Sebastian Vettel wins bitter Red Bull battle in Malaysia

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Sunday 24th March, 2013 - 8:49pm

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Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel prevailed over Mark Webber in what became a bitter battle of the fast and the furious in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

In a race which will be remembered for Vettel’s curious remarks over the radio, the German took the victory over Webber with Lewis Hamilton third in the Mercedes.

Webber’s only words to Vettel before the podium ceremony was :”Multi 21 Seb” which is believed to be code for hold station and has raised the question that the German may have gone against team orders.

Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg, frustrated that he was told to hold station behind the Brit, finished fourth ahead of Felipe Massa (Ferrari) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus).

The Red Bull pair had dominated the 56-lap race with the high-speed jousting reaching its climax on lap 43 when Vettel pitted for medium compound tyres.

On the next lap Webber pitted and was launched back into the fight just was the triple World Champion swept past the blend line, leaving the pair to fight out the lead.

In a brilliant piece of resilient driving Webber managed to ward off the attack however on the next lap Vettel made his move after a series of moves and counter moves by the Red Bull pair.

Vettel had complained earlier in the race about holding him up and then again about Webber having the audacity to ‘race’ him.

Red Bull had both its drivers on different tyre strategies but it did not stop the pair from completely dominating the grand prix.

Earlier Vettel pitted for dry tyres on lap six, leading a flood of drivers who also came in for service to replace the intermediates.

By lap 16 Webber, who stayed out for an extra two laps on the intermediates, held sway from Vettel however the Mercedes pair of Hamilton and Rosberg started to make sizeable gains on the pair of Red Bulls.

Webber then pitted on lap 20, handing the lead to Vettel and took on a set of medium compound Pirellis. Vettel pits three laps for hard compound tyres and once he rejoined the running order was the same with the Australian holding the advantage.

Vettel then closed up on Webber with the German saying on his radio: “Mark is too slow get him out of the way. He’s too slow.”

In contrast to Melbourne Webber had a belter of a start from fifth when he launched an attack on the two Ferraris in the first couple of corners.

He squeezed through on a wet track and came out second behind Vettel.

Fernando Alonso emerged with a broken front wing after contact with Vettel after the pair diced through the first couple of corners.

At the start of lap two Webber loomed up beside Alonso who bizarrely stayed out but as Webber eased in front of the Spaniard the front wing of the Ferrari disintegrated causing the double world champion to skid off into the gravel at turn one.

Both of the Force India’s of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta were forced into retirement with the team stricken seemingly with wheel nut problems, the first time both cars have failed to finish since Japan in 2010.

Result

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 56 Winner 1 25
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 56 +4.2 secs 5 18
3 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 56 +12.1 secs 4 15
4 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 56 +12.6 secs 6 12
5 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 56 +25.6 secs 2 10
6 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 56 +35.5 secs 11 8
7 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 56 +48.4 secs 10 6
8 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 56 +53.0 secs 12 4
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 56 +72.3 secs 9 2
10 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 56 +87.1 secs 17 1
11 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 56 +88.6 secs 18
12 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 55 +1 Lap 14
13 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 55 +1 Lap 19
14 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 55 +1 Lap 20
15 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 55 +1 Lap 22
16 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 54 +2 Laps 21
17 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 53 +3 Laps 7
18 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 51 +5 Laps 13
Ret 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 45 +11 Laps 16
Ret 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 27 +29 Laps 8
Ret 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 22 +34 Laps 15
Ret 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1 +55 Laps 3

 Points after 2 of 19 rounds 

Pos Driver Nationality Team Points
1 Sebastian Vettel German Red Bull Racing-Renault 40
2 Kimi Räikkönen Finnish Lotus-Renault 31
3 Mark Webber Australian Red Bull Racing-Renault 26
4 Lewis Hamilton British Mercedes 25
5 Felipe Massa Brazilian Ferrari 22
6 Fernando Alonso Spanish Ferrari 18
7 Nico Rosberg German Mercedes 12
8 Romain Grosjean French Lotus-Renault 9
9 Adrian Sutil German Force India-Mercedes 6
10 Paul di Resta British Force India-Mercedes 4
11 Nico Hulkenberg German Sauber-Ferrari 4
12 Sergio Perez Mexican McLaren-Mercedes 2
13 Jenson Button British McLaren-Mercedes 2
14 Jean-Eric Vergne French STR-Ferrari 1
15 Valtteri Bottas Finnish Williams-Renault 0
16 Esteban Gutierrez Mexican Sauber-Ferrari 0
17 Jules Bianchi French Marussia-Cosworth 0
18 Charles Pic French Caterham-Renault 0
19 Giedo van der Garde Dutch Caterham-Renault 0
20 Max Chilton British Marussia-Cosworth 0
21 Daniel Ricciardo Australian STR-Ferrari 0
22 Pastor Maldonado Venezuelan Williams-Renault 0

 

 

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