Fernando Alonso snatched victory from Sergio Perez in his hard-charging Sauber-Ferrari in this very eventful and rain ridden Malaysian Grand Prix. This victory for Ferrari can mainly due to the torrential downpour in Sepang, helped by Hamilton missing his marker in the pits followed by some shoddy tire changing that cost him his lead he had due to his pole position at tthe starting of the race. Alonso held his head through some crashes, heavy rain and a red flag in the ninth lap to win his first Grand Prix of the season. Joining him in the podium were Sergio Perez from Sauber-Ferrari in second position and Lewis Hamilton of Mclaren-Mercedes in 3rd.
It was only the weather slowing down the drivers in the first six laps before the officials decided to send in the safety car. Following was a dash for the pits where the drivers chose rain tires over harder compound ones to gain traction on the slippery track. The rain was red-flagged in the 9th lap when the downpour turned torrential and the F1 officials decided it wasn’t safe to race anymore. A 51 minute delay was followed by another 5 laps of safety car laps before the race was underway again.
Once the proper racing began, Hamilton sped off while Button and a host of other cars headed for the pits again. The McLarens then had a disastrous lap 15. Hamilton called into the pits but overshot his markers and after a protracted tyre change had to wait for pit lane traffic to clear before settign off again. At turn nine on the circuit, Button made contact with the rear of Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT, damaging his front wing and forcing both drivers to pit. Alonso, now on intermediates, eased past Perez to take the lead on lap 16 and so began his stranglehold on the race. The Ferrari man made the most of clear track ahead to build up some time ahead of Perez, while Button complained that his front tyres were not gripping the circuit.
On lap 25, Alonso posted the fastest lap and Button pitted again to swap his intermediates as Rosberg seemed to struggle with the conditions, giving away several places. Aware of Rosberg’s troubles, Felipe Massa attempted a pass but ended up off track, allowing Paul Di Resta to sneak through. Button was rewarded for his swift tyre change by setting the fastest lap on 28, while Massa pitted and the two were then set for a titanic battle with Button eventually easing past the Ferrari at the end of lap 35. At the front, Perez continued to nibble away at Alonso and reduced his lead to under two seconds as we entered lap 40. Alonso pitted on the very next lap to give Perez the lead but the Sauber man returned the compliment on the next one as he came in for dry tyres. Sebastian Vettel’s troubled weekend took a turn for the worse on lap 48 when he suffered a puncture to his rear right tyre and it sprayed rubber out on track for the other drivers to negotiate as he pitted. With six laps remaining, Alonso had a lead of 2.82 seconds over Perez with Hamilton 15 seconds further back in third.
|2||15||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||56||+2.2 secs||9||18|
|3||4||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||56||+14.5 secs||1||15|
|4||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||56||+17.6 secs||4||12|
|5||9||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||56||+29.4 secs||10||10|
|6||19||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||56||+37.6 secs||13||8|
|7||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||56||+44.4 secs||14||6|
|8||17||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||56||+46.9 secs||18||4|
|9||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||56||+47.8 secs||16||2|
|10||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||56||+49.9 secs||3||1|
|11||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||56||+75.5 secs||5|
|12||16||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||56||+76.8 secs||15|
|13||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||56||+78.5 secs||7|
|14||3||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||56||+79.7 secs||2|
|15||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||56||+97.3 secs||12|
|16||21||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||55||+1 Lap||19|
|17||24||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||55||+1 Lap||20|
|18||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||55||+1 Lap||24|
|19||18||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||54||+2 Laps||11|
|20||25||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||54||+2 Laps||21|
|21||23||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||54||+2 Laps||23|
|22||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||54||+2 Laps||22|
|Ret||14||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||46||+10 Laps||17|
|Ret||10||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||3||+53 Laps||6|
Source: The Sun