HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014
Qualifying hot-shots falter in race
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 18, 2012
First Published: 15:04 IST(18/3/2012)
Last Updated: 15:07 IST(18/3/2012)
Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado was on course for a sixth place finish before crashing out on the final lap of the Australian Grand Prix. Getty Images

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, the two stars of Saturday's qualifying session at the Australian Grand Prix had a difficult outing in the race. Grosjean suffered suspension damage after a minor collision while racing Maldonado, while the latter went nose-first into the wall on the final lap while in pursuit of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

Maldonado had been running in sixth place, while pursuing Alonso. Securing the finish would have meant that the Williams F1 team would have scored more points in one race than they did throughout the entire 2011 season.

Maldonado and Grosjean are the 2010 and 2011 GP2 series champions, respectively and underwent extensive preparation for the 2012 F1 season. Grosjean raced in GP2 and also did tyre testing for F1 tyre supplier Pirelli, while Maldonado received extensive coaching from acclaimed racing coach, Rob Wilson.

Grosjean made his F1 debut for Renault (now Lotus F1) in 2009 before returning to GP2, while Maldonado partnered veteran Rubens Barrichello at Williams last year to make his debut.

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