together on lap 12. In five of the past six races the Brazilian has been rammed by someone (Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa in Australia, Schumacher in Spain) or has rammed someone (Schumacher in Brazil last year, Maldonado in Malaysia and Massa in China).
Shades of 1983 continue
The 1983 pattern remains the same: five different winners from five different teams in the opening races. In 1983 the variety stopped at the sixth race, when Alain Prost gave Renault its second win of the year.
Six different winners in the first six races would be a first for Formula 1...
• Romain Grosjean secured his first career fastest lap. France had been waiting for a fastest lap since the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix (with Jean Alesi).
Alonso now has 75 podiums in F1, behind only Schumacher, Prost and Senna © LAT
• This was the 75th podium finish for Fernando Alonso, whose next target is Ayrton Senna's 80. Like Williams, Alonso performed a good turnaround from last year - Fernando finished one lap down in 2011, but was only three seconds away from victory.
• It was the 17th straight race in the points for Alonso, the same number he recorded from China 2006 to Belgium 2007, with the old points system. It's the fourth-best all-time streak (Michael Schumacher leads with 24: Hungary 2001-Malaysia 2003).
• Kimi Raikkonen was able to lead briefly during Maldonado's pitstops: he hadn't lead a race since the 2009 Italian Grand Prix.
• Kamui Kobayashi equalled his best career finish with fifth, a result he also achieved in Monaco last year.
• Lewis Hamilton recorded the best comeback at this track, finishing seventh from 24th on the grid, and ahead of his team-mate, who started 10th. Last year Nick Heidfeld finished eighth starting from the same spot. The fact that Lewis scored the same result in Bahrain, starting from the front row of the grid (with a couple of delays in the pits), it's a clear indication of how unpredictable this season is.
• Mark Webber finished out of the points for the first time in 10 races.
• For the first time in four races, Nico Hulkenberg was able to finish ahead of his team-mate Paul di Resta.
• With three retirements in five races, Michael Schumacher is firmly at the bottom of the chart for distance covered so far this year: only 793 kilometres, barely more than half of the total distance run (1538);
• It was the best season performance for Fernando Alonso, back on the front row for the first time since the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix. It was only his fifth front-row start since he joined Ferrari at the start of 2010.
Grosjean started third and Raikkonen fourth, the best result for the former Renault team since the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix © LAT
• Romain Grosjean (third) equalled his best qualifying result, posted in the opening race in Melbourne. The former Renault team hadn't qualified its cars so high up the grid since the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, when they locked out the front row with Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella.
• Fifth was the best starting position for Sergio Perez, for the third straight race. In China and Bahrain his career best to that point was eighth.
• For the fourth time this year Sebastian Vettel missed out on a front-row slot. Last year it happened only once, and in 2010 only five times.
• Both Jenson Button and Mark Webber failed to make it into Q3 for the first time this season and respectively since the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix and the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix. In those races they both finished in third place.
• Felipe Massa failed to make it into Q3 for the fifth straight race, his worst streak since 2004, his second year in Formula 1, when he failed to make the top-10 in the first 10 races of the season.
• Bruno Senna failed to get out of Q1 for the first time since his HRT days back in 2010.
• Charles Pic was able to beat his experienced team-mate Timo Glock in back-to-back races: this hasn't happened to the German since 2009.
• Lewis Hamilton suffered the same fate as Michael Schumacher in the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix - being demoted from pole to last on the grid. Hamilton's grid spot was a career low for the Brit.
• Following Hamilton's exclusion, Alonso missed pole by only 0.017 seconds, the smallest margin since last year's Japanese Grand Prix, when Vettel pipped Button by only 0.009s.
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