In 2012, Williams was no longer a world-beating force like, twenty or even ten years earlier, so it came as a huge surprise when Pastor Maldonado qualified for 2nd place at the Spanish Grand Prix and then – thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s penalty – starting from – won the race on Sunday. To the startling result, he added with a shovel that a huge fire broke out in the garage of the celebrating team immediately after the awards ceremony.
In recent years, some have come up with an interesting theory: Williams ’surprise victory was the result of a conspiracy, arranged by Formula 1 lord Bernie Ecclestone’s friend Sir Frank Williams as a sort of 70th birthday present for Maldonado to race in a lighter car than usual in Barcelona, and a garage fire served to destroy the evidence.
Alexander Wurz, a former Williams competitor who was advising the team at the time of the incident, now poured clear water into the glass, speaking to the Austrian ORF:
“It’s definitely not true! I was on the team at the time, Toto Wolff was there at the time. And the fire was a real disaster, very dangerous, ”he said, then revealed what made Maldonado so competitive.
“The car was so fast because our team was the first to figure out how to heat the front tire through the rim. We discovered this in testing, Chief Engineer Ed Wodd and me. Standing on the edge of the track, we talked about how the large amount of air flowing through the rim cools the tires and why everyone is struggling with understeer. We were the first to notice this, ”he explained.