Pastor Maldonado becomes the fifth driver in five races to win in Formula One with an incredible drive in the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Venezuelan resisted huge pressure from home crowd favourite Fernando Alonso in the late stages of the race to take his maiden victory and return Williams back to the top step of the podium since 2004.
Despite making the better getaway at the start and leading the early stages of the race, Alonso had to settle with second for Ferrari.
Completing the podium is Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. Team-mate Romain Grosjean finished in fourth position ahead of Kamui Kobayashi’s Sauber and defending world champion Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.
Alonso had taken the lead at the start by beating Maldonado into the first corner, and then inched into a three-second lead during the first stint, as they pulled clear of the rest of the field.
But the combination of a stunning out-lap by Maldonado and Alonso getting stuck behind Charles Pic’s Marussia on his in-lap saw the Williams leapfrog the Ferrari at the second pit-stops, and then storm away for a few laps until seven seconds clear.
Alonso then started coming back at Maldonado, getting the gap down to 4.2 seconds before the Williams had a slightly slow final pit-stop with a left-rear issue.
A few laps behind Raikkonen, who was running much further before his final pit-stop, meant the leaders were absolutely nose-to-tail going into the closing laps as both tried to keep their tyres intact.
For a while it looked inevitable that Maldonado would succumb to Alonso’s pressure, but it was the Ferrari that started to lose pace in the final stages, and the lead gap began to increase again – allowing Maldonado to take a very unexpected victory by 3.1 seconds.
Raikkonen’s fresher tyres allowed him to gain on the leaders at a ferocious rate as the race neared its end, but he ran out of laps to catch Alonso, finishing six tenths of a second adrift.
Romain Grosjean finished fourth in Lotus, with Kamui Kobayashi producing some bold passes on the way to fifth for Sauber.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel produced a late charge to take sixth after losing ground with a drive-through penalty for not slowing down under the yellow flags and requiring a new front wing at his final pit-stop.
Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and both McLarens fell victim to Vettel’s surge up the order, with Rosberg then resisted last-place starter Lewis Hamilton for seventh as he managed to make a two-stop strategy work against expectations. His team-mate Jenson Button struggled for speed all day and finished in a disappointing ninth.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg resisted strong pressure from Mark Webber, who lost ground on the opening lap and needed an out-of-sequence pit-stop for a new Red Bull front wing.
Behind the Toro Rossos and the Force India of Paul di Resta, Felipe Massa had another difficult race for Ferrari. Penalised for a yellow flag infringement, the Brazilian finished only in P15.
Retirements included Michael Schumacher and Bruno Senna – who tangled at the first corner when the fresh-tyre-shod Mercedes ran into the back of the yet-to-pit Williams – and Sergio Perez.
The Sauber picked up a puncture while trying to attack the Lotus pair at the first corner, and later parked just after a messy pit-stop.
Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are now joint leaders in the world championship with 61 points. The next race is the most glamorous, the Monaco Grand Prix. Will we see a new winner once again?
Spanish Grand Prix race results, 66 laps:
1. Maldonado Williams-Renault 1h39:09.145
2. Alonso Ferrari +3.195
3. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault +3.884
4. Grosjean Lotus-Renault +14.799
5. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari +1:14.641
6. Vettel Red Bull-Renault +1:17.576
7. Rosberg Mercedes +1:27.919
8. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes +1:28.100
9. Button McLaren-Mercedes +1:25.200
10. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
11. Webber Red Bull-Renault +1 lap
12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
13. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
14. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
15. Massa Ferrari +1 lap
16. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault +1 lap
17. Petrov Caterham-Renault +1 lap
18. Glock Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps
19. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth +3 laps
Fastest lap: Grosjean, 1:26.250
Perez Sauber-Ferrari 38 laps
Pic Marussia-Cosworth 36 laps
Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 23 laps
Senna Williams-Renault 13 laps
Schumacher Mercedes 13 laps
World Championship standings, round 5:
1. Vettel 61
2. Alonso 61
3. Hamilton 53
4. Raikkonen 49
5. Webber 48
6. Button 45
7. Rosberg 41
8. Grosjean 35
9. Maldonado 29
10. Perez 22
11. Kobayashi 19
12. Di Resta 15
13. Senna 14
14. Vergne 4
15. Hulkenberg 3
16. Schumacher 2
17. Massa 2
18. Ricciardo 2
1. Red Bull-Renault 109
2. McLaren-Mercedes 98
3. Lotus-Renault 84
4. Ferrari 63
5. Williams-Renault 43
6. Mercedes 43
7. Sauber-Ferrari 41
8. Force India-Mercedes 18
9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
Next race: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo. May 24-27.