Pastor Maldonado believes that Williams' good fortune came after the Spanish Grand Prix, as no-one was killed in the blaze that swept through the team's garage during its victory celebrations.

While the Venezuelan insists that there was nothing 'lucky' about his maiden win in the top flight, he admits that it was a miracle that there were no fatalities in the garage fire that followed, thought to be the result of a stray spark igniting fuel during the post-race breakdown of the pit set-up.

Images of the inferno show Maldonado, whose Spanish Grand Prix victory bettered a previous best finish of eighth in an F1 career that began in 2011, carrying his twelve-year old cousin out of the smoke, but the former GP2 Series champion is quick to point out that there were plenty of heroes as the fire took hold.

"At that moment, I was so scared for all of us," the 27-year old told journalists during a conference call from Williams HQ in Grove, "I saw my cousin, who was with a small injury, so I took him and brought him away from the [pit] box. It was a difficult moment for all the team, but I think we were so lucky because we had no big damage - and especially because our people were okay."

Although seven members of the F1 fraternity were taken to hospital suffering from burns and the effects of inhaling the acrid black smoke that engulfed the pit-lane, only one was detained for any length of time, and even he is now back at home in the UK.

Other teams have been praised for their actions during the fire, with members of the Caterham team coming in for particular recognition from the sport's governing body, the FIA.


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment