Daily Archives: 26th March 2012, 17:38

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Sepang, 2012

Perez is first Mexican on the podium in over 40 years

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Sepang, 2012Sergio Perez scored his best result to date with second in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

It was the first time a Mexican driver has appeared on the podium since Pedro Rodriguez finished second in the 1971 Dutch Grand Prix for BRM – 19 years before Perez was born.

This was also the best result for Sauber as an independent team. They won the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix during their period of ownership by BMW, when they raced as BMW-Sauber.

They finished third as Sauber on six previous occasions, the last being with Heinz-Harald Frenzten in the 2003 United States Grand Prix.

Out of the 679 podium finishes for a Ferrari-engined car, this was only the third scored by a car that wasn’t a Ferrari. The others were David Coulthard’s third place for Red Bull in the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix and Sebastian Vettel’s win for Toro Rosso in Italy two years later.

Perez also led a race for the first time in his F1 career, becoming the 160th different driver to do so.

Alonso joins top five F1 winners

Fernando Alonso’s 28th Grand Prix win surely must be counted as one of his best. It moves him past Jackie Stewart’s tally of 27 and makes him the fifth most successful driver of all time in terms of races won.

He started the race from eighth on the grid, the second-lowest position he has ever won a race from. He won the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix from 15th, but the less said about that race the better.

This is the first time he’s won the same race with three different constructors: he won with Renault in 2005, McLaren in 2007 and now Ferrari.

Team mate Felipe Massa had a dreadful race and finished 15th. Having failed to finish in Australia, it leaves him 19th in the drivers’ championship behind both Marussias: Timo Glock has had a 14th place finish and Charles Pic has a 15th and a 17th.

Hamilton’s 21st pole position

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Sepang, 2012Pole position went to Lewis Hamilton for the 21st time in his career, giving him one more than Alonso and Damon Hill.

Despite starting both of this year’s races from pole position, he has only led for 14 out of the 114 laps.

Just two races into his comeback, Kimi Raikkonen has already added to his tally of race fastest laps. He has the third-highest tally of any driver with 36, behind Michael Schumacher (76) and Alain Prost (41).

Sixth for Bruno Senna was his best result so far. It gives Williams eight points, three more than they scored in the whole of last year.

Jean-Eric Vergne scored the first points of his F1 career with eighth place. He is the 320th F1 driver to score points.

There were nine different constructors in the points: Ferrari, Sauber, McLaren, Red Bull, Lotus, Williams, Force India, Toro Rosso and Mercedes. That equals the record set in the 2010 European Grand Prix when Red Bull, McLaren, Williams, Renault, Force India, BMW-Sauber, Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Mercedes all scored.

Romain Grosjean has completed just four racing laps so far this year.

Finally, Narain Karthikeyan equalled the highest position officially held by an HRT driver during a race. He was ninth on lap 13, a position he also occupied during last year’s Canadian Grand Prix. Pic also held eighth place for Marussia for one lap.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

Spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Malaysian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix


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Image ?? Sauber F1 Team, McLaren/Hoch Zwei

Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Sepang, 2012

Top ten pictures from the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend

Here are ten great pictures that tell the story of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso, Thursday press conference

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Sepang, 2012

Ferrari began the weekend facing some sharp questions about the performance of their F2012, especially from the Italian media. Few could have guessed Fernando Alonso’s stern demeanour in the Thursday press conference would be replaced by joy a few days later.

Kimi Raikkonen, Friday practice

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Sepang, 2012

Kimi Raikkonen showed the potential of the Lotus. He was quickest in Q2 and set the fastest lap of the race.

Pedro de la Rosa, Qualifying

Pedro de la Rosa, HRT, Sepang, 2012

Some cheer for HRT: Pedro de la Rosa led both their cars into the race, beating the 107% rule.

Lewis Hamilton, Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Sepang, 2012

This lock-up didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton taking pole position for the second race in a row.

Malaysian Grand Prix start

Start, Sepang, 2012

The McLarens held position at the start as the race began in slippery conditions.

Bruno Senna, Malaysian Grand Prix

Bruno Senna, Williams, Sepang, 2012

Heavy rain fell, bringing out the safety car and then causing the race to be stopped. Bruno Senna had fallen to 24th, but climbed to sixth by the chequered flag.

Paul di Resta, Malaysian Grand Prix

Paul di Resta, Force India, Sepang, 2012

The Force India pair were closely-matched: Paul di Resta came home just three seconds ahead of his team mate, both finishing in the points.

Vitaly Petrov and Timo Glock, Malaysian Grand Prix

Vitaly Petrov, Timo Glock, Sepang, 2012

Timo Glock took advantage of Heikki Kovalainen’s delay to split the Caterhams, finishing 17th behind Vitaly Petrov.

Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez, Malaysian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Sepang, 2012

Alonso came under pressure from the flying Sauber of Sergio Perez, but held on to claim a surprise win for Ferrari.

Sergio Perez, Malaysian Grand Prix

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Sepang, 2012

Perez celebrated second place for Sauber, their best ever finish as an independent team.

More pictures from the Malaysian Grand Prix

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix


Browse all 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix articles

Images ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, HRT F1 Team, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Williams/LAT, Force India, Caterham, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Sauber F1 Team

Start, Sepang, 2012

Vote for your Malaysian Grand Prix driver of the weekend

Start, Sepang, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Malaysia?

Compare all the drivers’ performances below and vote for who you think was the best driver of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel – Chasing down Hamilton for a podium when he clipped Karthikeyan, puncturing his tyre and damaging his brake. The stewards blamed the HRT driver but Vettel should have exercised more caution.
Mark Webber – Out-qualified Vettel again but struggled at the race restart. Was passed by Alonso and Vettel – but re-passed his team mate. Eventually elevated to fourth by Vettel’s demise.

Jenson Button – Accepted the blame for hitting Karthikeyan after getting ahead of Hamilton, following his team mate’s slow pit stop. An extra stop for intermediates pushed his tally up to five, but his pace was comparable to Hamilton’s.
Lewis Hamilton – Pole-to-third for the second race in a row. Drove superbly on intermediates when the track was very wet, but couldn’t match Alonso and Perez’s pace in the second half of the race. Poor pit stops were only part of the problem.

Fernando Alonso – Dragged the F2012 into Q3. Produced one of his best performances when the track was at its wettest and took the lead. Kept everything under control in the second half of the race when Perez quicker to score an improbable and brilliant win – despite also losing his telemtry.
Felipe Massa – Seemed happier with his new chassis in qualifying. But the race was a disaster. After the restart on lap 14 he lost over a minute and a half to Alonso by the end of the race: a massive 2.18s per lap. As Alonso crossed the line to win Massa’s car was visible in the foreground, five seconds away from being lapped.

Michael Schumacher – Qualified third and didn’t make his customary brilliant getaway. Was tagged by Romain Grosjean at turn four, dropping him to 16th place. Coped better with the W03’s tyre degradation than his team mate, but even so was fortunate to inherit the final point for tenth when Maldonado retired.
Nico Rosberg – Seems to have lost his qualifying advantage from last year, and an extra pit stop for intermediates dropped him well out of the top ten.

Kimi Raikkonen – Quick enough for fourth in qualifying, a gearbox change penalty left him tenth on the grid. Struggled on unfamiliar intermediates but set the fastest race lap on his way to fifth.
Romain Grosjean – Made a much better start than in Melbourne – until he reached turn four. Tangled with Schumacher and fell to 21st. Gambled on staying out on intermediates but aquaplaned off when the rain got heavy on lap four.

Paul di Resta – Blamed Maldonado for a spin which cost him three places just before the safety car came out. Moved forward at the restart, passing Massa on his way to seventh.
Nico Hulkenberg – Not as quick as his team mate on intermediates in the middle part of the race, he was passed by Vergne and Senna. Nonetheless brought the car home in the points in ninth, 3s behind Di Resta.

Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Sepang, 2012Kamui Kobayashi – Six-tenths slower than Perez in qualifying, he retired with ten laps to go with braking problems.
Sergio Perez – A breakthrough performance. Took the Sauber, which hadn’t looked great in practice, into Q3. Gambled on an early switch to wets which put him in contention for the lead with some great laps when the circuit was at its wettest. Reeled in Alonso in the second half of the race but a mis-timed pit stop and a mistake at turn 13 ultimately blunted his charge.

Daniel Ricciardo – Lost out in the opening laps but was one of the first to switch to slick tyres which paid off handsomely. He was the quickest driver by three seconds on lap 39, which helped him finish ahead of Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Knocked out in Q1 after flat-spotting a tyre on his last lap. Bravely stayed out on intermediate tyres until the race was red-flagged, which took him up from 18th to seventh. Passed Massa on his way to claiming his first points for eighth.

Pastor Maldonado – Was up to fifth by lap five but missed his pit box when he came in on lap 14, dropping him to 20th. Much quicker than Senna in the first laps after they changed to slicks, he was running tenth when his engine failed two laps from home.
Bruno Senna – Lost his front wing on the first lap so he switched to wets early. Despite that he came in again for more wets six laps later. Having fallen to last, he had a strong second half of the race, passing Massa and Di Resta to finish sixth and score Williams’ first points of 2012.

Heikki Kovalainen – Started last following his penalty from Australia. Damaged his nose after being passed by his team mate and finished 18th behind Glock.
Vitaly Petrov – Kept Massa behind for 15 laps and took 16th, showing good pace compared to Kovalainen.

Pedro de la Rosa – Started from the pits and was given a drive-through penalty when his team failed to get off the grid in time for the restart. Caught Karthikeyan but lost more time pitting two laps later than him for slicks.
Narain Karthikeyan – Used wets for the first stint, like his team mate, and crossed the line in ninth place on lap 13. Was hit by Button and later made contact with Vettel – the latter while being lapped. Handed a questionable 20-second penalty for the Vettel incident which dropped him behind de la Rosa.

Timo Glock – Was chased by Kovalainen in the closing stages but held on to take 17th.
Charles Pic – Kept Kovalainen behind in the middle of the race after the Caterham driver’s extra pit stop, enabling his team mate to finish the race ahead of his rival.

Review the race data

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?

Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.

Who was the best driver of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (0%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (1%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (28%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (2%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (61%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (1%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (4%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (1%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (1%)

Total Voters: 874

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2012 Malaysian Grand Prix


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Image ?? Pirelli/LAT

Adam-Parr

Adam Parr to resign from Williams

Williams has made the surprise announcement that chairman Adam Parr will leave them on Friday.

Parr was appointed chairman of the team in 2010. Last month team founder Frank Williams described Parr as his “natural successor”.

Announcing the news, Williams said: “I asked Adam to join Williams at the end of 2006 to support me in the running of our team.

“Over five years, Adam?s achievements have surpassed my expectations and I must thank him for his service. Not least for the decisive role he played in the technical changes made last year which are beginning to show through in the team?s improved competitiveness this season, and for leading this company to a successful [initial public offering].

“Adam leaves us on good terms to pursue a better balance in his life for which I wish him and his family well. He has left us in good shape and I have every confidence that the Board and senior management team at Williams will continue to drive the business forward into a promising future.”

Parr said: “I am very grateful to Frank for giving me the opportunity to work for Williams over the past five years ?ǣ a period that has been both challenging and rewarding.

“Williams is a unique team with over 500 great-hearted and talented people and many superb partners in and out of Formula One. Williams is now set up to move forward and I wish everyone at Grove well.”

Former Diageo CFO Nick Rose has been appointed non-executive chairman of the company.

2012 F1 season


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Image ?? Williams/LAT

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Sepang, 2012

Massa denies Perez performance puts him under pressure

In the round-up: Felipe Massa denies his place at Ferrari is under threat from Sergio Perez.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Massa: Perez form no added pressure (Autosport)

“I’m happy for him and for his team, but [how] disturbing [is it for me]? Zero. I’m looking more for myself, my driving, my work.”

Whitmarsh echoes Perez speculation (Sky)

“He was a revelation, I imagine he has put a bit of pressure on Mr Massa. I don’t know what the odds are on him switching teams before China, but there must be consideration.”

Malaysian GP Conference 4 (FIA)

Perez: “I was just starting to plan because I knew Fernando was struggling, especially with the rears and I was struggling with the fronts and I was getting quite close to him in the fast section, but then I had a lot of understeer and the fronts were already degrading. I was just thinking where I was going to save some KERS and then I just touched the kerb and ran wide and it was over.”

Peter Sauber denies Sergio Perez colluded with Ferrari to ensure win (Sauber)

“He meant that we needed the result. It’s a misunderstanding. It was because that behind us, all the midfield teams, our main competitors, scored points.”

Button apologises for crash (The Telegraph)

“It was the weirdest race. But the reason I was down there was because it was my mistake when I hit Karthikeyan and I blew what could have been some good points.”

Hunted Bulls join chasing pack for now (Red Bull)

Christian Horner: “We could see the left rear brake going into a thermal runaway and out of control and that’s why we wanted to try and stop the car from a safety point of view.”

Comment of the day

Lin1876 speaks up in defence of HRT:

They?ve paid their dues and they?re under the 107% mark with two respectable drivers. They have as much right to be in F1 as anyone else.

And anyway, in both cases they were minding their own business when they were needlessly hit by other cars. Karthikeyan was in fourth on merit, and had every right to hold his line against Button. The speed of their respective cars has no bearing on that.
Lin1876

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Vettel claimed his first pole position of 2011 on this day last year – something that was to become a familiar sight: