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