Alonso F1's shock leader at soggy Sepang

By on Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso is F1's shock world championship leader, after Malaysian rain shook up the order at Sepang.

"It's a tough time for us at the moment, but we will remember this day," said the Ferrari driver, who finished ahead of another surprise podium-sitter, Sauber's Sergio Perez.

The young Mexican was catching Alonso at a rate of knots when he made a mistake.

"I think the win was possible," Perez, who has been linked with Felipe Massa's works Ferrari seat, said after beating the back-to-back 2012 polesitter Lewis Hamilton.

Former Toro Rosso driver and BBC radio commentator Jaime Alguersuari, however, was not overly impressed.

"The team did a fantastic strategy to put Perez on the right tyres at the right moment. For me, that's it," said the Spaniard.

Back-to-back world champion Sebastian Vettel had an horror Sunday, cutting a tyre whilst passing an HRT and eventually retiring with what Red Bull described on the radio as an "emergency" technical problem.

The German lies sixth in the drivers' world championship, four points behind Perez and 17 off the lead.

Title leader Alonso, meanwhile, is not overly happy with the rain-soaked win.

"I think it changes nothing," he said. "We are in a position that we do not want, fighting to get into Q3."

Team boss Stefano Domenicali agreed: "I hope this helps the people at home to push, but we were not stupid yesterday and we are not phenomenal today."

The Italian also denied that Perez's debut podium is the ideal time to immediately pluck the Mexican from Sauber and put him in struggling Felipe Massa's red car.

"Not true, not true," Domenicali told British Sky television.

P    Name            Gap  Int Time     Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3 Ps
1  5 F. ALONSO       LAP   56 1:42.118 26.5     34.5     40.9      3
2 15 S. PEREZ        2.2  2.2 1:41.784 26.2     34.3     41.2      3
3  4 L. HAMILTON    14.5 12.3 1:42.603 26.2     34.6     41.6      3
4  2 M. WEBBER      17.6  3.0 1:41.640 26.2     34.2     41.1      3
5  9 K. RAIKKONEN   29.4 11.7 1:41.054 26.0     33.9     41.0      3
6 19 B. SENNA       37.6  8.2 1:41.607 26.2     34.4     40.8      4
7 11 P. DI RESTA    44.4  6.7 1:43.715 26.2     35.0     42.4      3
8 17 J. VERGNE      46.9  2.5 1:42.190 26.3     34.7     41.0      2
9 12 N. HULKENBERG  47.8  0.9 1:42.219 25.9     35.1     41.1      3
10  7 M. SCHUMACHER  49.9  2.1 1:41.903 26.1     34.8     40.9      3
11  1 S. VETTEL      75.5 25.5 1:43.108 26.6     34.6     41.8      4
12 16 D. RICCIARDO   76.8  1.3 1:43.522 26.2     35.5     41.6      4
13  8 N. ROSBERG     78.5  1.7 1:42.465 25.8     35.1     41.5      4
14  3 J. BUTTON      79.7  1.1 1:44.216 26.3     35.9     41.8      5
15  6 F. MASSA       97.3 17.6 1:42.051 26.5     34.5     40.9      4
16 21 V. PETROV        1L   1L 1:43.688 26.3     35.1     42.1      3
17 24 T. GLOCK         1L 42.6 1:45.312 26.7     35.8     42.6      3
18 20 H. KOVALAINEN    1L  3.9 1:45.622 26.5     35.5     43.5      4
19 18 P. MALDONADO     2L   1L RETIRED  23.9 L15 23.4 L39           5
20 25 C. PIC           2L      1:48.523 27.1     38.0     43.3      3
21 23 N. KARTHIKEYAN   2L 72.7 1:48.336 27.1     36.3     44.9      2
22 22 P. DE LA ROSA    2L 13.2 1:46.244 26.8     36.1     43.2      3
14 K. KOBAYASHI    10L   8L RETIRED  26.2 L13 23.6 L40           4
10 R. GROSJEAN     53L  43L          32.3     STOP                  


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