Ferrari's Alonso prevails in soggy Malaysian GP

Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso gave Ferrari a much-needed win by taking Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, a race stopped for nearly one hour due to heavy rain.

Sergio Perez from Sauber challenged Alonso for the lead in the closing laps, but Perez ran wide off course heading into a turn and lost his momentum. Alonso went on to finish 2.2 seconds ahead of Perez for his 28th career F1 win.

Alonso surpassed Jackie Stewart for fifth on F1's all-time race winners list. Michael Schumacher (91), Alain Prost (51), Ayrton Senna (41) and Nigel Mansell (31) have more victories than Alonso.

Perez became the first Mexican driver with a podium finish in F1 since Pedro Rodriguez did it in the 1971 Dutch Grand Prix. Perez also gave Sauber its best finish ever in a F1 race.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, the pole sitter, finished third, while Mark Webber from Red Bull and Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top-five. Hamilton also started and finished in the same position in last weekend's season- opening Australian Grand Prix.

Double world champion Sebastian Vettel finished 11th and did not score a point for only the second time in the last 23 grand prix. The Red Bull driver had been running among the top-five for most of the race, but on lap 48, he suffered a punctured left-rear tire when he made contact with HRT's Narain Karthikeyan.

Jenson Button, who won the Australian Grand Prix, finished 14th after he also made contact with Karthikeyan earlier in the race.

With the win, Alonso moved atop the point standings. The Spaniard has accumulated 35 points so far, compared to 30 for Hamilton and Button's 25.

Vettel is now sixth in the rankings and trails the leader by 17 points.

Alonso's win gave Ferrari a much need boost after the Italian team endured numerous performance and reliability issues with the car during recent pre- season testing. His teammate, Felipe Massa finished almost one lap behind in 15th.