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Thu May 17, 2012, 08:38 AM

Millionaire man Maldonado answers critics

The smile on Pastor Maldonado's face dropped in the immediate aftermath of the frightening fire that broke out in the Williams garage after the Spanish Grand Prix, but it soon came back again once he was told nobody had been seriously hurt. You can bet it will stay for quite some time.

Maldonado started this season as a man who owed his place in Formula 1 to the millions provided to his Williams team by the Venezuelan government.

After yet another bizarre and unexpected twist in this most unpredictable of seasons, he leaves Barcelona as a grand prix winner and talking about a possible championship challenge.

Maldonado drove a superb race at the Circuit de Catalunya, mature and controlled in a way of which few in the paddock believed him capable.

He came into F1 with a reputation for being quick but fiery and a bit accident-prone. In his first season last year he fitted the mould.

This season started in the same way - Williams's upturn in form had him battling with some unfamiliar rivals close to the front. But he started the season wrecking what would have been a strong points finish in the first race of the season when he crashed chasing Ferrari's Fernando Alonso for fifth place on the final lap.


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