The front row of the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix is the same as at Australia last week. But can McLaren dominate in Malaysia too?
It seems reasonable to expect that McLaren can repeat their success in Australia last week in Malaysia with a repeat of the front row of the grid and the impetus a great start to the season brings.
Even the threat of rain in Malaysia – always highly likely – should have played in to the hands of McLaren, especially with Button’s smooth style and rain mastery. But it didn’t. Far from it.
Fernando Alonso – with an uncompetitive Ferrari in the dry – showed that Maranello’s finest is far better in the wet to take a win in Sepang ahead of Perez, with Hamilton filling the podium in third and Red Bull’s Webber in fourth.
Alonso had built a lead on the re-start after torrential rain red-flagged the race, but on a drying track Perez closed the gap to almost nothing. But Alonso stopped for tyres a lap before Perez and pulled his lead out to seven seconds on slicks. But Perez opted for hard tyres on his change – Alonso was on mediums – and closed the gap to almost nothing with just half a dozen laps to go. But an off at turn 14 saw him drop back again and, although he gained on Alonso, the race was over.
The race was a complete mess with unfamiliar tyres and torrential rain and can’t be considered a real indicator of the season to come. But the result will give Ferrari heart – even though Massa was pretty woeful once more – knowing that Alonso is still a man at the top of his game and their car has real potential.
Malaysia Grand Prix 2012 Results
- Fernando Alonso | Ferrari
- Sergio Perez | Sauber
- Lewis Hamilton | McLaren
- Mark Webber | Red Bull
- Kimi Raikkonen | Lotus
- Bruno Senna | Ferrari Williams
- Paul Di Resta | Force India
- Jean-Eric Vergne | Toro Rosso
- Nico Hulkenberg | Force India
- Michael Schumacher| Mercedes