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Malaysian GP 2013

MARCH 24, 2013

Race Notes - Red Bull 1-2 as Vettel wins the Malaysian GP

Sebastian Vettel, Malaysian GP 2013
© The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian GP, in Sepang, in the Red Bull-Renault, followed by his team mate Mark Webber, 4.2 seconds behind. Lewis Hamilton was third in his Mercedes GP, 12.1 seconds behind the leader.

It is Vettel's first win of the year, and his 27th of his career. Fernando Alonso after touching Vettel in the first corner, fell out on the second lap when his front wing came off the car.

After the race, Webber was visibly upset in the interview, having been leading late in the race, he said that both drivers after being told by the team to turn down the engines and cruise to the finish, that Vettel took it upon him self to race with Webber and take the win.

Nico Rosberg (12.6s) in the Mercedes GP was right behind in fourth place, followed by Felipe Massa (25.6s) in the Ferrari in fifth, Romain Grosjean (35.5s) in the Lotus-Renault in sixth, his team mate Kimi Raikkonen (48.4s) in seventh, Nico Hulkenberg (53.0s) in the Sauber-Ferrari in eighth, Sergio Perez (72.3s) in the McLaren-Mercedes in ninth and Jean-Eric Vergne (87.1s) in the Toro Rosso-Ferrari taking the final points paying position in tenth place.

Vettel now leads the Drivers Championship by 40 points over Raikkonen with 31, Webber with 26, Hamilton 25, Massa 22, Alonso 18 and Rosberg with 12 points. Red Bull takes over the Constructors Champion lead with 66 points, ahead of Lotusand Ferrari tied with 40, Mercedes 37, Force India10 and McLaren and Sauber with 4 points.

After rain falling before the start, the rain would start with a damp track, all drivers starting on intermediate wet tyres.

At the start Alonso challenges Vettel into the first corner, but touches Vettel and has a derranged front wing.

Vettel pulls out a lead on the first lap ahead of Alonso and Webber. Alonso continues past the pits and as he starts lap two, on the front straight his wing lets go and gets caught under the Ferraris front tyres - Alonso can't steer and ends up in the gravel trap outside turn 1, his day is done.

Rosberg passes Button for third.

On lap 3, Vettel leads Webber, Hamilton, Rosberg, Button, Massa, Perez, Sutil, Hulkenberg and Ricciardo.

On lap 4 Grosjean gets past his team mate Raikkonen for 11th place.

On lap 5, Vettel and Massa pit for medium dry tyres, Webber takes the lead.

Vettel comes out in fifth place.

On lap 6, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Di Resta, Maldonado, Van der Garde, Bianchi, Bottas and Chilton all pit for dry tyres - Red Bull keep Webber out for another lap.

On lap 7 Webber, Hamilton, Button Hulkenberg, Perez, Grosjean Gutierrez Vergne and Pic all pit - Rosberg the only driver not to pit. As Hamilton pits he pulls into the McLaren pit spot by mistake, and then continues on to the Mercedes garage.

On lap 8 Rosberg is the last to pit from the lead - Webber now leads Vettel. Vergne and Pic come together in the pitlane. Vergne needs to change his front wing, but both drivers continue.

On lap 9 Webber lead Vettel, Hamilton, Rosberg, Button, Hulkenberg, Massa, Perez, Grosjean and Raikkonen in tenth place.

On lap 10, Webber sets fastest lap on the hard compound tyre and has a 2,9 second lead on his team mate.

On lap 11 Grosjean passes Perez in the DRS zone and takes 8th place from the McLaren. Raikkonen follows close behind Perez.

On lap 12 Vettel closes to 2.4 seconds behind Webber in the lead. Rosberg sets fastest lap at 1m43.775.

On lap 13 Pic and Vergne will be investigated by the stewards for their collision in the pits.

On lap 14 Maldonado goes off into the gravel and makes his way back to the pits for new medium tyres and a new front nose. Rosberg re-sets fastest lap at 1m43.538s.

At lap 15 Webber leads Vettel by 2.2 seconds, followed by Hamilton (4.6s), Rosberg (7.9s), Button (15.9s), Hulkenberg (18.6s), Massa (21.1s), Grosjean (23.5s), Perez (28.5s) and Raikkonen (28.6s) in tenth place.

On lap 15 Grosjean sets fastest lap, followed the next lap with his team mate Raikkonen setting 1m43.034s, as he passes Perez for ninth place in the DRS zone.Gutierrez goes wide at turn 9, but continues.

On lap 16 Raikkonen goes quicker with a lap of 1m42.844s.

On lap 18 Bianchi pits.

On lap 19 Di Resta passes Ricciardo for 11th.

On lap 20 Webber pits from the lead for medium compound tyres - handing the lead back to Vettel. Ricciardo and Chilton also pit. Webber rejoins in fifth.

On lap 21 Massa and Grojean make their seconnd stops. Massa goes to hard tyres, Grosjean on mediums. Di Resta pits and has a long stop - a problem with the front left tyre.

On lap 22 Hamilton pits from third place, pitting in the right spot this time, for medium tyres. Hulkenberg and Raikkonen pit, as Di Resta still sits in the pits. Hulkenberg rejoins ahead of Mass, but the Brazilian finds his way past. Button also pits.

On lap 23 Vettel and Rosberg pit for a second time, Vettel on hard tyres, Rosberg staying on the mediums. Perez, Sutil, Gutierrez and Bottas pit as well. Sutil has a problem with the front tyres not coming off the car as well, and the team retires the car.

On lap 24 Hamilton sets fastest lap, followed by his team mate Rosberg the next lap at 1m41.057s. Di Resta is back in the pits and retires the Force India - both out with a technical problem.

At lap 25, all drivers on medium tyres, except Vettel and Massa on hard compound tyres.

On lap 26 Vettel closes on Webber in the lead - and Hamilton closes up behind them.

On lap 27 Raikkonen battles with Hulkenberg for eighth place. Vergne pits from 14th.

On lap 28 Vettel complains to the puts that Webber is too slow on the medium tyres. The team tells him to be patient.

On lap 29, after getting Sutil back on track, the German pits again and is pushed back into the garage.

On lap 30 Van der Garde pits for a third time. Bianchi pits as well. Hamilton pits from third, and rejoins in ninth with new hard tyres.

On lap 31 Webber pits from the lead along with Rosberg from third, both onto hard tyres.

Vettel pits from the lead on the next lap and rejoins in third. Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m41.001s. Button with only two stops takes over the lead.

On lap 33 Massa and Perez both pit.

At lap 34 Button leads Webber by 0.2 seconds, followed by Hamilton (1.8s), Vettel (3.7s), Rosberg (4.6s), Grosjean (17.0s), Hulkenberg (22.6s), Raikkonen (23.4s), Massa (34.1s) and Perez (40.1s) in tenth.

On lap 34 Hulkenberg and Raikkonen both pit. Rosberg sets fastest lap at 1m40.975s. Ricciardo pits.

On lap 35 Webber passes Button to retake the lead. Hulkenberg and Raikkonen pit for a third time, the two exit the pits nose-to-tail, Hulkenberg ahead into the first corner.

Hamilton passes Button for second. Button then pits. Button exits his box, but then stops in the pitlane - the team pushes him back, the front right tyre not attached properly. Button rejoins in 14th place.

On lap 37 Gutierrez pits.

On lap 38 Webber sets fastest lap at1m40.889. Grosjean, in sixth place, is pressured by Perez.

Vettel and Rosberg close on Hamilton in second place.

Ob lao 38 Vettel passes Hamilton for second place in the DRS zone. Hulkenberg and Raikkonen are still battling for eighth place - the two bumping wheels.

On lap 41 Raikkonen passes Hulkenberg to take eighth place. Bottas makes his third stop.

On lap 42 Hamilton pits for a fourth time and changes to the medium tyre and rejoins in fourth.

On lap 43 Vettel and Rosberg make there stops for medium tyres.

On lap 44, Webber pits from the lead and rejoins just ahead of his team mate Vettel - the Australian stays ahead of the world champion. Vergne pits from tenth. Rosberg and Hamilton run close together in third and fourth.

On lap 45 Hamilton passes Rosberg for third on the main straight. Button sets fastest lap.

On lap 46, Rosberg repasses Hamilton at the last turn. Vettel sets fastest lap at 1m46,446s.

The two Red Bull drivers battle for the lead, Vettel finally taking the position.

On lap 48 Massa makes his final stop. Maldonado is off the track and retires. Raikkonen battles hard with Perez and takes sixth place. Massa jumps on Perez and passes him for seventh. Massa then passes Raikkonen for sixth in the DRS zone. A part of Raikkonen's front wing comes off as he exits over the kerbing.

At lap 50 Vettel leads Webber by 3.7 seconds, followed by Hamilton (12.6s), Rosberg (13.4s), Grosjean (29.1s), Massa (36.5s), Raikkonen (40.5s), Perez (45.5s), Hulkenberg (55.7s), and Gutierrez (89.3s) in tenth place.

Massa sets fastest lap 1m 39.805s. Rosberg complains to the pits that he wants to get past Hamilton. Ross Brawn tells him that both drivers are being told to control their pace and that he needs to hold his position.

On lap 53 Gutierrez and Ricciardo both pit - Ricciardo retires. Red Bull tells Vettel to conserve his tyres.

On lap 54 Rosberg complains to Brawn again that he is fastest - Brawn tells him that there is nothing to gain, and he wants them to bring both cars home.

On lap 55 Button retires in the pits. Perez pits the next lap for a tyre change - worrying about a puncture.

Mercedes tells Hamilton to conserve fuel, that it will be marginal to the finish.

Perez sets fastest lap on the final lap on fresh tyres with a 1m39.199s time.

Vettel comes across the flag to win, followed by Webber, Hamilton and Rosberg.