2012 Malaysian Grand Prix Results

I know I’ve expounded on the amazing possibilities and potential benefits of a wet race, and this weekend certainly showed what can happen when the skies open up. It wasn’t as if the rain was unexpected, but I think it caught out people with the intensity of it for those first few laps of the race. By lap nine the whole shebang had been red flagged and the cars sat around on the grid for over a half hour before starting up again. And that is when things became really interesting. Turns out that Ferrari actually made a correct call at a correct time, when in years past it always seemed like they were on the back foot and couldn’t make a correct call to save their lives. But on Sunday in Malaysia, they got it right, and the bells that no one in Maranello thought would ring out this season, did. Fernando Alonso once again proved he is the best driver on the grid by taking a very under performing Ferrari to the checkered flag in first, with the young Mexican Sergio Perez hot on his heels for second.

What some (myself somewhat included) are now calling a conspiracy, saw the surging Sergio consistently gaining on the Ferrari in the closing laps to the tune of upwards of a second a lap. With just over 10 laps left, Perez made a mistake and ran wide in a corner where most drivers will never go off. The fact that the Sauber team are using engines supplied by Ferrari, and that Perez is a protege of the Ferrari young driver program makes the off all the more intriguing. Just before Perez’s off, a message came across the radio telling Perez to be careful and that the team needed the points. His off also happened to be in a spot where he wouldn’t be in any danger of not finishing, as their were no gravel traps around; just wide open tarmac to run off onto. What this means to me is that they don’t want to cross their engine supplier and outshine their ace when that might piss off the people at the house of the Prancing Horse. They want to make sure though, that Ferrari knows what they have in their driver, and that he is ready to ascend to the spot that Felipe Massa currently holds. Massa has been given every opportunity to prove that he can compete with Fernando, including having an entirely new chassis constructed and flown in for this race. And though he was much closer in qualifying, his race pace was abysmal. If he doesn’t perform in China, I do believe that his time in the team is going to be up. The team is trying to score valuable points, and with only one driver ever securing those in the Constructor’s Championship, they will never be higher than fourth, or possibly even fifth this year considering how well Lotus and now Sauber are coming along. The other thing to take into consideration might be that the Ferrari really is a handful and that Alonso is simply driving out of his Spanish mind. It could be like in 2009, when Massa had that spring hit him in the helmet and the team brought in the back up drivers of Luca Badoer and then Giancarlo Fisichella and neither of them could get any sort of performance out of the car. Perhaps this car is like that, and no one will be able to tame the beast the way the Spaniard does. Of course, all of this comes back to that ban on in season testing. As soon as that ban came into play, it seems that Ferrari fell off the face of the earth. They just can’t seem to keep up with developing a car that they can’t test. Regardless, it is going to be extremely interesting to see how this all progresses, but don’t expect Massa to remain in that second car as the teams start the European leg of the tour if he does not respond in a big way three weeks from now in China.

1. Fernando Alonso

2. Sergio Perez

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Kimi Raikkonen

6. Bruno Senna

7. Paul di Resta

8. Jean-Eric Vergne

9. Nico Hulkenberg

10. Michael Schumacher

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