A delighted Pastor Maldonado said he always felt like he had the Spanish Grand Prix under control even as Fernando Alonso closed for a time after the final pit stops.

14631 - Maldonado celebrates 'a wonderful day'

For a few laps he came under pressure from the Ferrari before Alonso's tyres started to fall away allowing Maldonado to complete his maiden F1 win.

"It was so close," Maldonado said. "We were looking to manage the tyre degradation so I couldn't push that hard, just to keep the tyres alive for the end of the race and Fernando got very close.

"There were some moments where he was so close especially at end of the straight, but I was managing the gap and controlling everything. Our pace today was very strong, the car was fantastic, so was the team. We did a small mistake at the last pit stop but it didn't affect our performance.

"It was a tough race because of the strategy as well, it was hard especially because of rear tyres, after a couple of laps we were struggling with them, but I need to say I am pretty happy because car was so competitive since the first lap."

Maldonado said the win showed how much progress Williams had made since its dismal 2011 campaign. "It's a wonderful day, unbelievable for me and all the team. We've been pushing so hard since last year to improve race by race and here we are.

"We need to keep continuing like that to develop it as soon as possible. Consistency will be the most important thing in this championship."