From L to R : Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher:2012 Formula 1, Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 04

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG Petronas, 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 09

Nico Rosberg

“It’s a very special day for me because this is my first pole in Formula One, and the first for a Silver Arrow since 1955. Firstly it was a strange feeling because I was watching the end of Q3 from the FIA garage as we decided to save a set of option tyres for the race, and I couldn’t do anything but watch! Seeing that I finished at the top of the timesheets and with half a second in hand made me the happiest man today. Thanks to the team, everyone here and in the factories, who have done a great job to develop and improve our Silver Arrow. We don’t know what will happen in the race tomorrow, and it will be a challenge to stay in front, but for the moment, I will enjoy starting next to Michael from the front row which is also very special to me.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG Petronas : 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 02

Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Mercedes AMG Petronas : 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 06

Michael Schumacher

“This really is a special day for our Mercedes-Benz team, having two Silver Arrows starting from the front row of the Chinese Grand Prix. It’s a great result, and I am very happy for everybody. Congratulations to Nico, he achieved his first pole position with a just fabulous lap. I can easily respect he did the better job today, and I am happy for him. I am equally happy for Norbert, Ross and all the guys here at the track and in Brackley and Brixworth, who had to wait quite some time and have been so patient. We can only compliment their hard work. A big thank you to Daimler for always supporting us; we are doing all we can to bring the Mercedes-Benz name to the front, where it belongs. As for me, I am happy too, and obviously my ambition for the race is to stay where we are now. But tomorrow is another story, even if in terms of set-up we have prepared the car mainly for the race. We will definitely try and show a good performance, and I am looking forward to it.”

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes AMG Petronas : 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 02

Ross Brawn

“It was an exceptional qualifying session for us and I am very pleased with the way the whole team worked to achieve it. Congratulations to both drivers, but especially Nico on a stunning lap which earned him his first pole position. It is a great boost for everyone, and gives lots of encouragement to the team here at the track, in Brackley and Brixworth. We hope it will prove to be a step on the way to achieving our ambitions; however, we know it is only a small step and that what really counts is the race. That’s what we have been working on, to start delivering similar levels of performance on Sunday afternoon.”

Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher and Norbert Haug, Mercedes AMG Petronas : 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 01

Mercedes-Benz Logo : Mercedes AMG Petronas 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 07

Norbert Haug

“What a fantastic lap from Nico for pole position – in his single attempt in Q3, he was half a second quicker than anybody else, which speaks both for him and the team. A big thank you to everybody from MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS for a great job and for all the relentless work that they are putting in to continuously improve our performance. The three fastest cars today are powered by the Mercedes V8 so well done to all our guys in Brixworth at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. Michael missed P2 today by less than a tenth of a second, but as Lewis will have a grid penalty, Michael will start next to Nico on the front row tomorrow. A Silver Arrows front row last happened at Monza in 1955; now, after two years in the modern era of the Silver Arrows works team, we have achieved our first one-two on the grid. Although we are in the best possible positions today, we certainly do not think that we are already winners tomorrow. So far, our long runs on high fuel and our tyre usage didn’t look bad according to Pirelli, so we all will do our best for tomorrow. Hats off to Nico again – this was a great lap, my friend, which you will remember for a very long time.”

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes AMG Petronas : 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 02

The circuit, the country and the weather might change, but the result of qualifying for Scuderia Ferrari remains the same, says the team. In Sepang, Fernando Alonso was in ninth and Felipe Massa in twelfth. In Shanghai, the Ferrari men produced an identical result. Scuderia Ferrari also says  the management strategy for the Pirelli tyres will be similiar to that used in the Malaysian GP : one set of Prime, which here is the Hard and one of Option (Soft) in Q1, one used and one new Soft in Q2. Fernando then used the last set of Soft available on his only run in Q3.

Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: “Whoever understands that is very clever! I challenge anyone to produce a rational explanation of how this afternoon’s qualifying went, not just for ourselves, but also as far as almost all the other cars are concerned. We went from having very small gaps in Q2, with eleven drivers in around three tenths of one another, to much bigger differences in Q3, with very strong fluctuations in some cases. Given our current situation and above all, the fact that at this track, the major weaknesses of the F2012 seem to be particularly marked, this result is an accurate reflection of where we are in terms of outright performance, even if we have seen that later, in the race, things can change. Sure, it’s not what we were looking for at the start of the season, but today we have to make a virtue of necessity. With a grid like tomorrow’s we can expect an even more open race than we might have done going into the weekend. Our aim is clear: to get both cars home in the points and make the most of any opportunity that comes along during the race.”

Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari at the 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying

Fernando Alonso: “We knew this would be a difficult qualifying and that’s how it turned out. We managed to get into Q3, staying ahead of Vettel by a few thousandths. Then, from Q2 to Q3, the wind changed direction and that was penalising. The car is what it is and the improvements we brought here are not sufficient to produce a jump in performance and so this position corresponds more or less to our current potential. Sure, we cannot be happy to be a second off pole position, but all we can do is work to try and close this gap. If we do enough of a good job then we can think about winning, otherwise not. But I remain optimistic: even in 2010, we were significantly behind the best, but all the same, we got to the final race leading the World Championship…The starting grid is very exciting and curious, with two Mercedes, one Sauber and a Lotus in front of the rest. We cannot permit ourselves to make any mistakes because we certainly don’t have the best car: if we manage to operate perfectly, as we did in Australia and Malaysia, then we can think about bringing home valuable points.”

Felipe Massa, Scuderia Ferrari : 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying

Felipe Massa: “On the one hand I am obviously unhappy not to have made it through to Q3 but, on the other, I have to be pleased with my position if I consider where we were this morning at the end of FP3. In the afternoon, the situation improved, the car had much more grip and I managed to be more competitive, but I couldn’t say exactly why. Probably the track conditions changed in a way that suited us. We hope to continue like this tomorrow afternoon and to bring home a good result: it’s really needed right now! I so much want a normal race, a calm one in which I manage to do my job well and pick up some points. I still don’t have any and the moment has come to remove this zero from the classification.”

Pat Fry, Technical Director: “This result is in line with our potential in this initial part of the season, but the way we got there was rather surprising. I am struggling to remember the last time Q2 was as close as this afternoon’s, with eleven drivers all within less than four tenths and then, a few minutes later, significant gaps reappearing between the top and the bottom in Q3. From what we can understand after a quick first analysis, the optimum useage window for the tyres Pirelli has brought here is so tight that it only takes equally small changes in temperature to significantly change car behaviour. After a third free practice session that was particularly difficult, we made some changes to the set-up on Felipe’s car, however, they alone cannot explain the improvement we saw in qualifying. Having said that, now we must think only of preparing as well as possible for a race that will be long and stressful, especially for the tyres. No rain is forecast for the afternoon, therefore it will be difficult to repeat the amazing result from Sepang, but all the same, we must be always ready to exploit every opportunity, which is the norm with a team that does not have the most competitive package in the field. We have the possibility of getting both drivers into the points and this must be our target: we will gladly take anything extra that might come our way!”

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 Team at the 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 03

Kimi Räikkönen

“The grid position is okay but when you look at the times, I’m disappointed with the pace of the car today. We’ve gained a position after Lewis’s penalty but the speed wasn’t where it should have been, especially when you look at the pole time. We’ve tried some updates this weekend, but they haven’t worked as we wanted so we’ve gone back to how the car was before. We go into the race less confident in the car than in the last two races, but knowing that we start from a higher position on the grid. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow, we’ll try to do the best we can and hopefully we can be higher up than we are on the grid, and that means a podium.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 Team at the 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 04Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 Team at the 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 01

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team, 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 04

Romain Grosjean

“I have mixed feelings after today’s session. After struggling a bit yesterday it’s great to have both cars in Q3, but unfortunately after a terrible first run in Q2 we were forced to use up all our new sets of soft tyres before the final session. This meant there was no point trying to set a competitive time in the pole position shoot out which is a real shame, as our pace in Q2 was good. I feel much more comfortable with the car and I think that shows in the lap times today. The team did a great job to turn things around and get us back towards the top where we should be. I still have some fine tuning to do but 56 laps in tomorrow’s race will certainly help that!”

Alan Permane, Director of Trackside Operations

Both drivers in the top ten again, are we happy with today’s performance?

“Kimi is where the car should be and I think he’s reasonably happy with his performance. He did an excellent job through qualifying and considering the build up of this weekend I think we can be reasonably happy. Romain’s absolute pace is very similar to Kimi’s but qualifying is hungry for tyres if you can’t get the pace straight away. Kimi got through to Q3 with just one set of soft tyres, but Romain required three sets, meaning he then didn’t have a fresh set for his Q3 lap. Romain’s got the pace, we just need to unlock that pace on the hard tyre in a qualifying situation.”

Why didn’t Romain set a time in Q3?

“As he didn’t have a new set of soft tyres, it was always going to be a tough ask to get a blinding lap in the final session, especially as everyone else who got through to Q3 did have a new set. It was unrealistic to expect Romain to qualify higher than tenth in this scenario, but we sent him out anyway. We soon saw from the split times that there was no possibility we brought him in to save a lap on the tyres for the race.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team, 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 01

What’s the assessment of the weekend so far?

“We brought a new update package for the car and we weren’t convinced by a large part of it yesterday. This meant we reverted almost entirely to our Malaysia specification which is why we have missed out on potential pace from the car. We hope to get all the new elements working soon.”

P4 on the grid is Kimi’s best starting position, what can be done from there?

“We have to take every race as it comes, but we’ve certainly seen that we’ve raced more strongly so far than the two Mercedes ahead of us, but that said we were a long way off the pole time, so they are clearly looking very strong. I’d like to think we can take the race to the other cars around us. We’re confident in our starts and our tyre wear and race pace. It should be interesting.”

Romain Grosjean in the garage, Lotus F1 Team, 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 02

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team, 2012 Formula 1 Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 03

Today both Sauber F1 Team drivers qualified better than ever before in their Formula One careers: Kamui Kobayashi came fourth in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, while Sergio Pérez was eighth.

Formula 1 2012 : Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber F1 Team Chinese GP, Qualifying Photo 09

Kamui Kobayashi

“I am very happy, the team did a great job. For quite a while we have kept saying we need to improve our qualifying performance, and I think this was a clear improvement today. Apparently I will be starting from third position tomorrow because Lewis Hamilton had to change his gearbox. This grid position obviously means a lot of chances. However, I am not a dreamer and the target remains the same: score as many points as you can. We have a strong car, normally it is also good on tyres and I am looking forward to the race full of confidence.”

Formula 1 2012 : Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber F1 Team Chinese GP, Qualifying Photo 01

Formula 1 2012 : (From L to R )Matt Morris, Chief Designer, Kamui Kobayashi, Alex Sauber, Marketing Director, Sauber F1 Team at the Chinese GP Qualifying Formula 1 2012 : Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber F1 Team Chinese GP, Qualifying Photo 04

Formula 1 2012 : Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber F1 Team Chinese GP, Qualifying Photo 03

Sergio Pérez

“It is obviously a good qualifying result for our team. Personally I must admit I even hoped for more than P8. After the previous runs had been very promising, on the final lap in Q3, when I was on a fresh set of soft tyres, I suddenly had understeer. I don’t know where this came from. In any case it will be a tough race tomorrow and I will give it my best.”

Formula 1 2012 : Sergio Perez, Sauber F1 Team, Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 08

Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO:

“What a fantastic performance from both of our drivers! This has been the best qualifying result for a long time and a great achievement for the whole team. Finally we are in a position after qualifying to exploit the full potential of the Sauber C31-Ferrari in the race, as we can start from much better positions than in previous races. Congratulations to the whole team!”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:

“We are obviously happy with this qualifying result. It has been our goal for some time to put both cars into the top ten, which we finally managed to do. Almost everything went well apart from Sergio’s final run in which he complained about too much untersteer. This is something we have to look into. Kamui did a fantastic job and his result is beyond our expectations. Taking into consideration Lewis Hamilton’s penalty, he will start third and, looking at our recent race performance, we can be very optimistic for tomorrow.”

Formula 1 2012 : Sergio Perez, Sauber F1 Team, Chinese GP Qualifying Photo 02

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo claimed a sensational victory on Sunday under the dramatic floodlights of the Losail circuit, finally claiming his first premier class (MotoGP) Grand Prix of Qatar win. Lorenzo took the lead from the start and held off rival Casey Stoner for the first few laps before conceding the lead and tucking into second. With seven laps to go he started to close the distance as Stoner’s pace dropped off, holding off a determined Dani Pedrosa on his tail to take the lead. Lorenzo crossed the line 0.852 seconds ahead of Pedrosa, taking the lead in the 2012 Championship standings with 25 points.

MotoGP 2012 : Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing wins the Qatar Grand Prix Race (Photo 02)

Ben Spies first race of the season proved to be a tough one for the Texan, battling major chatter issues from the start of the race. Although unable to hold a competitive pace Spies kept his cool and hung on to take 11th at the line and landed five Championship points in the process.

MotoGP 2012 : Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing, Dani Pedrosa  at the Qatar Grand Prix Race (Photo 01)

Jorge Lorenzo, 1st
“What an amazing race! I put everything I have, all my energy into the track, this victory is because I never gave up, kept pushing and trying. Casey was very strong at the beginning and opened a gap. Fortunately for us he struggled at the end and dropped his pace where I could keep mine so I managed to pass him. I am very grateful to Yamaha because they have made a big step this winter on the YZR-M1.”

MotoGP 2012 : Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing, celebrates his victory at the Qatar Grand Prix Race (Photo 07)

MotoGP 2012 : Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing, celebrates his victory at the Qatar Grand Prix Race (Photo 06)MotoGP 2012 : Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing, celebrates his victory at the Qatar Grand Prix Race (Photo 04)

MotoGP 2012 : Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing, crossing the finish line at Qatar Grand Prix Race (Photo 03)

Ben Spies, 11th
“A tough race but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. I tested my airbag twice this weekend; good to know it works well! We’ll go back to Jerez now and hopefully have the bike issue sorted. It was good that Jorge won, we can see the Yamaha is going well, we just had a big problem with chatter so we have to work out what it was.”

Wilco Zeelenberg, Team Manager
“What can I say, what a great victory! A typical Lorenzo win, he’s won a few races like that, he never gives up. Because of this he was able to win. Of course Casey was struggling a bit with his hand issue but I don’t think we had the perfect set up either. Jorge pushed really hard the last few laps, taking a lot of risks but that’s what it takes in this class to win. He really deserved it. The team also deserve thanks as they worked very hard all weekend for this result.”

Massimo Meregalli, Team Director
“The chatter suddenly appeared on Ben’s bike in warm up and we couldn’t solve it before the race. We’re not sure why it was yet but the engineers will work on it and we will try to ensure we have the problem solved by Jerez. An impressive victory for Jorge, I don’t have the right words to say how impressive. I think he was superior all weekend, now we go to Spain with a lot of optimism; there was no better way for him to start the season. Fantastic to also see both Cal and Andrea doing so well, it says a lot about the YZR-M1’s performance.

MotoGP 2012 : Dani Pedrosa, Second On Podium, Repsol Honda Team Qatar Grand Prix RaceMotoGP 2012 : Casey Stoner , Third On Podium, Repsol Honda Team Qatar Grand Prix Race

Stoner stole the pole from Lorenzo right from the third lap and it looked like he would finish the race first, well almost, when viewers were treated to the kind of excitement only two wheeled racing can provide, when Stoner was passed by Lorenzo with just four laps to the finish and then again by teammate Pedrosa, leaving Stoner to finish third. This is Stoner’s 16th consecutive podium.

MotoGP 2012 : Stoner making his move, Qatar Grand Prix Race Photo 03

Dani Pedrosa jumped from 7th to 2nd by the first corner but had to give up his position to Lorenzo later. Pedrosa stuck to Lorenzo’s tail for a major part of the race and did manage to overtake him for a bit towards the end but lost the gained position almost immediately.

MotoGP 2012 : Stoner leading the way, Qatar Grand Prix Race Photo 01


“I’m very happy with this result because we have been able to turn around all the problems we had during the weekend. After a good pre season we got here and everything went wrong: I had flu and a fever, I crashed on Friday, then the qualifying practice was a disaster… So, it’s very good to leave here with this podium, even if I feel little bit sad because I thought I could win this race, I had it in my hands for a while. The team did a fantastic job and we saw things very different after warm up; then I managed a perfect start which was a key moment in the race, and I was able to stay with Casey and Jorge. In the end, with 4 laps to go I tried to take the lead, but Lorenzo was cleverer than me this time and choose a better strategy. I passed him but he overtook me immediately and also Casey, then I was behind Casey for 1 lap and lost contact with Jorge. Anyway, it’s a good start to the season and we will try to do better in Jerez”.

MotoGP 2012 : Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team Qatar Grand Prix Race Photo 06


“It wasn’t really the way we wanted to finish the race weekend here, after FP3 and Qualifying it was always going to be a tough race for us but in the end it came in the wrong areas. The bike was working well for us, I definitely had the package and the pace to lead the field which was really positive. However, I suffered from really bad arm pump. After three or four laps I felt it but it gradually got worse, I tried to pull a little gap from Jorge and Dani and put in the minimal effort possible to retain the gap and try and win, but as the race continued it got worse and worse and eventually the muscles had nothing more to give. I couldn’t hold onto the handle bars properly and it made things really difficult so it was a disappointing race for this reason, but for many other technical reasons it was very promising”.

MotoGP 2012 : Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team at the Qatar Grand Prix Race, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo for most of the race

MotoGP 2012 : Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team at the Qatar Grand Prix Race Photo 04

MotoGP 2012 : Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team at the Qatar Grand Prix Race Photo 07

At the opening round of the MotoGP season, the Ducati Team earned a sixth-place finish with Nicky Hayden and tenth place with Valentino Rossi. The American didn’t get a great start, but his performance improved steadily as the laps ticked down, and he came out on top of a hard-fought battle with Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl and Hector Barbera to finish in sixth place.

Having started from the twelfth spot on the grid after a difficult qualifying session, Valentino Rossi dealt with a number of problems but worked hard the entire race, eventually turning decent lap times.

The racing department in Bologna and the Ducati Team engineers will continue to develop the GP12 in an effort to make progress for Jerez.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 6th

“I felt we had the potential to run with Dovizioso and Crutchlow, but considering my injuries and limited testing over the winter, I guess sixth is pretty good. I lost some positions at the beginning because I got hung up behind Spies and wasn’t very good on the brakes, but as the race went on, I managed my tyre well and got stronger. That group I was in was fighting hard, and I was happy to bring Bradl back and come out on top of that battle. We put some good points on the board, got some data and learned a lot from riding with other people. I’m excited for the season. I think if we improve some things, we have the potential to put up some good results. I’d like to thank the team, the sponsors and everybody back at Ducati for all their work, because we’ve clearly taken a step forward since last year.”

2012 MotoGP : Commercial Grand Prix of Qatar, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team, trailed by Alvaro Bautista, Team San Carlo Honda Gresini

2012 MotoGP : Commercial Grand Prix of Qatar, Nicky Hayden  Photo 022012 MotoGP : Commercial Grand Prix of Qatar, Nicky Hayden  Photo 03

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 10th

“Unfortunately, I lost a lot of time in the beginning because when I had new tyres with good grip, the rear pushed a lot, making it very difficult under braking. Then Barbera pushed me off the track and I lost five or six seconds. Otherwise, I could have stayed with that group. As the tyre became used and began to slide, I started to ride a bit better and to do better times, to the point that I matched my best time on the last lap. By that point though, it didn’t count for much.”

2012 MotoGP : Commercial Grand Prix of Qatar, Valentino Rossi Photo 02

2012 MotoGP : Commercial Grand Prix of Qatar, Valentino Rossi  Photo 03

2012 MotoGP : Commercial Grand Prix of Qatar, Mick Doohan, Jeremy Burgess, Valentino Rossi

2012 MotoGP : Commercial Grand Prix of Qatar,Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team trailed by Hector Barbera, Pramac Racing Team

Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)

“It was a challenging weekend for our team, but we can also look at some positive aspects as we continue to focus on working with the still-young GP12. Valentino had a difficult qualifying session, and he had problems in the race, particularly in the early laps with fresh tyres. We must learn how to solve this, because in the end he posted some good times. Nicky felt more comfortable during practice, and today he rode with great determination, scrapping with Bautista, Bradl and Barbera to win the hard fight for sixth place. We’ll compare the data and the information we gathered from both riders in order to improve our bike for Jerez.”

Fernando Alonso : Scuderia Ferrari at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Stefano Domenicali celebrates Scuderia Ferrari's victory at the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand PrixAlonso pops the champagne at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand PrixFernando Alonso on the podium at the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand PrixFernando Alonso on the podium at the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix Photo 2

Fernando Alonso claims # 1 for Scuderia Ferrari in F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Team Scuderia Ferrari celebrates the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: “An incredible win, absolutely unexpected, but that does not make it any less wonderful and emotional! Once again, Fernando was amazing, driving with a cool head and determination, managing to get the very best out of this car and of the very changeable weather conditions. Today’s victory does not change a jot in terms of our situation: we know that, at the moment, we do not have a car competitive enough to fight for the win under normal conditions and that we have a lot of work to do to catch up. Clearly this win gives us even more motivation, because it shows that this championship is not at all clear cut and anything can happen. A slight improvement in performance can result in a good step forward compared to other teams. Felipe suffered too much with degradation on his front tyres, which led to him making one more stop than his team-mate: this is a particularly difficult moment for him, because he cannot get the most out of a car that, objectively, is very difficult to drive. We have an obligation to stay close to him, which is as it should be in such a closely knit team. Now we will enjoy this moment for a few hours, but tomorrow we must be back in the factory again pushing on the development of this F2012. Finally I want to congratulate Sauber, who today secured their best ever result and congratulations also to Sergio Perez, a youngster from the Ferrari Driver Academy, who today confirmed his great talent.”

Fernando Alonso: “It was an incredible race! I am very happy, for me and for the whole team: I am proud of this fantastic group of people. While we have been going through this difficult time, no one gave up, in fact 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. I would never have bet on this win and I would think anyone who did so must have picked up a tidy sum! As I returned to the pit lane on the cool down lap I didn’t even know where to park the car: to win with all the problems we have got is something quite extraordinary. In the wet, I was going very well, but then when the track dried out, our weaknesses showed themselves. Sergio got very close and I was trying to stay on the only dry line: if he wanted to pass me, he would have had to take a risk. Yesterday, he and I ended up ninth and tenth and today we found ourselves fighting for the win, which shows how unpredictable is this championship. Our aim was damage limitation for these early races of the championship and now we even find ourselves leading the classification. Now we absolutely have to improve the performance starting right away with the races in China and Bahrain. We must get back to work immediately so as to find at least the two or three tenths that could put us back in the fight for the top places.”

Stefano Domenicali , Fernando Alonso  after the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix victory

Scuderia Ferrari in the pits : F1 2012 Malaysian Grand PrixScuderia Ferrari in the rain : F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Felipe Massa, Scuderia Ferrari :  F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 01

Felipe Massa: “First of all, I want to congratulate Fernando on this great win, which came thanks to him driving a fantastic race. It is a very important victory for the team, although it must not let us forget that our car is not yet at the level of the best. Obviously I am disappointed with my result. Things were going well at the start and I was able to fight with the drivers directly ahead of me. When the track was drying, I suffered more and more with tyre degradation and I could not maintain a good pace. We opted to follow what Rosberg was doing ahead of me, as he too was apparently struggling with his tyres, but it did not work out and we lost a lot of time with this extra stop, given also that the others stayed on track for around a dozen laps more before switching to the dry tyres. It is important for us to try and understand why there is such a strong difference in the way our cars perform, but ultimately, our aim is to have a more competitive car in as short a time as possible.”

Felipe Massa, Scuderia Ferrari :  F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 02Felipe Massa, Scuderia Ferrari :  F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 03

Fernando Alonso wrestles the F2012 through the rain, Scuderia Ferrari, F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso wrestles the F2012 through the rain, Scuderia Ferrari, F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 03

Pat Fry: “This win is a wonderful reward for all the efforts we are making here at the track and back home at the factory to try and turn around a season that immediately saw us facing an uphill struggle. However, this result must not be seen as a case of all our problems having unexpectedly solved themselves: that’s not the case and everyone is aware of it. Fernando drove a fantastic race, pushing throughout the entire time, always being very careful but never overdoing it. The F2012 seemed to behave very differently depending on the conditions in which it was running: today, there were moments when it was absolutely competitive, others when it struggled. We had already seen in Melbourne on Friday that on a damp track, the situation was not bad and today it went even better. Towards the end, Perez was very quick, partly because his Hards were working better in these conditions than Fernando’s mediums. Another decisive factor in today’s win was the work in the pits and on the pit wall: at every pit stop, Fernando managed either to make up places or to stay ahead of his pursuers. Felipe made a good start but suffered quite badly with the front tyres as the track was drying. We tried to remedy the situation, bringing him for an extra stop and clearly that cost him valuable time. We must try and understand why, for him, the car ends up being even more unstable in terms of its handling compared to the way it works for his team-mate: it is one of our tasks for these coming days along with obviously trying to find the tenths in performance terms that we are still lacking.”

Fernando Alonso wrestles the F2012 through the rain, Scuderia Ferrari, F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 02

Fernando Alonso in the F2012  for Scuderia Ferrari, F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 01Fernando Alonso in the F2012  for Scuderia Ferrari, F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 02Fernando Alonso in the F2012  for Scuderia Ferrari, F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 03Fernando Alonso in the F2012  for Scuderia Ferrari, F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 04

Scuderia Ferrari pay tribute the memory of Marco Simoncelli during the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.  'Sic, Sempre Con Noi' -' Sic, always with us'

Fernando, Felipe and their physios, Matteo Orsi and Edoardo Bendinelli, along with Massimo Rivola, Massimo Balocchi and Roberta Vallorosi, representing the entire Scuderia, visited the turn where the world lost a talented and too young rider, Marco Simoncelli last year, on the 23rd of October, at Turn 11 of the Sepang circuit.

“Sic, always with us” read a a pit board that Felipe and Fernando brought with them. “From now on, coming here will never be the same again as it will always make one think of Marco,” said Fernando.

“I think the Ferrari family and all Italians who love sport and motorcycling will remember him always. His death was something one could never have expected. We will remember him always and he will always be a hero to us. We wanted to go to Turn 11 to pay a tribute to Marco’s memory,” added Felipe. “I think it was the least we could do for him, for his family and for all his fans. I think that all weekend long, we will drive here with thoughts of Marco.”

Caterham F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix (Photo 1)

CCaterham F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix (Photo 2)

Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen in the Paddock : Caterham F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “I am really happy with the performance today. We didn’t show the car’s true potential in qualifying, but today I was able to put in similar lap times to the cars ahead and didn’t make any mistakes in the tricky conditions. The car felt good all afternoon and the team worked really well to help me get the most out of it, both on the pitwall and with the stops, so I’m very pleased I’ve been able to record my first race finish for the team and to start to show what we can do in races. This gives us a good base to work from so it’s been a good Sunday, particularly in front of our home fans.”

Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “That was one of those races when we could have had a really good result, but a bit of bad luck and a car I didn’t really have a great balance on meant I’m just pleased to have got it home. I made a small mistake on the inters and had to come in for a new nose, and that dropped me back a few places which basically ended my race. Despite that, it’s good that we got both cars home and we also showed again that we have a car that can race on Sundays. Now we need to focus on getting more out of it in qualifying and pushing on at the next race in China.”

Caterham F1 Team & Marussia F1 Team  at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Caterham F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix (Photo 3)

Caterham edges past the Marussia and the Williams in F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Vitaly Petrov at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Heikki Kovalainen at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Caterham F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix (Photo 4)

Caterham F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix (Photo 5)Caterham F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix (Photo 6)

Caterham F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix (Photo 7)

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “Conditions like we saw today can make the race a complete lottery. We worked well all afternoon with the engineering team to adjust the engine strategy to deal with the red flag and the safety car period, and we can be reasonably pleased with how well the car performed against the teams ahead, so now we will focus on China and Bahrain and make sure we use this as a base to keep progressing.”

Mark Smith, Technical Director: “From the technical perspective that was an incredibly busy race. With the constantly changing conditions we had to make a number of calls to give us a chance to fight and while that paid off for Vitaly, for Heikki it was a much tougher afternoon. He had to change a front wing after going off track and that effectively ended his race, but it is good to see how hard Vitaly was able to push, and to see the lap times he was putting in on the inters.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “I’m happy with how the race went today. We recorded our first two car finish at our home race in Malaysia, and we definitely gave the fans here something to cheer for, particularly with Vitaly battling with the likes of Ferrari, Williams and Toro Rosso. We showed good pace and with a bit more work ont he strategies I think we can keep demonstrating that we keep edging ever closer to what is clearly an intense battle in the midfield. The fact we are now fighting with some of the most famous names in motorsport is a huge achievement in what is only our third season, and now we will keep fighting to close that gap which is already so much smaller than it was last year, and streets ahead of where we were in 2010.”

Kimi Raikkonen in discussion with the Lotus F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Kimi Räikkönen had an interesting weekend qualifying fifth, then being forced to start 10th on the grid, owing to a penalty for gearbox change. He proved his mettle, finishing fifth in a rain-affected, red flag-interrupted race. He also set the fastest lap of the day as the track dried in the run to the chequered flag. It was a different story for Romain Grosjean, with an early exit from the slippery Sepang circuit on lap four. Kimi set a succession of fastest laps on the hard tyres as the track dried, culminating with a 1 min 40.722secs on lap 53. It was the 36th Grand Prix fastest lap of his career.

“It was a bit difficult today. It was my first time on the wet weather Pirellis and I didn’t know how the intermediate or wet tyres would react – I had only completed one installation lap on them before. I just tried to stay on the road and push as much as I felt comfortable with. When I changed to the dry tyres it took a couple of laps to get heat into them, and my visor was pretty dirty so seeing the dry line was difficult. Once I found my way I could push much harder. It was difficult to have another mixed weather weekend. The conditions changed a lot today so it was always a case of adapting and looking for grip. Overall, we seemed to have a pretty strong package again this weekend, so I’m relatively happy. A fifth today was okay, but we’re always looking for better results.” said Kimi Raikkonen.

Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus E20 Renault  at the Malaysian Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus E20 Renault  at the Malaysian Grand Prix Photo 2

Romain Grosjean

“It felt like a perfect start off the line; I got a good jump on the others and with the KERS I managed to weave through the cars in front without touching anybody. Coming out of the first two corners I was up to third, which was an amazing feeling. In turn four Mark (Webber) managed to carry a bit more speed through the corner and edged in front. Michael (Schumacher) tried to follow him through but there was not enough space so we touched and I spun. From there things became really tough. The visibility was so poor I couldn’t see anything in front of me. We made the decision to stay out on the intermediate tyres but the rain got heavier and there was far too much water. I had massive aquaplaning into turn five and unfortunately ended up going backwards into the gravel.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal

“Today’s result is a bit frustrating. Whilst it’s good to have a car finish in the top five after starting from tenth in conditions which were very tricky, we can’t help thinking that we could have achieved more from this race. Obviously, it’s disappointing for Romain, as it’s another DNF for him in the early laps of the race. He had never driven in the rain with these intermediate tyres so we have to take that into account. He had a very good start off the line, but the contact with Michael ruined his race. At the restart, we recovered well from our position and on the plus side, the car looked strong again. Kimi had a flawless race. He was very consistent in all conditions and his best lap shows what could have been without his grid penalty. I’m sure when we have a ‘standard’ weekend – without bad weather, penalty or interruption – we will do very well.”

Romain Grosjean at the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean in the Lotus E20-01 Renault at the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix  (Photo 3)Romain Grosjean in the Lotus E20-01 Renault at the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix  (Photo 4)

Kimi Raikkonen pits in the Lotus E20-03 Renault at the F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

James Allison, Technical Director

“What we would give for a normal race! We had to fight back from a grid penalty for changing the gearbox on Kimi’s car. We also had two drivers learning Pirelli’s wet tyres for the first time today. This made for a difficult time here at Sepang. Our pace at the end of the race on dry tyres looks extremely promising from the perspective of both degradation and pace. Give us a normal race, with two clean getaways from the good qualifying positions of which we have shown we are capable, and I think we’ll be able to collect a good reward.”

Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader

“Another points scoring finish for Kimi here. Again it was a shame for Romain but over the course of the weekend we confirmed the pace seen in Australia of the Lotus-Renault package. The changeable weather made it very difficult to manage fuel consumption. We burned a lot of fuel at the second start, which allowed us to be lighter towards the final laps. This played out well as Kimi set the fastest lap of the race on lap 53. Overall the engine has worked perfectly and we’re now looking forward to China, which presents a very different challenge.”

Lotus F1 Team at F1 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix