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Alonso turns form book on its head to win rain-hit Malaysian Grand Prix
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Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Mar 2012   |  3:33 pm GMT  |  504 comments

Fernando Alonso produced a scintillating performance today, with the Ferrari strategists and pits crew making all the right moves, to win a rain hit Malaysian Grand Prix. The track has always been good to the Spaniard; he took his first pole position and podium here and has won the race twice before.

But even he had to admit that he was lucky not to lose the victory in the closing stages to 22 year old Sergio Perez, who was challenging for the lead with seven laps to go but made a mistake, losing four seconds and giving Alonso breathing space to win the race. It was the 28th victory of Alonso’s career and moves him ahead of Jackie Stewart in the all time winners’ list.

Perez finished second, the first Mexican to stand on an F1 podium for 41 years, with Hamilton again finishing third after starting on pole position; the same result as Australia.

It was classic Alonso; the weather conditions offered an opportunity to level the playing field and Alonso snatched it gratefully. The turning point of the race was the second round of pit stops on lap 14 when the drivers moved from full wet to intermediate tyres. Alonso came in behind Hamilton, but fast pit work by Ferrari got him moving and then McLaren had to hold Hamilton in his pit box as Massa swept into the next door Ferrari box. This meant Alonso left the pits ahead of Hamilton. Perez had stayed out but when he stopped a lap later he took second place ahead of Hamilton. The order stayed that way to the end.

The track was wet at the start and most drivers started on intermediate tyres, but Perez the rain intensified as the cars made their way around the opening lap. Sauber pitted Perez for full wets from 11th place and it proved an inspired call as it took him to third place when everyone else followed suit.

The race had to be suspended after just nine laps due to a heavy rain down pour and up until that point it seemed as though the McLarens were going to match their qualifying dominance as they navigated their way through the familiar puddles at Sepang. An opening lap tangle between Romain Grosjean and Michael Schumacher, dropping them out of third and fourth places allowed the Red Bulls to take their positions as the rain began to fall harder.

By the time the red-flag was dropped the whole grid had changed to the full wet apart from Narain Karthikeyan, who began the race on them and, Jean Eric Vergne who had managed to stay on-track with the intermediates. The rules state that all cars must restart the race on the full wet tyre, which gave Vergne a free set of tyres with no lost time in the pits. This put him in 7th place.

After the re-start race leader Hamilton and third placed Alonso pitted a lap earlier than Perez, who stayed out and took the lead. McLaren held Hamilton in his pit box to avoid a collision with Massa and that gave Alonso second place. Then when Perez rejoined after his stop a lap later, he struggled initially with tyre warm up and Alonso passed him in turn 3. Alonso and Perez pulled away from Hamilton and the rest of the field. Hamilton had no response for the pace of the leading two cars in either intermediate or dry conditions.

The top three remained unchanged until the end of the race, however Perez found incredible pace as his ever-degrading intermediates became worn out slicks and he began to catch Alonso at around a second a lap, setting continuous fastest laps in the process. The track was looking ready for slicks and this point was proven when Daniel Ricciardo took the medium compound slick on lap 37 and set the timing screens alight, dropping the fastest lap mark by three seconds. Once again Sauber made a bold call and put hard compound tyres on Perez’s car for the remaining fourteen laps, a call that proved to be inspired as it warmed up more quickly than the medium on Alonso’s Ferrari.

Perez moved ever closer to the rear of the Ferrari. However a small mistake saw him touch a wet kerb and run wide at turn fourteen, losing the majority of his hard work.

Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel both made uncharacteristic errors when passing the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan. Button misjudged his braking as he looked to pass the Indian down the inside and slid into
him, breaking off one end of his front wing. He could not recover enough to get back into the points.

Vettel was running fourth when he sliced his left rear tyre on the HRT’s front wing as he moved back onto the racing line after lapping it, the tyre shredded and after it was changed there was some confusion as he was told to pit and retire, then the order was overturned, then reinstated.

Further back there were also tremendous drives from Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen and Bruno Senna who completed the top six, with Raikkonen having the final say on fastest lap whilst producing another strong points finish in fifth place for Lotus who once again saw Romain Grosjean exit the race early with a trip into the gravel.


Mark Webber also showed once again that the Red Bull has reasonable race pace, coming home in fourth place.

It was Senna’s highest race finish to date but it could have been a different story when he came together with team-mate Pastor Maldonado on the first lap. Senna was forced to pit for a new nose and managed his recovery well with tyre stops at the right moments. Maldonado’s poor luck in races continued as an engine problem put him out of tenth place with only one lap remaining.

Force India also had another points scoring Sunday as Paul di Resta in seventh and Nico Hulkenberg ninth were split by the Toro Rosso of Vergne, claiming his first points in Formula One after narrowly missing out in Melbourne. Michael Schumacher claimed the final point in another very forgettable race day for Mercedes, Schumacher having spun on lap one and Nico Rosberg not being able to keep up his early fourth place pace as he rapidly dropped down the field to thirteenth.

It was another disappointing afternoon for Mercedes; Rosberg came home 13th, ahead of Button, as his unscheduled pit-stop and slow race pace were not reflective of the Mercedes’ qualifying speed and potential.

Felipe Massa had another weekend to forget, finishing 15th, despite battling with Di Resta at one point. It’s hard to escape the feeling that today was an audition for Perez to take Massa’s seat sooner or later. Ferrari don’t like firing drivers mid season, but Perez is a Ferrari Academy driver and the pressure is building for the team to take some action. The Mugello test on May 1st is the obvious place to give Perez a chance in the Ferrari, so China is a critical race for Massa.

(Additional reporting: Matt Meadows)

MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX, Sepang, 56 laps
1. Alonso Ferrari 2h44:51.812
2. Perez Sauber + 2.263
3. Hamilton McLaren + 14.591
4. Webber Red Bull + 17.688
5. Raikkonen Lotus + 29.456
6. Senna Williams + 37.667
7. Di Resta Force India + 44.412
8. Vergne Toro Rosso + 46.985
9. Hulkenberg Force India + 47.892
10. Schumacher Mercedes + 49.996
11. Vettel Red Bull + 1:15.527
12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1:16.826
13. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:18.593
14. Button McLaren + 1:19.719
15. Massa Ferrari + 1:37.319
16. Petrov Caterham + 1 lap
17. Glock Marussia + 1 lap
18. Kovalainen Caterham + 1 lap
19. Maldonado Williams + 2 laps
20. Pic Marussia + 2 laps
21. Karthikeyan HRT + 2 laps
22. De la Rosa HRT + 2 laps

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504 Comments
  1. dzolve says:

    Driver of the day: Massa, Alonso’s little helper, I don’t think he would have won without him. He screwed up Hamilton in the pits and shook up Button on the track!

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  2. alexander says:

    The best is always the best – it doesn’t matter how bad his car is. Magic Alonso!
    Just wondering where did magic McLaren performance go? I’m a bit sad for Sky commentators – there were nothing to say for rest of the race after constant repeats how magnificient Hamilton was because he was able to return to the track in the beggining of the race in front of Button. 1.5s per lap to Alonso, 1s per lap to Perez – this is what Martin Whitmarsh has called “Lewis always knows were the grip is” just before race restart…

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  3. Rafa says:

    Felipe, Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?

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  4. Ian says:

    Button’s title hopes are over. As the season settles into routine, Kimi will take him, and maybe Webber as well. Hamilton and Vettel already have him.

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  5. Ali says:

    Sergio Perez is sure to join a top team in the coming two seasons. This was clear fromhis first race in Australia in 2012 that he was a special talent, just like Vettel showed for BMW in 2006. Fantastic race. Hamilton suggested that it was a good finish considering other cars failed; it seems he is under the impression that Vettel and perhaps Button will be his only rivals this season, but he should remember that as the cars develop the field will become more even, and when Ferrari have a poor car, Alonso has put damage limitation into full force. Hamilton should be careful to remember the interview he did for ITV in 2007 after he retired in China before Brazil, he said he was not concerned about the Ferraris as they are too far off to win the WDC. Who won the WDC, it was KIMI the iceman for Ferrari, so Hamilton needs to come down a notch.

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  6. Bhodha Gezi says:

    Surprise surprise McLaren’s sloppiness ruins Hamilton, AGAIN!!! LOL maybe Hamilton needs to hire private Strategists and Pit crew, lol.

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  7. Jo Torrent says:

    Unbelievable, unexpected, astonishing, beyond belief, cockamamie, cockeyed, doubtful, dubious, far-fetched, full of holes, harebrained, implausible, impossible, improbable, incogitable, inconceivable, incredible, kooky, lamebrained, open to doubt, outlandish, past belief, phony, preposterous, questionable, reaching, scatterbrained, screwy, staggering, suspect, thick*, thin*, too much*, unconvincing, unimaginable, unsubstantial,….

    ….YET IT DID HAPPEN. Alonso won the Malaysian GrandPrix in the worst Ferrari of the last decade. Maybe this is Ferrari only win of 2012 but there are wins worth dozens. This one is among them.

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  8. F1Fan4Life says:

    James, you mention that Perez came out in 2nd, but while the timings on screen were inaccurate, I could have sworn I saw Perez come out of the pits in the lead on lap 16, and that Alonso overtook him after the first corner, just that the director didn’t show it. Is that not accurate?

    Anyway, good race but, the Ferrari really is slow. I mean the Sauber is a better car in my opinion, because it is much gentler on tires. Great win but changes nothing. I’m happy in a way because the way the results worked out so far, the fastest cars aren’t leading the championship, which gives us more competition for the title.

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  9. Mocho_Pikuain says:

    ¡FAN-TAS-TIC!

    He is driving the 6th-7th car of the grid and has managed to take an epic victory that makes him be the WDC leader! I was almost crying at the end…

    PD: Still there is somebody doubting if this man is the best or not?

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  10. F1_Dave says:

    Once again DRS sucked!

    Im getting totally fed up of watching DRS kill racing by producing crap, boring passing in which the car been passed can do nothing to defend, That isn’t racing.

    If DRS continues to do this im very close to just not bothering to watch anymore!

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  11. Dan says:

    Was there an element of conservatism from McLaren here?

    Think they played safe firstly with wet to inter pit stop phase and then again with inter to slick phase.

    Both times they were reactive and not proactive. By being reactive they ensured they would not make the “wrong” call and lose places.

    Think there was a big case to get onto the inters ASAP after safety car restart.

    Also think there was a big case to be on slicks from lap 37 onward once inters were producing 1:53.xxx lap times. Instead it was lap 42 when Hamilton (and perez for that matter) pitted.

    Ultra-defensive but vindicated maybe by keeping podium position, however a bold decision to get onto slicks early couldv’e seen hamilton make up 10-15 seconds and be in the mix for the win.

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  12. Dan says:

    Weather radars…. i see no advantage to having them.

    Predicting rain in units of minutes is useless. Situation can change in 20 seconds. The shower predicted toward the end of the race spooked a few teams i think.

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  13. Kay says:

    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALONSO AGAIN!!!!

    One of the best of the best performance from him, and really slick work from Ferrari, something unseen for quite some time.

    Huge pat on the back on Perez and Sauber!!

    Hamilton drove a fine race, only for the weather to take away his win.

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  14. Sebastian says:

    I found really interesting to see how varied the pace was for a given car during the race. It would be great to hear how much of the pace chamges was due to conserving tires and how much was just getting in and out of optimum tire and break temperature.

    Also, was Alonso deliberately conserving tires, or was his actual pace that much slower than Perez?

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  15. ronmon says:

    I have been saying that Perez would replace Masa starting next year. However, after today’s race I cannot see a reason to wait that long if Ferrari can work out the deal this season. Felipe has clearly lost his edge.

    Sergio would have been my choice for driver of the race if not for that one little error. As it turned out, I have to give it to Alonso.

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  16. Kay says:

    Seems like Vettel decided to repeat the Turkey-2010-style-cut-back-into-line lol. Now we have the real Vettel.

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  17. Pasquale Mendoza says:

    Perez undoubtedly driver of the day.

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  18. SK Anand says:

    Dear James,

    A result that was completely unexpected. It would taken a brave man to suggest that Alonso would win the race, and Perez would have been on the podium. Hugely deserved for persistance in such weather.

    Which brings me to a rather important question, if Ferrari struggles and has woes, they still manage a podium and a win. At least that has what Alonso has shown thus far.

    What worries me Is mercedes. Gary Anderson was prophetic about them, and one can only ask a loud question, what is wrong with them?

    James love to know your insight?

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  19. Irish con says:

    Despite all the praise on Perez today I just can’t get away from the feeling that if alonso was driving that sauber today and closing in on the win he would of taken it. This guy is just special were as Perez is only a very good driver. I also think that lotus have some serious pace in the car. Just need a normal race. McLaren have fastest cars on Saturday for sure tho.

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  20. @LBFmodels says:

    Wonderful day for Checo Perez. It would have been an interesting situation if he hadn’t had gone wide, hunting down Alonso.
    Surely Massa’s days are numbered, Perez’s performance leaves little doubt where he will be driving next year.
    Although it makes more sense to leave him in the Sauber this year and start fresh with the 2013 car. Getting to grips with a dog of a car halfway through a season has rarely flattered anyone.
    Perhaps a straight Massa/Perez swap?

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  21. Marc Aubry says:

    Bravo to FA and Ferrari. Some luck to it but far from undeserved.
    What a showing from Perez and Sauber, driver of the day easily for me.
    LH was a bit unlucky but did not seem to have had the pace to respond to the top 2.
    A pity FA does not have the car to challenge yet. That he still manages a win, has to say something about him.
    KR did well today. Lotus looks the better car to Mercedes & Ferrari at the moment. For how long?
    Senna merits a mention for his good finish. Williams must be delighted to have secured points. specially if you consider the 2 near misses of Maldomano.

    Marc

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  22. goferet says:

    Well, Well, Well…

    Life & F1 will never stop throwing up surprises for who thought in a million years Ferrari could pull this off.

    Thanks to the Malaysian clouds for blessing us with this classic of a race, yes it was good to see Ferrari turn water into wine after the kind of winter they have had.

    The Malaysian Grand Prix was a jolly good time that had action happening all over the pack but you know something, it had a bitter sweet taste for me at the end.

    You see, everything would have been fine if I didn’t hear that Sauber team radio to Perez to hold position —> Oh Noooooooooo!

    And being the untrusting, suspicious individual that I am, I immediately smelt a rat seeing as Ferrari provides Sauber engines & yes Peter Sauber may deny Montezemolo sent him a text all he wants but for us that can see through the darker aspects of human nature, we know better especially when dealing with that Red team that invented that endearing concept of team orders.

    So even though I was glad to see Ferrari win this, I was disgusted to see Perez get denied a worthy win & bravo to the lad for taking one for the team by making his off track moment look believeable to the naive & new borns.

    Yes, Perez (aka Rafael Nadal clone) was my driver of the day hands down & his Ferrari future looks promising at the moment though as we type, Alonso must be cooking up all kinds of clauses to keep him in check.

    Now it was also good to see Lewis’ smile back today even though he finished third after another solid race but me thinks that smile was rather relief after Mclaren tried & failed to screw Lewis again e.g.

    i) The second pit stop the rear jack bloke playing dirty tricks with the sole purpose of getting Jenson ahead & thus giving him propriety for pit stops

    ii) The third pit stop just so to lose Hammy places & hence to try and reduce the deficit in points to the liked member in the team.

    Yes, it’s really pleasing to see the new Hammy for as things stand, he’s the most consistent driver in 2012 so I think, we have got the 2007 Hammy back.

    Right, from what I have seen, I can confidently declare Schumi’s comeback was a mistake for it has proved to be a failure.

    The fact that Schumi has failed to convert a good grid position again to a podium just goes to show the F1 gods are never going to let him have his podium.

    At the Malaysian Grand Prix, I was also impressed by Kimi, Webber, Di Resta, Vergne and Senna who appears to go good in the wet like he did at Spa qualifying 2010.

    Yes today was a uncharacteristic mistake from Jenson but us F1 fans know the crash kid/ Wunderkid had never left, what has been saving him of late has been running up front in free air but not any more & hence … Welcome back wishes go out to the original crash kid.

    As for Massa, he surely must be the majority share holder at Ferrari for any team would have fired him after today’s poor showing.

    Anyway, as always the rain spiced up this race for us & gave small teams a chance to score miracle points but as I said, we have that bitter taste in the mouth for we know Montezemolo’s way of doing things all too well

    P.s.

    The only thing that makes an Alonso victory bearable to me is o get a chance to listen to the Spanish National anthem —> Lovely!

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  23. Richard D says:

    Stunning race but sadly can’t help feeling it ended in an anti-climax after Perez’s mistake at the end. It would have been a great victory but in terms of the championship I think it’s for the best. Of course it’s early days but fingers crossed its looking like we won’t have a run away winner.

    What was going on with Red Bull yoyoing with the decision to pit Vettel at the end?

    And it was a shame Sauber wanted Perez to maintain position. Luckily I don’t think he paid that much notice. Get him in the Ferrari now!

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  24. AlexD says:

    The race was awesome – Perez was awesome, but Alonso is completely on a different planet. I wish he confessed his sins and become a man with a clear heart.

    I also need to say that Ferraris have done a superb job this time – very good strategic calls – well done.

    Fantastic race for both Alonso and Perez.

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  25. r0ssj says:

    Alonso was great today especially after the restart. His performance was relentless and I don’t think put a wheel wrong even under increasing pressure from Perez.

    And Perez was equally impressive. If he had not gone off, I’m sure he would have had the Ferrari on the straight with DRS.

    It was a quiet race from Hamilton, but a solid performance. Not sure why he couldn’t keep up with Perez and Alonso, but no one else could either and Hamilton kept out of trouble unlike his team-mate and Vettel.

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  26. Stephen says:

    I thought Fernando took his first pole position in Hungary 2003?

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  27. dc says:

    James, looking forward to an analysis why Sauber was so fast today. It was the fastest car around lap 35 in both Perez and Kobayashi’s hands and since than Perez was faster than Alonso’s Ferrari but even more importantly faster than McLaren of Hamilton too.

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  28. Truth or lies says:

    Brilliant drive by Perez and a great drive by Fernando too, shame about Mercedes once again and Massa too, the pressure really is mounting now. Watched the mediocre Sky coverage but listened to Five Live, excellent commentary from James and Jamie.
    James regarding Massa, do you think Ferrari will dig deep to help him, is it like a normal job where some times people get great support or will he be left to his own devices?

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  29. Simmo says:

    “Button misjudged his braking as he looked to lap the Indian down the inside”

    Incorrect – HRT was fighting for position, and was perfectly entitled to race.

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  30. David Ryan says:

    At the risk of sticking my head well above the parapet, I do feel this was a lucky result for both the top two drivers. Alonso was on top form, no question, but he also had the benefit of a clear track for most of his stint on inters which will have played a part in those lap times. You do tend to go quicker when you can see properly, after all, or when you’re not caught up in a battle with another car. Button taking himself out of contention also played a part considering his form in the wet. Still, you have to take the chances as they arise and that’s what Alonso did. Perez drove very strongly, but at the same time the Sauber is very kind on its tyres (as it has been the last two seasons) which is crucial in these conditions, and they made a very good judgement call to bring him in early for the wets. He also had some erratic moments out there which to me suggest that while he’s signalled his potential he has some more learning to do yet. Until Ferrari can consistently design decent cars, and set them up properly for both drivers, I’d say Sauber is the best place for him rather than the Italian pressure cooker.

    In any event, barring something extraordinary over the next fortnight I’m expecting normal service to be resumed in Shanghai. Biggest question will be whether Massa can get on top of his tyre problems and get back up the grid where he should be. I’d like to think he can, but he’s definitely running out of time to prove it.

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  31. Gord says:

    Massa’s days at Ferrari are over.

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  32. Kevin says:

    Anyone know what the odds were on Alonso winning and Perez making a podium?

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  33. Mark says:

    On lap 1, Sauber puts Perez on full wets, while Williams inexplicably keep Senna on intermediates! If Williams cover Perez and change Senna to full wets, he restarts third instead of last. From last to sixth, with an extra pit stop, is a top three drive of the day.

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  34. Chris C says:

    Why? As Hamilton said when interviewed afterwards he’s only 5 points ahead of button despite his failure to score points in this race.

    It’s likely the other championship contenders will have at least one weekend where they fail to score points through an accident or technical failure.

    Button is a classy driver who looks after his tyre’s far far to soon to write off his championship chances.

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  35. Kim jong nam says:

    Alonso , no doubt that he is the best driver in such condition, with slow car!! He is the one who does not
    lose control in race.

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  36. Nic says:

    There are 20 races this season.

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  37. Dmitry says:

    I hate wet races, because they are too nervous and always produce something unexpected.

    I am again left disappointed with Macs =(
    I can’t figure out what made track so unsuitable for McLarens not to be able to challenge for win, as I don’t believe Ferrari and not to say Sauber suddenly found tonns of speed to be ahead of everyone.
    May be it was the temperature, may be the track got too clean\green, may be the hour long waiting took it’s toll… the race toforget and move forward.

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  38. drums says:

    Glad to be here in James Allen on F1 after watching a superb race. From the scratch to the end I couldn’t take my eyes out of the TV screen except when the rain delay and the safety car laps. Even in the rain delay I had fun watching the new camp tents and the wanderings and talkings of pilots. They show their strenght to keep concentration even in such a strange and new circus. I’ve done good use of the f1.com TimeLiving. It deserves the money paid.

    Pérez and Sauber-Ferrari did a really really great race. Pity of such Pérez’s mistake in the end. This boy has a future ;O. He was pushing really well in wet and dry track. Yet Alonso and Ferrari were flawless. Excelling even more taking into account the cow that Ferrari has put on track this year.

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  39. Joel says:

    Why was Button given a chance to jump Hamilton, not once, twice?
    I thought the driver in front has the first call for pits?

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  40. Hasan says:

    James, beg you to answer this please!

    “Alonso was indeed outstanding. Hamilton was (again) incredibly ordinary and ultimately disappointing – anyone have any idea why he could not catch the slower Ferrari and Sauber? James, any clues?”

    And in your opinion, was it Vettel’s mistake or Karthikeyan’s sloppiness when they came together that robbed Vettel of good result today?

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  41. Thomas says:

    Why would Perez bother to go to Ferrari when the Sauber is a better car?:)

    Magnificent drive from Alonso today. Incredible how he keeps dragging these horrible Ferraris to places they have no right to be. I’m far from a fan of him, but I think today’s race was his best win ever.

    But driver of the day have to be Perez. Sauber should have pitted him for slicks a lap earlier and should not have told him to hold station, but that drive was immensely impressive.

    Other notables Webber, Senna, Vergne, Kimi. Michael was unlucky, Roseberg seems to have taken a step back. Or maybe Michael is finding his own form and getting the better of him.

    What a great race we had today.

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  42. Dan Orsino says:

    wouldn’t write him off just yet

    today Kartakayan ruined the day for both Button and Vettel just by being slow,… quite an achievement!!!

    Perez was great, but will he be consistent?

    Best drivers on the track: ALONSO, and KIMI. No doubts.

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  43. Ali says:

    Please can HRT be removed from F1. I know both incidents involving HRT today were not Narain’s fault, however they are the most pointless team I have ever seen. They bring no value to the sport apart from being moving obstacles during the race and qualifying. The fact that they were proud to qualify within 107% should be reason enough for their removal. I respect the underdogs like Caterham and Marussia, they offer consistency in terms of driver lineup, have good corporate sponsorship and branding. I would prefer to see a works car that at least has some potential.

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  44. nedthorn says:

    After today will Ferrari still get Perez?
    I really hope so but he is just too fast to be a n2 driver..

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  45. Holly says:

    If something is impossible, Alonso can do it possible. How in the world can he ve the leader of the championship in this car?, is beyond comprehension.

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  46. Jay says:

    I listened to James coverage on the radio. It sounded like an exciting race, if not a bit confusing at times, but in the end I was getting frustrated with Jaime Alguersuari’s lack of input in commentary. He probably wishes he was still out there himself, but as a commentator / expert pundit, he’s not doing his job if you are prompting him for input and he’s not responding.

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  47. Jenks says:

    Wow.

    With Alonso 1st, Perez 2nd, and Massa in 15th, the only way the weekend could have gone any worse for Massa is if he accidentally ran over Luca di Montezemolo during the race.

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  48. ian says:

    What nonsense – other ian.

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  49. Chris C says:

    Another very interesting race today. 2012 seems fantastic till now. The more we go on in the season some questions keep coming up:
    1) The Andrian Newey magic was all about the blown diffuser? What is happening with Red Bull? Clearly they seem not to be in the pace of the Mclarens
    2) Whats wrong with Massa? Is it the hit in his head in 2009? Ok, he never was a great driver (not even in 2008) but this is embarrassing form. He needs to get out of the Ferrari seat but doing it in mid season is the right approach for Ferrari, without in season testing?
    3) Where did the old Hamilton gone? Surely he could have at least closed the gap to Alonso and Perez. He seems to have become more conservative. Hope this is covered in the strategy post, James
    4) What is the true form of Mercedes and Lotus? They seem to go in and out of form within a weekend
    5) Caterham is also a bit of a mystery. In the past seasons they had managed to continuously reduce their gap to midfield but in the first 2 racers they were clearly belonging with Marussia.

    Can’t wait for China…

    P.S. It would be great if when Massa leaves Ferrari he is joined by Domenicalli, clearly this team needs better leadership to go back to be a title contender. Hoping to be in the Q3 is not worthy of their history

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  50. A-Z says:

    I have to admit that I not a fan of Alonso, but I have to say how good he is, Top the leader board with one of uncompetitive car. Almost lap teammate in the same car, just excellent. One go forward, another go backward.

    Alonso is a must to have.
    Massa is a must to halt.

    Ferrari must replace Massa immediately. no need to wait for anymore prove.

    And Excellent drive for Perez, I beleive Sauber is not the fastest car, but in Perez hand he made the series of fastest lap again and again in both wet and dry in average car.

    No question ask . . the driver of this race go to both Alonso and Perez for different reason.

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  51. Slaven says:

    James, this performance that Perez showed, is this something that could attract Ferrari’s interest? … even though he’s got a contract

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  52. Luca says:

    Fernando is fast becoming my favourite Ferrari driver of all time (since Clay R). He is steady, passionate, loyal and brave. And for all that he seems to be carrying the whole red outfit on his shoulders, I believe him when he talks a team game. As likeable as Gerhardt Berger, but a much stronger competitor.

    PS: You called a very fine race today, James. I found myself turning away from the box because I preferred your reading of what a very topsy-turvy race: you guys seemed sharper and more engaged.

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  53. Parazar says:

    What are you on about? These are the drivers standings:

    01 Fernando Alonso 35
    02 Lewis Hamilton 30
    03 Jenson Button 25
    04 Mark Webber 24
    05 Sergio Perez 22
    06 Sebastian Vettel 18

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  54. CraigD says:

    Incredible! What a terrible race to put a McLaren bet on haha! But…

    James, please could you get to the bottom of the strategists thinking today. The teams seemed paralysed during the long inters stint wondering if it would rain again. People seemed to be relying too much on computers and data to to make their decisions. The track was ready for dries for ages. Within 2 laps of people finally changing they were 10 seconds per lap quicker! Two laps and there’s your pit stop made back!

    I know there was expected rain so they didn’t want to pit only to have to pit again straight away but the pictures showed the inters to be down to slicks, drivers were complaining of lack of grip with engineers urging them to keep going! I heard Button’s engineer telling them they wanted him to get to the end (another 20 laps) on his inters! What on earth!!! I didn’t get the logic. If it had rain they would have needed fresh inters to cope since the tread had gone, and if they were going around on ‘slick’ inters then surely it was time for dries.

    You might scream hindsight, but for lap after lap I was screaming, why isn’t a mid field car at least just deciding to brave on it staying dry and pit! As I say the teams seemed paralysed. If they hadn’t their computers telling them of this touch and go rain, then I am sure they would have thought, eh up it’s the track’s pretty dry now, best pit.

    It would be great if you could get delve into this in your strategy report. Especially why engineers were wanting to try to get their drivers to go the rest of the race on worn inters, on a drying track! Baffled!

    Great race though. Shame for the McLarens but makes the championship exciting. Alonso leading… unbelievable!

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  55. Lloyd says:

    Tell me you’re not being serious, Ian? There are another 18 races to go… We can’t talk about ‘routine’ until at least round 5 in my view.

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  56. Charlie B says:

    Would have loved to have seen Perez win, i’m sure he might be disappointed, but 2nd is a great result for Sauber. You saw what it meant to Peter Sauber at the end.

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  57. Easy there.

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  58. olderguysrule says:

    Hey James, It looked to me that in the last part of the race when Perez was catching Alonzo, The Ferrari wasn’t using the Kers. What did you see? Did Alonzo have his Kers? Or was it doa?

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  59. SImon Donald says:

    An impressive race by Alonso! I’m surprised that even he could wring the neck out of that car. But drive of the day has to go to Sergio Perez – Sauber’s best ever result! What’s more he should have won the race! He completely had the measure of Alonso, the Spaniard could do nothing to hold him back. I very much doubt that he could have held him back for those 5 laps. Hamilton was very much non-descript, I’m surprised that he wasn’t able to catch and pass both Perez and Alonso in a car that is clearly the class of the field at the moment. I have the impression that if Button’s race hadn’t been ruined by taking out his front wing on the HRT he would have been able to challenge for second and probably the win. Massa really needs to raise his game quick smart if he wants to stay in that Ferrari not for next season, but even for the rest of the season

    I wonder what price you would get on Perez replacing Massa by mid-season?

    From what we have seen in the first two races, it seems to me that McLaren is the fastest car in quali followed by Mercedes and then Red Bull and Lotus are about on par with Mercedes falling behind these two in the race. Looking forward to China in a few weeks!!

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  60. Bobby says:

    Great race, so exciting. Bruno is tied for driver of the day with Perez for me. They were both mightily impressive today. Alonso, of course, was faultless but Perez running wide spared Ferrari’s blushes.

    Mercedes confuse me. Schumacher troubles pole in qualifying but two races in he scores the team’s solitary point so far.

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  61. Thabang says:

    Hi James or anyone that can help with my Mclaren/Whitmarsh disillusionment, why did Button pit before Hamilton twice when the latter was the leader of the race and thus the leading Mclaren???!!!?!!!? As well, why is LH not attacking the race track thus far, he is driving like JB (boring), or is the Mclaren suffering from race pace inconsistency? Old LH please come back (along with Ron Dennis) 😀

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  62. gondokmg says:

    Another Charlie Whiting and Pirelli cock up. Why was the safety car out so for so long? Even more importantly, why were the top cars not able to catch Alonso and Perez?

    It was’nt just Lewis who could not / did not match their pace, neither could Button, Schumacher, Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen, etc. Why? The answer is rubbish Pirelli tyres. In these conditions, once all the top drivers fell behind Alonso and Perez, they became what I call “Pirelli tyre limited”.

    They all needed to make the tyres last as long as possible, with no idea how long that was going to be and whether the conditions will change again. Perez and Alonso had nothing to loose, went for it and it paid off for them today. However, they are not going to be in the championship fight from the looks of it so for the Mclaren and Red Bulls, it was all about playing the long game, manage your tyres, keep your track position and bag the points. It is very difficult to keep tyre temperature while babying the tyres to that extend so the top teams essentially struggled as a consequence, no wonder they could not fight Alonso and Perez.

    Hamilton could have tried going after Perez and ended up needing an extra pit stop. Gone are the days when a faster driver could come through the field after falling back for what ever season. The Pirelli tyres just don’t last long enough to allow one to do that, and if you shred your tyres while trying that you become vulnerable to those behind you.

    For the second race in a row Hamilton decided to look at the big picture instead of going all or nothing. He is looking good so far. All his championship rivals are behind him already, after two effectively rain affected races, having lost out in one way or another during safety car periods in both races.

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  63. NM Photog says:

    What a race. Perez coming on the way Vettel did as a young driver. Hamilton finished third again, but actually looked quite happy this time around. Maturity sinking in. That and I’m sure even the best take heart when the teammate finishes 14th.

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  64. sender says:

    The race was good, OK, but not a classic. Something was missing. Among the leaders in the second half of the race nothing changed and the race almost stood still. Of course, you can’t always have everything, but still…
    Perez was good, but a strategy helped him a lot. The car at his disposal is also good.
    So far it is difficult to predict how the championship battle will play out – that is a good thing.

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  65. John Z says:

    As a Ferrari fan, I’m optimistic for the rest of the year. Ferrari have already said they have many updates ahead of the next race in China. They need these updates to work and increase the competitiveness of the F2012 of course, but the car has potential and it certainly has an all time great driver piloting it. Alonso has given the Scuderia great motivation to improve.

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  66. DK says:

    I was eagerly waiting for the Perez to hunt down Alonso, and actually have a strange feeling about the radio message to Perez on lap 50 ” be careful, we need the position”. Can’t help thinking if that was a coded message asking Perez not to challenge Alonso. Sauber’s alliance with Ferrari made me wondering ….

    Ferrari needs a redemption, and Perez is the driver in waiting of Massa’s seat, so staging a mini off is not totally inconceivable. Anyone?

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  67. Charalampos says:

    Well nice race.

    Red bull at the end tell to vettel to box at the beginning, then to finish and then to stay out. These are three different orders within a few seconds!

    Then I cannot stop thinking how the exhausts of Sauber and Redbull are alike and how they seem to have common characteristics. For both the medium tyre did not work that well and also they are both slower in qualifying and faster in the race. It looks though that sauber has a better understanding of the exhaust system at the moment and RBR will figure out how to make them work and find pace as well soon.

    I think that Macs did not reach their full potential in the end and this could be very well repeated in next races. This time it was not only Hamilton who had a problem with pace at the end. So it is actually 3 out of four. But then maybe it was a one off for button and Hamilton will find the trick as well sooner rather than later.

    Kimi’s pace after the beginning of the last stint was interesting. At the beginning he was a few tenths slower than the cars around him, but after a few laps he became faster than the cars around him.

    The sauber’s race pace seemed very good in Melbourne as well, so their true position in the pecking order in terms of race pace remains unknown and could still surprise many.

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  68. Rafa says:

    A bit too early for that, wouldn’t you think? Three years ago, when he won the title, I had a pretty dim opinion of button, judging it had all been down to the car, and at the time I thought going to macca had been an ill advised move, that he was overestimating his powers and would be devoured by his illustrious young teammate. What these three years have proven to me though, is that there’s more than meets the eye in this particular racer, and I still wonder why some constantly put him down. Certainly he’s moved up the ranks in my appreciation.

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  69. Arshadhusain says:

    he is a dark horse .. and the whole paddock is impressed by button

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  70. gondokmg says:

    James, did Alonso and Perez gamble on a wet weather set up?

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  71. A-Z says:

    Jame, I would like to know why HRT get penalised for contact with Vettel?

    I don’t see anything worng with what HRT have done, Vettel just cut back to the line and clip Narain front wing, in my opinion this is Vettel fault. With Vettel move, what else Narain could have done to avoid.

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  72. Ben says:

    Title hopes are over after winning 1 of the 2 races so far? Amazing.

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  73. Chris says:

    Im not a Ferrari fan, but I have to give major props to Fernando for that drive! Diddo to Perez for a spectacular performance. Disappointing for Button and his clash with the HRT, but he’ll be back on it.

    This situation is kinda similar to when Fisichella came 2nd at Spa to a Ferrari in a midfield car and was in a Ferrari himself at the next race…interesting..

    James, how long do you think it will take Ferrari to get their heads out of the sand and replace Massa? Mid-season? Barcelona?

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  74. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    2nd pole for Hamilton, but he faded in the race, he was unable to catch up Perez-Alonso, and behind Vettel was catching-up him.

    However, Button’s pace at the beginning was better than Lewis’.

    I think Lewis was lucky to have Button, Schumacher, Grosjean, Vettel with clashes, but that won’t be always the case in the future.

    James, as seen in this 2 opening races, in a “normal-dry-non incidental-race”, with this kind of set-up can Hamilton really hold his qualy position regarding Button, Kimi, Grosjean, Webber, Vettel and maybe Perez?

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  75. Ash says:

    It’s seems that Lewis Hamilton is learning and maturing, understanding that points equal prizes.

    I like is approach thus far, dominant quali performances, producing 2 pole positions from only 2 lap attempts, both on his first Q3 laps, showing there was more time in the locker if required to produce another lap – impressive stuff.

    This Lewis Hamilton accepted Alonso/Perez had superior pace, instead of chasing them down gung-ho style and ruining his tyres – he ate some humble pie, accepted the situation he found himself in and settled for 3rd place, bringing home valuable points – 2007/08 style…..

    In my opinion he seems to be playing the long game – “consistency is the key to success”, at the moment he’s 2nd in the championship, come China i’m expecting more fireworks in quali and Lewis on the front row and scoring another podium, hopefully with his pit crew working with him instead of against him – unlike today.

    For Jenson quali has always been an weakness, but at the moment he seems to be in top form and that is the consistency Jenson will have to show throughout the season, he’s got to keep that McLaren on the front row and then he can control his own destiny, instead of relying on safety cars/changeable conditions and mistakes from others to win races.

    Can somebody explain to me why Jenson was first to pit on two occasions ahead of Lewis?

    My understanding was the driver who is leading gets first option on pit stops – at this point I was a bit baffled, because commentary didn’t mention anything.

    Due to Jenson pitting first he was able to get an extra 1-2 laps worth of heat into the tyres which is invaluable before he made the attack on Lewis – good smart racing from Jenson, but for me – why would Lewis and his pit crew give Jenson that type of opportunity? Don’t get that whole sequence of events, just doesn’t stack.

    I’m also yet to be convinced about McLaren race pace – quali yes – but the race?

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  76. Ajit says:

    In my opinion, Alonso had luck on his side today. I dont think its fair to imortalize him with this drive. He is a great driver no doubt, but I think there was more luck than efforts in today’s race. He did not have to defend or attack aggressively for his position today. In my opinion, Perez deserved the win. There is a conspiracy theory but we will never get to know. The real winner is F1.

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  77. Matt B says:

    Great performance from Alonso and Perez, Hamilton unlucky with pit stops.

    Makes me laugh though, what would this thread look like if Hamilton had hit the HRT and not Button?

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  78. speed_girl says:

    Love the Alonso win!!! Please tell me what is wrong with Mercedes???? Vettel would need to fight for this one, and surprise Lotus well done Kimi! Lets see if Perez can do the same next race. Really happy for Alonso!!!

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  79. Wayne says:

    Am I missing the punchline?

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  80. Anand R says:

    Hello James,

    On BBC, there is an line fron Mclaren MD, Mr. Neale which reads “I cannot say that on live radio/transmission” when asked why Lewis was so slow compared to Fernando and Segio…

    Any intuitions or insights what he didn’t want to reveal? Dry weather set-up or Botched pit-stops or worse, Lewis being demotivated throughout the race because AGAIN Button was given preference in pit-stops (though they might be driver calls) or even worse, Mclaren went for Qualy glory and was caught out in race-conditions?

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  81. Oly says:

    Fernando has a KERS in his head, to give extra when needed. He entirely nullified the other team’s advantages at the beginning of the season and now leading the WDC. Fantastic.
    The best driver on the grid today BY FAR.
    GO NANDO GO !

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  82. Gdon says:

    An Amazing race which i enjoyed after a long time .. it kept me engaged and emotional at the end. Hats off to Alonso and Checko for the thrills.

    Something though has to be said about Vettel’s comments post race with regards to his do in with the HRT…it was somehow distaste full and unwarranted calling another driver an idiot.

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  83. Dave Roberts says:

    I think that there are going to be a number of races like this with normal mid-field teams mixing it at the front. With the qualifying performances being so close if any of the big team drivers make a mistake I think the days of charging back through the field are a thing of the past.

    The World Champion this year will have done well to win more than half a dozen races I reckon.

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  84. Franco says:

    What an amazing drive from Alonso, once again he has shown he is the real deal.

    James, would do you say this race win owes a lot to Neil Martin who they hired from RedBull last year, after all he was their Chief Strategist but not sure if he does the same role at Ferrari and haven’t read much about him this year.

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  85. alam says:

    ‘Alonso turns formbook on head’

    Alonso; It was clear to me the minor fact of a Rain sorm had a little more to do with it. The only thing you can commend Ferrari on is getting right tyres on the right time.

    Sergio: Roumor hes going ferrari plus the radio call n engine supply = little slip to give Alonso win. Funny coz only person dismissig win as one off is Alonso.

    All the other Motoring journalists are hailing Ferraris come back. come china its busniess as usual for Mclaren. I’m sure the minor fact that they got 1-2 in qualy tells us something.

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  86. mugerwa.francis says:

    Andre Stella and the Ferrari mechanics reminded many why people love Ferrari the passion and emotion from those people showed how much ferrari is passionate about racing they make you be proud that u root for them am ugandan and love your website my favourite f1 website thank you james

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  87. Geenimetsuri says:

    People are forgetting Räikkönen.

    From 10th to 5th and fastest lap of the race…from a guy that was away 2 years.

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  88. Dan Orsino says:

    James, I’m puzzled as to why my comments do not appear…
    nothing objectionable in my reply to [4] above. !!

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  89. Dan says:

    Who’s willing to bet Perez is in a Ferrari before the end of the season? A great drive and much deserved points for Peter Sauber, a longtime motorsport man who stuck by his employees when BMW walked away. My only concern is with James Key having gone will Sauber develop the car enough to keep up?

    Also good to see Williams getting the points they missed last weekend.

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  90. Sebastiaan Hekman says:

    Nice race thanks to Alonso and Perez, the Latin’s on Fox SPort from Argentina – with a commentator from Mexico – went wild. Congratulations to Alonso and Perez! “Ándele, ándele, speedy Speedy Perez”.

    The rest of the pack did not kept my attention alive. Mercedes is really disappointing. Rosberg is a great qualifier, but has the skill to drive backwards in the pack, at least Schumi moved a bit forward after getting himself avoidably entangled with Grosjean, they would make a nice skate pair, doing a pirouettes together. Sheer luck that they got away without any damage, but for some pride maybe. Too impatient imho from the part of Schumacher.

    Unlucky Button, lacklustre Hamilton, too eager Vettel, Raikkonen doing what he told in the interview on the formula1.com website: “Survive the first string of corners and take it from there, as I already face a crowd from P10” Smart.

    Back to a normal starttime: The time slot for this race is really ridiculous.
    Can we be treated more seriously as fans by Mr E and his pack? I mean, what is the use of starting a race in a country where everybody knows that after 16.00 raining is a certainty. The race was not in Kuala Lumpur, but in Kuala Downpour. Horrible.

    All the prep work on Friday and the quali on Saturday ruined, just to treat the European audiences with a better time slot. Well they, in UK and Netherlands for sure, went to summertime last night, so the race came in at 09.00 if I’m not mistaken. So the race could have started an hour earlier. Let’s be honest, 8 o’clock is a nice starttime for a F1 race on a sunday. So racing at 15.00 hours would have given us the chance of rain in the second half of the race, much more exciting.

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  91. Hermann says:

    I regret to observe that a lot of comments tend to crucify Massa when he entered the pits. I think I saw a totally different race: Hamilton stalled before leaving the pits, his times on inters were always inferior to Fernando’s. So what’s your point. You’re angry because McLaren have the best car and didn’t win, or else because Ferrari have a cart and Nando turns it into a decent car? James can you please request more balanced and objective comments? Thanks.

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  92. My driver of the race: de la Rosa. Don’t ask, I won’t tell why.

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  93. Robert Lujan says:

    Awesome!! Sergio Perez was my “Driver of the Race” in Australia and he will be again this vote in Malaysia!! I hope he gets a shot at Massa’s seat at Ferrari. Maybe not this year as the Sauber is better, but next year would be great to see him one! Go Sergio! Viva la Mexico!!

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  94. jonnyd says:

    i dont see why people think the mercedes has potential.
    its fast in quali because of the drs hack, and clearly works its tyres a bit too well…

    aussie was an unknown, but in sepang both schumi and rosberg started falling back.
    rosberg had to pit for another set of inters because he couldnt handle the tyre deg at all, and schumi somehow managed to hold on and make them last for the switch to slicks.

    the point is they both were falling back. even without grosjean punting schumi off, the most he could have hoped for today would have been 6th or 7th.

    to cure tyre deg, its something way more fundamental than simply car setup, and its worrying that mercedes havent found a solution to a problem which affected them for all of 2011.

    schumi once again completely outraced rosberg today too – any doubters still?

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  95. andrew says:

    Two Ferrari engines up front. Is Sauber becoming the Toro Rosso of the Ferrari racing network?

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  96. Sergio says:

    Again the same story James? Some English media is speculating about Perez mistake. The Alonso succes means a reactivation of a lobby that intentionally wants to deactivate the best driver of the grid. I’m not speaking about you, (I remember until Hamilton arrival the Spaniard was yor prefered one) but we know that English media is a “force” in F1. Today even we have lost the Alonso’s overtake on Perez on Ecclestone FOM but an accurate gap control when vitamined Perez began his rally chasing Fer. Is it not enough? Some people told me about my sore respecting 2007. Anyone who can add 2+2 could figure out if Alonso can be beaten by Hamilton in an equal team in a LONG season. I guess absolutely NOT. Why: two radical & oppossite brains: one is a hammer with no surrender mentality, the other a great guy but emotionally inconsistent. You chose reality or patriotism. About Perez I said before in this web that he is better than Hamilton and one of the best after Fernando. Nothing new. Same stars and same dark stars.

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  97. Oliver says:

    So what happened to Mclarens policy of the leading driver calling the pitstops? Whitmarsh loves Button.

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  98. azac21 says:

    Great race. Thanks for the coverage James and Jamie. Radio becomes part of my Sunday mornings again.

    Great victory for the Fernando. It’s mesmerising how he has grown to be the benchmark driver for his generation and most of all inspire fans race after race.

    Perez was unbelievable too. How far up the drivers’ championship can he get this year if he continues to use his tyres so well? Hopefully Sauber will continue developing the car for him.

    Vettel???? Typical grumpy teenager? (Wrong) one finger in the air after parting with his front wing due to his own mistake and then calling a colleague an “idiot”???? He does need to eat some humble pie this season.

    The season is shaping up nicely.

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  99. Ghayth says:

    Hi james does the message from Perez engineer that said we have to keep our position before he went wide have to do anything with that or am I the only thinking here that is something fishy had to do with Perez not overtaking Alonso !!!!!!???

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  100. P King says:

    James, I think your article is wrong in two places:

    1. The earlier sentence
    “on lap 14 when the drivers moved from full wet to intermediate tyres. Alonso came in behind Hamilton, but fast pit work by Ferrari got him moving and then McLaren had to hold Hamilton in his pit box”
    does not agree with your latter sentence
    “After the re-start Alonso stayed out a lap longer than the McLarens and inherited the lead,”

    2. “Button misjudged his braking as he looked to lap the Indian down the inside ”
    That is wrong. Button was fighting Karthikeyan for position.

    My view of Lewis’s race: it was ruined by late (1 lap too late) or very late (2 or 3 laps too late) calls by McLaren to pit him, as well as mistakes/problems in the pit stops. All those combined to cost him 15 seconds or more quite easily.

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  101. Quattro_T says:

    This was a beautiful and refreshing race in many different ways. The only sad thing I recall was the behaviour of Vettel after getting the puncture from hitting the front wing of Karthikeyan.

    First he gave Karthikeyan the finger (!) twice following the incident. After the race he went on calling NK an idiot. This was his quote (from BBC post race coverage):

    “It’s like on the normal roads, there are a few idiots driving around and, yeah, it seems that there is one driving here”

    Sad to see a double w champion and a role model (???) for future drivers (miss)behave like this publically. His behaviour was arrogant, immature and frankly made me loose a big chunk of respekt for him as a person.

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  102. richard c says:

    Not a bad result for LH given the conditions.Maclaren let LH down today, big time. In F1 the margins are tiny and the hard work LH did do was completely undone by poor strategy and performance. The pit crew want their arses kicked. Wonder what all the interviewers would be saying if LH had driven into another car?? Think I know!! Good result for LH today,keep iy going!!

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  103. Jeremiah says:

    I think it is Alonso that will want to join Perez at Sauber !!!!!!!
    LOL

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  104. [MISTER] says:

    I must say congratz to Fernando and Sergio. Fantastic performances today from both of them.

    The other thing I want to touch on is how arrogant and disrespectful was Vettel. His team principle also showed no class what so ever either.

    How can you call other driver an idiot? I am so upset right now. That is outrageous. Karthikeyan did move to the right a bit..but Vettel while passing him did not move to the right where the track was going..he kept his car kinda straight if you look careful.

    This is where you separate the men from the boys..and Vettel is just a boy. As soon as his toy is not top notch anymore..he gets frustrated and loses his composure.

    Same I can say about Horner. Was he serious when he said the HRT was supposed to get out of Vettel’s way? Where? Out of the track? My words cannot emphasise how angry I am with these two. I hope their car breaks down every race.

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  105. Mike J says:

    “..it changes nothing !..”

    Great response by Alonso at the press conference. He knows that this wasn’t supposed to happen but he’ll take it. He never panicked or made mistakes. He just kept it on the black stuff and let others make the mistakes.

    Alonso has, with a slow car managed to pick up the most points so far which will become invaluable when (and if) Ferrari give him a better car. Only a driver of Alonso could achieve this and shows again he is one of, if not the best. Ferrari know that they must deliver a better car to support their driver. The pressure is on Ferrari more than ever to do this.

    The pressure is even more so on Massa. Ferrari position in the WCC is severely being compromised by Massa under performing.

    Great drive by Perez but he had his chance. He didn’t have to take any chances, his speed was enough to catch and pass Alonso. Was it the message from pit wall lap earlier that broke his concentration? We will never know. Has Perez arrived??…I think he should have won and past champions in their early years would have won this.

    Wet variable races always give us a mixed result and this race was no different. Tyre strategy calls make up the positions here. Doesn’t give any better indication for the rest of the season except that Alonso must be laughing to be where he is with a under performing car. Let’s not forget that both Alonso and Perez rolled the dice early and make track position out of pits calls that could easier have gone against them

    Ferrari can only get better, McLaren had poor pit stops with Lewis but they are doing all they have to in Quali. Red Bull will get quicker. Biggest disappointment is Mercedes…..going backwards in races.

    Grosjean needs to finish to deliver Renaults potential, hope this is not déjà vu with him.

    Williams again solid, well done, good to see.

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  106. Luke Byrne says:

    Great race today. This season will be a beauty i think! Perez made his name today also a great drive by bruno senna!

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  107. db4tim says:

    Send Mass aback to Peter and pick up Sergio Perez …let Fm end his career where he started !

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  108. Simon Lord says:

    Brought back memories of the last great Mexican in the wet – Pedro Rodriguez at Brands Hatch, 1970, anyone? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3vWhhxTxiY

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  109. Serrated_Edge says:

    ‘Buttons title hopes are over’

    what after 2 races? what a bizzare comment to make!

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  110. Gary Corby says:

    What could have been a great race made meaningless by the use of DRS. It’s very sad.

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  111. Garry Edward says:

    All this talk of Perez to Ferrari is forgetting one thing.
    Is Fernando going to want a extremely fast young driver as a No2.?
    I don’t think so, been there done that.

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  112. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

    General thoughts on this season:

    1) What is the point of allowing anything-goes DRS during quali? I know this was also available last year and I had my reservations then, too 😉 I think last year, RBR got their act together with a combination of blown diffuser and engine mode tweaks – both of which they could deploy during quali and then for the first few laps of the race to pull away and take it from there. This season, Mercedes have done something which benefits them in a similar way in quali, but then they are not allowed to use it for the crucial first few laps of the race (and not much after that, either). I think DRS in quali should either be disabled or perhaps more sensibly (as it’s something the drivers have to get used to before Sunday) allowed only in the race DRS zones. It would stop this situation where quali is unrepresentative of the race pace (though there are downsides to that, of course ;)).

    2) I think it’s a shame everyone is hitting at Massa. Let’s not forget that in 2008 he was a single point away from the WDC (and had won more races than any other driver that year). Had GLO not slowed on that final lap of the last race, MAS would be a WDC and HAM would still be looking for his first title …

    I personally think his issues are probably psychological and I don’t think that it was the accident in 2009 that caused the problem. I think it’s the clear message to him since then that he is number 2. Whatever happens, he must expect that he will be told to move over for his teammate. Having come that close to being WDC, he now has to either accept that he will never be one (unless ALO is massively out of the picture) or he has to move on. That’s a weight that surely affects your drive – not sure I want to see PER in that position after this weekend’s fantastic drive from him …

    3) Talking of 2008, it seems someone has now pointed out to HAM that he won his title that year through being consistent. He didn’t win more races than anyone else, but he picked up all the points he could here and there, and it came good. The problem with every season since then is that there has been a relatively dominant car (Brawn, then RBR) and Lewis has probably been believing his own hype a bit too much and trying “too hard” to drag the McLaren up and making mistakes along the way. This year looks like it’s shaping up to be a bit more of an even fight, so although people are giving him a hard time about it, perhaps Lewis’ comments about “keeping his head down” actually hints back to a return to 2008 form where he wring every available point from the car without being too ambitious – and that might just be enough.

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  113. Sam says:

    Fantastic Race.

    With 8 different constructors covering p 1 – 8! What a season we have ahead of us

    Alonso once again proved what a freak he is: deserving of a better car and Perez has backed up his hype and shown he is a star of the future.

    Can’t wait for China!(3 bloody weeks)

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  114. Gatsby says:

    Humble pie is good!
    More should be better….
    The problem with Lewis is that he take for granted that he will win multiple titles.
    He won already one, thanks to a large gift from Timo Glock and it may very likely be the only one.
    Watch and see….

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  115. David Selway-Hoskins says:

    A few disconnected jottings:

    Fantastic drive Alonso and Perez – well done in awkward conditions (and I am really a Button & Webber fan).

    Does the DRS take away any possibility of a driver defending his position – it all seemed too easy to pass at Sepang.

    Why, when exhaust blowing is effectively banned, do the Red Bulls and Saubers both go brrrp when off throttle? Have they found a way around the rules???? It was very obvious at Albert Park last week.

    I have not seen enough discussion re the 2014 engines, I cannot see a 1.6 V6 turbo rev limited to 15,000 as anything but a bore compared to the current superb engines.

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  116. Don Farrell says:

    Ferrari aren’t going to win the Constructors Championship even is Alonso won every race this season… Massa must go now to give Ferrari a fighting chance of winning the Constructors Championship this year. Seeing Massa slug it out at the back of the field while Alonso was leading the race today was embarrassing for Ferrari.

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  117. Anthony says:

    Great race. I was gutted to see Perez make that mistake, would’ve been a nice story had he won. Alonso didn’t put a wheel wrong in very tricky conditions, he deserved to win. Mclaren seemed to struggle on the inters, they need to get their pit stops in order, it didn’t cost them the race today but it could later in the season.

    I guess Vettel is one of those drivers who expects the slower cars to drive off track so he can stay on the racing line, then goes crazy when they don’t. No respect.

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  118. tifosi down under says:

    ONE WORD yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss hahaha.

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  119. Methusalem says:

    I heard Peter Sauber taking full credit for the success of Perez’ car, he sounded very arrogant! Besides, the Radio killed Speedy Gonzales — Perez would have won the race. I am tired of those Radio messages — everyone tries to be important

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  120. Brett says:

    Driver of the day – Alonso! Can’t just put it down to Alonso though, the team made some great calls today. Alonso once again overdrove his car and got it much higher than it deserved. The guy is amazing.

    Runner up – Perez, if not for going wide with a couple of laps to go, likely would have been on the top step today.

    Whiners of the day – Seb Vettle. He blames Narain for the tire incident, when he was the one doing his famous slash back across and misjudged where he was.

    Runner up – Grosjean. Post race, he is blaming MS for the spin, even though he hit MS in the back.

    Looks like a great season though. Everyone is much closer together. I still don’t think we have seen MS’s potential though. He seems to love this car and I think he could win number 92 this season.

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  121. CanadaGP says:

    That Ferrari is at best the sixth fastest car on slick tyres. I believe every single lap by Perez in the dry was quicjker except for the one when he made the mistake.
    Hats off to Fernando. Sergio must be the most promising young driver to come on the scene since Vettel. Unfortunately unless Ferrari come up with 2 seconds over the course of the year it’s another year wasted for the most complete driver in F1. Perez would do well to stay in Sauber this year.
    It’s stlll going to be Macca-Redbull-Lotus it seems like as race conditions revert to normal. Kimi’s comeback already more impressive than Schumi’s. 5 drivers in the mix for WDC w/ 4 of them past champions is stll a recipe for a classic season.

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  122. Pete says:

    HI James,

    If my memory serves me right (and recently it really hasn’t been!) I remember a while ago you wrote that you thought Perez was good, but not necessarily championship material.

    Has your (expert) opinion of that changed since this second place (and other impressive drives)? And do you think Ferrari might not take him because they believe so too?

    Thanks so much! I love your site!

    Pete

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  123. The Crappest says:

    Firstly, I want to say that this is turning out to be the absolute best opening seasons I have ever seen in F1.

    Try and dispute any of these facts:
    – Quali for this race had 0.45 sec covering the top 8 cars. Last year, that was Vettels consistent gap in Quali.
    – We have 6 world champions with Kimmi – 2 years off showing great race pace and MSC – the oldest showing great qualifying pace.
    – We have last years mid field teams contending for serious points and wins (Sauber and Williams). Good to see new blood mixing it up
    – It is a 20 race season. Longest on record – please correct me if I’m wrong.
    – No team is looking like they are going to walk away with it like Red Bull did last year.
    – It is 2 races into the season with no team a clear favourite. Can all the people saying “so and so’s season is over” and “they should focus on next year” should keep their ignorant opinions to themselves.

    Now, in relation to the race, all of the conspiracy theorists, the reason Perez lost time was because of 2 things. 1) He was taking an aggressive line and put both wheels on the paint and lost control, and 2) this can be attributed to a lack of experience / concentration. No doubt about it, he wanted the win and he made this quite clear in the post race interview. No driver is good enough to say “I know, I’ll lose control in the wet to go off the course and create a gap”.

    Alonso drove a great race, and people say luck had a lot to do with it, but I would rather be lucky when it comes to winning the lotto than being good a picking random numbers. Whilst I am on numbers, I think Massas number is up. He clearly isn’t happy, maybe he needs a change, but will he get it? Has he lost it?

    I understand the safety issues, but what is the point of having the safety car lead the cars around on wet tyres for 5 laps only to have practically everyone pit and change to inters as soon as the safety car goes in? I think it was a bit of overkill.

    I think it was harsh of the stewards to penalise Karthikeyan, Vettel clearly made a mistake. To those saying HRT shouldn’t be there, you are wrong. They are slow and uncompetitive, but everyone needs to start somewhere. I really hope they start to find some pace. Either way, they will either become competitive or run out of money. F1 is a war of attrition just as much as it is about speed.

    Sorry for the long post, but I get frustrated when I see all the negative comments when we are 10% of the way through the season. I salute all of the teams and drivers who are making this season one of the best in a very long time. Enjoy it guys.

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  124. eric weinraub says:

    James, don’t wish to be consiratorial, but I suspect had it been your boys Button and Hamilton punted off by Grosjean you would have given that event several paragraphs. Instead, you describe Schuey’s trip to the gravel as a sign of Mercedes having another ‘forgettable’ day. Yes, it was forgettable but not for the reasons you describe.

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  125. Cedgy says:

    Well maybe Ferrari could ask Sauber to build them a new car!?!

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  126. Koby Fan says:

    Intriguing race…congrats to checo..i predicted he would get to the podium before KOby – but post-race there’s more questions than answers….

    That was a clearly a lost win for sauber…checo was error free prior to the team call for him to be careful, it definitely upset his rhythm – why give the call before he had even caught and tried a pass? I would have more confidence in Checo passing than MAL in Aus GP. i hope Sauber don’t rue the loss of 7 pts at the end of the season. If they are ever to win a GP, Sauber need to shake their conservative DNA – they should have been encouraging Checo that he can easily catch & pass Fernando, not to back off and book 2nd place.

    what’s with fernando in the post race conference?..you would have thought he retired from the race rather than won…he didn’t look at checo or lewis once. what did checo whisper to him on park ferme? He also comes out backing massa in the press questions. Fernando wants a clear #2 team mate not a young hard charger…

    On the opening laps, Koby sliced his way from P17 up the field just behind Checo and Fernando in the top 10…but the team kept him out the longest and didn’t box at the same time as Fernando? Rear suspension fault in quali, wrong end of team split strategy (not the 1st time), brake failure? I don’t expect Koby to outpace Checo in quali this year unfortunately, but I hope Koby can lift himself up and put in some better races and have a successful season. I hope driver treatment will stay equal but its natural Sauber will now swing behind Checo and is not far away from becoming a full blooded Escuderia Telmex team.

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  127. Lynn says:

    Fastest lap of the race in just his 2nd GP.
    Welcome back Mr Raikkonen. LOL.

    Great drives by Alonso & Perez.

    Hopefully we have a dry, normal race in Shanghai.

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  128. Racyboy says:

    As a massive F1 and MotoGP fan, when I saw FA and Ferrari pay tribute to Marco Simoncelli at turn 11, I fancifully thought Ferrari/Alonso might karmically(is that a word?)get the win. Then reality kicked in…should’ve gone with it and put a bet on.
    Actually I expected Michael to have a blinder in the wet.
    (IF backwards)
    Seems to be a lot of talk here of Perez going to Ferrari.
    As good as Perez is, I think Webber would be a bigger score for Ferrari next year, although should he choose to continue racing in 2013,I can’t imagine RedBull being silly enough to let him go.

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  129. tom in adelaide says:

    Two things for sure;

    Perez won’t be driving a Sauber next year, and;

    Massa won’t be driving an F1 car next year.

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  130. Stone the crows says:

    If Hockenheim 2010 was where Massa lost his mojo, Sepang 2012 is where he lost his job. Alonso proved why he’s paid the big money and is rated so highly. I agree James, this looked like Perez’s audition for Ferrari-he and Fernando seem to get on fine. The big disaster was for Mercedes, all that pace and potential and they have one point to show for two races.

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  131. patrichm says:

    sad to say however time for merc to call it a day on f1.

    3 years and they are going backwards – they can build engines, not f1 cars,

    your letting schumacher and rosberg down badly team.

    “we have to go back and get to the heart of our problem” blah, blah, blah..same, exact same story as 2010,2011.

    there is simply no improvement, in fact, this car is worse – it cant and wont improve as the year progresses and the 2013 car, if there is one, will not doubt be just as poor.

    a failed experiment, hence the reason will not sign the agreement – they know they wont be in f1 next year.

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  132. Bugaboo says:

    There are so many comments here about how Lewis has been wronged by his team, about why he didn’t pit and Mclaren allowed Button to pit. Lewis obviously didn’t want to pit first, if he did, they would have changed his tires. This isn’t rocket science. It seems everytime Lewis makes bad calls or mistakes, these ‘fans’ make Mclaren the scapegoat. Mclaren is one of the best teams in the world, and frankly if Alonso had a Mclaren last year and this year, championship results might have been different.

    Lewis Hamilton is just not that good. This is simply fact. In 2007 within the turmoil of a doomed Mclaren partnership he seemed really good, but guess what, the last 5 years have shown that he isn’t actually head and shoulders above anyone, and unlike Felipe Massa Lewis hasn’t had a major injury. Get over it and stop the absolutely ridiculous accusations against one of the top teams in the world. Even when Mclaren give him the fastest car, this particular group of fans blames them. Lewis isn’t that great or infallible, oh, and England probably won’t win the next World Cup. *Sad trombone* You heard it here first, no need to thank me.

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  133. JohnBt says:

    FANTASTIC RACE! is all I have to say.

    The opening and closing of the heavens sure made me smile especially when the downpour stopped.

    If every race could be scripted along this manner it’ll be wonderful.

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  134. Grant says:

    Only Alonso could create a win from a sub-standard car and this clearly shows why he is one of the greats. Given how the wet can equalise performance of cars, it was a good chance to see the pure driving skills with the younger drivers like Perez, Senna, Di Resta, Vergne and Hulkenberg. Unfortunately, for Massa this only adds to his ongoing headache with retaining his drive, which suggests he may not even see this year out in a red car ? A few more wet races would certainly spice up the whole championship but realistically, it is still a McLaren/Red Bull race for the championship. I suggest both Hamilton and Webber would be satisfied getting through this with some points, as this may ultimately decide the long term championship outcome later in the season.

    I’m curious, does “cucumber” have another meaning in German ?

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  135. Peter M of Oz says:

    Great job by Alonso even though I am not a fan of his or Ferrari. Mark had bad luck in some aspects again but should be content. The brat made a mistake again but as usual blames everyone else. Button made a rare mistake and accepted the consequences like the gentleman he is. Perez was brillant but oen wonders what woudl have occurred if the message to not offend Ferrari had not come. Great result for the sport. Cannot wait for China.

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  136. Kay says:

    Wow Ian… you got a crystal ball or sth? LOL…

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  137. Ryan Eckford says:

    I did not see this result coming! Under normal circumstances, these two cars shouldn’t even be on the podium, let alone one of them winning the race, especially on a circuit where having good aero is important. Great drives by both Alonso and Perez. I think under dry conditions, the McLarens would have been the leading cars. I think in China, we will see the true pecking order in both qualifying and the race, barring inclement weather.

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  138. Anup Kadam says:

    Hi James just wanted to confirm from whether there is any rule change when the race is red flagged in terms of tyre.

    If we see Monaco 2011 when the race was red flagged Vettel changed his tyres and that saved him from loosing the race to Fernando… yesterday when the race was red flagged i didn`t see anybody changing their tyres..or was it becuase they just changed those few laps early..becuase some would hav opted to Interns from full wets as all did after 4-5 laps after the safety car period.

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  139. Zed says:

    “This meant Alonso left the pits ahead of Hamilton. Perez had stayed out but when he stopped a lap later he took second place ahead of Hamilton. The order stayed that way to the end.”

    Correction to the above

    After his pit stop on lap 15, Perez came out in the lead ahead of Alonso and Hamilton. Alonso then overtook Perez on the track to take the lead

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  140. Steve W says:

    Hi James,

    I’m struggling to work out why the McLarens were so bad (Button more than Hamilton) after the restart when earlier in the race, before the red flag, they were pulling away from the field! Obviously Button’s tangle with the HRT didn’t help, but I expected him to come through the field and finish in the lower points.

    Was it just strategy? Pit stops? Or do they simply have a car that doesn’t work well in changeable conditions?

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  141. Chris Cole says:

    Just a quick reminder for all you conspiracy types – the radio message broadcast to Sergio Perez was delayed by FOM / TV coverage so he would have heard it a lap or two earlier than we did….

    Great race throughout. We think this season is going to be a classic.

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  142. panagiotis says:

    The first stepped nose win is an Italian nose, a win produced by a caesarian section. Great race from Ferralonso which will boost everybody’s motivation back home in Maranello Italy, hope Massa’s too. Nevertheless looking on some time comparisons from last year it is apparent no team has recovered from the loss of EBD. This year they are all behind of more or less 1.5 sec say in qualifying and around <5-8 tenths on race. As such, and taking into account Red Bulls, Mercedes and Lotuses have reasonable times but not results compared to struggling Ferrari, I’m looking forward to see how car updates would unfold into the game during next races. So, James do you have an insight on other team development plans, because as far as Ferrari is concern, well it is very well documented, thanks.

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  143. SK Anand says:

    Dear James,

    I see from the tyres used up by the drivers, at least 3 of the top 5 : alonso, kimi, and webber used the Hard and Used tires in their final stint? Does that hard and used tire provide more grip in terms of half dry and half wet circuit, in comparision to a hard and new tires?

    Having said that Perez was on Hard and new and still had the pace to run Alonso close?

    I am trying to understand how these options actually work, and where does Mercedes stand. They used Hard and new in their last stint.

    Thanks

    SK Anand

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  144. Mr Squiggle says:

    Was this the 21st century’s version of Monaco, 1984 – the race that said to those who know their stuff that there is a future champion in the mix?

    Alonso laid a claim to F1 greatness in Malaysia. And I don’t mean winning-in-a-car-that-wins-the-Constructor’s-championship greatness. I’m referring to the rare skill that can take a total dog with fleas car to a race meeting and still come home with the blue ribbon.

    For me this was potentially the race of the decade

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  145. Sascha says:

    What should we think of this?
    Marc Priestley
    @f1elvis
    (Race mechanic for #McLaren #F1 team 1999-2009.)
    Jenson gets first call on strategy in today’s race as he’s currently ahead in the championship. That’s how McLaren make that decision ( 25. March)

    Didn’t they say the leading driver ( in the race) gets the first call?
    Is Lewis Hamilton getting the first call in China now?

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  146. gondokmg says:

    Must be you way hitting back at those JB fans who crowned Jenson the 2012 WDC and wrote off Lewis after just one race. Good on you!

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  147. McLaren78 says:

    Some simple facts:

    All F1 drivers are class acts. The margin of difference between them is minimal. If people think that Alonso would win this race without the right (i) set up, (ii) pit-stop strategy, (iii) tyres and some (iv) luck, they are deluded. In conditions as such and differences of tenths of a second per lap among the different cars, things can be magnified.

    Not taking anything away from Alonso, in my opinion the best driver on the grid, probably along with Lewis. But let’s have some perspective here.

    And in terms of McLaren’s pace in races, I think it’s too early. Button’s pace in Australia was good and Lewis’s wasn’t because of a different front wing and set-up. Malaysia, was a lottery. We have to wait till dry conditions again to see if the pace is there or thereabouts before really judging.

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  148. f1kings.. says:

    its true mclaren pit crew has made some bad errors . but the season is very early and hopefully they can fix it. but lets talk about the real problem i see that know one is talking about . these horrible tyres pirelli has produce . all this talk about be careful not push to early are tyres will a bad drop off in time. know matter if its wet are dry the tyres need to perform at a high quality ,and a high performance . this is formula one the best of best that racing has. but these pirelli tyres are not the best at any time. we have a battle between engine manufacturers , and we should have a battle between tyres manufacturers, so we can get the best tyres on the track.

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  149. zombie says:

    Its hard for me not to feel sorry for Massa. He is an incredibly nice guy who is going through a rough patch in life like we all go through some point in time. He needs to do what he did in 2006 and 2007.Try and win a race with himself, keep it clean and keep it smooth. He is trying too hard and falling too far.I’m sure he’ll figure it out and be back again. I’m not sure what Chris Dyer is upto, but maybe it wouldnt be such a bad idea to bring him in in place of Smedley for some fresh perspective.

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  150. Nick Hughes says:

    I thought Alonso and Perez were spectacular, but I just could not believe how poor the Mclaren pit stops for Lewis were on Sunday and last week, costing vital time with silly mistakes. But I believe it will still Mclaren at the front in China with Perez still with Sauber until the end of the season, Ferrari won’t cut Massa and be the first Ferrari driver to be cut mid-season since Prost

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  151. pallys says:

    Poor race by Button 1m20 behind the leaders and that isn’t all down to a broken wing. Got overtaken by Rosberg too, must have damaged his tyres.

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  152. Andrew Kirk says:

    I get the feeling that Sauber would tell their drivers to hold 2nd and 3rd even if it was an HRT up front and they still had half the race left to pass it.

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  153. Wayne says:

    Alonso was indeed outstanding. Hamilton was (again) incredibly ordinary and ultimately dissapointing – anyone have any idea why he could not catch the slower Ferrari and Sauber? James, any clues?

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  154. JW says:

    Have to agree there – Lewis seemed like he was doing well in the wet at the start but could not keep up the pace after the restart with both Alonso and Perez (and Vettel and Webber seemed to be catching him too).

    James – it seems (maybe I am wrong) but the McLaren race pace today was a little off (Button was really struggling to switch on his inters and Hamilton really seemed to be going nowhere)…do you think that the others had set up a little more for a wet race and McLaren weren’t, or are they eating the tires?

    I noticed that Jonathan Neale got a bit tight-lipped when asked about race pace today, but I guess he would do!

    Having said all that, Alonso and Perez were awesome!

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  155. hero_was_senna says:

    In 2008, Hamilton won some great wet weather races, and the fickle media and fans called him a rain master, new Senna, all this crap, mostly overlooking the fact Mclaren heated up their tyres quickly, which was perfect in wet weather.
    Ferrari always struggled because of how little they took out of the tyres.
    But do you know what, in their seasons together, Button has made Hamilton in the wet look decidedly average.

    Something else that pleases me no-end, Vettel still has a one finger salute, but for the life of me I cannot see how Narain received a penalty. Vettel drove across the front of him as he did to Webber in 2010.
    Vettel for all his “British” humor is starting to show himself for who he truly is when he hasn’t got the most dominant car.
    I haven’t, nor will I watch SKY, so I have no idea if Brundle is still spouting on about Vettel being the Greatest driver ever. Or has he changed his opinion because of how the bum fluff kid is behaving now.

    They say you can always tell the quality of a driver when he has a poor car beneath him. Alonso is proving himself a genius

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  156. beastfromtheeast says:

    Talk about getting carried away!

    Wet races have always thrown up odd results (Button even won in a Honda back in ’06). If the next race is dry, expect Fernando to be back off the podium.

    As for Mclaren’s pit crew and strategy-calling, it’s about time they fired nice-but-dim Whitmarsh. Cock-ups like today’s, especially combined with two number ones taking points off each other all season, will seriously screw up their chances.

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  157. James Allen says:

    Unlucky today with Schumacher. Rosberg has made a few mistakes, especially in qualifying. Potential is there but they’ll be concerned they’ve got so little out of opening races

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  158. SpaceJunk says:

    I am not sure how Massa caused Hamilton to overshoot his stopping point in the pits, resulting in troubles for the pit crew in getting the rear jack to lift his car up.

    If Hamilton didn’t make that mistake, Massa wouldn’t been a factor. Massa didn’t screw Hamilton up; he was more than capable of screwing himself.

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  159. PK says:

    While Massa does suck, you can’t possibly believe Alonso won because of him.

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  160. Eua 1972 says:

    If you think it was down to massa i am sorry for you, it was an amazing performance by Alonso ( and pathetic by massa), the rest is having a sour soul

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  161. Sebee says:

    Now that is the ultimate #2! Moves over when asked and is ready to take out the competition. Here comes a new 2 year contract for Massa!

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  162. Holly says:

    You have to be a very sad person to come here and post this, this a serious blog by a serious journalist, keep away your paranoia from JA blog.

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  163. olderguysrule says:

    May I post a one word answer? Rubish.

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  164. alexander says:

    Completely agree! And is was Massa who was holding up Hamilton on track 1.5sec per lap when Alonso and Perez were in charge. Not mentioning rear jack for lifting car which Hamilton has problem during his pits stop – Massa was seen holding it!

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  165. Jaled Larbi says:

    Correct me if i’m wrong.
    From lap 14 Lewis’ race pace wasn’t anywhere near the 2 front runners (ALO and PER).
    Even James says it in the above: “Hamilton had no response for the pace of the leading two cars in either intermediate or dry conditions”

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  166. Patrick Byrne says:

    O dear the usual Alonso-haters. They’d need a crystal ball to judge that hold-up in the pits – it was an overlap of a second or so as Massa came in and Hamilton went to leave.

    As for holding up Button…gimme a break! JB was well out of the running for top points at that stage.

    Let the haters hate. Fact is Alonso is leading the WDC after 2 races with a car that is weaker than McLaren, RB, Lotus, Merc (I can’t make head-nor-tale of where they’re at), Sauber.

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  167. Jeff says:

    Today’s victory would undoubtedly be well received by everyone at Ferrari, however it’s important for them to remember that the problems the team have encountered are still present, just as Alonso confirmed. Nonetheless, Alonso’s performance was yet another example of his extraordinary talent, driving what appears to be, at this point of the season, a midfield Ferrari way beyond its capabilities. With regards to conspiracy theories suggesting team orders were implemented to stop Perez from challenging Alonso, I find it highly unlikely that sauber would have been willing for Perez to risk leaving the track and possibly run into the gravel as he could easily have done.

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  168. Anup Kadam says:

    Ohhh really…then why didn`t Lewis close the gap to Fernando…he was not even matching his pace..please so think twice before you write…
    and why to blame Ferrari and Massa all top teams including Mclaren pit both the cars on the same lap so there should not be any problem…

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  169. JohnBt says:

    Wow, you really dislike Alonso or should I say you really hate him.

    To be honest it was fair and square Ferrari made all the right moves and of course with the master driver, thanks to the rain throwing the race for an unpredictable win.

    Enjoyed the chase Perez gave Alonso, but the wily old fox once again kept his cool. Usually the hunted will falter but not Nando.

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  170. Aussie Fan says:

    “An opening lap tangle”

    Nice writeup as usual James, although I would suggest a more appropriate wording regarding the Grosjean Schumacher incident would be, “When Grosjean slid sideways into the back of Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes & spun him, also forcing his teammate Raikkonen off the track to avoid the incident, & then blamed Michael Schumacher for the incident…”

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  171. Aussie Fan says:

    James, would it be too much to ask that the article read “Schumacher having spun on lap one AFTER BEING TAPPED BY GROSJEAN’S LOTUS”

    as this is what happened & yet alot of reports don’t seem to contain this & merely mention that Schumacher had a spin & fell to 16th. Small technicality but its the difference between driver error or being spun through no fault of your own.

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  172. r0ssj says:

    Yeah you’re right. They didn’t show it live, but on the BBC highlights they showed from Alonso’s in car camera. Perez was in the lead and Alonso passed him coming out of the first corner.

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  173. crespo says:

    I believe you’re right, as there’s a clip floating around showing Alonso making a pass on Perez. (found it) The lap counter is missing but it seems to be exactly what you’re referring to.

    http://h9.abload.de/img/untitled-26agy7m.gif

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  174. CRT says:

    Yes, Alonso overtook him on the track: http://h9.abload.de/img/untitled-26agy7m.gif

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  175. OscarF1 says:

    Sergio Pérez came out 1st, but coming out of the Pit Lane, he lacked pace and tyre temperature to keep the position a single corner as the Ferrari came full speed after the straight.
    The actual overtake wasn’t shown.

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  176. Jonathan says:

    Yes, Perez came out first and was overtaken by Alonso.

    Always nice to see a race winner taking the lead on the track. There haven’t many of these in the last few years, that’s for sure.

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  177. dc says:

    I think we can safely say Perez will drive for Ferrari in 2013, the only question is if it will happen any sooner

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  178. Sebee says:

    I just hope it’s not at Ferrari as #2 to Alonso for next four years. Its a sure way to dull a sharp edge he has.

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  179. Cliff says:

    As Ferrari improves its car, so will all the other teams. The baseline from which Ferrari will develop their car is much lower than the Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes. This makes Ferrari’s job harder. Theres nothing to say that they won’t get to the bottom of their problems but at the moment it would be a fair assumption that all the teams will continue to improve their cars, therefore seeing Vettel & Button as his main rivals makes sense. Fernado Alonso himself, accepts that this win does not solve the teams problem, likewise SD.

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  180. dc says:

    This is the first time Perez finds himself in such situation. He first needs to get accustomed to running at the front

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  181. KS says:

    Keep in mind that Perez is still very young, it’s his 2nd season, while Alonso has 10 years under his belt.

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  182. Tony says:

    Yes, but Alonso’s a 2XWDC. That’s why he’s one of (if not the) most accomplished drivers on the grid. But I remember him making errors in his formative years. Brazil 2003 springs to mind.

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  183. RegressorTac says:

    I believe Perez is also much less experienced than Alonso in an inferior car to the Ferrari.

    James, I suspect Alonso was running a more wet weather inclined setup than the other cars. What do you think?

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  184. Ralf F says:

    Perez is just 21 years old! Alonso has made some mistakes in his career, some much more costly than the one Perez made today. Before today I was on the fence but Checo proved he deserved the praise and the support he is getting from Ferrari.

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  185. Chris says:

    The Sauber message ruined a classic race!!! Hope Sauber get a discount on those engines in the future!!!

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  186. Lloyd says:

    Give Perez a chance! He’s just 22 years old, and easily has race winning potential (if not championship winning potential) inside him. He drove consistently well in tricky conditions, in a car punching above its weight.

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  187. Joe B says:

    I agree completely! Perez looks very quick, but it was his race to lose… and he did. Also, Raikonnen was complaining afterwards that he just wants a normal race to show what he can do in that car, and I think when he gets the chance he’ll be very, very impressive.

    Wonder what the betting is for all 6 champions to take a win this year?

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  188. JimmiC says:

    To be fair, Perez is still a relative rookie and the conditions caught out a lot of drivers today – including World Champions.

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  189. Andrew Carter says:

    A bit unfair comparing a double world champion who is now 5th on the all time winners list with a driver in only his second season.

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  190. dc says:

    no one has mentioned so far, but what actually cost Perez a win was pitting for dry tyres 2 laps too late. If Sauber called him in a lap before Alonso (and there was already a lot of evidence it was the tyre to be on), Perez would have won

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  191. Breezy says:

    Lotus also need to sort their strategy on both stops they were slow to react and it cost Kimi on both occasions.

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  192. Kevin says:

    The DRS should be deactivated when the cars are beside each other. That would be fairer.

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  193. Matthew Yau says:

    Were you even watching the race? Alonso passed Perez on the inside of turn 2 after coming down the pit straight with no use of DRS. The amount of passes made on the outside of Schumacher, Rosberg and Massa are numerous without very few of these being down the pit staight.

    The DRS complaints are getting boring. It was an exciting race so just enjoy it!

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  194. Wayne says:

    Completely agree with you. All the dicing in the rain was lost to DRS drive-bys.

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  195. AdamT says:

    Well, Alonso was lucky – he did not need to defend against Perez DRS, Sauber team “on guard” was enough to defend his (Alonso) position. Is that racing?
    Are you not getting fed up of watching teams preventing drivers from passing and that way producing race finishes robbed of real, “on track” competition?
    I am personally, fed up of that.

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  196. Mike J says:

    Maybe DRS shouldn’t be used in wet races when other opportunities to overtake will happen due to the conditions. DRS should definitely not be used in qualifying, still can’t get my head around that. Practise ok to use it.

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  197. jay jacob says:

    To be fair, DRS only helps a driver overtake but can’t keep him in front.

    If two cars and two drivers are equally matched, the driver behind will always be within a second of the leading car in the next lap and will overtake it.

    In the past people always complain that the race order is the same as the qualifying order, but with DRS this order can change and add ‘a little excitement’.

    So guys & gals, please stop complaining about DRS. It’s neither bad or good; it’s just meant to introduce changes and get drivers to attack attack attack !

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  198. Andrew says:

    Very petulant comments from Vettel after the race considering he was to blame for his accident. Not so charming now he hasn’t got the best car is he?

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  199. Alex W says:

    exactly, and Vettel blames the other guy again!

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  200. Webbo says:

    Take a look at the stewart’s decision. They obviously understand more about F1: http://www.pitpass.com/45910-Karthikeyan-penalised

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  201. Matthew Yau says:

    Set-up is very important in wet races where teams will tend to run more wing. Furthermore, wet races tend to level the playing field a bit more.

    But to be honest, the teams haven’t really done any testing ont he wet tyres and therefore don’t know the best way to switch on the tyres. Although there are still questions marks over why Massa was being overtaken so easily whilst Alonso was able to maintain his lead until he started losing grip.

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  202. Dan says:

    I was very amused by the fact that Lewis looked happier on this podium, third to his old rival Alonso, than he did coming in third to Jenson a week ago.

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  203. anil says:

    THe sauber and ferrari were just much quicker. Ferrari were running a lot of wing (hence their dismal straight line speed through qualy) and the Sauber was fantastic on the inters.

    The Mclaren just didn’t have the pace on the inter.

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  204. Sossoliso says:

    Looks like you guys want to have your Cake and eat it. When Lewis was entertaining the public he takes more risks and consequently more mistakes. Then come November when the points are tallied up, the same public slags him for having a lower points tally ininuating inferior race drivers are better than him.

    Good for you lewis.. Like Alonso always says..”It is the points total in November which counts, not how fast or races you have won”. I hope this is the beginning of a new Lewis.. Take the points and pick your fights going forward. If you come third every race during the season, you will be world champion. That is all that counts. If Bernie wants the public entertained, he should hire a Circus Act.

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  205. CraigD says:

    It was weird wasn’t it. Once on dries (and relatively low fuel), I expecting Hamilton to come alive and close down the Sauber and Ferrari, but those two were on another level!

    McLaren just didn’t suit those conditions as further evidenced by Button’s inability to get back through the field.

    Makes for a cracking championship though.

    Webber’s keeping himself tidy, which is nice too. Vettel was fuming in his post race interview hehe.

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  206. MK_Chris says:

    Ask James about the radio commentary when mention was made of the time spent removing debris from the air scoop on the brakes. I didn’t hear a mention of the pit crew putting the debris into the duct in the first place.

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  207. drums says:

    I donn’t think it was MacLaren sloppiness but the lack of the draw. Red light was on preventing Hamilton from getting out of the pit as Massa was coming in to his own pit in front of Hamilton’s.

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  208. Ali says:

    I agree with James, we needed to see Mercedes in the hands of Schumacher in dry conditions. Two unfortunate races out of his control. He still has outshone Rosberg and so Michael deserves credit, p.s. might I add that it is the first time Schumacher has led Rosberg in points. Mercedes must improve the race pace though.

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  209. hero_was_senna says:

    Watching this race, watching Schumi spinning round and watching Alonso and Perez, it kind of underlined how far from his peak Michael has actually fallen.
    !0-15 years ago, the conditions today would have been made for Schumi’s abilities, anyone else remember Malaysia 2001, when he carved through the field even though he was nearly a lap down?
    Even Monza 2004, where a lap down he came back to second behind his team-mate

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  210. Scott Walton says:

    Lots of the cars seem competitive at the moment. The mercedes does seem to be struggling with long stint race pace. They really must be chewing the life out of the tyres too quickly.

    I hope they sort it quickly as would like to see Rosberg and Schumi in with chances of race wins. Season is two races old and I am so much enjoying it already :)

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  211. Sebee says:

    In a lottery race, which this clearly was there is no time for team orders.

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  212. Jaled Larbi says:

    That message also applied to Lewis today!!

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  213. JOS says:

    How about “Felipe, Sergio is faster than you, get your coat”

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  214. crespo says:

    In my [non-]expert opinion, it was mix of both, but mostly a lack of pace. You can conserve tires all you want, but when the driver chasing you is cutting into your lead at a second a lap, you better put that foot down!

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  215. Arya says:

    Conserving tyre for what? Cooling down lap?

    I strongly feel Ferrari went for a high downforce(wet set up)gamble. That’s why Alonso could pull out a gap of around 8.5s to Sergio when it was wet. As the track started drying out, same caused Sergio’s incredible comeback to Alonso.

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  216. Kay says:

    Both I’d say.

    Conserve tyres for the latter stages when Perez attacks so he has grip to fight.

    Car wasn’t fast either.

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  217. Horno says:

    Same here, real emotional win!

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  218. Phil says:

    You forgot the bit where he was being caught at a second a lap by the “customer” Ferrari at the hand of a driver with only a season under his belt.

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  219. CraigD says:

    They all left if for slicks way too late. Didn’t understand yes. Yes there were fears of further rain but they couldn’t have hung on with worn inters in fresh rain and the slicks paid up a pit stop in no time!

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  220. alexander says:

    I believe on laps 3x-4x everybody was waiting for the rain to start again – there were many transmissions on team radio – that’s why nobody rushed with slics even though everybody has seen lap times of D.Ricciardo who was doing 1s per sector better than Alonso or Perez during that time.

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  221. Mitchel says:

    Exactly what I was thinking. Also, Vettel got into an incident……

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  222. Ash says:

    Ha Ha – you just know if was Lewis Hamilton, this thread would be going into overdrive…..

    It’s Jenson, it’s ok, we’ll just sweep it under the carpet – nobody will notice – lol!!!

    You gotta love it…….

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  223. Richard D says:

    When I was watching for a moment I just assumed it was Hamilton!

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  224. Ian says:

    It would be the usual condemnation. But with golden boy Jenson…

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  225. efi says:

    + 1 for that

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  226. Serrated_Edge says:

    Perhaps it is different because Jenson in the interviews held his hand up and apologised for the mistake he made today and admitted the whole day had been a disatser?

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  227. Joe B says:

    I took it to mean Alonso in his second season, or Raikonnen, or Schumacher, who all made an impact at relative stages of their careers.

    Still impressive from Perez, undoubtedly, but the win was there for the taking. I’ve no doubt he’ll have another opportunity soon.

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  228. F1Fan says:

    You realize of course that such a comparison was made all the time when the double world champion was competing against his team mate who was a rookie.

    Still, Perez drove incredibly well, notwithstanding the error. Though I’m sure the conspiracy theorists will note it came right after his engineer suggested he should hold position. His time in the second sector was especially impressive when he was constantly going purple by about .4 sec compared to Alonso every lap.

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  229. Richard D says:

    I would like to think that even though he’s young, Perez wouldn’t want to do a Piquet Jr.

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  230. Joe B says:

    My brother suspected foul play but I think it was a genuine mistake. Ferrari had plenty of laps to ask Sauber to back off in a less risky way than faking a spin in treacherous conditions – a conserve fuel message would’ve made far more sense.

    Perez totally put his calling card on Massa’s seat though!

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  231. Julian says:

    Absolutely not, or Perez wouldn’t have have bothered to attempt to hunt Alonso down in the first place to a few tenths of a second. He even felt he should have won…

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  232. AdamT says:

    Well, that was my first impression, and I am affraid it might be true. Going off just a little bit is still nothing comparing to crashing a car, isn’t it?
    Too bad – Alonso had a realy good race today. Second place would still be great achievement.

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  233. Rafa says:

    Why would they do that? Chase a car down and then make a blunder, if by keeping the pace the same result would’ve stood? I think too much conspiracy doing the rounds. The actual message was, alright you’ve got a double world champion in front of you and we need these points like water in the dessert, don’t mess it up. As it turned out, mr Perez nearly did mess up, so it was straight thinking from the wall

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  234. hero_was_senna says:

    How fast this sport changes… a few days back everyone wanted Kobayashi in the Ferrari seat.

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  235. Wayne says:

    I expected the exact same thing, I still thought (and hoped) it would be LH’s race right up until about lap 40. Webber is enjoying the new non-off throttle blown cars and it doesn’t hurt to see SV deal with a little bit of bad luck for a change :)

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  236. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

    “Vettel was fuming in his post race interview”

    His comments on the BBC coverage were interesting. He said (paraphrasing, I don’t remember the exact words) “it’s like being on the public road, there are idiots driving around you. It seems there’s one driving here too”. Very interesting from someone whose difficulties were caused by their own actions cutting across the wing of the car they had just passed …

    I can only imagine the uproar on this site had VET been replaced by HAM in that interview :)

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  237. Kay says:

    Vettel? He deserved that tyre burst! That was basically a repeat of Turkey 2010 just running into another car’s line BEFORE he’s fully ahead.

    What did he expect honestly? The other car to simply disappear just because he wanted the line? C’mon!

    After two years he still hasn’t learned. With a car not so fast now he can’t out-drive it or even get the better of Webber.

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  238. gondokmg says:

    Lewis may have had the pace in himself and the car to chase after Alonso and Perez but in doing so he would have damaged his tyres and may have ended up falling prey to Webber, or worse still, end up needing an extra pit stop.

    In those difficult conditions where you have no idea how long the tyres will last or when the next shower will be, Lewis had to manage his tyres and keep his position first and foremost.

    Alonso and Perez had nothing to loose and I would’nt be surprised if they had gambled on a wet set-up anyway. After all, all Lewis’ championship rivals were behind him so why destroy your race chasing after Alonso and Perez?

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  239. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    Yep! All the Alonso v Hamilton arguments in the posts on this site(which,annoyingly, appears to be the content of over half the posts) don’t seem to realise that there was AMPLE time, once the cars were on slicks, for ANYONE to start catching Alonso…..whether it be Perez,Hamilton, Webber or Raikkonen. Only Perez was able to make any ground on him.
    Whether it the men,the machines or the tyres, we don’t know, but that is how it was, and no amount of parochial favouritism can change the facts.

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  240. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    oh, and yes, it does make for a cracking championship!!
    Bring on China!

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  241. kenny5 says:

    Hi James,

    very strange race….
    It looked nicely setup ather the safety car with many cars well out of position, but everyone juest settled in and it was a procession to the end..
    Ie slower cars at the front and some well up the midfield — with Hamilton, button, vettel and schumacher even dropping back from what would be considered slower cars…. I surely thought that schumacher with the massive top speed would overtake – but nothing….

    Any idea as to why this race turned so stale??
    Is it a characterist of the track??

    We cannot say that the rain was a leveler – as if that was the case we would see all cars at sililar pace– but with some overtaking…

    Does the grip fall away quicker when following
    close in these conditions??

    or did the tyres just not work here at all??

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  242. Dan says:

    That’s kinda my point also see below Re: weather radars.

    The accuracy and usefulness of the weather radar needs to be questioned. Information overload.

    Just be on the right tyres at the right time.

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  243. muralonso says:

    So what u saying?he didn’t deserve to win?why do u have to find excuses if ur driver doesn’t win.its a team game they shudve done better in all areas but they didn’t.Ferrari did and that’s the end of story.oh just for the record Alonso is the only driver with less pole position and most win what does that tell u about him?

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  244. dzolve says:

    I think you will find that Hamilton was ‘good to go’ but had to be held while Massa dawdled in! Had he exited in the lead he would have had a good chance of controlling the race from the front.

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  245. Anup Kadam says:

    If Felipe pitted after Lewis then how come he held up Lewis…and today`s race was purely won by Fernando based on his talent and his driving style and not the car…
    Every body used to same Jenson is used to manage this tyres better than any one else..its not true i have see it when it comes do changing conditions he looses the tyres faster…even today compared to Fernando he pitted twice to fit the inters..

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  246. Simmo says:

    I completely agree. It just shows that the stewards seem to have something big against them. At least that is the impression I’m getting.

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  247. Dave Roberts says:

    James,

    On the face of it both collisions involving Karthikeyan were not his fault. But I wonder if my untrained eye has missed a fundamental problem caused by such a slow car acting as a moving road block.

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  248. Oly says:

    Agree – Vettel’s fault.
    Moreover, when losing, his character is really annoying.

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  249. Quattro_T says:

    This quote is from Vettel post race interview with BBC:

    “It’s like on the normal roads, there are a few idiots driving around and, yeah, it seems that there is one driving here”

    Add to that Vettel giving NK the finger twice following their “incident”. Sad!

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  250. Kay says:

    Agree with A-Z and Simmo.

    Or they are all just love baby-sitting Vettel and whoever the their beloved kid hits, others are wrong.

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  251. Bhodha Gezi says:

    Well, its so common it’ll happen again, be watching China, Spain or Cananda u’ll see. Mclaren has a record of shooting its own drivers in the foot especially Hamilton. No conspiracy theories they are just sloppy.

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  252. F1Fan4Life says:

    Alonso overtook Perez in the race… Which Perez wasn’t able to do later despite having a faster car. I think that says quite obviously who deserved to win.

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  253. dc says:

    you make your luck

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  254. Rafa says:

    Good,good, glad u liked it

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  255. EBELGTV says:

    try another 1 or 2 sugars in your coffee…..

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  256. Joel says:

    “Can somebody explain to me why Jenson was first to pit on two occasions ahead of Lewis?”

    Today was a very good example of how McLaren under Whitmarsh smoothly trying to undermine Lewis Hamilton. Atleast, Ferrari have the gumption to say publicly they have a No 1/2 driver. Pathetic

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  257. AlexNK says:

    Yep, really mature drive from Lewis today. Having a dominant car in his hands, 1.3 secs clear of Alonso and 1.4 secs from Perez in qualifying, he instantly recognized their superior pace and drove to limit the damage. So, +12 secs at the finish line was absolute best he could’ve done. At least Jenson had that excuse of hitting an HRT. Sure, with this approach we can definitely expect more podiums from Lewis in the future.
    But seriously, what happened to the guy? Was all this ‘Lewis will never change his style’ just a load of bull? Was he secretly chastised by Macca? For a second outing in a row, he just fades having lost the lead. The pit-stop blunders do not explain his genuine lack of pace and a large gap to the second place.

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  258. Rach says:

    Agree with all of this. What I don’t understand is why Hamilton wasn’t allowed to pit first last week but this week it was fine for button to. I know this race was wet but still button got an advantage that last week Hamilton wasn’t allowed and it cost him severely as his tyres were shot.

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  259. AdamT says:

    Even better strategic call by Sauber – Ferrari to stop Perez from taking great win – too bad.
    I have just started to enjoy watching F1 again. Too bad.

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  260. Ian says:

    He has definitely moved up.

    Let’s be realistic. Brawn inherited a good Honda. Honda took the previous year off and Brawn walked in on a car that was developed for close to 12 months. Consider the Mercedes of this year. When did development begin? In the middle of last season.

    Now back to Button… He thoroughly trashed Rubens. For sure. His win in Australia came down to his getting the corner first and getting the call on pitstops. That is it. Personally I love to see the Button myth grow.

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  261. Melzebub says:

    Why ? He did not actually overtake him on the track did he ? He was helped by Massa’s timely arrival though.

    If you remember 2007 we had them both in the same cars and Lewis won, in his Rookie year.

    Can you confirm you understood this message ?

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  262. Tomma says:

    I think Lewis was let down by his team today. Give him back the 7-8 seconds lost on his two pit stops and the extremely negative pit calls and he is right in the mix. Which as you say about Gro But Rai Vet Sch won’t always be the case in the future…. Especially from a top team like Mclaren.

    I think Lewis knew that hence his reasonably upbeat body language after the race. This season could be won with more mature performances like this and 3-4 wins…..

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  263. matthew says:

    lewis was alot faster than button in the wet.
    and he was faster up until his messed up pitstop which allowed button to get ahead.

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  264. fausta says:

    F1 has always had slower cars and a good driver should be able to navigate past them.
    It was both drivers fault that they his the HRT car and to ask for the slower cars to be taken out of the race is absolutely ridiculous!

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  265. David Ryan says:

    Trust me, however bad you think HRT are they are still nowhere near the worst to have graced the F1 paddock. Look up Andrea Moda and Life for starters – compared with them, HRT are practically Ferrari…

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  266. David Goss says:

    Agree that HRT are a joke, I doubt they’ll need to be thrown out though, I think they’ll just run out of money sooner or later and no one will want to buy or invest.

    Looked like Button’s and Vettel’s incidents with the HRT were both their own faults. Difference is, Button admitted he screwed up, whereas Vettel went crazy swearing at NK from the cockpit and called him an idiot to Lee McKenzie after the race. Seems childish (and unlike him).

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  267. Bash says:

    Sorry mate, but you are way off. They were going for it, all out. Alonso and Perez were not pushing harder than anyone, everyone was pushing. The Ferrari and Sauber were simply better in these conditions, particularly in Alonso and Perez hands.

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  268. Fabrice says:

    For all the above reasons Hamilton get my vote for driver of the day, in fact if the role was reversed this place will be full of people praising Button and telling us he is the reincarnation of Einstein because he uses his head while Hamilton always goes for broke.

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  269. dc says:

    you must be kidding, no. I recommend you watch last 2-3 seasons when F1 was on Bridgstone and compare them with 2011. 2011 was the first in a long time where a driver in a good car could realistically hope to get to the front from far behind

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  270. Owen says:

    See Webber’s drive in China 2011 for an example of a fast driver coming back through the pack – bearing in mind this was on 2011 Pirelli’s, which were much softer and wore out more quickly.

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  271. Brett says:

    I will agree if the second the safety car goes off, everyone dives in for intermediates, then the safety car was out for too long.

    Likely by at least two laps.

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  272. adi says:

    So everyone was ‘pirelli tyre limited’ exept the two guys in front!!!….If by ‘limited’ you mean they drove a great race and the wet conditions levelled out the advantage McLaren, Red Bull, Lotus have in the dry then yes your correct.
    Also did you see the faster drivers coming through the field from 7th and 8th to come 1st and 2nd? Just like the ‘old days’. Pre 2007.
    What i would like to know is this……Is it possible for a Lewis Hamilton fan to admit the following….
    a) Alonso and Perez just did a better job on the day
    b) A race can still be entertaining even if Lewis starts from pole and finishes a distant third
    c) If Lewis won from Alonso’s position, would it have been described as “a great win and an great race” or still a “pirelli/Whiting disaster”??

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  273. Kay says:

    Finally!!! Someone with some proper racing sense talk sense to other casual viewers complaining about McLaren, Merc and Lotus not delivering!

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  274. jay jacob says:

    Mr/Ms/Mrs gondokmg : Kimi set fastest race lap !!

    In an interview, Kimi said when he changed to slicks, it took him a little bit longer to get up to speed which is probably caused by how the car works the tyres in that particular condition, but once two are in sync, he proved it with a fastest lap.

    I think what we saw with Perez was a car + tyre combo that worked very well at those conditions ADDED with a hungry driver; however, i don’t think that many races will be like this for rest of the year. Hint: when it rains and in changing conditions, i’m willing to bet that Sauber/Perez will be one to watch for.

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  275. Wayne says:

    No, that’s the obvious ‘text book’ anser. I agree that Hamilton needs to collect points and go the distance. However, surely I am not alone in thinking that he would catch and devour the struggling Ferrari and the second division Sauber?

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  276. Ash says:

    @ Sossoliso……

    Great post – Lewis is learning that points equal prizes.

    Entertainment usually equals nothing.

    Keep it up Lewis…..

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  277. Bash says:

    “Going off a little bit” in a F1 car, in wet/mixed conditions, in a quick corner, intentionally? There is no “little bit”. Perez did very well to open the car and keep it under control, he could have very, very easily lost it in the gravel. He was mere meters away.

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  278. Quercus says:

    Lewis now has a second and a third — and he’s the only driver to be on the podium in both races so far this season — to me that seems consistent. The way things are this season, with no obviously dominant driver, that could see him win the championship if he keeps it up.

    That’s why he was smiling. But I don’t need reminding that there’s a long way to go.

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  279. JackFlash (Aust) says:

    @Quercus. No. Hampster has two third placings – no second this year. Last week in Oz 3rd, and this week in Malaysia 3rd. JF

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  280. Kevin Green says:

    Quercus, a second and third what??? you may want to give your head a substancial bash and see if your stat’s come out correctly next time.

    And sorry there is clearly a dominant driver as such in Hamilton??? try Alonso! just needs to get a competitive car!

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  281. Dxs says:

    Hamilton would have been relatively content with the result in Malaysia because it was a wet to dry race, where anything could happen (look at vettel, grosjean, schuey, button). So to remain on the podium is a decent effort. In Australia though, he lost his win in pure conditions.

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  282. Wild Man says:

    Actually, Hamilton has two third places.

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  283. JOS says:

    a third and a third, surely?

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  284. Aussie Fan says:

    That’s because in his head he can then tell himself that HE wasn’t beaten, just his car. Lewis will always think of himself as faster than ANYONE its just how he is.

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  285. jay jacob says:

    Commenting on Dan’s remarks:

    Going into Sepang’s race, Button was leading Lewis by 10 points and Vettel was leading by 3 points. At the end of the race, Lewis has 30 points in total but Button & Vettel score NONE. Now, he’s leading Button by 5 points and Vettel by 12.

    Lewis didnt care that Alonso won because in Q3 Alonso was 1.3 seconds slower on outright pace; in the next few races, he knows he has the advantage over Alonso and can close the 5 points gap. Perez qualified behind Alonso in Sepang, and now Lewis leads him by 18 points. Lewis has two poles in a row now (beating Button) and going into the next race, psychologically, this makes him stronger and more confident he’s got the edge over Button.

    So, it’s easy to see why Lewis is happier on the podium in Sepang.

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  286. F1Fan4Life says:

    Thanks, good to finally see it. It looks like a decent pass too. You know, it is truly irritating to see some Alonso haters and their comments. Even when he wins with an inferior car they still bark. Well, say what you want about him, he beat Perez (who had a better car) while Hamilton, Button and Vettel all had faster cars and fumbled and fell over themselves. It is good to see that some fans can give credit where it is due.

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  287. D1M0NST3R says:

    Yes, he did overtake him cuz Perez just pit stopped.

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  288. Rafa says:

    Precisely!

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  289. Quattro_T says:

    You are obviously reffering to a different race than everyone else saw. FA took the lead quite early, with nice and clean overtakes, and kept it by driving faster than other drivers (sitting in fundamentally faster cars). Lottery? No, it is called Logic.

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  290. hero_was_senna says:

    Well, I raise my hat to you, my choice of one word in Italian or English would have been somewhat earthier lol

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  291. Stephen22 says:

    A one word answer you couldn’t even spell right.

    Tainted win for Alonso in my opinion

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  292. hero_was_senna says:

    and additionally Hamilton himself said it.

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  293. Richard says:

    No good show to Alonso for grasping the opportunity as it presented itself. Had the pit stops not been fouled up for Hamilton it’s debateable if he would have held onto the lead. However it’s one thing to catch someone, but quite another to get past so Hamilton may have won if he managed to control the race. It has to be said that Hamilton’s car does not have great race pace, which is rather strange after such a fast qualifying performance. It’s most lightly a combination of tyre degradation and set up. If McLaren are to remain in front they must improve their race pace.

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  294. Fernando says:

    What error, the one when he was called by Ferrari to not to pass his boy?.. or else Sauber will not get the Ferrari engine?… oh wait, my mistake, Sauber called his driver to inform Perez to keep his 2nd place and not to pass Alonso… shame on Sauber, a racing driver goes for victory and Perez was going to pass him, but got the called which ruined concentration and lost it in that corner….
    Driver of the day Perez….

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  295. Don Farrell says:

    +1

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  296. Dan says:

    His car isn’t as fast, but he won. The record books won’t make any note of how fast he was being caught or what happened in the race, it will just say he won and in Formula One that’s all that matters.

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  297. Rafa says:

    Who was beating an entire field with 5 dwc in it, one double, the other a seven times winner. Absolutely right, Perez is the best driver ever, especially when using your logic.

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  298. Quattro_T says:

    Ridiculous

    By your logic – he left a seven time world champion, who happens to be the most successful driver in F1 history, lagging some 50 seconds behind him…how do you quantify that?

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  299. PLROUSSEL says:

    Yup, the same “customer” Ferrari that made the rest of the field look pretty bad. Forza Fernando, Forza Sauber.

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  300. Kay says:

    Yer thanks for pointing that out to make Alonso’s win even better for not making mistakes under pressure in a car that’s worse than a customer car.

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  301. dzolve says:

    No. I’m just saying that McClaren, and Hamilton’s race in particular, were compromised by Massa and it’s not as if he and Smedley don’t have previous!

    Alonso drove a great race, absolutely faultless. He is in a class of his own.

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  302. David Ryan says:

    Massa was good enough to beat Kimi Raikkonen in the same car in 2008 and 2009, let’s not forget – to say nothing of nearly taking the title in 2008, which he would easily have had but for a duff piston in Hungary and the pitcrew mistake in Singapore. (That was also Mark Hughes’ conclusion in Autosport, by the way) Clearly he is nowhere near that level at present, but at least give him credit for the fact he achieved that level in the first place. You do raise some very good points with the other questions though, particularly as to why Mercedes and Lotus seem to have so many problems.

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  303. Kevin Green says:

    Think we will need another 2 or 3 races before we can work out where the cars and drivers all are in a pecking order so to speak.

    I think Alonso has certainly cemented his place as best driver post Senna now surely?? what’s happening to the 2 title winning Germans everyone keeps raving about? i rest my case on both from previous posts (thus far) like i said another 2 or 3 races and then weigh things up.

    looks like the most interesting topic to come in the near future is who will get Massa’s seat as i said last week Maldonado set himself up well last week but for his crash (but did say cant really think too much til 3-4 races anyway) and then we have Perez’s stunning drive today and to be honest i marked him prev of never getting the seat, well well exciting stuff :)

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  304. They were able to capitalise on the weather conditions which will buy them more time to understand their car.

    With a three week gap to the next race, I’m sure the Italian press will solely focus on Massa and not Domenicali or Fry.

    Now in a virtuous circle, I can see a highly motivated Alonso producing another win where Ferrari shouldn’t be able to normally.

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  305. Quattro_T says:

    +1
    I just wanted to add Magical :)

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  306. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    LOL! a great selection of words there (some I don’t even know the meaning of!….)
    and all true! Well said!

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  307. Athlander says:

    You do realise this was a joke? Especially the bit about Massa holding Hamilton’s rear jack for lifting the car?

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  308. Klaas Backers says:

    I believe that Schumacher also has more wins than pole positions…

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  309. lockster says:

    Schumacher has more wins than pole positions…

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  310. David Ryan says:

    In Perez’s defence, he was overtaken just after coming out of the pits when his tyres wouldn’t have been up to temperature. As Hamilton showed at the Nurburgring last year, that makes you prime target for a mugging within the first few corners. I do agree that Perez maybe should have tried his hand a bit more, but at the same time in a team like Sauber’s position they need the points and the prize money more than the trophy so perhaps that was in the back of his mind as well. Certainly on pace terms he was demolishing Alonso, which is not something I’ve written very often…

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  311. Chris C says:

    Perez straight out of the pits on cold tyres and a wet track attacked by Alonso full speed down the straight on a warmed up set of tyres. Alonso would have done amazingly well to defend the position had he been in the same situation. As for Perez overtaking Alonso had he not gone off track I believe he would have through DRS if nothing else.

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  312. Ajit says:

    The race gaps chart shows how much time Sergio Perez lost by delaying his switch to slick tyres by one lap. Having been 1.3 seconds behind Alonso he came out of the pits 7.1 seconds behind.

    It cost him 5.8 seconds – a second more than his lap 50 mistake at turn 13. This call would have made the difference.

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  313. .No, that was his first win. He was on pole in Malaysia, ahead of Trulli.

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  314. hero_was_senna says:

    No, he took his first win in Hungary 2003, from pole position.
    It was aided to a certain degree by the fact that Webber in a Jaguar was running in second for many laps, before his fuel stop, which kept his competiton from catching him up.
    Alonso’s first pole was Malaysia in 2003.

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  315. Mocho_Pikuain says:

    Malasia 2003 was his first pole. He ran the race with fieber and still managed to end 3rd and take the fastest lap. Kimmi won the race (his first victory).

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  316. adi says:

    100%

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  317. jay jacob says:

    Nope. 1st pole was in Malaysia 2003 where he also got podium (3rd).

    Interestingly, he had pole in Malaysia for 2003, 2004 & 2005, and won trice in ’05, ’07 & ’12.

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  318. Marc says:

    Nope. Malaysia 2003 – an all Renault front row with Trulli. Hungary was his first win though (and from pole position also).

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  319. Spinodontosaurus says:

    I belive that was his first win, was definately on pole earlier in the season at Malaysia. IIRC it was a front row lock-out from the Renaults (the other driver being Trulli)

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  320. hero_was_senna says:

    Erm, you’re wrong.
    Brawn was hired as technical director for Honda at the end of 2007, after a years sabbatical from Ferrari.
    In 2008, he looked at the heap Honda had, and stopped all work immediately and began putting together a team to design the 2009 Honda. Honda withdrew from F1 at the end of 2008, and Brawn bought the team for a pound iirc. But all the work had been directed by Ross Brawn during 2008.
    It was re-named Brawn and the rest is history.

    Button dominated the beginning of the season in 2009, yet as developments came onboard, Rubens was the quicker driver over the second half of the season. In fact, he won 2 races, whereas Button didn’t win again.

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  321. CraigD says:

    He had better pace than Hamilton regardless of getting the first corner. Myths are not based on facts.

    This season looks so close things will yoyo. Anyone could win it. Though I’m thinking Hamilton will eventually come through on balance (for the championship). But Button will have his days and it’ll be close.

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  322. tamzed says:

    maybe thats why Brawn and now Merc have been mediocre after Button left . Maybe they are missing the driver .

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  323. dc says:

    My impression is Massa is out of Ferrari next year no matter what, short of him winning this year’s championship. The question is more like: will he manage to keep the place for the rest of this season. Next two races will be hugely important for him

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  324. Kay says:

    Button did say on the radio that his car had no grip. So he wouldn’t have been able to challenge for the win even without the hit with HRT.

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  325. CH says:

    Yes, so little mention in the posts about Sauber’s error in not pitting Perez on same lap as Alonso, only talk of Perez’s error trying to catch back up. Brundle (and maybe others, I forget) could not believe Sauber did not pit then.

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  326. hero_was_senna says:

    Simple really Thomas, Sauber will occasionally produce a good little car, which with the right circumstance can race for decent points. Today was their best ever finish.
    Ferrari may have a worse car at the moment, but history shows they will win races and championships again.
    Which option would you prefer?

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  327. Kay says:

    Jeez what’s it with people?
    Sauber told Perez to ‘be careful’ for crying out loud! Didn’t tell him to ‘hold position’.

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  328. Steve says:

    excuse me but “Sauber is a better car” is a very short-sighted comment.

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  329. Glennb says:

    I don’t think the Sauber is a better car than the Ferrari. 1 good result does not a great F1 car make. I believe it was due to the wet conditions and the early stop by Sauber onto wets that gave them track position. The young driver also had a lot to do with it by driving beautifully in the wet. Had the race been dry, I dont believe for a second that Sauber would have finished on the podium. The McLarens & Red Bulls would have been on the podium in some shape or form. Anyone else would have had to navigate around the Mercedes road block train before they would get a sniff of a podium. Not taking anything away from Sauber or Perez, they raced beautifully under the conditions and scored a well deserved podium.
    I thought that Sauber were the ‘team’ of the day but Fernando was the ‘driver’ of the day. Fail of the day goes to Vettel (one of my fav drivers). Chopping over like that in those conditions was a rookie error for a 2 time WDC. It reeked of 2010. JB rarely screws up so I’m prepared to overlook his mistakes this time 😉
    Well done Lewis for smiling on the podium / interview room. He gave some decent answers and can be proud of his weekend. Maybe he just doesn’t like James 😉
    Great race!!

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  330. Dave Roberts says:

    I agree that Vettel’s response in referring to Karthikeyan as an idiot on the road was totally wrong. Perhaps his affable persona will change now he is not driving the best car.

    I think that Vettel should perhaps take a look at a replay of Button’s reactions to both Sky and BBC and learn some humility.

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  331. hero_was_senna says:

    No ones mentioned the fact that Ferrari’s pit stops are sensational, in Australia they were all under 3 seconds. If Ferrari manage to get that car on pace with the front runners, the pit crew and Alonso will make the difference.

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  332. Rafa says:

    The speed in pits is fixed, so you can’t play with that. Unless Ferrari have hired somebody with psychic powers to know beforehand the duration of ham’s pitstop and synced it with massa’s in lap time I’m afraid it’s not possible. Your argument is plain silly.

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  333. HansB says:

    Ohh.. I feel sorry for you.. but LH finished about 15 secs behind Alonso. After the restart, he didn’t have the speed today, simple as that. If not in the pits both Alonso and Perez would have taken him on the straight with its long DRS zone.

    And for Button: Massa was fully entitled to defend his position against him. He didn’t infringe with any rule of the book.

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  334. john says:

    If Hamilton was 1 second quicker up until that point then he would have had enough time to get out in front of Massa! So don’t blame Massa for Hamilton’s mistakes!

    p.s. i am not a ferrari or McLaren supporter, but its pretty annoying reading these responses that the die hard Hamilton/McLaren fans can’t fathom the fact that he wasn’t the quickest driver today!

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  335. [MISTER] says:

    When you say compromised..it means that Massa did something to Lewis or McLaren..but he didnt. He just came into the pits. I see it as an unfortunate thing for Lewis to get the problem with the rear jack and Massa coming into the pits.

    Stop exagerate.

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  336. Heinzman says:

    Misguided as to who compromised Hamilton’s race dzolve. Mclaren pitted him a lap late three times (onto full wets, onto inters and onto slicks)with Button getting the early treatment.If he hadn’t have missed his jack points Massa would not have had any effect on his race whatsoever.

    And Jenson crashed into a backmarker with Massa nowhere near him at that point.

    Mclaren’s drivers were compromised by mistakes of their own

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  337. Kay says:

    “McLaren”

    Jeez…

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  338. Quattro_T says:

    Well, you can either choose to see the glas as half full, or half empty. While true that Ferrari currently has a “lower baseline”, it will also mean that a major improvement of their package will gain them, much more tenths that what other (already settled) cars will. Off course this assumes they know where they are hurting and know how to fix it. Now imagine what the magician will do when he eventually gets a decent car…

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  339. Heinzman says:

    The higher teams will experience diminishing returns on their developments that are far more excessive than Ferrari coming from further back. These diminishing returns are why there are so many competitive cars this year

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  340. hero_was_senna says:

    Alonso won Hungary in his second season. Schumacher won in Belgium in his second season. Raikkonen won Malaysia in his 3rd season.
    I think we can give Perez a little leeway considering he’s 2nd in a Sauber, not one of the grandee teams. The fact that this was Saubers best ever result speaks volumes.
    After all, Alonso was driving for a team that had won World Championships. Raikkonen also. Even Schumacher was driving for a race winning concern.
    To be completely honest, the closest example I can think of in terms of team ability and driver input is Vettel in Monza with Toro Rosso at Monza in 2008, and even that was designed by Newey.

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  341. hero_was_senna says:

    Alonso today showed the difference between him and Vettel.
    Vettel under pressure from a following driver, partially spun out to let Button through to win.

    Alonso was under pressure for most of the race, in a car that had no right being in the lead.

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  342. Kay says:

    Vettel? He simply thought he owned the track as he just chopped across the backmarker before he was 1 car ahead as if the HRT wasn’t there.

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  343. Parazar says:

    Because Hamilton didn’t want to come in and Button did. To answer your other question both the McLarens were off the pace after the restart. Both Perez and Alonso were faster than Lewis. As far as Ron Dennis coming back, why?

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  344. [MISTER] says:

    JB’s first pit stop was because of the broken fron wing.
    The second pit stop was to change the inters that he couldn’t get to work. I believe that the rule “who’s on front gets the first pit stop” is valid only in straight forward races when everybody pits within 2-3 laps.

    Why not pitting Button if LH had no intention to pit for another 7-8 laps?

    Hope this answers your questions

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  345. Kay says:

    Casual viewer?

    Malaysia GP was hit with rain. How do you expect consistent performance when it’s basically a win up for grabs from top to bottom of the grid?

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  346. hero_was_senna says:

    I wish… I’d be retiring now I reckon!

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  347. Kevin Green says:

    Probably listed as good as impossible combined!! lol but on a serious note would be interesting how many people exactly did have a punt on that one as you can be sure at least one person did! would love to know how much they staked and won on it as i reckon the odds given would be 500/1 upwards. :)

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  348. Quattro_T says:

    Actually, Alonso took a different line to Checo in turn 2, that allowed him to get up to speed faster and make a pass. Look at the replay.

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  349. Rafa says:

    You will never enjoy any sport if each time the outcome is not what you desire you resort to a conspiracy for justification. They were merely telling the kid, beware, don’t do anything stupid. If there had been any orders of the sort you proclaim, Perez would’ve simply held back at a lower pace, since ham was far back and wasn’t a threat. Obviously this is not what you want to hear, but what can we do? Alonso won fair and square, deal with it.

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  350. Quattro_T says:

    Well, I guess Ferrari did call Frank Williams one week ago as well, and asked him to tell Maldonado to hold position. Frank did not listen – he is regretting that now, don’t you think?

    I bet that these same persons, giving these conspiratorial comments, would be the first to attack P Sauber for not holding to second, had Perez actually ended in the gravel (not only close to)…

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  351. Carlos says:

    Well, we all saw what Maldonado did to what should’ve been Williams’s first big result in ages, last week. I don’t blame Sauber for telling Pérez to be conservative.

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  352. hero_was_senna says:

    What about the EuroBrun?

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  353. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    Ahhhh, yes, the old days….back in the 80’s…..i had completed forgotten about Andrea Moda(they were very forgettable)….no 107% rule back then…..yes, we really do have it good these days.

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  354. Rafa says:

    Lol

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  355. Rafa says:

    That’s the funniest I’ve read so far, lol

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  356. hero_was_senna says:

    I dont know about the running the man over comment, but someone needs to slap him round the chops and say, Luca, what are you doing??

    It does frustrate me, Ferrari on the new road cars has a small badge bearing the Chassis number with the legend “Ferrari 21 Formula 1 Titles”

    16 of these are Constructor Championships.

    Currently, Mclaren is top with 55 points, Red Bull 42 and Ferrari lies 3rd with 35.
    Alonso has 35, Massa none, yet Perez has 22

    Montezemolo and Domenicalli need to be ruthless, Massa is not capable of supporting Ferrari, never mind Alonso, and it’s been like this for 3 seasons.

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  357. HansB says:

    LOL

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  358. [MISTER] says:

    hahahhahahhahah

    OMG. That is hillarious. Well done Jenks. This is priceless. Love it.

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  359. Craig in Manila says:

    I, literally, just did LOL.
    Classic comment.

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  360. David Goss says:

    There’s 18 races yet in which he could run over do Montezemolo, don’t write him off!

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  361. MANish says:

    Ohhh Man… that’s hilarious…. cant stop laughing…

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  362. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

    “If Felipe pitted after Lewis then how come he held up Lewis”

    Err, because the Ferrari box was in front of the McLaren box? MAS was approaching down the pit lane, so they couldn’t release HAM into his path (he was actually released so that he joined after the two cars following MAS, so probably lost a bit more time there, too).

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  363. Richard says:

    Felipe on pit entry held up Hamilton’s pit exit
    as McLaren would have received a penalty for unsafe release with potentially disasterous results.

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  364. jay jacob says:

    to answer your question:
    “If Felipe pitted after Lewis then how come he held up Lewis…”

    As Lewis was finishing his pit-stop and getting ready to leave, Massa was approaching the McLaren pit box. If Lewis was released, Massa would have crashed into Lewis ( 100 km/h pit-lane speed) and McLaren would have been fined for dangerous release, so McLaren’s pit crew chief did an excellent job in avoiding the crash by keeping Lewis in the pit box. Because he had to wait, Lewis lost about 4 seconds and Alonso took over the lead.

    Fernando is a great driver and drove very well, but in the race, circumstances and luck tipped in his favour. On outright speed, even Alonso admits they can’t compete (+1.3s behind Lewis in Q3).

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  365. HansB says:

    Perez drove a brilliant race and they could have won quite easily if they had a better strategy (in hindsight).
    But I think today the Sauber was most of the time the faster car (compared to the Ferrari) and Pereze twice was off road, the second time it cost him the win. Alonso even under pressure was faultless.

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  366. BW says:

    today Button was the guy that ruined the day for Karthikeyan…

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  367. Jeff says:

    Slow, though his car may be, I don’t think you can blame Narain for either incident.

    Jenson washed out the front end and ran wide into Narain on the exit, while Sebastian chopped across the front of the HRT, which was well over to the outside of the corner. In neither incident did Narain fail to give the other driver enough room.

    Great drive by Alonso. Even better by Perez until he muffed the corner on the verge of taking the lead. Disappointing drive by Lewis, though it looks like he set up the car for drier conditions, and hence had no answer to the drivers who were set up for the rain. By the time the rain dried out, it was too late to do anything about the leaders. Solid points gained though. Consistency is what wins championships.

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  368. Andy says:

    I sort of agree!

    I’m a Macca fan first and foremost, I love Hamilton and Button and I can’t stand Alonso, but I totally appreciated the awesome display of driving brilliance from Alonso today, amazing.

    Probably one of the strongest wins I’ve seen for a while. I don’t like Alonso much, but there’s no denying his talent in mediocre cars, incredible drive today.

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  369. Liam says:

    It’s not so much that Jenson is a golden boy… Some simple arithmetic will make it pretty obvious. How many times in the past 3 years has Hamilton screwed up his own race? Ok, and how many times has Button done the same?

    Answers on a postcard. But then, once you’ve seen them your comment and those above will seem daft.

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  370. Liam says:

    Agreed on Hamilton being faster than Button but you’re deluded if you think it’s any more than a couple of tenths in race pace.

    Being a racing driver isn’t just about outright pace, there are 100’s of other things that make the difference between the good and the great.

    You say his tyre conservation\wet weather ability is a myth based on one race where he clipped a HRT… That’s pretty short sighted when there are ten years of races to look back at where he has consistently performed above expectation in the wet.

    To say Button doesn’t take risks and drives like miss daisy is silly because he’s one of the best overtakers on the grid and is quite capable of winning if Lewis doesn’t and the car is up to it.

    I agree that all things being equal except for race pace Lewis is the better driver but all is not equal and Lewis will have his work cut out for him if he is to beat Button this year. He needs to find his 2007 consistency or he’ll lose to his team mate again.

    My view on drivers is this… Kimi and Fernando are the top, Lewis, Jenson & Vettel are next, then the rest of the grid who are probably headed by Rosberg, Schumacher, Di Resta, Perez and Hulkenburg although it’s hard to tell exactly who’s best out of the others. Let’s face it all but two of the drivers on the grid are truly world class. This list is not just based on pace alone obviously. Pace alone will not win a championship.

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  371. matthew says:

    your getting race pace confused with quali pace.and also how the car worked with the tyres in the race.so just coz his quali pace was fast,it doesnt mean his race pace was going to be.even button was struggling for pace,but it seems like you didnt notice this.

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  372. Ash says:

    Facts are he’s faded himself into 2nd place in the WDC and he’s no fully firing on all cylinders.

    The only thing Lewis wants to change is 1 WDC to 2 WDC and if that means accepting when your beat and excepting that chasing down others and ruining your tyres for no gain is pointless……to see Lewis adopt this approach, for me as a fan it’s fantastic – he’s become more of a dangerous animal – he’s willing to sacrifice position for entertainment…..lol!!!

    In regards to his style – typical Lewis Hamilton style today holding of Jenson whilst on the inters, finding every patch of grip, adapting to all conditions – we’ve all witnessed it since 2007 – nothing new….

    The key is quail…..if he continues like this, with the same focus and attention to detail – the wins will come to him naturally……no doubt….

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  373. BW says:

    Button might have thought contrary, as is wasn’t the place one might usually expect HRT unless being lapped.

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  374. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    Agreed! Maybe Button and Vettel were caught out having to pass Karty for POSITION…..and not just lapping him!!

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  375. Liam says:

    You must’ve been watching a different race… Hamilton & Alonso pitted at the same time but when Alonso was released Massa came in and so Lewis couldn’t leave his pit box for another second or so. He didn’t stall.

    [mod]

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  376. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

    “Hamilton stalled before leaving the pits”

    Incorrect. The rear jack was not deployed as quickly as the front, so there was a delay fitting the rear tyres compared to the fronts. While the in-car camera clearly showed the front of the car being lowered to the track, the rear was still in the air (as HAM would have been able to tell). By the time the rear of the car was on the ground, MAS was too close for the team to release HAM into the pit lane.

    At no point did he stall. If you’re talking about the slight judder seen from the in-car camera, I believe that’s because HAM instinctively started to go once he sensed the car was on the ground but then stopped quickly when he saw the red light was still on.

    “James can you please request more balanced and objective comments?”

    I agree. Please, James, don’t allow subjective comments such as stating that drivers stalled a car when they did not 😀 😀

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  377. Garry Edward says:

    Hamilton didn’t stall he was held because Massa was coming into pit.

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  378. Kay says:

    +1 agree

    Nothing wrong Massa’s done.

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  379. Joe B says:

    There was no stall, the in car shot of Hamilton’s stop shows the traffic light on the lollipop stay red. He didn’t have the pace on the inters or the slicks though.

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  380. alexander says:

    Alonso indeed defended against Perez’s DRS – for lap or two – just Perez didn’t have enough speed to try to overtake.

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  381. Quattro_T says:

    If Williams went on the radio and told Maldonado to NOT RISK the points, in Melborne, they would have finished in 6th instead of banking another DNF and look like amateurs.

    You know, these cars cost $£$£ to develop and build and points generates the cash. It would be utterly stupid from Sauber to risk loosing their best in history finish. As you could see it was very close that they lost it too, even before Checo was getting serious with the attempt to overtake…

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  382. Duane says:

    The best passes were done on the outside of turn 5, kobayashi, webber, ricciardo, although the victims every time were both mercedes.

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  383. alexander says:

    Not paying attention to delayed message transmited few laps before he was on Alonso’s tale? Very funny.

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  384. Kay says:

    Actually it was pretty sensible of Sauber.

    IF Perez challenged Alonso and made a mistake, points would have been thrown out of the window.

    Plus Sauber only asked him to be careful, implying if he does wish to fight, make sure no wings or tyres fall off or even throw the car away, they didn’t ask him to hold position.

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  385. alexander says:

    Well Ferrari might be keen to get Perez but who thinks that Sauber is keen to take Massa?

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  386. Daniel MA says:

    I think a swap with Sauber is very unlikely, if Pérez goes to Ferrari next year then Esteban Gutiérrez will get the seat with Sauber, mark my words.

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  387. Kay says:

    Agree with Daniel.

    Who’d want Massa now?

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  388. jay jacob says:

    LBFmodels: i agree with you. Tempting to jump over to Ferrari (if possible) but Perez should let Ferrari ‘iron out its gremlins’ first, coz you have to remember that Alonso is one hell of a fighter, the car is most likely skewed towards his driving style and he’s got Ferrari’s relentless support.

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  389. Peter says:

    Who says they did’nt offer LH the pitstop and he turned it down. Could be that as usual JB has a better racing head than LH

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  390. [MISTER] says:

    That policy gives the leading driver the first CHOICE.
    If LH did not want to pit..then the choice goes to JB.
    It looks that JB wanted to pit as early as possible after restart..so he went in.

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  391. Kay says:

    Nothing happened.

    As you said, leading driver calling the pitstop. Maybe Hamilton didn’t wish to come it sooner than team mate coz his tyres were still working fine??

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  392. hero_was_senna says:

    They always say, you can tell a true champion by how he reacts when he isn’t winning.
    Vettel has shown he’s as petulant and full of himself as when he took Webber out in Turkey 2010.
    Without an advantage, is he still the Greatest driver ever as the media liked to tell us last year?

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  393. [MISTER] says:

    +1

    I could not believe he said that. He doesn’t know how to lose. He’s just a boy.
    He should apologise.

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  394. Ash says:

    Thats a question I would like answering,….

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  395. beastfromtheeast says:

    What he said.

    James (or anyone else sensible), can you answer?

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  396. Phil says:

    It wasn’t debris, it was tape – if the race starts wet they are allowed to make a few select changes, taping up the brake ducts is one of them (fully open brake ducts in a slow, wet race would make it impossible to keep the heat in the brakes up, which is crucial to slow an F1 car down at a corner).

    They couldn’t get the tape on the front left off, took several goes to do it.

    To be honest, whilst Lewis didn’t seem to have any pace in the 2nd half of the race he was rather unfortunate in his two pit stops (overrunning his pit box aside).

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  397. Mike J says:

    I think you will find that the crew were removing tape from over the brake ducts placed there initially due to the wet weather and keeping brake temp up. When it stopped raining they had to remove the tape and it took longer than expected

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  398. Brett says:

    It wasn’t debris – they were removing the tape they put over the brake ducts so that the brakes wouldn’t get too cold during the wet part of the race. Once they pitted for slicks, they had a heck of a time getting a grip on the (likely wet and slippery) tape and it cost them some time. They also lost time trying to get the rear jack in on the first stop. Overall a pretty sloppy day for Hamilton’s pit crew.

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  399. Jeff says:

    I think you’ll find that the ‘debris’ in question was tape over the brake cooling duct, installed by the team at the start in anticipation of cool, wet running, so that the brakes would get up to the right temperature.

    McLaren’s pitstops were a bit slow, though, both for Lewis and I think even more so for Jenson.

    Having said that, when you’re (like Ferrari) on the back foot, it’s worth taking a gamble on a heavy rain setup to try and gain back some of the built in gap to those ahead of you.

    When you’re at the front, the risks outweigh the potential advantages. Lewis still got a podium. Had it not been for Jenson clipping off his front wing, there would have been two McLarens with good points.

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  400. prideaux says:

    It is debris from the ice packs used to cool the brakes.

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  401. alexander says:

    The main fact for McLaren, Mercedes, Lotus should be that race is on Sunday – not Saturday. And Sunday – is the day when points are given. 1-2 in Q on Saturday says nothing actualy if you can’t convert it to a win (as Mr. Hamilton two weekends in a row)

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  402. adi says:

    Oh i see what must have happened….You must have posted and not read his article…….James Allen also thought the weather and strategy played a part in Alonso’s unlikely victory. Here are some quotes… “RAIN HIT”, “The WEATHER offered an opportunity to LEVEL the playing field, Ferrari STRATEGISTS and PIT CREW making all the right moves!!!
    Missed the quote where Alonso and motoring journo’s said this is the beginning of a Ferrari comeback……could you post a link for me? Also the title of the article doesnt suggest a comeback but in fact an unexpected victory.

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  403. Quattro_T says:

    Anil – Ferrari much quicker? Did you see qualy? In case you did not, Alonso qualified 9th, 1.35 seconds off Hamilton in pole!

    Ferrari has been complaining about lacking top speed since beginning of the season. It is a known issue with the car so it is not at all given that they were running more wing.

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  404. Matt W says:

    After seeing some of the farcical “fixes” over the last couple of seasons, I certainly don’t rule out Sauber calling off the chase from their Ferrari powered and Ferrari driven car. I remember when people said Piquet crashed on purpose and I thought it was utterly ridiculous. In comparison, this seems entirely plausible.

    With Ferrari you have a team that would do Austria 2002 just so the lead driver could gain an extra 4 points.

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  405. adi says:

    Rafa dont you realise that in some peoples eyes Fernando wins only because the cars within his vicinity had one of the following issues……..they crashed, were held up by backmarkers, retired, had pit stop problems, had tyre issues, saftey car ruined their race and helped Alonso, rain ruined their race but helped Alonso or team orders were issued so Alonso could pass his team mate.
    Now we have a new reason why Alonso won his 28th GP………….Sauber told Perez not to pass Alonso because Ferrari told Sauber if Perez passes Alonso they will not supply engines to them….!!! BUT the best part is how Perez deliberately ‘went off a bit’ at by putting two wheels on the wet while breaking from 200kmh. GOLD

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  406. Quattro_T says:

    “… and the slicks paid up a pit stop in no time!”
    You are assuming they knew before hand they would get the required number of laps in the dry, for building the gap needed to cover a change from slicks to inters, before ev rain hits again.

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  407. Chris says:

    Yes, and most important of all, Perez knows how to play second fiddle to Alonso already!! That message from the pits was a disgrace!!!

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  408. marian acereda says:

    Is McLaren the Toro Rosso of the Mercedes racing network? Toro Rosso and Red Bull are the same team (owner Mateschidt) Sauber does not belong to Ferrari.

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  409. [MISTER] says:

    Lewis had more than 5 sec between him and Perez for more than 30 laps..
    Did you see him closing the gap down?

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  410. JohnBt says:

    Yeah! I was so thrilled when Kimi was in 5th. The IceMan is back for sure.

    As Kimi said to a reporter “You’re wrong, I never lost it”. Totally agree with Kimi.

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  411. etcyu says:

    Imagine he start the grid without penalty……Iceman is back =) just too much bad luck….and the team need to improve his power steering~~

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  412. Roger says:

    Ali, a year ago after Malaysian GP, Schumacher also was leading Rosberg after finishing 9-th in dry conditions. Also outraced Rosberg by big margin.

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  413. James Allen says:

    No he’s a work in progress

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  414. andrew says:

    Yes, you are correct but….same engine, same positive result in Sepang , and now all this talk of Sergio Perez graduating from the Ferrari Academy. Next, maybe in Massa’s seat???? You can see where I am going with this. How long can an independent team like Sauber hang on with only Telmex as its major sponsor,if Sergio moves to Ferrari?? Without Telmex Sauber would need something more to remain viable. Si?

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  415. Arya says:

    Hell no! Malaysia was his first Pole and he came home third.

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  416. Shane says:

    Hamilton’s pace, or rather his lack thereof, speaks otherwise.

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  417. Kay says:

    Most probably engine issue after a Williams retired with blue smoke. RBR pit wall did tell Vettel to stop due to an emergency, which sounded pretty serious.

    Sauber didn’t ask Perez to ‘maintain position’, only asked him to ‘be careful’.

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  418. Kay says:

    +1

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  419. Kay says:

    Nothing beats RBR and Vettel.

    Vettel crashes, gets a slap on the back as if like “Good job, boy, good job! It’s ok we’ll give you preferential treatment next time ;)”

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  420. Kay says:

    +1 to you and to Gdon.

    The kid is spoilt, ever since his Turkey 2010 incident with Webber. He now has the impression that even when he’s at fault for crashes, others should be blamed for not moving out of their lines to make way for him.

    Pfffff sore loser.

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  421. Kay says:

    +1 on Vettel.

    RBR are partly to blame for Vettel’s attitude now, from Turkey 2010 onwards.

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  422. F1 says:

    Brett, You obviously have a better understanding of F1 than the race stewarts?!

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  423. Brisbane Bill says:

    Yes, especially after Sergio did the decent thing and remembered that he had a Ferrari engine. Was that the reason he made a mistake and lost time almost immediately after being cautioned by his team on the radio? None the less, the points would be eagerly received by all at Sauber. Can’t help thinking what a win would have done for the team though.

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  424. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    hahaha…..cruel…but very funny :-)

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  425. Simpson W says:

    Totally agreed!!!

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  426. Tyland says:

    I think what Vettel was alluding to is the physical shape of a cucumber…. He did it in Turkey 2010 and he has done it again in Sepang – cutting across prematurely.

    2012 is going to be a great season with Vettel starting 6th on the grid – now he will have to prove how good he really is (at overtaking).

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  427. jay jacob says:

    Things are looking pretty dismal for Massa now, and i’m lost for words as to why it’s hard for him to wrestle the new car into shape, at least in comparison to a teammate.

    Don’t forget that Massa, with the same car, was beating Schumi for pole positions and won races in 2006. He’s had three straight wins at Turkey (i think ’06 / ’07 / ’08) and lost by a point in ’08 for WDC while beating teammate Kimi.

    “What happened?” is the question i’d like answered.

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  428. MK_Chris says:

    @ The Crappest. +1 from me and I enjoyed your clear and constructive post, we need more of these to counter the bias shown elsewhere.
    Your HRT team comment is spot on, and I would go further. We have the 107% rule for being allowed to race. Trust F1 to accept an entry for the season and then refuse race permission for being too slow. Obviously not punishment enough: so ban them from doing any homework or remedial studies so that they can improve. I would like to see an extra testing day allowed if a team is outside a 105% average for both cars.

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  429. Paul from Green Bay says:

    Re: Karthikeyan and Vettel, I too thought that Vettel clearly made a mistake and was a jerk about it afterwards. Then I saw the replay from the front and it is obvious that Karthikeyan moves back onto the racing line too early, clipping Vettel’s tire. Exactly opposite of what it looked like from the TV view, but that was an effect of the camera angle.

    Karthikeyan was clearly in the wrong and Vettel was right to be angry. He’s fighting for position at the front and an HRT, as a back-marker, has the responsibility to be careful or at least not be an “idiot”. Karthikeyan claimed that he had to get off the marbles but he had at least five or six seconds of straight line driving to make the maneuver and could have done so comfortably as his momentum was not pushing him off the track. Just look at the replay from the long view down the track with the cars coming at you.

    I’m glad that the small teams are there and hope HRT improves. But all drivers who are being lapped must be careful not to wreck the race for those who are in the thick of it. Karthikeyan deserved a bigger penalty.

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  430. Mary says:

    Hmmm………….some how i don’t think Lewis was given the same ‘Choice’ in Australia otherwise he would have pitted at least 2 laps before he did as he tyres were completely gone whilst Jenson still has better tyres…..Lets see what happens in China before jumping to any conclusions.

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  431. Mark says:

    Here: http://www.mclaren.com/formula1?expand=1 the pitwall for the McLaren. You can see what happened. At the first round, for the full wet (read bottom-up):

    Hamilton: “Okay, box this lap.”
    Pit » HAM: “Other cars are going faster on full wets. We think we should box this lap. Please confirm.”
    Pit » HAM: “Jenson has just pitted, but the Red Bulls are still on inters.”
    Hamilton: “I’m starting to aquaplane.”
    Jenson pits for full wets.
    Button: “Box this lap.”
    Hamilton: “The rain is getting heavier, but it’s okay. The car is aquaplaning in places, but it’s okay.”
    Pit » HAM: “Can we have an update on the conditions? How are the tyres?”

    After the safety car pit:

    Pit » BUT: “Let’s make this work for us, Jenson. Push hard.”
    Hamilton: “It’s good for inters. Box this lap.”
    Pit » HAM: “About 5 cars have stopped for inters, including Jenson. Keep us informed of conditions.”
    Pit » BUT: “Box this lap for inters!”
    Hamilton: “It’s slightly wetter than when we started the race, but it’s probably okay for inters.”
    Pit » HAM: “Some cars might come in for inters quite soon. What are your thoughts?”

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  432. Arnold says:

    Agree

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  433. Arnold says:

    When watching the Vettel/Karthikeyan incident from the front, one can see Vettel leaving more than enough room whilst Karthikeyan actually pulls to the right away from the edge of the track into Vettel.

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  434. Thompson says:

    Lol……I’ve noticed it too.

    Why is Lewis being left out so long on worn tires. Twice Button pit stops were ahead of Lewis when Lewis was in the lead – what happened to the lead driver getting the choice?

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  435. Garry Edward says:

    He won the WDC in 2008 in a car that didn’t win the constructors title. If he had not come along Alonso would be a 4 times WDC easily by now, sour grapes?

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  436. **Paul** says:

    You’re sailing too near the truth for plenty of British F1 ‘fans’ there lol ! I think you’re probably right with most of what you say though. Hamilton does have blistering 1 lap pace, but he’ll never be a Senna, Prost or Schumacher as he’s not got the intelligence required to make those really vital decisions about tyres and when to back off and save his car etc. That said I still think he’ll take the title this year (it’ll be close-ish though) as the McLaren has a pace advantage in dry conditions that no other car can match.

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  437. gondokmg says:

    Jenson’s first pit stop was for the full wets just a few laps before the safety car came out. It had nothing to do with damage to the car. Unless Lewis did not want to pit that lap or the policy does not apply in the wet, it would smack of double standards by Mclaren.

    As for pitting soon after the safety car went in, I think that was just a gamble by Jenson who had nothing to loose since he would have had to que behind Lewis anyway had they both stayed out. It could have gone either way and Perez who also stayed out came out ahead of Alonso before being overtaken, Lewis lost out because he had to wait for Massa in the pits. Without that delay, Lewis would have come out ahead of Alonso as did Perez.

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  438. gondokmg says:

    I meant the Mclarens and Red Bulls were more worried about managing their tyres to the end of the race than they were of Alonso and Perez at the front. Once a driver looses ground for whatever reason, he has very little chance of coming back through the field because the tyres just won’t last.

    Slap a set of them old bridgestone hard tyres in that last stint and it’s a totally different race is it not?

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  439. Sut says:

    Agree – priceless.
    Kind of reminds me of Taki Inoue, except I don’t think he ran over anyone, but was mown down by a Tatra safety car in Hungary.

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  440. Steve says:

    slower cars ARE taking out of the race — 107% rule

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  441. James Allen says:

    Looked like a simple mistake to me

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  442. James Allen says:

    Check out the strategy report tomorrow

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  443. zombie says:

    Yeah, the idiot was in a hurry to douse the flame off his car. The safety car did not see Inoue, Inoue somehow missed a big red thing on 4 wheels, and the rest is as they say is history!

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  444. alam says:

    youre correct, and Mclaren did win the first race. The gods gave Alonso a chance(not win)and he took it. Though I question the radio mesg perez got and sec’s later he made a mistake.

    With regards to converting sat results into sun, if i were a betting man Alonso and Vettle are not on my list for the drivers champ. I understand everyone being impressed on Alonso.
    I feel happy for Peter Sauber, plus the next discount h’s gonna get on his engine bill.

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  445. Jim says:

    I was under the impression they all had to start on full wets after the red flag period.

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  446. IJW says:

    I believe the rule is that the drivers have to start on Wets after a race is red-flagged, due to rain. Most were already on wets anyway, so didn’t need changing. I believe Vergne was on Inters at the time, so needed to have them changed to Wets.

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  447. darth_patate says:

    JE Vergne was the ony one still on inter and did change on the grid. he said he would not have been able to drive on the inter at the restart considering the heavy rain

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  448. F1_Dave says:

    Disagree.
    DRS produces boring, unexciting, dull, souless passing which is harming racing & not helping it.
    Watching a DRS pass is just as boring & unexciting as watching no pass at all!

    DRS is an artificial, gimmick that is doing nothing but harming the racing in F1. It does nothing to make racing more exciting, It makes it less exciting!

    Fact the most recent poll’s show majority of fans now dislike DRS says a lot about how poor this technology is.

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  449. Dizzy says:

    “To be fair, DRS only helps a driver overtake but can’t keep him in front.”
    But that exactly what it does.

    Outside of the total absurdity of Abu-Dhabi twin DRS zones, Where have you seen a car get passed by DRS & then be able to fight back?

    OK you may say that the car been passes clearly wasn’t fast enough to stay ahead, However why shoudn’t that car be given a fair opportunity to try & stay ahead?

    Some of the best races in F1 history have involved a slower car getting his car higher than it should be & then been able to keep it there by defending his position.
    Likewise some of the greatest overtakes in F1 histoty have been when one driver has had to find a way past a car thats holding him up.

    DRS often takes away the ability for slower cars to defend there position & all too often makes passing way too easy.

    I would much rather watch cars be able to defend there positions fairly & watch drivers having to try & find there way past another car than the absurd push of a button DRS stupidity we have currently.

    Its intresting also how in a poll done on the F1fanatic website last year, No DRS-assisted pass was put forward by fans when we were voting for ‘overtake of the year’, Just shows that DRS does not generate exciting or intresting passes.

    There was also a poll done over at F1fanatics recently where the majority of those who voted voted against the current DRS regulations.
    The DRS regulations as they are with 1 second gaps, only car behind, DRS detection points/zones etc… only got 20% of the vote & there has been some fan surveys done elsewhere that shows similar.

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  450. Kay says:

    Just coz stewarts made a decision, doesn’t mean they aren’t wrong, as evident from many many many cases in the past.

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  451. Kay says:

    http://www.crash.net/f1/news/178030/1/force_india_pair_back_karthikeyan.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEJXj8s-PnU

    There you go, Vettel drove into another driver’s line. How’s that Narain’s fault?

    Vettel should just admit wrongs rather than acting like a spoilt [mod] thinking he owns the place [mod]

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  452. rafa says:

    yeah, that hamilton supporters live in year 2007, while the rest of the world lives in 2012. I understand that message

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  453. Jaled Larbi says:

    Hammy did no beat Alonso… Correct me if im wrong but they scored the same points by the end of the season.
    And you cannot compare a guy that only won 1 championship by luck (remember Massa was WDC for a few seconds?) with a guy that has proved to be the best F1 driver on the grid, almost winning the 2010 champinonship in a car that was far worse that the RBR.
    However as @Rafa said on the previous answer you and all Hammy supporters live in ’07 while the rest of the world lives in 2012.

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  454. F1Fan4Life says:

    I don’t think one should blame Sauber for Perez coming in for tires on a certain lap. If he wanted to come in earlier, he could have. Instead, they waited and reacted to Ferrari’s move. Does having free choice to make judgement calls somehow remove the responsibility of living with one’s decisions? There are many great drivers who have won because of making calls to pit and what not. Perez should be held responsible for his decisions, and his team shouldn’t be blamed for things after the fact.

    Also, so what if Perez was on cold tires just out of the pits and Alonso overtook him? Was Alonso supposed to wait behind him until his tires heated up and then tried the overtake? I mean its an absurd reasoning that doesn’t detract from the fact, he was overtaken fair and square. Guess what, if Perez went into the pits first, he might have won. This is just a little ridiculous in judging drivers and then finding excuses. I’d like to point out that a week ago, the majority of comments here were praising Kobayashi over Perez, now Perez comes in second and suddenly its a jolly bandwagon of support. I commented before the race that Perez in my opinion is much better than Kobayashi. I don’t think that means he gets a free pass on any blame for the outcome.

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  455. Kevin Green says:

    My point exactly in previous postings! it will take 4-5 races to work out who’s who in pecking order and whats what the teams would be wise to sit back a few races too i reckon before any harsh switches, not so much to allow the current driver under the axe wielding spot light to recover form (certain ones simply wont) but more so to make sure the relevant teams are putting the correct drivers in next!!

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  456. F1_Dave says:

    “Does the DRS take away any possibility of a driver defending his position – it all seemed too easy to pass at Sepang.”YES!

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  457. Dizzy says:

    “I have not seen enough discussion re the 2014 engines, I cannot see a 1.6 V6 turbo rev limited to 15,000 as anything but a bore compared to the current superb engines.”Indycar’s now use V6 Turbo’s that only rev to 12,000 & last night’s 1st race of 2012 was actually quite good.

    Engine’s sould pretty good as well.

    Also do not forget that there were similar spec turbo’s out there in the 80’s & many fans loved the turbo’s back then.

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  458. marian acereda says:

    Do you really know who Carlos Slim (Telmex) is??? Take a look on Forbes

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  459. andrew says:

    As I said, if Sergio moves to Ferrai Telmex will not stay at Sauber. Why would they? Ferrai would love to have that sponsorship money.

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  460. StallionGP F1 says:

    Button was passing the HRT for position, Vettel was lapping him.

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  461. StallionGP F1 says:

    Button ran into d HRT fighting for position Vettel was lapping the HRT its the duty of the lapped driver to keep out of the way thats why there are blue flags.

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  462. StallionGP F1 says:

    LOL I always like this Senna comparism it cracks me up until he does something ridiculous just as Lewis was Sennaesque @ Silverstone in 2008 am sure nobody thinks same again after yday. The Ferrari was the fastest car on intermediates simples but people would use Massa’s plight to big up Alonso.

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  463. Chris C says:

    Maldonado in Ferrari? Can’t see that happening, Ferrari does not employ pay drivers. I have not read your past post so I do not know your rationale.

    Perez is the obvious choice and would not mind seeing someone like Paul di Resta, its been a while to see a Brit in red overalls.

    I don’t buy the choice that James seem to believe that Webber would be the one based on past posts

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  464. David Ryan says:

    No, but that doesn’t negate any of the points I raised. Lewis’ performance has already been commented on as being pretty average – as shown by his lap times as much as anything – and the pace of the McLaren in changeable conditions is an unknown quantity, so the fact that Lewis was not able to catch him says little more than that Lewis was not able to catch him. Given that Perez was the best part of 1.4s off pole the day before, and nowhere near the pace on Friday, I feel I am justified in my conclusions.

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  465. Firezombie says:

    On the contrary it was a thrilling race and a thrilling win for Alonso. Watching F1 races on TV and live for many years ,I can tell you it has never been such a snooze fest as it is now. I actually pray for rain as it brings some excitement and unpredictablility.

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  466. OscarF1 says:

    Right you are, I saw FA ahead of Pérez just a few seconds later and didn’t remember turns 1 and 2 are right next to each other.

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  467. Ash says:

    I’m an Hamilton fan – I can admit that Alonso & Perez were quicker and it was entertaining even though Lewis didn’t win – no problem to admit that at all.

    I Just LOVE the fact that Lewis is 2nd in the championship, with 2 poles and 2 podiums – being boring and conserving tyres – championship material right there – I love it – boxing clever – Lol!!!

    Is it possible for Button fans and the British F1 media to admit:-

    (a) Jenson Button’s tyre management abilities are a complete ‘MYTH’? as Paddy Lowe has explained in the past and what Sunday’s race showed.

    (b) Is it possible that if Lewis crashed into another driver like Nahrain of HRT he could get the same treatment as Button? which is no penalty or nothing in the media or forums ridiculing him, his life or his family etc…..

    (c) Is it possible for Lewis to get the same treatment as Jenson come a pit stop from the McLaren team?

    18 races to go – I’m sure we’ll find out…….

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  468. Chris C says:

    If you go back to have a look at my remark I said that he is not a great driver. For me in the current line up, greats would be considered to be Michael, Fernando & Lewis. Very good would be Jenson, Kimi & Sebastian. Massa was never above the level seen of drivers like Webber or Rosberg. Kimi has won the Championship in 2007, while having as team mate Massa. In 2008 he was obviously bored to death for most of the season (not so however towards the end of the season).
    Having said that I do acknowledge that he has had several good races, but the majority of his wins came from starting in front that usually is a sign of a better car. He earned my respect in his way that he handled the near miss on the Championship back in 2008, but he lost it again in the squabbling with Lewis the coming years (mainly 2011).
    His current form is embarrassing, I insist as it is one thing to be overdriven by your team mate another to be almost lapped in the same machinery.

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  469. Ash says:

    @ Liam,

    Why the past 3 yrs?
    Why not the past 4 yrs?
    Why not since he’s come into F1?

    Oh – it’s lets talk about past and forget equality day – ok!!!

    Why had the whole F1 community forgotten about Jenson Button for 8/9yrs – this great tyre master/changeable conditions expert until he won his really hard fought championship in 2009?

    Why was Jenson Button surplus to requirements by Brawn/Mercedes after winning the WDC in 09?

    Why was Jenson Button 2nd choice at McLaren, after Kimi R told McLaren “I want to drive rally cars”?

    I don’t need an answer on a post card if that helps, but if you could answer the above questions that would really be much appreciated.

    Cheers……..

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  470. hero_was_senna says:

    Ash, I think thats why so many people, myself included, have been stunned by Buttons performance since he joined Hamiltons team.
    Hats off to the guy.

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  471. Liam says:

    @ Ash…

    OK, first and foremost I’m a motorsport fan so don’t see this post as some blinkered Jenson love.

    I remember watching a certain Jenson Button r