Daily Archives: March 25, 2012

Points standings after Malaysian Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Fernando Alonso 35
2 Lewis Hamilton 30
3 Jenson Button  25
4 Mark Webber  24
5 Sergio Perez  22
6 Sebastian Vettel 18
7 Kimi Raikkonen  16
8 Bruno Senna  8
9 Kamui Kobayashi 8
10 Paul di Resta  7
11 Jean-Eric Vergne  4
12 Daniel Ricciardo  2
13 Nico Hulkenberg  2
14 Michael Schumacher  1
15 Nico Rosberg  0
16 Pastor Maldonado  0
17 Timo Glock  0
18 Charles Pic  0
19 Felipe Massa  0
20 Vitaly Petrov  0
21 Heikki Kovalainen  0
22 Narain Karthikeyan 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa 0
24 Romain Grosjean 0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 McLaren-Mercedes 55
2 Red Bull-Renault 42
3 Ferrari 35
4 Sauber 30
5 Lotus-Renault 16
6 Force India-Mercedes 9
7 Williams-Renault 8
8 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
9 Mercedes GP 1
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
11 Caterham-Renault 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0

Alonso wins while Perez shines in Malaysia

Hamilton fends off Button

Hamilton fends off Button

Fernando Alonso has won the Malaysian Grand Prix, ahead of a brilliant Sergio Perez, who drove his heart out and almost won the race. Lewis Hamilton again lost the lead and finished 3rd, while it was another poor show from Mercedes. Here is what happened:

Light rain 10 minutes before the start of the race forced all the cars to switch to the intermediate tyres. At the start, Lewis Hamilton held the lead against his teammate, while Romain Grosjean jumped into 3rd. Michael Schumacher spun at Turn 3, and fell to the back of the grid.

As the rain grew in intensity, Sergio Perez, Timo Glock and Felipe Massa opted to stop for extreme wets. Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso stopped on Lap 5 for the same tyres. Button’s passing of Schumacher on the wets prompted everyone else to make the change on Lap 6.

The safety car was out, but the red flag is soon thrown

The safety car was out, but the red flag is soon thrown

The different strategies left Perez 3rd, while Button harassed Hamilton for the lead. However, the rain had quickly become too heavy to continue, and the safety car was deployed on Lap 7. As lightning struck race control and the media centre, knocking out the power, there was some confusion about an accidental red flag.

Once it became clear that the monsoon conditions weren’t ending any time soon, the red flag was thrown. The teams bizarrely brought gazebos out on the pit straight, as the rain shower moved away.

After more than half an hour, the race was restarted under the safety car. Bernd Maylander peeled away on Lap 13, and the racing resumed. Several cars dived into the pits, while Sergio Perez moved into 2nd. Sebastian Vettel made a move on his teammate, but Webber used his superior traction to retake 5th place.

Hamilton stopped a lap later, but a slow pit stop dropped him behind his teammate. Button’s joy didn’t last long though, as he hit the back of Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT, breaking his front wing. He pitted for repairs, while Sergio Perez stopped for inters, leaving Fernando Alonso in charge of the race.

Daniel Ricciardo put an excellent move on Bruno Senna for 14th place, taking the Williams around the outside of Turn 5. DRS was enabled on Lap 21, allowing the battle for 5th place battle between Rosberg, Vettel and Raikkonen to take an extra twist.

Vettel powered past Nico Rosberg for 4th, and was soon followed by Kimi Raikkonen. Mark Webber didn’t need DRS to get past, slicing past Rosberg at Turn 6.

Felipe Massa was ordered to catch the Mercedes, but slipped wide instead, allowing Paul di Resta through for 7th. After he was swiftly passed by Jean-Eric Vergne Bruno Senna, he pitted for a new set of intermediates.

Perez gets within inches of Alonso

Perez gets within inches of Alonso

Kamui Kobayashi passed Michael Schumacher around the outside of Turn 5, while Jenson Button passed Felipe Massa for 16th position.

The focus soon switched to the front, as Sergio Perez began to reel in Alonso at incredible rates. The new rain shower failed to materialise, and the frontrunners’ worn inters soon began to come into the equation. Daniel Ricciardo was the first to try on the slick tyres, and instantly set fastest sectors.

This prompted a mad dash for the pit lane. Alonso pitted on Lap 41, while Perez stayed out. He stopped the next lap, but the damage had been done, as Fernando now led by 7 seconds.

Alonso and Perez congradulate each other after a thrilling battle

Alonso and Perez congradulate each other after a thrilling battle

Despite this, the Mexican driver continued to push, and astonishingly began to reel in the Ferrari once again. With 10 laps to go, the Sauber was only 3 seconds behind. Further back , Sebastian Vettel received a puncture, and dropped down the field.

But, the focus was on Perez. As he closed on Alonso, he made a slip at Turn 14, and dropped back by several seconds. He attempted to repair the damage, but there was not enough time left.

Fernando Alonso crossed the line first to win the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Perez chasing him past the line. Lewis Hamilton hung on to third place, with Mark Webber ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Bruno Senna impressed with 6th, while Michael Schumacher inherited a point on the second last lap after Pastor Maldonado’s retirement.