Malaysia analysis - Alonso keeps Ferrari in the hunt 26 Mar 2012 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Malaysia analysis - Alonso keeps Ferrari in the hunt 26 Mar 2012

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Malaysia analysis - Alonso keeps Ferrari in the hunt 26 Mar 2012

No one - Fernando Alonso included - left Sepang believing Ferrari now have a competitive car, but in challenging conditions the Spaniard’s supreme driving skills overcame the F2012’s inadequacies - and all of his rivals. Closest was Sauber’s Sergio Perez, the Ferrari driver academy member tipped for a future Maranello race seat, whose performance marked him out as a rising star - and ensured Felipe Massa’s future with the team becomes the subject of even closer media scrutiny. After a result that splits both championships wide open, we take a team-by-team look at Sunday’s performances in Kuala Lumpur…

Fernando Alonso, P1
Felipe Massa, P15
Alonso admitted that he was surprised to win, but drove another of his superb fighting races and thoroughly deserved the result which came as a major boost to Ferrari. The Spaniard said, however, that the result has not changed the team’s bad situation, and that much work still needs to be done to improve the car. In stark contrast, Massa had another brutal afternoon, finishing almost a lap down in 15th place.

Sergio Perez, P2
Kamui Kobayashi, retired lap 47, brakes
What a star Perez was, and how brilliantly Sauber judged their strategy, calling him in for wets at the end of the first lap, then for intermediates soon after the restart. Each time they kept him in the top three, and his chase of Alonso made him the star of the race in a car that had better pace than anything out there. Poor Kobayashi also drove well, albeit almost unnoticed, but retired with brake problems.

Lewis Hamilton, P3
Jenson Button, P14
Hamilton said that his McLaren ran problem-free but that in the conditions it just didn’t have the pace to challenge either the Ferrari or the Sauber. Button looked set for another of his well-judged races until he hit HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan, whereupon everything fell apart for him. Subsequently he found it difficult to generate decent front tyre temperatures, and struggled in battles with Ricciardo and Rosberg. Altogether, it wasn’t McLaren’s finest day, but they still lead the constructors’ championship.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, P4
Sebastian Vettel, P11
Red Bull demonstrated good race pace once more, but were never in the running to finish better than the fourth place that Webber scored. Vettel looked a little desperate all weekend, and was left even more frustrated when his left-rear tyre was sliced on the front wing of Karthikeyan’s HRT whilst he lapped it. That dropped him to a pointless 11th place finish.

Kimi Raikkonen, P5
Romain Grosjean, retired lap 3, spin
Lotus lost an impetuous Grosjean early on when he spun, then spun off for good, but Raikkonen came through to a strong fifth place after once again demonstrating competitive race pace.

Bruno Senna, P6
Pastor Maldonado, P19
Senna made up for his troubles in Melbourne with a terrific run from 22nd place on the opening lap to sixth, underlining the potential of the Williams FW34. Maldonado was in the thick of the fight for eighth place when his engine broke in the closing stages. But at least the team scored their first points of the season.

Force India
Paul di Resta, P7
Nico Hulkenberg, P9
Di Resta was in the fight for good points all afternoon after another well-judged performance, but didn’t quite have the pace to hold back Senna. Hulkenberg challenged Vergne throughout the closing stages, and the team’s haul of points placed it sixth overall.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne, P8
Daniel Ricciardo, P12
Toro Rosso weren’t quite as competitive as they were in Melbourne, but Vergne drove a strong race to score his first championship points, as Ricciardo got delayed and was never able to make up lost ground. He did, however, stay ahead of both Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Button to the flag.

Michael Schumacher, P10
Nico Rosberg, P13
Mercedes’ race started badly when Grosjean beat Schumacher off the line, lost ground, then hit the back of his car and spun him off. He was lucky to score a point when Vettel cut a tyre and Maldonado’s engine failed. Rosberg had a very disappointing race after running initially in a points-scoring position, and could not better 13th.

Vitaly Petrov, P16
Heikki Kovalainen, P18
Petrov was mighty in the first part of the race, moving up to 17th within a lap, and finally finished 16th. Kovalainen also made a great start, going from last to 14th by lap two, but then made a mistake on inters which necessitated a replacement nose, and finished 18th.

Timo Glock, P19
Charles Pic, P20
Once again Marussia brought both cars home, with Glock splitting the Caterhams. Their pit calls were spot-on, and Glock’s performance was backed by another good showing from Pic in his first Formula One race in the wet.

Narain Karthikeyan, P21, classified in P22 (penalty for Vettel collision)
Pedro de la Rosa, P22, classified in P21 after team mate’s penalty
When the race was suspended Karthikeyan was a superb 10th, having kept it on the island after starting on full wet tyres. Later, he clashed with Button and Vettel as well as inevitably falling back as the track dried, but overall he was satisfied to make the finish. De la Rosa started from the pit lane after being pushed off the grid with a fuel pressure problem, then got a drive-through penalty as team members were late leaving the grid for the restart. But he, too, finished, which was important for the little team. After the race Karthikeyan had 20 seconds added to his race time for causing the collision with Vettel and as a result swapped places with his team mate in the final classification.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 09:52 AM
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Interesting race for sure. My take-aways:

Alonso may be one of the all time great drivers. I hope he can pull Ferrari out of their slump the way Schumi did when he joined the team.

Perez really showed potential. That late race lapse in concentration just shows inexperience. Regardless, I think we have a winner in the making.

It may be a little early to say Massa is toast, but the toaster is heating up.

Button is a true gent. He blames no one but himself for his woes.

Some have said the lack of pace on the Red Bull cars proves Vettel is just an OK driver is previously superior equipment. I am not on that bandwagon. His previous genius at Torro Rosso, clearly inferior equipment, plus his utter domination of Bourdais (previous four time Champ Car Champion) at Torro Rosso and of Webber now at Red Bull proves he is not going anywhere anytime soon. He overcame the immaturity of previous years and will be back on the top step of the podium. He let his frustrations get the best of him this weekend but that won't last.

Hammi is back. He may just win it all this year. If he can learn from Button's smoothness he will be unbeatable in the competitive McLaren.

Kimi is coming back up to speed smartly. Good to see him back.

Schumi has shown flashes of his past brilliance and seems to be getting better each race. After being bested by Rosberg until the end of last season, I predict he will beat Nico in the points at the end of this season. Too bad the Mercs aren't more competitive.

di Resta is one to watch in the future.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 09:04 PM
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Honestly I think the reason why Schumi seems so good this year, is because Mercedes focused on making a car which suited Michael instead of Nico. IMHO the perfect championship battle to watch would be Vettel/Button/Schumacher. I don't like either Alonso or Hamilton, because they are self centered ego-maniacs. Also as a Russian, I'd like to see Petrov score at least one point this year.

I want a w201
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by RoninGT21 View Post
Honestly I think the reason why Schumi seems so good this year, is because Mercedes focused on making a car which suited Michael instead of Nico.
I think you are right on that point.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 08:32 PM
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i´m from Brazil, massa is ridiculous

still we have 8 world titles in F1, americans barely can win a race, i believe only mario andretti did it in 1978 i guess

what´s the reason u americans can´t race in F1 ?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Benz C280 Sport Plus View Post
what´s the reason u americans can´t race in F1 ?
Obrigado for an excellent question. There have been so many excellent Brazilian and European drivers over the years but almost none from the US. The last two that tried, Michael Andretti and Scott Speed, failed miserably. F1 takes incredible dedication and focus from a very early age. Andretti tried to commute from the US and as a result just couldn't hang with his uber talented teammate, Brazilian Aryton Senna. It was embarrassing. And Scott Speed was a goofball.

I think the larger problem is that F1 is just not a big sport in the US. We've had trouble selling the seats at recent USGP races and I only hope we can do better in Austin and New York, if they occur.

Here in the US, the focus unfortunately is on Nascar (not a sport of my personal liking.) A few young US drivers had aspirations early on of F1 but got sidetracked into Champ Car, Indycar or Nascar due to lack of opportunities in F1.

A few years ago Graham Rahal was scheduled for a Williams test but got socked in in Atlanta due to weather and missed the test. It was never rescheduled.

We do have a few talented young men on an F1 career track now, Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi being two. But unless F1 can raise its profile in the US, I don't think we'll produce many if any competitive F1 drivers.

Last edited by gerkebi; 04-06-2012 at 08:11 AM.
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