Fernando Alonso hailed his victory in yesterday’s Malaysian Grand Prix as one of his sweetest
26 March 2012

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso hailed his victory in yesterday’s Malaysian Grand Prix as one of the sweetest of his career.

The double world champion drove magnificently in wet conditions to score his 28th race win and relieve the pressure on Ferrari. The Maranello-based team has faced criticism in its homeland for the lack of competitiveness shown by this year’s car during pre-season testing and the first race in Australia.

See our Malaysian Grand Prix picture gallery

There can be no doubt that the wet conditions aided Ferrari’s cause. Alonso qualified ninth for the race, but moved up to fifth by the ninth lap, when the race was halted due to the intensity of the rain.

When the event restarted, it wasn’t long before the entire field came into the pits to change from rain tyres to intermediates.

Up until this point, the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button had run first and second, having annexed the front row of the grid in qualifying, but now the race began to turn against the British duo.

Hamilton lost vital seconds with a slow tyre change, and Button damaged his front wing after tangling with the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan on his first lap out of the pits.

That left Alonso out in front of Sauber’s Sergio Perez, who was the star of the race. The young Mexican had climbed to third place in the first portion of the event after making a shrewd early switch to full wet tyres.

See our Malaysian Grand Prix picture gallery

Now on intermediate tyres, he began to eat into Alonso’s lead as the circuit began to dry out. The leaders moved onto slick tyres for the final stint of the race, but Perez continued to close on the Ferrari ahead. He was less than a second behind he received a message via the pits-to-car radio to remind him how essential it was for Sauber – which has an engine supply deal with Ferrari – to collect a big haul of points.

A lap later, Perez ran off the track and lost a handful of seconds, ending any prospect of beating Alonso and relieving the pressure on the leader. Nevertheless, second place was a remarkable result for the small Sauber team.

See our Malaysia Grand Prix picture gallery

Hamilton came home in third position for the second consecutive weekend, but team-mate Button couldn’t recover from his mid-race collision.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber finished fourth on a weekend but his team-mate Sebastian Vettel encountered double trouble in the closing stages of the race. He sustained a rear puncture after clipping Karthikeyan’s front wing while lapping the Indian driver and dropped out of the points.

Kimi Räikkönen, Bruno Senna and Paul di Resta had strong runs to fifth, sixth and seventh respectively, while Jean-Eric Vergne scored his first F1 points in eighth. Nico Hulkenberg was ninth for Force India.

Michael Schumacher qualified third for Mercedes, but clashed with Romain Grosjean on the opening lap and fell to the back of the field. He recovered to tenth place at the chequered flag.

Provisional race results

Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang, 25 March 20121 Fernando Alonso (ESP), Ferrari2 Sergio Perez (MEX), Sauber-Ferrari3 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren-Mercedes4 Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull-Renault5 Kimi Räikkönen (FIN), Lotus6 Bruno Senna (BRA), Williams7 Paul di Resta (GBR), Force India8 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), Toro Rosso9 Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Force India10 Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes

Driver standings: 1 Alonso 35pts 2 Hamilton 30 3 Button 25 4 Webber 24 5 Perez 22 6 Vettel 18

Team standings: 1 McLaren 55pts 2 Red Bull 42 3 Ferrari 35 4 Sauber 30 5 Lotus 6 Force India

>

 

Join the debate

Comments
2

26 March 2012

[quote Autocar]Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso hailed his victory in yesterday’s Malaysian Grand Prix as one of the sweetest of his career.

The double world champion drove magnificently in wet conditions to score his 28th race win and relieve the pressure on Ferrari. The Maranello-based team has faced criticism in its homeland for the lack of competitiveness shown by this year’s car during pre-season testing and the first race in Australia.

Read the full article[/quote] Says it all , the right person won, he had a bit of luck,but you need a bit sometimes,the others i guess had bad luck,alluding unintentionally or not to team orders for Perez is pure conjecture,and should stay that way.


Peter Cavellini.

26 March 2012

it..was luck that give him..a victory ..the merc...pit crew give the race to ferrari..

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka