Alonso Wins Chaotic Malaysian GP
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.
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.
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?
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…?
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.
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.
|1.||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||2h 44:51.812|
|4.||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||+17.688|
|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|
|11.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||+75.527|
|12.||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||+76.828|
|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)
|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