Alonso pips Perez at storm-drenched Sepang circuit

“It’s Perez. P.E.R.E.Z…Yes, with a ‘z’….” Those of you who didn’t screw up the switch to daylight saving this morning have probably only now got dressed, having spent the entire morning in front of the telly. Unless you watched it on the Beeb of course.

Yup, for those who were there live, the Malaysian Grand Prix was one of those loooooong ones thanks to a storm measuring ‘Biblical’ on the Beaufort scale. But what a race. And what a result. Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren in third place was possibly the only thing predictable about this one. And he started favourite.

When it comes to job applications they don’t come better than Sergio Perez’s drive this afternoon. Here on the Sunday Afternoon sofa we’re certain that, once we’ve finally got around to sitting down with a tea and a hot cross bun, we’ll find conspiracy theories that will say ‘Checo’ deliberately threw this one away and gifted Fernando Alonso an unlikely win; Sauber after all don’t have a lot of resource, so a dependable supply of Ferrari V8s is handy; Perez himself might well find himself team-mates to Alonso any day now (best not to ruffle the King of Spain’s feathers, you know how he can be). But the fact is had it not been for the little off, Sergio Perez, in only his second season of F1 and a team that’s only ever won once, could have and should have beaten Ferrari and Fernando Alonso.

The Sauber team’s early switch to full wets before the red flags came out, the race was stopped and the cars made to sit under makeshift tents on the grid for nearly an hour, was a strategic masterstroke, but don’t focus on that to the exclusion of Perez and the Sauber’s pace once the race had started again and the track died. The man, the car were fast. Alonso could do nothing about it except hope Checo fell off.

And when you are Fernando Alonso, things you hope for happen. Except maybe Ferrari making you a truly quick car. The FA2012 still clearly has problems, and to us ‘Nando got a tad lucky with the weather, and with others’ misfortune. But there’s nothing lucky about that talent. God help us when Ferrari ever design him a real winner.

Jenson Button and Sebastian each tangled with Narain Karathikeyan’s HRT which ran as high as tenth at one point after a late ‘why not?’ call had he and team mate Pedro de la Rossa starting on full wets. Button needed a new wing, Vettel a new left rear tyre. And neither could blame Karthikeyan. No points.

Michael Schumacher, who we confidently predicted would be among the thick of it, was tapped on the opening lap by Romain Grosjean and did well to grab the last point. Grosjean span out for good two laps later. Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes meanwhile was never really in it, the Mercedes proving if anything to be harder on its tyres in the wet than the dry. Of the others who might have troubled Alsono… Well, Hamilton’s third was undoubtedly compromised by some messy pit work, but, like Mark Webber (fourth) and Kimi Raikkonen (fifth) he just didn’t seem to be able to string it together in what was to say the least a challenging race environment. When the lightening is knocking out the power in the paddock, you do wonder whether there should be a race going on at all.

And if – Alonso aside – this was really more about reputations forged then a big Sunday Afternoon Club salute to Bruno Senna, sixth despite knocking the nose of his car off on the first lap and Jean Eric Vergne, who managed to get all the way to the stoppage on intermediate tyres, which put his Toro Rosso seventh at the re-start and eighth at the flag.

Force India would under normal circumstances be chuffed with seventh and ninth (di Resta again ahead at the flag). But these weren’t normal circumstances and Sauber, one of the teams it hoped to leave behind this year, almost won the race.

Formula One, eh? Well, you’ve been saying you didn’t want it predictable again…

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I remembered a long lost, happy feeling when the commentator on Croatian television said, “AND SENNA OVERTAKES SCHUMACHER!”

It’s been a while…

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I don’t think Chico’s outing on the kerb was intentional, it was way too risky for that. Imo it was an honest rookie mistake: too eager plus fatigue. Congratz to both Alonso and Perez. Fabulous show, let there be more.
Narain K has been criticized and ridiculed an awful lot by now, not just in the F1. Perhaps someone, somewhere, should draw a conclusion. Maybe it’s the FIA’s office of licences.
@tbendis: it’s not quite the same though.

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Such a shame that Ferrari haven’t built a proper car since Brawn and Schumi left. I could see Massa’s car twitching all over the place. It wasn’t just Massa being out of sinc ever since his accident, his car also misbehaves.

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@Armchair Racer: I never understood why F1 cars, or any monoposto for that matter, don’t have a brakelight. So simple, so useful.

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What a joke of an article….It’s just a few paragraphs trying to take merits of Alonso…Perez is in experienced and as soon as he go t near Alonso the nerves kicked in….Anyway, at the end of the race there was only one dry line on track so I’m sure Perez would have gone out of track trying to overtake the best driver on the grid at the moment who is obviously Alonso…..

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“… to us ‘Nando got a tad lucky with the weather, and with others’ misfortune.” What a load of BS. The truth is that Alonso was the only driver of the top teams to perform as a top driver should. Especially when conditions are less than perfect. All the others caused their own misfortune or were simply not as fast as they should be.

And as for the conspiracy theories, they are getting quite ridiculous. Ferrari hasn’t been involved in any such thing in recent time (Massa letting Alonso past in Montreal was more a statement of the ridiculousness of team order rules).

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Well i think that this season shows pretty well that vet aint able to drive a fromula one car properly unless he is first and able to drive without any cars in front of him… he won hardly any duels in the alst two races or stay in his position!!!
to atlas: ferrari is iconic and i dont like them very much, but yes, they would never “commit” team order- a team called ferrari cant afford team order so obvious.
btw: still like the barichello- schuey team order…

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Martin Brundle got it right about mr Alonso.
Lot to admired, hard to like. it seems that any
Alonso win is judged unfairly because of Massagate.

Team order happen in F1, let forget about that incident.
and judge yesterday race, Perez was quicker than Fernado
yesterday, but he did not pass Alonso because he only got
within half a second of Alonso Ferrari.

Fernado would have pulled every trick, in his big bag of
Magic trick to stay in front. and when Fernado moviated
and has victory inside. that Ferrari would have been as wide
at the Altantic ocean.

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@apollo: ‘Okay Felipe, Alonso is faster than you. Please confirm’. This time it wouldn’t even have been a teamorder, merely a factory/client policy clause. But I don’t believe it. If pulling that stunt on the kerbs and still coming in 2nd was an act, Perez is way better than we all already suspect. He must’ve sold his soul at some crossroads.
Besides, if Perez has half a brain he won’t need a teamorder to leave Alonso well alone.

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@steve12: Ferrari have for decades been blatantly obvious in having a 1st and 2nd driver. It’s just a shame that they have always denied it.

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true masa car was a lil too shakie and to tell you the truth he sucks as ferraris f1 driver i think Perez would be better but its only round 2 hav to wait and c if masa improves way to go Alonso keep winning

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Perez was faster than Fernado, but Fernado is crafty
and would have stayed ahead.
Youth and inexperience, cost Perez as he went into
that corner to fast. when off and give Fernado all
the breathing space he needed.

Alonso deserve to win the race, but so did Perez
the youngster made a mistake, Alonso ran a mistake
free race and won.
simple as that, good conspired theroy chaps.

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Congratulations Sergio Pérez! What a great race!

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Fernando magic alonso is the best

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Alonso, the best driver in the world as Lewis
And vettel as bad as Narain Karthikeyan

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Just give Checo a little time and a better car… Maybe a Ferrari!

Great Race Checo!!

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