Fernando Alonso won an exciting Malysian Grand Prix ahead of Sauber's Sergio Perez in a race that saw two safety car periods and a red flag due to heavy rain. Rain hit the track just before the start of the race and all but one(Narain Karthikeyan) started on intermediate tyres.
McLaren teammates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button held off their first and second place at the start of the race while Schumacher lost his third place to Lotus' Romain Grosjean. Grosjean then spun hitting Schumacher's rear and becoming the first retirement of the race, while the German continued his race at the back of the grid. This moved Webber and Vettel into third and fourth place.
Sergio Perez was the first to pit for full wet tyres and was much faster than rest of the field. He moved into third place behind the McLarens once everyone were done with their pitstops. As the conditions worsened, the Safety Car was deployed on lap 6. But with rain increasing and drivers complaining of 'rivers' on track, Charlie Whiting decided to red flag the race on lap 9.
Jean Eric Vergne and Narain Karthikeyan also benefited from rain as they were in 7th and 10th place respectively when the race was red flagged. The former decided to continue on intermediates tyres while the Indian benefited by starting the race on wet tyres.
At 17:01, it was announced that the race will restart at 17:15 local time and everyone had to start on full wet tyres. The top 10 order before restart was - Hamilton, Button, Perez, Webber, Alonso, Vettel, Vergne, Massa, Rosberg and Karthikeyan.
Race resumed under Safety Car which led race leader Hamilton till lap 13 before it entered pits. The conditions were now perfect for intermediate tyres and Button was the first to pit on lap 13 while the real drama started when the rest pitted on the following lap. Lewis made a slow pitstop on lap 14 and lost further time as his pit crew couldn't release him because of the incoming Felipe Massa. He rejoined the race behind Alonso and Button. Sergio Perez at this time led the race for first time in his career ahead of defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel. Both were yet to make their pit stops for intermediate tyres.
Button was unlucky to collide with Narain Karthikeyan(yet to pit) on lap 14 and had to pit for a new front wing. The British driver rejoined the race in 21st place. Although he had the pace in his car, he struggled with his front tyres and finished in a disappointing 14th place.
At the front, it was Alonso opening a wide gap to Perez and Hamilton. However in the later stages, it was the 'Checo' who challenged Alonso for victory; at times he was two second faster than the Spaniard. That happened when everyone(starting with Daniel Ricciardo) switched to slick tyres, as they proved out to be much faster than intermediates on a drying Sepang Circuit.
The Mexican was within a second of Alonso and was on his way to overtake the latter for victory. But at lap 50 Sauber told him on team radio "Checo be careful, we need this position, be careful." Just then he slide wide on turn 14 losing 5 valuable seconds. He recovered but could only finish 2 seconds behind the double world champion. People on Twitter and various websites speculated that Sauber has given a team-order to Perez not to overtake Alonso. We'd like to remind you that Ferrari is the official engine supplier of Sauber. However, team-principal Peter Sauber later denied those rumours.
Hamilton was satisfied to finish 14 seconds behind race leader Fernando Alonso in third place ahead of Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen. Bruno Senna scored his career best result of sixth place for Williams. Force India was the only team to have both cars finish in points; Paul di Resta finished the race in 7th while Nico Hulkenberg in 9th, thus bringing 8 points for the Indian team. Jean Eric Vergne scored his first point with a 9th place finish for Toro Rosso.
It proved out to be another tough day for Mercedes' with Schumacher involved in an incident with Groesjean finishing in 10th while Rosberg finished in 13th place. Vettel was involved in an incident with HRT's Narain Karthikeyan on lap 47 which punctured his left rear tyre. He slipped down from a decent fourth place to 12th. He later gained a position when Maldonado had an engine failure at the end of second last lap. The Venezuelan was classified as 19th. Felipe Massa had another bad and eventual day at office as he finished the race in 14th place place ahead of the 'new teams'.
Petrov was the fastest of all in Caterham ahead of Marussia's Timo Glock. Petrov's teammate Heikko Kovalainen struggled with intermediates to finish in 18th place ahead of Maldonado(Williams), Karthikeyan(HRT) and de la Rosa(HRT). Kobayashi and Grosjean were not classified.