The Venezuelan driver, who is sponsored by the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and represents the team Williams F1, beat the Spanish favorite Fernando Alonso of team Ferrari as well as Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus.
Maldonado, who is 27 and hails from the city of Maracay, won the 66-lap race with a time of 1:39:09. It was an extraordinary victory in a race charged with emotion.
Social Networks Congratulatory Messages Pour In Online
On Saturday night, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez wrote a message on his twitter account, @ChavezCandanga, in which he congratulated Maldonado for earning “pole position” in the race. After the victory, he wrote: “I told you so. A win for our Pastor Maldonado, making history! Bravo Pastor! Congratulations to you and your combative team! We shall overcome!”
Government ministers also sent messages via twitter. Hector Rodriguez, Minister of Sports, was among the first to react to the victory: “Viva @PastorMaldo, champion bringing joy to the Venezuelan people… Up with Venezuela!”
Communications Minister Andres Izarra wrote from his account, @IzarraDeVerdad: “Pastor wins with support from PDVSA!”
The oil company also congratulated the win, tweeting: “Pastor Maldonado wins the GP of Spain. The oil workers are proud of this triumph!”
Many others joined in the congratulatory moment online, including the Venezuelan basketball player Greivis Vazquez, who called the win: “Another example that Venezuela has all kinds of talent.”
YVKE Mundial / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / May 13, 2012