Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso won the 2012 F1 Malaysian Grand Prix. The Spaniard started the race in 9th place, but terrible weather conditions played havoc with the grid and Alonso drove spectacularly to secure his 7th Ferrari win.
Before the race began there was much doubt about how it would begin. Rain was creeping over the circuit and there was a strong belief that the race would begin behind a safety car. However, Race Director Charlie Whiting decided that the race would be started under normal conditions.
Hamilton had a good start from pole and Button followed him closely, Nearly colliding in the 1st corner. Behind them, Schumacher started uncharacteristically slowly and fought off Webber, Vettel and fast starting Grosjean. Webber pulled a spectacular pass on Schumacher coming out of turn 2 whilst Grosjean, Much to my frustration, Drove straight into the back of Schumacher. Both cars spun around followed by Bruno Senna’s Williams in an un-related incident. Pedro De La Rosa who stalled his Hispania on the parade lap left the pits to follow the pack. Up ahead, Hamilton still lead from Button while Webber lead team-mate Vettel. Grosjean again spun the car and beached himself in the gravel.
On Lap 7, Yellow flags and a safety car were deployed as the rain thickened and thunder and lightening took out the power at the track. On Lap 9, The race was red flagged.
40 minutes later, The race re-started under the safety car. The big surprises were Sauber’s Sergio Perez in 3rd, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne in 7th and the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan in 10th. The Safety Car went in after 5 laps and Webber was immediately swamped by Vettel and Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen who both overtook him. The HRT of Karthikeyan lacked the pace needed to defend against the cars around him and slowly began to fall backwards.
The pit stop phase began and the big looser from this was Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso scored big, overtaking several cars, including Lewis Hamilton and he got to the lead, followed by Hamilton, Button, Perez, Rosberg, Vettel, Raikkonen and Webber.
Vettel, Raikkonen and Webber launched an attack on the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and one by one got passed him. Button tangled with the HRT of Karthikeyan and damaged his front wing, Resulting in a double front puncture. He crawled back to the pits and came out 23rd, Last. Button who usually thrives in these conditions, Remember Canada 2011, Failed to make the tyre’s work and failed to make much of a charge on the field, as people were expecting of him. Hamilton also got unlucky with a botched pit stop which saw Sergio Perez leap frog him and into 2nd. Incredibly, Alonso lead the race while Sergio Perez followed him in 2nd.
A very on-form Perez began to pull away from Hamilton AND catch Fernando Alonso at a whopping 1.5 second per lap! With 15 laps to go, Much of the world were egging him on and expecting him to catch and pass Alonso but with 7 laps to go, Perez lost it on Turn 13. Alonso pulled up a gap of 5.5 seconds before the end of the lap and Perez couldn’t catch him fast enough.
Vettel became the next driver to tangle with Narain Karthikeyan and suffered a right rear puncture while running in 4th. Team mate Webber took him as he went into the pits, and so did half the grid! Vettel came out in 13th, Finishing in a lowly 11th.
Pastor Maldonado had very bad luck again on the penultimate lap of the race for the second race in a row. The engine in his Williams blew, promoting Schumacher to 10th, giving Mercedes their first point of 2012.
Meanwhile, On the last lap, Guillaume Rocquelin came on the radio to tell Sebastian Vettel that he must drive into the pits to retire the car. Just seconds later, another radio message was sent out, telling him to stay OUT and not to come in the pits. Again, Just seconds later, “Rocky” came back on the radio and told Vettel that he MUST stop the car immediately and get out of it, due to a possible KERS issue. However, Vettel made it to the line and finished the race.
Fernando Alonso crossed the line first, followed immediately by Sergio Perez, Perez’s first ever podium and Sauber’s best ever race result. Hamilton crossed the line in third position to round of the podium. It is the 1st time in 18 races that someone either than Webber, Vettel, Button, Hamilton or Alonso were on the podium!
1. Fernando Alonso
2. Sergio Perez
3. Lewis Hamilton
4. Mark Webber
5. Kimi Raikkonen
6. Bruno Senna
7. Paul Di Resta
8. Jean-Eric Vergne
9. Nico Hulkenberg
10. Michael Schumacher
11. Sebastian Vettel
12. Daniel Ricciardo
13. Nico Rosberg
15. Felipe Massa
16. Vitaly Petrov
17. Timo Glock
18. Heikki Kovalainen
19. Charles Pic
20. Narain Karthikeyan
21. Pedro De La Rosa
22. Pastor Maldonado – Engine
23. Kamui Kobayashi – Brake Failure
24. Romain Grosjean – Spun Off