Fernando Alonso defied all expectations and carried his Ferrari to victory in Malaysia today in a rain interrupted Grand Prix.
But driver of the day was Sergio Perez who drove his Sauber to a heroic second place. He should have won but for an error three laps from the close when he was hunting the Ferrari, catching him by a huge amount every lap. The victory could have been his.
The form setters in Australia, McLaren, had something of a nightmare. Lewis Hamilton converted pole into third but Jenson Button hit a HRT, made an extra stop and came home well outside the points.
The race was suspended by rain after nine laps, mixing up the field in poor – albeit not really terrible – conditions.
Alonso will deservedly take some plaudits for taking a slow Ferrari to victory – and serious questions will again be asked of Felipe Massa, who consistently when backwards in the race for no reason other than simply not being quick enough.
Perez is, by all accounts, next in line for a seat at Ferrari and he’ll never get a better audition than this. I don’t think Massa has ever been good enough for the Ferrari seat, even in 2008, and the situation isn’t going to improve.
The Sauber team achieved arguably their greatest result today – the squad’s only win came under the guise of BMW – and while Perez isn’t going to be champion soon, given the equipment and some experience he could be a great force for the future.
Alonso leads the driver’s championship, albeit through a healthy degree of luck. Ferrari hasn’t fixed its problems and China should again see a strong McLaren.