Resta 7th, Nico 10th; Force India pick 8 points
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Last Updated: Sunday, March 25, 2012, 19:40
  
Resta 7th, Nico 10th; Force India pick 8 points
Sepang: Sahara Force India recorded its first double points finish of the season with Paul di Resta securing seventh place and Nico Hulkenberg ninth in the dramatic and rain-hit Malaysian Grand Prix, on Sunday.

The 55-lap race, won by Ferrai`s Fernando Alonso, was stopped after first eight laps due to heavy rain.

At the break, India`s Narain Karthikeyan was in P10 which meant that Hispania had ended a lap within points for the first time. Karthikeyan had not gone into pit lane at that time for wet tyres as most of the drivers had done.

However, Karthikeyan eventually finished 21st, just ahead of teammate Pedro de la Rosa.

Sergio Perez brought about the best-ever finish for Sauber by second position, ahead of pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in a McLaren.

Force India enjoyed a good result by picking up eight points after Resta started in the 14th position on the grid and Hulkenberg in the 16th.

Mercedes` Michael Schumacher was last among points in the 10th position while defending champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was behind him, finishing outside the points bracket.

The rain immediately turned torrential and Ferrari`s Felipe Massa was the first in for wet-weather tyres, followed immediately by the other drivers in a chaotic few minutes in the pit lane.

Lotus`s young Frenchman Romain Grosjean span into the gravel and out of the race, Mercedes` Nico Rosberg went off-course and Button radioed that the last sector was "like a lake" before the safety car came out on lap seven.

And as the rain came down in buckets, the race was suspended shortly afterwards, evoking memories of Button`s storm-shortened victory in 2009.

But less than an hour later they were back out and once the safety car withdrew for lap 14, it was the signal for some frenzied action as drivers dived into the pits for intermediate tyres on the drying track.

Button smashed up his front wing in the collision with HRT`s Karthikeyan and needed his third pit stop, pushing him way down to 21st. On lap 18 Alonso led followed by Perez, Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel and Raikkonen.

Vettel and Raikkonen both nipped past Rosberg on laps 23 and 24 to leave the German world champion behind Hamilton in third spot.

Alonso was driving his unloved Ferrari to the limit, but his big lead was whittled down to just a couple of seconds by Perez before both joined the rush to pit for slick tyres around lap 40.

When they resumed Alonso was seven seconds in front but Perez was soon back on the Spaniard`s tail, setting up a gripping dogfight in the closing laps -- distracted only by a nasty puncture for Vettel, who slipped back.

But when Perez went off-course with six laps to go, Alonso was able to claim his first win since the British Grand Prix last July -- and conclude a remarkable weekend for the Ferrari camp.

PTI

First Published: Sunday, March 25, 2012, 19:40


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