Today is a very good day for Red Bull as the Renault-powered team scored a 1-2 victory at the surprisingly dry Malaysian GP. The 1-2 victory was led by Sebastian Vettel who started the race from third spot on the grid. Pole sitter and teammate Mark Webber crossed the line in second after losing the lead at the first turn on Lap 1.
The duo were at a league of their own through out the entire race and the final podium position went to Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg awarding the team it’s first podium finish after starting from second place. Podium finisher at the Australian GP a week ago, Robert Kubica from Renault managed fourth place. Force India has done it again with Adrian Sutil’s fifth place. Hamilton made excellent progress through out the race as the Brit started from 20th position.
Seventh place went to Felipe Massa who was the only Ferrari to cross the finish line. Massa is now leading the Driver’s Championship with 39 points ahead of Vettel and Alonso. Reigning World Champion Jenson Button finished in eight place. He nearly lost his eight place after receiving pressure from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso during the final stages of the race. Unfortunately for the Alonso, his scarlet Ferrari suffered from a mechanical issue, most probably an engine failure which forced the Spaniard to retire.
Ninth place went Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari while Nico Hulkenberg from Williams filled up the tenth spot. The 56-lap race was a dry affair which was rather surprising, again proving that anything can happen at the Malaysian GP. First corner on Lap 1 was pretty much trouble-free without any drama. Both the Red Bulls pretty much sealed the top two and Nico Rosberg was running in third.
Both the McLarens and Ferraris had good starts but it was Lewis Hamilton who made the best progress. The Brit was steaming ahead through the field and entertained viewers with his battle for 9th place with Renault’s Vitaly Petrov. The Russian gave Hamilton a good fight for a couple of laps. Hamilton finally overtook Petrov but was given a warning as the 2008 champion weaved 4 times on the main straight while slipstreaming the Renault.
It was a disappointing day for Schumacher fans as the 7 times World Champion retired on Lap 10 from eight place. Apparently his car’s rear left wheel nut came off and there was no drive as well. Both the Ferraris and Lewis Hamiton were the last ones to pit. Jenson Button who won the Australian GP was being attacked by the Massa at the final stages of the race and Massa managed to pass the McLaren driver for seventh. Meanwhile, Hamilton was trying his best to make a move on Adrian Sutil’s car which is also powered by a Mercedes powerplant. This battle was for fifth place and Sutil managed to keep himself ahead till the end.
Following Massa’s pass on Button, it was Alonso’s turn and the former World Champion looked good for a pass but his car failed on him with about two laps remaining. A number of cars failed to finish the race while Pedro de la Rosa did not even start the race due to engine problems. Drivers including Timo Glock of Virgin, Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber, Vitantonio Liuzzi of Force India and Vitaly Petrov failed to make it to the finish line.
It wasn’t a good day for Lotus Racing at the team’s home race as well. Heikki Kovalainen had an accident with Virgin’s Di Grassi. As a result, the Finn suffered from a puncture and had to pit. But he had more problems and had to pit again. A couple of laps later Lotus sent him out although he was already six laps down. With six laps remaining Jarno Trulli suffered from some problems and was running last.
Both Kovalainen and Trulli were classified as 18th and 17th respectively, behind the Hispania drivers. Karun Chandhok was 15th while Bruno Senna was 16th. Formula 1 now heads up north for the Chinese GP which happens on April 18th. Overall the Malaysian GP wasn’t all that boring but it would have been nicer if it rained.
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