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Alonso Wins Chaotic Malaysian GP

By Mav | 25 Mar 2012 | 11 Comments | 1,644 views

In a remarkable Malaysian Grand Prix, it was the out of shape Ferrari and Fernando Alonso that came through to take the victory – but only after holding off the Sauber of Sergio Pérez. After constantly changing weather conditions mixed up the running order, the Mexican should have won as he rapidly hauled in the Ferrari in the closing laps only for a mistake to send him wide and too far back to make a second challenge. So Alonso held on while pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton had to settle for third again – although he’ll take comfort from team mate Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel both coming away from the weekend empty handed.
 
Pirelli Tyres
 
Driver of the Day:
It was a day for stars but Sergio Pérez in particular stood out. Neutrals were denied the giant-killing victory at the end but up to that point it had been a drive of extreme maturity with some brilliant strategy calls from him and Sauber thrown in – especially to come out ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Good Day:
Ferrari themselves wrote off the possibility of podiums, Fernando Alonso declared the car needed serious work in order to challenge and yet here they are, celebrating the victory. Has anything changed? Not really, as even Alonso admits. Fact is, it was one of those crazy races and his Ferrari was being rapidly closed down by a Sauber. Still, a good drive and the Italian press should be a lot happier now, ci?

Bad Day:
Probably not. If you were already beating off criticism, you couldn’t have written a worse script. While his team mate was winning the race, Felipe Massa was on the brink of being lapped by him. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the man tipped to replace him came close to winning himself. Ferrari tried changing the chassis to determine if that was the problem, Massa even declared himself finally comfortable with the F2012. So where do Ferrari start looking now as the root cause of the problem…?

Talking Point:
Narain Karthikeyan was penalised for incidents involving Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel which proved costly for both World Champions. Button excepted responsibility for his tangle which lost part of his front wing – it was careless but Button was under pressure to carve through the traffic to make his early pitstop work. The incident with Vettel was more 50:50 with the Indian blaming a loss of grip on the wet track but the stewards saw it differently. That said, while the HRT described the penalty as harsh, a time penalty when running in 21st isn’t much of one at all.

Race Rating:
The race was just too chaotic to describe. If you haven’t seen it you should, preferably without the hour-long stoppage for the weather. Really preferably without Sky F1 filling that hour. If there’s a better race this year, we will have been spoiled.

Full Result:

1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2h 44:51.812
2. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari +2.263
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes +14.591
4. Mark Webber      Red Bull-Renault +17.688
5. Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault +29.456
6. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault +37.667
7. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes     +44.412
8. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari     +46.985
9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +47.892
10. Michael Schumacher Ferrari Mercedes +49.996
11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +75.527
12. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari     +76.828
13. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +78.593
14. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +79.719
15. Felipe Massa Ferrari +97.319
16. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault +1 Lap
17. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth +1 Lap
18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault +1 Lap
19. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault +2 Laps (Engine)
20. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth +2 Laps
21. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth +2 Laps
22. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth +2 Laps

 
Fastest Lap: Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus-Renault, 1:40.722

Fastest Pitstop: Pastor Maldonado, Williams-Renault – 21.621s (entry-exit)

Not classified/retirements:

Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari Lap 47     Brakes
Romain Grosjean     Lotus-Renault     Lap 4     Spun off

 
What did you make of the Malaysian Grand Prix? Who do you think was driver of the day? Who had a weekend to forget? Are Ferrari on the road to redemption of is Massa on the brink of replacement? Do you believe the conspiracy theories surrounding Pérez’s mistake? Was Narain Karthikeyan rightly penalised? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

Photo: Pirelli Tyres

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11 Comments »

  • Reboot

    Not convinced that Schumacher was driving a Ferrari in this race Mav!

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  • Mav (author)

    You do know I deliberately put in these mistakes as it seems to be the only way to get people to comment, right?
    :-P

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  • saltire

    Great result for Perez and Alonso. Makes me feel a whole lot happier about the championship this year, at least at races where the weather is unpredictable.

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  • saltire

    Fascinating that McLaren felt the need to use a new engine for each of their drivers in Malaysia. Are they not so confident after all?

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  • Mav (author)

    Fascinating that McLaren felt the need to use a new engine for each of their drivers in Malaysia.

    They used the same strategy last year of allocating the Australian engine to free practice for as many races as it would keep going.

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  • Kimster

    Mav,

    You know you only have to ask me to comment something controversial to get the comments going.

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  • Mav (author)

    Kimster,

    I disagree. You totally don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.
    :-P

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  • Mav (author)

    Reboot,

    Incidentally, last week Williams were mysteriously running Cosworths apparently

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  • saltire

    Reboot,

    Incidentally, last week Williams were mysteriously running Cosworths apparently

    Let’s play spot the deliberate error!

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  • Kimster

    “Are Ferrari on the road to redemption of is Massa on the brink of replacement?”

    Grammatical error. It’s “or” rather than “of”.

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  • Mo

    Totally disagree about the driver of the day.Perez did a great race and showed he is going to be one of the top drivers in the next years but you forget he also did 2 big mistakes, he went off the track 2 times and that cost him the victory. In the other hand Alonso drove from the 8th place in the grid to the Victory with a very slow car ( probably the 5th-6th car ), he did any mistake and in wet conditions was much faster than the other drivers who had a better car.Once the track was getting dry he could keep the advantage and hold cars which were 1.5 sec faster than his car.If he was not the driver of the day then I guess I was watching another race…

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