Ferrari & Alonso Break Through In Malaysia
Some pundits may have written them off this season, but Ferrari and Fernando Alonso showed they shouldn’t be forgotten about this year with victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Spanish ‘bull fighter’ won a rain-affected race in Sepang ahead of Sauber’s Sergio Perez and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, while champion Sebastian Vettel had a poor race, suffering a puncture, finishing 11th out of the points.
Perez’s performance to finish second, ending a long wait for Mexico to get a driver on the podium, was one big story, but Alonso’s victory was the headline act, considering experts labelled this year’s title battle between McLaren and Red Bull.
Alonso, though, still admitted Ferrari have plenty of work to do, to be near those two.
“This win will make us very happy but it doesn’t change our determination to improve the car,” he said. “The goal (in these early races) was not to lose too many points to the leaders, and we did the job. But coming to the (next three races in) China, Bahrain and Barcelona, there is a lot of stuff coming to improve the car.”
However, that’s not to take away from a great win and Alonso acknowledged that.
“It was an incredible race,” Alonso said. “While we have been going through this difficult time, no one at Ferrari gave up.
“Everyone has doubled their efforts to try and catch up. The strategy was perfect, the mechanics did an impeccable job, the engineers did their best in preparing the car and I drove at my maximum for all 56 laps of the race.”
Perez, meanwhile, rued a missed opportunity to claim a Grand Prix victory.
He said: “It is a really nice feeling to have been on the podium here, but I think victory was also within reach. Twice in the race I was catching Fernando; on the final stint, when I was on the final stint, when I was on the hard tire compound, my tires had degraded quite a lot. It wasn’t easy and I went wide and touched a curb–I was actually lucky not to go off!”
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