Skip to main content

Ferrari's Alonso wins rain-hit Malaysian Grand Prix

March 26, 2012 -- Updated 1119 GMT (1919 HKT)
Spain's Fernando Alonso celebrates his victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
Spain's Fernando Alonso celebrates his victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
  • Fernando Alonso wins Malaysian GP for Ferrari
  • Mexico's Sergio Perez finishes second in his Sauber
  • Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton completes podium
  • World champion Sebastian Vettel out of the points

(CNN) -- Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won a rain-hit Malaysian Grand Prix Sunday holding off a thrilling challenge from young Mexican Sergio Perez.

Lewis Hamilton, who started from pole, finished third in his McLaren but teammate Jenson Button was out of the points.

Reigning two-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, second to Button in the season-opener, finished 11th after a late puncture.

Alonso, a two-time world champion and driving a Ferrari which has been uncompetitive in qualifying in the two races to date, showed his experience to hold off Sauber's rising star Perez with Hamilton a well beaten third.

The victory takes him to the top of the driver standings after two races with 35 points, five points clear of Hamilton.

The race was hit by a torrential downpour at the start which saw all the leading contenders rushing to change to wet tires.

A safety car was quickly called into action before the race was halted.

The win changes nothing. We are in a position that we don't want
Fernando Alonso

When it resumed, Hamilton lost first place after a slow pit-stop with Alonso eventually appearing at the head of the field.

But Perez looked to be the faster and set for his maiden victory until he overshot a corner on lap 50 out of 56.

By now racing on dry tires, Alonso held him off to claim his first GP win for eight months.

But in the post-race press conference he was realistic about his team's chances in the next few months.

"The win changes nothing," he said.

"We are in a position that we don't want. The goal was not to lose many points. "We did the job track side. So this is a positive news but coming to China and Bahrain there is a lot of stuff coming to the car and this is the real job to do," added the Spaniard.

Button, who started from second on the grid, made a rare mistake as he drove into the side of HRT's Narain Karthikeyan and lost his front wing. He eventually finished 14th.

Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was fourth with former world champion Kimi Raikkonen fifth for Lotus.

Seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, who started third on the grid, span early in the race and took the last points in 10th place.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.