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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wow, that race sucked from a supporter of Vettel’s view. Anyone know what happened to him at the end of the race?

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if only the pit stops went right for lewis :(

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Vettel made some rather bitter and personal statements in the post-race interview I saw on the BBC highlights. Not good sportsmanship at all. Ok, somebody made a mistake and hit him. I understand that’s very frustrating but he’s made mistakes himself in the past.

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Alonso is faster today than anyone else.
as a Ferrari fan, it warms my heart to see
Ferrari win. but it papering over the cracks.

The car needed to improve greatly, Perez was
outstanding today.
understand why Sauber were cautious, but they almost
cost him seond place.
should have left him alone on team radio.

Schuy saved Mercedes blushs, but the car needed to
improve greatly and quickly.
good to see Vettel have some bad luck, at long last
after two years of nothing but good luck.

Good start to the F1 season, looking forward to china
and seeing if Ferrari has improved over the next three weeks.
need to to give Ferando a chance to win again.
the rest of the driver were singing, why why Fernado.

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Unlucky Lewis, he should have won today if it wasn’t for Mclaren mucking it up again. At Perez came second and boring Vettel crashed out :) #greatrace

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LEWIS HAMILTON – F1 WORLD CHAMPION 2012

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From what I saw, Seb and Jensen were both responsible for their collisions with Karathikeyan. Sure, the HRT’s struggle to achieve anything higher than tortoise pace, but they had the early-race benefit of gambling on full wets to give them good position. However, you can’t just go for the overtake without giving it your full attention, which both of them seemed to forget. They’re both talented drivers in well-built cars, but neither should try and blame their misfortunes/bad maneuvers on the little guy. (Vettel doesn’t seem to agree with me, guess that’s spoiled Germans for you.)

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Very, very exciting race. Great driving from Alonso! He showed why he was a world champion. Absolutely fantastic driving from Perez! He’s still young, and it shows. But man, let him get a bit wiser and I predict a future F1 world champion. Kimi was impressive as well.

I think Ham was ok, but I was a bit surprised that Button was practically nowhere to be seen. Bad luck hit him as well as Vettel, Schumacher and Maldonado. Schuey did well considering the circumstances, but Nico Rosberg obviously has some problems with the car.

Well, as I said, exciting race. This season will hopefully be exciting till the last race.

Go, Ferrari! Go, Sauber!

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PS: I wouldn’t be so fast to blame Vettel’s brush with Kara on Vettel alone. I don’t think it was as clear-cut as you guys make it out to be.

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GO SENNA! I hope it only gets better from here onwards! Williams are finally coming back, and with style! Let’s hope for the best, it would be great to see a Senna in that podium again! Brazil will be rejoicing!

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Alonso started 8 and won. The best pilots on the circus are Hamilton & Alonso, The always do better despite the car the have.

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This was definitely one of the more exciting races, what with the rain playing havoc with strategies and the track. Perez was pretty mega out there, and if he didn’t go off he would definitely be on the top step. Still, this was a great result for Sauber, and as for the midfielders which finished a bit further up-field than usual, you have to give them props too. It was a bit of a shame for Maldonado though, this time he went out because of something that wasn’t in his control, but overall, definitely a good race for the ‘other’ teams. :D

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Great to see Lewis back in the mix. Massa now having to find others to tangle with nearer the back; perhaps the stewards have realised where the problem lies. Mclaren 1-2 in China anyone?

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was an action packed race, what a drive from alanso. kimi was good too. Perez is impressing a lot of folks. tough break for button and vettel but thats racing. wiliams netted 6 points? good stuff .. entertaining race today, love it.

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@Luke

bad sportsmanship from vettel? I don’t think so. His team wanted him to stop the car and save it, as they knew he would not gain points. But he caught on to finish like a real sportsman. No wonder he was a bit angry. He had bad luck and on top of it his team let him down.

topic:
awesome drive from perez. he came from nowhere!! but I think that’s all to the conditions and the other teams and drivers which all made mistakes. I mean pit stops didn’t went well, almost everybody was at some point off the track or crashed in someone else. Only Fernando Alonso just drove to the finish. Well done. Sad that Hamilton didn’t do anything to give Alonso and Perez some pressure.

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Lewis Hamilton drove a mature race today.
did not have the car setup right, so took a
respectable third place.

Excellent race overall, Eddie Jordan shirts are terrible
someone needed to tell him.
Fernado Alonso with that win, go pass Sir Jackie Stewart
into fifth place alltime for win.

not bad Fernado, if only he had a good car.
looking forward to china in three weeks.

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Can someone involved in the F1 program, who has contact with the drivers, explain to Alonso that whoever cut his chin minge made a proper cock of it?
It makes his face look as twisted as Shumacher`s and is so far to the right that its been accepted to the BNP!

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red bull were just idiots saying vettel should retire just coz he wasnt going to pick any points up.mclaren did not get hamiltons pitstops right then button taking him and karthikeyan out was not good day for them.ferrari had alonso,who was immense as massa cant cut it in the same car.mercedes were extremely lucky to pick up a single point after maldonados engine basically blew up.lotus had an alright day,raikkonen picking up a decent handful of points.whats going on with grosjean,two races in 2012,two early retirements with a total of less than 10 race laps this year.sauber were astonishing but kobi retired with a mechanical failure.senna had a brilliant drive from 23rd to sixth with a excellent car for the lack of budget they had in 2010,the reason they brought in maldonado instead of keeping with hulkenberg.finally hrt,first pedro del a rosa stalls on the formation lap,10 laps later karthikeyan was in tenth,then got involved in two nonfault collisions and finished at the back as normal

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@formuladude

They wanted to retire vettel because vettel’s brake was damaged when he hit the HRT. They were worried vettel would have a major crash if the break suddenly didn’t work at a corner. Also, vettel didn’t stop because his radio was broken, he didn’t hear anything of what they were telling him.

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cool

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hey! guys is strange??? or it isn’t
a mexican driver beat the great british driver hamilton…. maybe clarkson is not completly satisfied with the result

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Awesome Alonso! And what a great race Perez did! Rain makes fair: Driving matters, car’s just the way.

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Haha I was laughing when the BBC showed the footage of Vettel showing the middle finger to Karthikeyan, I mean what did he think he was going to get out of it?… XD

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Lets start with some Vettel bashing. Was he right to complain about a lapped driver hitting the back of his car? Vettel was at the time chasing Hamilton for third and gaining. He might have been able to get past Hamilton due to Hamilton not driving quick at the time. Many years ago in Japan Vettel ran into the back of Webber during a safety car because Hamilton was doing some erattic braking and Vettel did not notice (no brake lights) Webber parked in front of him. Webber abused him and commented that he had no place on the race track. Cost them both podium finishes. Vettel since then had gone on the win 2 championships.

So it would seem that Vettel comments are nothing new but frustration over missing out on good points. So to make a bit deal out of it is rather pointless.

Especially since in the old days drivers used to have punch ups after the race when someone cut them off.

The biggest disappointment is Hamilton. Being in the fastest car on slicks when they went to slicks in the last stint and not making any ground on the Sauber which kept on pulling out a gap.

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Felicidades Checo Perez

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