Fernando Alonso wins rain interrupted Malaysian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso took an unexpected victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix from eighth place on the starting grid while Australian GP winner Jenson Button had a nightmare race, colliding with the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan then struggled with his intermediate tyres, finishing well out of the points. Sauber’s Sergio Perez came very close to winning the race but made a small mistake at turn 13 losing five seconds to Alonso late on! Lewis Hamilton finished third despite starting from pole!

Off the start, both Hamilton and Button got off the line well but Hamilton stayed ahead exiting the first corner. Romain Grosjean rocketed upto 3rd from sixth place going into turn one but clipped Michael Schumacher a couple of corners later sending both drivers into a spin and tumbling back down the order, then on lap four beached his Lotus Renault in the gravel trap, another early bath for the Frenchman! Before chaos ensued as a full blown thunderstorm blew across the circuit mixing up the order massively as drivers pitted for full wets and other had off track excursions!

The safety car came out on lap seven and by lap nine the race had been red flagged as conditions deteriorated, lightning bolts hitting the circuit knocking out power in parts of the track. As the drivers formed up on the grid in race order, we had drivers in places they’d never have expected to be. Perez lined up in third, Jean Eric-Vergne in seventh and the HRT of Karthikeyan in 10th after starting the race on full wet tyres when everyone else started on intermediate tyres!

After 50 minutes of waiting around for conditions to improve, the race restarted under the safety car and after five laps of following the safety car around the Sepang circuit, the track went green and we went racing again. Hamilton bolted as Button backed up the pack before diving into the pits for intermediates. Both Hamilton and Alonso pitted for intermediates the next lap, Ferrari getting Alonso out in front of Hamilton as the Briton was held up by pitlane traffic as everyone dived in for intermediate tyres. The delay on Hamilton’s stop also put him behind team mate Button.

Just a Button thought things had panned out nicely for him, he lost control of his rear end and clattered into the side of Karthikeyan, breaking his front wing and puncturing his front right tyre. Button immediately let team mate Hamilton through as he was limping back to the pits. After his stop, the driver from Frome found himself back in 22nd place. Of course thoughts immediately sprung back to Canada 2011 where he drove from last to to win the race in similarly tricky conditions but it wasn’t to be this time as he could only manage 14th place after tyre struggles!

In the meantime, Alonso had gotten past Perez for the lead and started to pull out a narrow lead. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg found himself a sitting duck for Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Mark Webber to pass on the main straight with the aid of DRS, tumbling back to seventh from fourth before pitting for fresh intermediates. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was overtaken by Vergne pushing the Brazilian back to 10th, before pitting soon after allowing Bruno Senna to move into the points, Massa finished the race in 15th just behind Button, another poor performance from Massa!

Sergio Perez was catching Alonso hand over fist; taking 7/10ths of a second out of the Ferrari drivers lead but a tactical error on the part of the Sauber team, pitting Perez a lap after Alonso for slicks cost time as the slicks were as much as five seconds faster than intermediates. But Perez, who choose to go with the harder prime tyre soon started catching the Ferrari once again, staring at the gearbox of Alonso’s car before making a mistake going wide, costing the Mexican five seconds, which he couldn’t recover before the end of the race. There was some suggestion that Ferrari who supply engines to Sauber had a word in Peter Sauber’s ear telling his driver to back off! This is one for the conspiracy theorists but Sauber is ‘almost’ a Ferrari B team!

Red Bull’s Vettel also clashed with Karthikeyan on lap 48, the German turning in on the Indian before completely past the HRT, similar to the infamous incident with Webber in Turkey, 2010. The result; a puncture for Vettel and a trip to the pits, Vettel later was told to stop his car on the final lap because of an emergency issue with his car. Williams’ Pastor Maldonado running in ninth also pulled out of the race on the penultimate lap with engine problems, which is a shame as a double score for Williams would have been a massive result for Sir Frank’s team after last season!

Top 10 finishers: 1 ALO, 2 PER, 3 HAM, 4 WEB, 5 RAI, 6 SEN, 7 DIR, 8 VER, 9 HUL, 10 MSC

I bet that Fernando Alonso didn’t think in his wildest dreams that he’d be leading the world drivers championship after qualifying 8th. It’s looking like this is going to be a close season, 17 points cover the top seven drivers, obviously helped by the non-scores from Vettel and Button!

Sebastian Vettel has labeled Narain Karthikeyan as an “idiot” after his collision with the Indian, although no names were mentioned. Frankly Vettel needs to shut the fuck up; it was never the HRT drivers fault, does Vettel expect backmarkers to completely stop to allow him to slot back in, just accept that you made a mistake instead of calling other drivers names, grow the fuck up and learn to overtake properly! Karthikeyan was later penalised (unfairly in my opinion) by stewards and handed a post race drive-through penalty which dropped him behind team mate Pedro de la Rosa!

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