Malaysian race stopped due to heavy rain
25 March 2012 – The Malaysian Grand Prix has been red-flagged due to a heavy rainstorm at Sepang. Following the deployment of the Safety Car on Lap 7, the race was halted just two laps later as a number of cars struggled to remain on the circuit.
Rain looked certain before the start, as drops began to fall; it had stopped when the formation lap begun, but a damp surface left all cars on Intermediate tyres. As Romain Grosjean became the only retirement, the field pitted for Wets with the exception of Jean-Éric Vergne, who amazingly survived and rose to seventh place on Intermediates.
At present, a shaken up order leaves Sergio Pérez third after pitting on Lap 1, the aforementioned Vergne seventh and HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan in tenth position. The situation is a minor tragedy for Pedro de la Rosa, whose car stalled at the start of the Formation Lap; he could have been highly-placed by now as, like team-mate Karthikeyan, the Wet tyres were already fitted to the HRT.
Initially, the red flag appeared to have come out when the Safety Car was deployed, as lightning struck the venue and caused a number of electrical failures. The general scenario is similar to that of 2009, when half points were handed out and Jenson Button was declared winner. The clock has now stopped and the race can last for a maximum of four hours in total; however, the sun will set about three hours after the red flag time.
Race order under red flag:
1. Hamilton 11. Hülkenberg 21. Kovalainen
2. Button 12. di Resta 22. Pic
3. Pérez 13. Räikkönen 23. Senna
4. Webber 14. Maldonado RET. Grosjean
5. Alonso 15. Schumacher
6. Vettel 16. Kobayashi
7. Vergne 17. de la Rosa
8. Massa 18. Ricciardo
9. Rosberg 19. Petrov
10. Karthikeyan 20. Glock
UPDATE: At 17:00 local time (GMT +7), it was confirmed that the race would restart behind the Safety Car at 17:15 with all cars on Wet tyres
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