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GP Week : Issue 146
Following a disappointing weekend in Melbourne for Williams, in which the team were on course to score serious points before Pastor Maldonado threw it all away in clean air, Bruno Senna collected a very satisfying eight points for the team in Sepang. It was an impressive performance from the Brazilian driver, who started the race in P13. Part strategy, part performance, Senna used an aggressive approach to tyre choice to make his way through the field from the beginning of the race. The Williams driver started on intermediates, but pitted for extreme wets on the second lap. Stuck at the back of the pack for the first few laps, Senna then began to climb slowly through the field, reaching P22 before pitting again on lap 7, when the Safety Car was called out. As a result, Senna found himself bringing up the rear once again when the race was red-flagged on lap 9, a position he had to hold during the Safety Car restart. But when racing resumed on lap 14 it quickly became clear that Senna was on a charge. Thanks to a flurry of pitstops on the next two laps, the Williams driver quickly found himself in P14. It was a gift, but not one that the Brazilian was going to take for granted. On lap 23, Senna passed Daniel Ricciardo for P13. Lap 25, and he made short work of getting past Michael Schumacher (who, let’s not forget, qualified in P3). Next up was Nico Hulkenberg, and the Williams slid deftly by the Force India and into the points on lap 27. Senna then held P10 until he was forced to pit on lap 39, when the climb through the ranks began anew. But a well-timed stop from the Williams pitwall meant that Senna pitted with the masses, and emerged only two positions down on his place at pit entry. A further round of stops on lap 40 saw the Brazilian racer promoted to P8, a position he held until the chequered flag. In contrast, team-mate Maldonado was once again in the doldrums. The Venezuelan spent the race running behind Senna before he eventually retired with engine failure on lap 54, a classified finisher nonetheless. SENNA LEADS THE WAY FOR WILLIAMS Points – Drivers: Alonso 35, Hamilton 30, Button 25, Webber 24, Perez 22, Vettel 18, Raikkonen 16, Senna 8, Kobayashi 8, di Resta 7, Vergne 4, Ricciardo 2, Hulkenberg 2, Schumacher 1. Manufacturers: McLaren 55, Red Bull 42, Ferrari 35, Sauber 30, Lotus 16, Force India 9, Williams 8, Toro Rosso 6, Mercedes 1. FORMULA 1 Round 2 MALAYSIA POS # DRIVER TEAM LAPS TIME GRID 1 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 56 2:44:51.812 8 2 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 56 +2.2 secs 9 3 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 +14.5 secs 1 4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault56 +17.6 secs 4 5 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 56 +29.4 secs 10 6 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 56 +37.6 secs 13 7 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 56 +44.4 secs 14 8 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 56 +46.9 secs 18 9 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 56 +47.8 secs 16 10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 56 +49.9 secs 3 11 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault56 +75.5 secs 5 12 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 56 +76.8 secs 15 13 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 56 +78.5 secs 7 14 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 56 +79.7 secs 2 15 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 56 +97.3 secs 12 16 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 55 +1 Lap 19 17 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 55 +1 Lap 20 18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 55 +1 Lap 24 19 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 54 Engine 11 20 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 54 +2 Laps 21 21 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 54 +2 Laps 22 22 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 54 +2 Laps 23 Ret 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 46 Brakes 17 Ret 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 3 Spin 6 29 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> MALAYSIA