Manipe F1 rates all 24 drivers' performances from the Malaysia Grand Prix weekend at Sepang, highlighting the good and the bad from the 2nd round of the 2012 championship.
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault (Race: 11th, Grid: 5th):
Was beaten by team-mate Webber for the second race in a row in qualifying, and things failed to improve much during the race. A radio failure meant he was unable to communicate with his team, meaning he was a lap late switching to intermediates after the safety car. He was still able to jump Webber to climb to fourth, but with 9 laps to go he had a costly tangle with HRT's Narain Karthikeyan dropping him out of the points to an 11th place finish.
Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault (Race: 4th, Grid: 4th):
Webber saw his chances of a podium vanish after a poor stint on the intermediate tyres after the restart, having run as high as second before the safety car had emerged. The Australian reclaimed fourth during the switch to slicks and was closing on Hamilton for third when the chequered flag came out.
Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes (Race: 14th, Grid: 2nd):
Qualified on the front row for the second race in a row but dismal pace on the intermediate tyres after the restart combined with a tangle with HRT's Narain Karthikeyan consigned the Briton to 14th place at the flag. He was unable to get heat into his intermediates, even after pitting for a new set, and his pace remained equally unimpressive after switching to slicks.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes (Race: 3rd, Grid: 1st):
Hamilton recorded his second third place finish from pole position in as many races and, like team-mate Button, had poor pace on the intermediates to blame for losing touch of the leaders. He lost the lead while switching to intermediates after a slow pitstop, but only fell further behind as the stint continued. He was only able to keep pace with Alonso on slicks, meaning he crossed the line 15 seconds adrift.
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari (Race: 1st, Grid: 8th):
Alonso showed his championship-winning talent yet again in the underperforming Ferrari to claim an unlikely victory in arguably the fifth, sixth or seventh quickest car in the dry. The Spaniard drove a faultless race, stayed cool under the pressure of an advancing Pérez and made perfectly-timed tyre changes to maintain his advantage at the front.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (Race: 15th, Grid: 12th):
Excessive tyre wear on Pirelli's intermediate tyre mid-way through the race, requiring an additional pitstop, robbed Massa the chance of his first points-scoring finish of the year. He was one of the first to switch to slicks, but the move was too little too late, having been stuck down in 18th, although he was able to recover to 15th behind Rosberg and Button.
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes (Race: 10th, Grid: 3rd):
Schumacher recorded his first top-three qualifying finish since returning to F1 in 2010, but a Romain Grosjean induced spin on the first lap ended any chances he had of hauling a decent number of points. He battled hard to get back into the top ten and achieved it with three laps to go when Williams' Pastor Maldonado retired, netting his and Mercedes' first point of the year.
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes (Race: 13th, Grid: 7th):
All looked rosy in the Rosberg camp after the restart as he held fourth place having switched to intermediates. Excessive tyre wear saw his performance fall off a cliff though, as he lost three places in as many laps, forcing an unwanted pitstop for a fresh set of rubber. That extra stop effectively ended his points-scoring chances, with the only consolation being beating McLaren's Jenson Button to the line.
Kimi Räikkönen, Lotus-Renault (Race: 5th, Grid: 10th):
After qualifying fifth, a gearbox penalty put Kimi back to tenth on the grid but it was a late switch to extreme wets at the beginning of the race that appeared to have cost Räikkönen dearly. He made up for that with an early switch to intermediates after the restart however, putting himself right back into contention. He was soon lying fifth, where he had qualified, and took the flag well clear of the chasing Williams of Bruno Senna.
Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault (Race: Ret, Grid: 6th):
The inexperienced Grosjean again failed to turn a promising qualifying performance into a points finish after retiring just four laps into the race. From sixth on the grid he tapped Schumacher's Mercedes at turn 4, sending both spinning, before lasting just over three laps more before his next race-ending mistake. He spun his E20 off the road at turn 5 while on intermediates, the only driver to make such an error in the tricky conditions.
Paul di Resta, Force India-Mercedes (Race: 7th, Grid: 14th):
A largely anonymous drive by di Resta saw the Scot climb from 14th on the grid to claim his second consecutive points finish after taking advantage of some timely tyre changes in the changeable conditions. He was running ninth after the restart and switch to intermediates, before benefitting from Massa and Rosberg's demises to jump two places to seventh. An early change to slicks allowed him to consolidate that position and score six points at the flag.
Nico Hülkenberg, Force India-Mercedes (Race: 9th, Grid: 16th):
Failed to match team-mate di Resta in either qualifying or the race, but was still able to come home with his first points finish of the year. He gained places early in the race despite a later switch to the full wets, but lost some of the advantage when he was later to switch to the intermediates after the restart. He was a lap later switching to slicks, costing him the chance of leapfrogging Toro Rosso's Vergne for seventh.
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari (Race: Ret, Grid: 17th):
Suspension problems on Saturday relegated Kobayashi to 17th on the grid, but all seemed to have righted itself when he rose to ninth on the first lap. A decision by Sauber to split the strategies on their cars meant Kamui waited until lap 5 to switch to full wets, dropping him to 16th place. His pace on the intermediates was nowhere near competitive enough, before he retired from 13th with brake problems ten laps from the finish.
Sergio Pérez, Sauber-Ferrari (Race: 2nd, Grid: 9th):
Pérez took advantage of a perfect strategy to drive a near-faultless race, all thanks to a first-lap switch to extreme wet weather tyres. Having started ninth, the early switch placed him third at the restart, before leapfrogging Hamilton to second at the pitstops. From half distance he was constantly closing on Alonso, but left it a lap later to switch to slicks as he waited for more rain. Then a mistake at turn 14 on lap 50 dropped him too far behind to be able to close the lead gap in the six remaining laps.
Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Race: 12th, Grid: 15th):
A poor start, in which he dropped two places on the first lap, set the tone for Ricciardo's race, with an additional mid-race pitstop ultimately costing him the chance of a second consecutive points finish. He was the first to switch to slicks and the move paid off as he was able to rise from 18th place to 12th at the flag, over 25 seconds outside the points.
Jean-Éric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Race: 8th, Grid: 18th):
A brave decision to stay out on intermediate tyres while all those around him had switched to extreme wets paid dividends for Vergne as he netted his first F1 points in only his second race. The Frenchman sat seventh behind the safety car, although a late switch back to intermediates after the restart dropped him to tenth. He gained two places thanks to Massa and Rosberg's demises and took the chequered flag in eighth place.
Pastor Maldonado, Williams-Renault (Race: 19th, Grid: 11th):
Yet again came within touching distance of his second F1 points finish but this time had engine reliability to blame for failing to make the finish. His route back to the points was all the more remarkable after dropping to 20th when he had to make two pitstops after the restart, having missed his pitbox in the poor visibility first time around. He leapfrogged Rosberg in the pits while switching to slicks and was running tenth when his Renault engine failed with two laps to go.
Bruno Senna, Williams-Renault (Race: 6th, Grid: 13th):
Senna scored his best ever F1 finish in sixth after fighting back from last place at the restart, after contact with team-mate Maldonado required a first-lap pitstop for a new front wing. He pitted immediately for intermediates after the restart and drove aggressively to climb to ninth before the switch to slicks. He was one of the first of the frontrunners to switch and was able to overtake di Resta on-track to finish the race in sixth.
Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham-Renault (Race: 18th, Grid: 24th):
Kovalainen endured another disappointing race for Caterham to come home a distant 18th, behind Marussia's Timo Glock. A mistake mid-way through the race required an extra pitstop for a new front wing, before losing more time behind Pic as he failed to find a way by. He spent his final stint closing on Glock for 17th, but ran out of laps in the end.
Vitaly Petrov, Caterham-Renault (Race: 16th, Grid: 19th):
Drove an error-free race from 19th on the grid to comfortably win the battle at the back of the grid, with a 43 second cushion to Marussia's Timo Glock. He was even able to keep Ferrari's Felipe Massa at bay for a number of laps after the switch to slicks, before taking the chequered flag just over 15 seconds behind the Brazilian.
Pedro de la Rosa, HRT-Cosworth (Race: 21st, Grid: 22nd):
De la Rosa made his debut for HRT on Sunday, having failed to qualify in Melbourne, but had to start the race from the pitlane after stalling on the grid. He was hit with a drive-through penalty after the restart for having team personnel on the grid after the cut-off, although he was able to close back in on Karthikeyan on the intermediates. The switch to slicks saw the advantage return to the Indian, although de la Rosa was promoted to 21st post-race due to Karthikeyan's penalty.
Narain Karthikeyan, HRT-Cosworth (Race: 22nd, Grid: 23rd):
Karthikeyan's decision to start on the extreme wet weather tyre was an inspired one as he lay tenth on the grid at the restart. He predictably fell through the field once the action resumed, but he was able to stay ahead of team-mate de la Rosa throughout. Contact with Vettel in the closing stages of the race earned him a 20-second post-race penalty, costing him 21st place to his team-mate.
Timo Glock, Marussia-Cosworth (Race: 17th, Grid: 20th):
Glock did as much as he could with the ailing Marussia and managed to beat Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen home to 17th place. The German was delighted with achievement and praised his team for their work, having clocked up his second race finish in a row.
Charles Pic, Marussia-Cosworth (Race: 20th, Grid: 21st):
Pic enjoyed a competitive race in parts on Sunday, but had slow pitstops and poor pace on slicks at the end to blame for him finishing 45 seconds behind his closest rival. He lost a total of over 25 seconds in the pitlane compared to his rivals, and he lost even more than that in his final stint, but was nevertheless able to comfortably beat both HRTs to the line.