Make yourselves comfortable, there's half an hour to go to what is set to be a thrilling Spanish Grand Prix, and ESPNF1 is here to bring you lap-by-lap coverage.

There's no escaping the huge news that unfolded last night - pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton was excluded from qualifying after not being able to return to the pits under his own steam after setting his final time, and he will start from the back of the grid.

What does that mean for the rest of the grid? Well, Pastor Maldonado starts from pole for the first time, and it's the first Williams pole since Brazil in 2010. Next to him is home favourite Fernando Alonso, with the two Lotus cars directly behind - and they look to have very strong race pace.

Some good positive words from Hamilton earlier today though, saying: "I've got nothing to lose. All I can do is have fun, it's going to be pedal to the metal"

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I've got to be honest, I'm hugely excited about this race. The grid is set up for a fantastic grand prix and my tip of Kimi Raikkonen is well placed. Who are you backing? Let us know either using the link above or via Twitter @ESPNF1 - Laurence is tweeting from the paddock and he too backs Kimi.

McLaren's pit wall says: "Our guys have a lot of work to do today, but they're up to the task! Lewis has scored in every race this year and he can do so again today."

It's a bit cooler than it has been throughout the weekend as we have some cloud cover. Track temperature is 34C and air temperature 22C, so hardly cold...

@desiwinemaker on Twitter says: "For the sake of Sir Frank Williams, I hope Maldonado finishes top 3. Win will be a challenge though"

A few other drivers to look out for (as if you need telling): Vettel starts seventh having saved some tyres, and Schumacher behind him in eighth did exactly the same. We've also got Button in tenth and Webber 11th trying to come through the field as well, should be great

Hamilton starts on the soft tyre at the back, as does Vettel. Everyone we have seen so far is - obviously the top six are having set Q3 times on the softs

We're away on the formation lap and Maldonado is off like a shot trying to get heat in the tyres and brakes. The way he took turns two and three I thought was almost racing speed!

As the cars come back round to the grid I can confirm that everyone is starting on the soft tyre

Chris emails in: "I'm French, working on Italian ship off the coast of Nigeria and I'm following race as best as I can with your live commentary! Thank you for thinking of the few of us who don't have access to any TV"

No problem Chris!

Cars are on the grid, and the lights are coming on...

Lap 1

Alonso beats Maldonado in to turn one! The Williams stays second, Raikkonen beats Grosjean off the line and Rosberg also dives down in to fourth in turn four.

Perez with a left rear puncture catches the car on the outside of turn three. Hamilton up to 20th, while Schumacher is up to sixth place

Lap 2

Perez puts for hard tyres. Alonso has bolted and got a 1.3s lead on the first lap. Maldonado is quick though.

Pic spins at turn three but continues

Lap 3

Maldonado sets the fastest second lap and closes to within a second. Raikkonen is 1.4s further back. Rosberg unable to match the leading pace.

Hamilton is on the move - he dives down the inside of Senna in to turn seven for 17th place

Lap 4

Alonso responds to pull out 0.2s on Maldonado. Raikkonen is 0.6s slower than them and nobody else on the same pace - Alonso a full 1.5s quicker than Rosberg in fourth.

Perez sets the fastest lap on hard tyres after pitting.

Lap 5

Alonso and Maldonado matching each other, 0.4s quicker than Raikkonen and a second faster than anyone else. Rosberg in fourth is already seven seconds off the lead.

Massa with a great start and he's already 11th, challenging Vergne for 10th but with Webber close behind. Hamilton runs wide at turn three trying to pass Kovalainen. He's through now though in to 16th place

Lap 6

DRS is activated now but not all that effective yet. Alonso extends his lead to 1.3s over Maldonado and 4.0s over Raikkonen. Alonso has just said on the radio that his left front and rear are degrading at the same time.

A line of cars from Grosjean in fifth all the way backwards. Webber pits at the end of the lap for hard tyres

Lap 7

Pic dives up the inside of Karthikeyan for 21st - Webber has come out behind that pair. Perez still 12s back after his puncture.

At the front Vettel is pressuring Schumacher for sixth place. Vettel pits though at the end of the lap and he too is on to the hard tyre

Lap 8

Alonso's lead is up to 1.6s, but Raikkonen is holding on - 4.3s off the lead and matching pace. Already looking like a three-horse race as Rosberg is over 10s behind Alonso.

Kobayashi does the fastest first sector having activated DRS behind Button. Kobayashi pits though

Lap 9

Alonso loses a tenth to Maldonado. Got to keep an eye on Hamilton though as he's already 12th and all over the back of Hulkenberg. In fact, he's through after Hulkenberg runs wide at turn nine. 11th now and almost in the points

Lap 10

Rosberg and Button pit. Hard tyres for both. Di Resta also pitted so Hamilton is now in the points (though yet to pit).

Maldonado slashes Alonso's lead to 1.1s. And Alonso pits at the end of the lap.

Lap 11

Alonso is joined by Grosjean, Schumacher, Vergne, Hulkenberg and Massa in the pits.

Soft tyres for Grosjean and Schumacher, so a different strategy there. Rosberg has actually put on softs - not hards as I said previously.

All of this leaves Maldonado leading from Raikkonen and Hamilton, but the front two are now in the pits...

Lap 12

Alonso with the fastest final sector and he regains the lead. Raikkonen seemed to gain a bit of time, and Hamilton is in fourth behind the leaders - so effectively down one stop.

Grosjean dives down the inside of Senna - who is yet to stop - but there's contact in turn one and Grosjean loses a bit of front wing

Lap 13

Schumacher and Senna have come together at turn one and Schumacher is out of the race. He's livid too. The front wing is missing. Senna's car has a lot of damage and he's going to be out too.

Replays show Senna placed his car well and Schumacher tried to sell him a dummy but was too late making the move and drove straight in to the back of the Williams

Lap 14

Alonso now leads by 3.1s, while Raikkonen is 7.2s back. Maldonado is the quickest of the three for now.

Senna has parked his car and is out. Schumacher says "idiot" on the radio.

Hamilton pits from fourth but he has ANOTHER problem with his stop. He's on to hard tyres but hit one of the other tyres he'd just taken off and had a delayed exit

Lap 15

Alonso's lead down to 2.8s. Raikkonen matching Alonso. Grosjean all over the back of Rosberg and uses DRS to cruise round the outside for fourth place

Lap 16

There are yellow flags out for Senna's car so Grosjean's move is fine. He's the quickest man on track now.

Hamilton is told his car is fine as di Resta dives down the inside of Webber in to ninth using DRS in to turn one.

Lap 17

Webber has a problem. A stream of cars coming past him. Hamilton dives up the inside of Hulkenberg in to turn four and then follows Massa through in to 12th place past Webber.

Webber pits for a new front wing as apparently he has lost front load

Lap 18

Maldonado cuts Alonso's lead to 2.3s. Raikkonen is 7.6s off the lead but not able to close the gap. Grosjean is 12s behind his team-mate and slower than him.

Vettel and Button now close behind Rosberg, while Kobayashi is in the mix for that battle too

Lap 19

Webber sets the fastest middle sector, so his problem is sorted. Button is told that McLaren is "moving to plan B and running to target". Could be a two-stop attempt.

We've got di Resta in ninth back to Ricciardo in 14th almost in a line

Lap 20

Maldonado closes in even more. The gap now is just 1.7s and the home fans will be getting nervous. Chunks being taken out of the Ferrari but then Karthikeyan blocks the Williams and costs him half a second

Lap 21

Hulkenberg and Perez have pitted for a second time. Hamilton unable to make an impression on Massa at present, while Vettel is easing away from Button and close behind Rosberg

Lap 22

Raikkonen surprisingly can't keep touch with the front two - he's 6.5s behind Maldonado who just took 0.2s out of Alonso.

Hamilton still struggling to make progress through the train behind di Resta

Lap 23

Hamilton is told that all of the cars ahead of him will probably be three-stopping. That hints at a two-stop for Hamilton and he's now ahead of Rosberg who has pitted for hard tyres.

Gap at the front now 1.4s.

Lap 24

The incident between Senna and Schumacher will be investigated after the race.

Di Resta and Vergne pit, releasing Massa and Hamilton. Hamilton uses DRS and but hits the rev limiter and can only get alongside - Massa defends the inside and Hamilton tries the outside line but can't get through

Lap 25

Maldonado pits from second. His pace was still good but it looks like he's looking for the undercut to try and jump Alonso.

Karthikeyan has parked his HRT on the inside of the pit straight.

Great middle sector from Maldonado and he's taken over a second out of the lead! Alonso stays out and you'd have to say Maldonado is now the net leader

Lap 26

Button with a big flat spot and he pits. A set of softs for the McLaren. Still under yellow flags for the HRT but that means no overtaking in to turn one.

Maldonado has been over three seconds quicker than Alonso already as the Ferrari was baulked by Pic. Alonso pits but I think he's going to be second...

Lap 27

Maldonado sets the fastest lap of the race as Alonso exits a long way behind him. Great strategy from Williams.

Raikkonen leads as he is yet to pit but Grosjean is now in. Raikkonen pits at the end of that lap and is on to a set of hard tyres. Vettel pits too from fourth for a set of hards

Lap 28

Massa defends from Hamilton again - this is hurting McLaren now.

Massa and Vettel are both given a drive-through for failing to slow for yellow flags. That's certainly not hurting Hamilton!

Lap 29

Massa is straight in the pits for his drive-through. Vettel stays out. Replays show Vettel's DRS open as he passed yellows.

I told you Maldonado was clear - he leads by SEVEN seconds. Impressive pace.

Lap 30

Hamilton is now up to fifth and if he can manage these tyres he only has to stop once more, the same as everyone else. He's got Vettel right behind him though.

Rosberg and Button scrapping over seventh place - Rosberg is on the hards and Button on the softs, but Rosberg defends.

Lap 31

Raikkonen finally matches the pace at the front, but he's already 12.3s behind Alonso.

Vettel takes his drive-through and rejoins ahead of Hulkenberg and Webber in ninth place. Button still pressuring Rosberg and now has a very fast Kobayashi all over the back off him too

Lap 32

Maldonado told to manage the rear tyres and maintain the gap. He's in the box seat but we're not half-way through yet.

No chance of anyone making a move in turn three - the marbles are terrible there. Vettel is unable to match the pace of Kobayashi ahead of him having left the pits, while Hamilton is fifth and pulling away from Rosberg

Lap 33

Well, he was pulling away from Rosberg, Hamilton has now seen Rosberg take half a second out of him. Kobayashi with a great move to dive up the inside of Button in to turn five - what a guy. He's obviously got bored of sitting behind slower cars

Lap 34

Maldonado may have eased off a touch too much at the moment - the lead is down to 6.7s. Hamilton complains that his tyres are going off badly as he remains the only driver to have made one stop. Still 31 laps to go though, he couldn't do that on one set of tyres...

Lap 35

Grosjean a bit quicker than Raikkonen ahead of him now, but he's 14.2s behind. Hamilton is only 1.1s ahead of Rosberg and Kobayashi now

Lap 36

Alonso takes 0.4s out of Maldonado's lead - 6.1s the gap now. Hamilton pits and comes out in 14th place. A brand new set of hard tyres and he'll have to try to get to the end of the race on them - 30 laps. Very tall order.

Lap 37

Pic gets a drive-through for ignoring blue flags when he held Alonso up earlier. Maldonado has pegged the gap at the front now.

Hamilton is told that he has no need to overtake the cars in front as they will be pitting again. He cruises past di Resta using DRS though so no tyres used up there

Lap 38

Alonso takes half a second out of Maldonado - now the gap down to 5.6s. Further back Kobayashi is still trying to find a way past Rosberg.

Vettel uses DRS to get alongside the outside of Button and makes the move for seventh place stick around the outside of turn one.

Lap 39

Now the lead is 5.2s, Maldonado may be managing the tyres or may be in a bit of trouble. Button pits from eighth place for hard tyres

Lap 40

Hamilton with some great moves. He's behind the two Toro Rossos and passes Ricciardo up the inside through turn three before going round the outside of Vergne through four and then the inside of five

Perez with a slow stop as the right rear tyre man falls over. He waves him away but the Sauber has now stopped in the final sector

Lap 41

A great scrap between di Resta, Massa and Button for 12th place. Button obviously quicker on fresh rubber. Vergne in front locks up, baulking di Resta and allowing Massa up the inside of turn ten. Button follows him through in turn 11 but it's dangerously close to a yellow flag zone...

Lap 42

Button then passes Massa using DRS round the outside in to turn one.

Pit stop for race leader Maldonado and there's a problem! Six-second stop, so he's lost about three seconds there. Alonso will be back in play now. Maldonado on to hard tyres until the end of the race - 24 laps to go

Lap 43

Alonso leads Raikkonen by 13.7s - the Lotus closing in but not all that quickly. Maldonado is 16.3s off the lead so still has the net lead. Vettel pits for a new nose and new tyres. Slow stop - obviously a problem for Red Bull's front wings today

Lap 44

Alonso is now losing some time as Maldonado is on fresher tyres. It was the left rear that slowed him and has left him behind Raikkonen by 1.6s.

Hamilton up to seventh place after his pit stop and running at a solid pace.

Alonso in to the pits. How close will this be?

Lap 45

Raikkonen now leads from Maldonado, with Alonso about five seconds behind. Maldonado will hope not to lose much time behind Kimi, as the Lotus is still yet to pit

Lap 46

Raikkonen is holding Maldonado up. Alonso closes to within four seconds. The Ferrari sets the fastest middle sector too and Raikkonen stays out...

Webber does the fastest lap down in 12th place.

Lap 47

Maldonado dives down the inside of Raikkonen in to turn one and that was crucial. Alonso sets the fastest lap and was almost two seconds quicker on that lap. Now he's stuck behind Raikkonen though...

Lap 48

Raikkonen stays out but Alonso cruises past using DRS. He's 2.9s behind Maldonado but with the DRS it means he gains a second in sector one. Maldonado is told to back off the pace and defend from Alonso. Alonso, on the other hand, is told to attack!

Raikkonen and Grosjean still yet to put - and in comes Kimi from third.

Lap 49

Alonso closes the gap to 1.4s with 17 laps to go. Raikkonen rejoins in fourth and the team radio says Maldonado and Alonso still have to pit one more time. I'm not too sure that's the case...

Lap 50

Alonso is in DRS range and now all over the back of Maldonado. Battle has commenced for the lead. The car ahead of them that they are coming up to lap is Massa...

Lap 51

Maldonado pegs the gap, but Alonso is in DRS range. Raikkonen sets the fastest lap of the race and takes 1.2s out of the leaders. He's 20s off the lead but if he keeps that pace up and these two continue to scrap...

Grosjean pits so doesn't get in Raikkonen's way. He should rejoin comfortable in fourth ahead of Rosberg.

Lap 52

Maldonado told to save tyre energy in turns three, 10 and 11. Williams worried about the tyre degradation. Hamilton is only a second ahead of Button in seventh place and unable to catch Kobayashi ahead. 1.1s between Rosberg and the Sauber

Lap 53

Maldonado and Alonso lap Massa but both can use DRS so the gap is stabilised. Perhaps Maldonado can break the DRS gap on this lap as they both lap di Resta too.

Lap 54

Maldonado's managed to do it. The gap is now 1.3s at the front. If he can keep it there he's got a great chance as he is the one setting the pace right now.

Raikkonen needs the top two to hit tyre trouble if he is going to get in with a shout.

Lap 55

Identical lap times from Maldonado and Alonso. Raikkonen now 18.5s off the lead. Closing but not quickly enough.

Nobody really hitting tyre trouble yet, but we could get some before the end of the race. Ricciardo in 13th may be in a spot of bother with his tyres, slowest man on the track and slipping back towards di Resta

Lap 56

Alonso is now back in to the DRS range. 0.9s now. Raikkonen flying still and he's 17s off the lead.

Vettel in ninth is 1.7s behind Button in eighth and catching

Lap 57

It's all about the race at the front I'm afraid - the only battle within DRS distance except for di Resta and Massa fighting over 14th. Alonso is really pressuring the Williams and very close on this lap....

Lap 58

0.6s over the line, and there's a Marussia in front of them. He gets out of the way easily though. Alonso is told to "keep the overtake on" over the radio. That's full power, but Maldonado has pulled the gap out to a second.

Hamilton has pulled a two seconds ahead of Button, and Vettel dives up the inside of Button in to turn ten.

Lap 59

Raikkonen gets encouraged over the radio that he could catch the leaders. They're not wrong - he's now within 13 seconds but running out of laps unless the front two hit the cliff.

Maldonado has upped the pace a touch and pulls the gap out to 1.4s.

Lap 60

Kobayashi all over the back of Rosberg but a poor exit from the chicane hurts him. Maldonado's still pulling away

Lap 61

1.7s now the gap between Maldonado and Alonso. Raikkonen 11.5s behind.

Kobayashi pressures Rosberg in to turn five and then dives up the inside in to turn ten. He's fifth now. Rosberg is in trouble with his tyres and even Hamilton is catching him - six seconds the gap there with Vettel just behind.

Hulkenberg defends from Webber in to turn one - battles starting to pop up everywhere now

Lap 62

Maldonado leads by two seconds - he might have judged this beautifully - while Raikkonen is 11 seconds off the lead but only nine behind Alonso.

Hamilton doing a great job of holding off Vettel at present, positioning his car well

Lap 63

The gap at the front is 2.3s despite having pitted first. He's told to look after the rear tyres but he's looking in good shape. Raikkonen 7.8s behind Alonso.

Hamilton just five seconds behind Rosberg now as Vettel keeps the pressure on the McLaren. Vettel uses DRS to get past on the outside line as Hamilton defended. Rosberg will be under threat from the Red Bull at least

Lap 64

Maldonado keeps the gap at 2.4s. Alonso is struggling now and Raikkonen is still coming - 6.6s behind the Ferrari.

Vettel takes over three seconds out of Rosberg. Sixth will be his very shortly

Lap 65

Just two laps remaining and Maldonado now leads by three seconds. Bring it home kid. Raikkonen is now 4.4s behind Alonso - game on.

Vettel passes Rosberg in to turn eight. Too easy. Hamilton is catching quickly.

Lap 66

We're on to the last lap - Maldonado looks set to cruise home though he has traffic. Raikkonen is 2.3s behind Alonso and can see the Ferrari.

First sector isn't quick enough for Raikkonen though, nor is the second.


What a victory! Alonso JUST holds off Raikkonen by 0.6s. Hamilton all over the back of Rosberg through the final corners, but Rosberg just holds on for seventh place.

Ahead of them was Grosjean in fourth, Kobayashi fifth and Vettel sixth. The final points go to Button and Hulkenberg.

Outstanding result for Williams. The congratulations over the radio are rather subdued, however; perhaps a sign of the team's confidence?!

Lots of congratulations from you all on the emails - sorry to not use them but lap-by-lap the race was evolving. Maldonado celebrates in parc ferme, and what a drive that was.

Maldonado knew how to win from GP2 but that was a hugely mature drive. He kept calm in the face of pressure from Alonso and managed his tyres perfectly. Raikkonen was so close on the final lap too. And what a result for the championship this is!

Vettel and Alonso now tied at the top, Hamilton eight points back in third and Raikkonen twelve off the lead in fourth. Raikkonen was my tip today and he was 3.8s behind Maldonado come the end of the race.

Five different winners from five different teams in five different races. Amazing. Ferrari is clearly back on form, Williams has a race-winning car and Lotus still looks very strong.

Webber's 11th place is the first time he hasn't finished fourth this season. The Williams team celebrates in the pit lane and I don't think I'm alone in saying it's great to see it back on top of the podium. Happy 70th Birthday Sir Frank.

Alonso smiling and no wonder, joint championship leader. Raikkonen looks a bit less happy and he probably thought he should have won today. The top four were streets ahead of the rest though; Grosjean 14.7s off the lead and then Kobayashi in fifth was over a minute behind Maldonado.

As the champagne sprays it's time for us to go. There's going to be a lot of reaction to that result that we need to bring you on ESPNF1.com - Laurence is sprinting around the paddock as we speak. Thank you for all your comments and compliments - we appreciate them all - and make sure you stay in touch with all the fallout from the race on the site and on Twitter @ESPNF1.

We'll be back with live commentary of the Monaco Grand Prix; will we have a sixth different winner? Raikkonen, Hamilton and Webber yet to stand on the top step, but Maldonado is a specialist around the streets...