Tragedy for Sauber. The race was excellent for them, and Perez managed to do 35 laps on the Pirelli softs (nobody quite knows how), finishing seventh. But he and Kobayashi (8th) were disqualified for a breach of the technical regulations. It’s a sad end to Sauber’s amazing day.
No surprise as to the winner: Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton came second, despite his car being damaged on the underside – he avoided disqualification for this. Third was the surprise, as Renault’s Vitaly Petrov took his first podium. He managed to stay ahead of Fernando Alonso for the second race in a row, though the Ferrari was close by the final lap.
The Toro Rossos also put in a strong performance, with Buemi’s revised finish at 8th giving the team four points. Finishing eleventh and twelfth, Sutil and di Resta had their positions boosted as well to give Force India the three they needed.
Virgin’s drivers both finished the race, but only D’Ambrosio was classified after Glock retired for a while. Kovalainen retired for Lotus with a water leak caused by the engine vibrating differently to the Cosworth, while Trulli finished in a revised 13th place. No Williams or Mercedes finished, with mechanical problems. Rosberg’s was caused by Barrichello – who recieved a drive-through penalty.
For Massa, the race was up and down. His three-stop strategy proved to be fatal after Jenson Button – cutting the corner and not giving position back – had a drive-through penalty to leave the Brazilian ahead, but ended up behind the Briton after his third stop.
So mixed feelings from the race today. The rookie of the day is Sergio Perez, who drove amazingly despite his disqualification to preserve the soft Pirellis. Worst driver? Rookie Pastor Maldonado, whose performance has been dismal so far.
Standings will be updated later today.