Alonso wins thriller in Malaysia

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Updated: March 25, 2012

It was a Ferrari 1-2 in Malaysia as Fernando Alonso held off Sauber-Ferrari’s  Sergio Perez to take victory in a thrilling Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. In a remarkable race the main battle out front was between two drivers you would have been expecting to have been racing in the middle of the pack and not out front.

Alonso’s victory took the Ferrari driver into the world championship lead, despite the team’s tough start to the season, but only a late error prevented Perez passing the double champion to take what would have been one of Formula 1’s most surprising wins ever for Sauber. It was however more than a consolation coming second, a first podium for the young Mexican has highlighted not only how far he has come in barely a year but also how much his team have developed.

Lewis Hamilton completed the podium, with his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button outside the points after a disastrous race. Sebastian Vettel also failed to score due to a clash in traffic, though his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber claimed fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Bruno Senna (Williams).

Mercedes’ weekend fell apart in the race again, with Schumacher only able to get back up to 10th after the first-lap clash and an additional tyre stop leaving Nico Rosberg 14th, behind the delayed Button.

Next stop is China in 2 weeks. Lewis Hamilton will be looking to improve on his two 3rd place finishes as he returns to the scene of one of the most exciting races in 2011 and one that he drove his best race of the season in.

1. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 2:44:51.812
2. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber – Ferrari +00:02.263
3. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 00:14.591
4. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull – Renault 00:17.688
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus – Renault 00:29.456
6. Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams – Renault 00:37.667
7. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India-Mercedes 00:44.412
8. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 00:46.985
9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 00:47.892
10. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 00:49.996
11. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull – Renault 01:15.527
12. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 01:16.828
13. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 01:18.593
14. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 01:19.719
15. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 01:37.319
16. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham – Renault 1 lap
17. Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia – Cosworth 1 lap
18. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham – Renault 1 lap
19. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams – Renault 2 laps
20. Charles Pic (France) Marussia – Cosworth 2 laps
21. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT – Cosworth 2 laps
22. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT – Cosworth 2 laps
r. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber – Ferrari 10 laps
r. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus – Renault 53 laps