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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Alonso Wins in Malaysia

Fernando Alonso has just taken victory ahead of (rumoured Ferrari target driver) Sergio Perez and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

In doing so Alonso now leads the World Driver Championship.

His car, the object of heavy criticism this year, performed very well in the variable wet/dry conditions.  The team were spot on with pit stop and tyre tactics and Alonso handled the conditions masterfully.

Massa however languished in 16th.

So the World Championship leaderboard now reads Alonso 36 points, Hamilton 30, Button 25, Webber 24, Perez 22, Vettel 18 and Kimi Raikkonen 16.

Vettel retired after a puncture with Karthikeyan and then, after rejoining the race, the team asked him to stop.  Button came in 14th after a meeting with Karthikeyan.

Malaysia Update

After Lewis Hamilton set an excellent pole, with Button behind him and none other than Michael Schumacher third, the race is proving anything but predictable.

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari is handling in the rainy conditions like Schumacher's Ferrari of bygone years.

After 35 laps Alonso leads from Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen and Webber.

Button is moving up the field from 16th after losing a front wing end plate on lap 16 hitting Karthikeyan.

Lap 47 and Perez is hunting down Alonso for the lead. He may catch him for Sauber's first ever win. However if things stay as they are, Alonso will lead the driver's world championship.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Jenson Buttons It

McLaren driver Jenson Button led from start to finish from second place on the grid.  Lewis Hamilton was good for second from pole but was jumped by Vettel on restart after the pace car paused play.

Kimi Raikkonen fought his way from 17th to seventh showing he will be a force to be reckoned with over the season.  His team mate, Romain Grosjean crashed out after a collision on lap one with Pastor Maldonado and most likely would have had a top 5 finish.  He can be proud of his third place on the grid.  Based on pre-season form, Raikkonen would have qualified ahead of him had he not misjudged the time left in quali. 1.

Webber came in fourth ahead of Alonso and Kobayashi.

Michael Schumacher was going well until his gearbox packed up after 10 laps but his team mate could only manage 11th.

Button secured fastest lap on his way to victory.

So what do we learn from race 1 of the season?  McLaren and Red Bull still are the cars to beat with only four seconds separating the top four at the end of the race.  Next weekend we will see the true pace of Lotus in Kimi's capable hands.  Ferrari will likely finish behind Schumacher, both Lotus cars and maybe Rosberg putting them 8th or 9th unless they can tune the chassis before the weekend.  Not an easy task for the new design team.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

All McLaren Front Row in Oz

Lewis Hamilton took pole position today ahead of his team mate Lewis Hamilton.

The Lotus Renault of Romain Grosjean took third.  His team mate Kimi Raikkonen lost out of the top ten shoot out by one tenth although he said if his team has called him he could easily have pulled it back.  He had just slipped off the line and thought he had more time for another lap.

Michael Schumacher closed out the second row in his Mercedes ahead of Webber and Vettel's Red Bulls.

So the 'sandbagging' suggestions against Red Bull in pre-season testing have proven unfounded and McLaren seem to have the raw pace in qualifying at least.

Watch out for Kimi tomorrow has he forces through the field in his evidently competitive Lotus Renault.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Mercedes Engines Top Times in Australia

Jenson Button took fastest lap in Practice 1 and Michael Schumacher in Practice 2 as the F1 season kicked off in Australia.

Button was quickest with 1:27.560 followed by Lewis Hamilton with 1:27.805.  In session 2 as the weather worsened Schumacher set 1:29.183 in his Mercedes followed by Hulkenberg in the Force India Mercedes with 1:29.292.

Significantly Schumacher was also in the top 3 in the first session following the McLarens home.  Red Bull's best positions were 5th and 10th over the two sessions but Christian Horner revealed that they have yet to run on low fuel.