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Malaysiian GP 2011

APRIL 10, 2011

Race Notes - Vettel wins second in a row in Malaysia

Sebastian Vettel, Nick Heidfeld, Malaysian GP 2011
© The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix in his Red Bull-Renault. Jenson Button finished second in his McLaren-Mercedes, 3.2 seconds behind, and Nick Heidfeld was third in his Renault, 25.0 seconds behind.

Despite having to run most of the race without KERS on his Red Bull, Vettel was in control of the race from the start. The world champion has now won the first two races of the 2011 season, and four in-a-row after winning the final two races of the 2010 season. It is Vettel's 12th career win.

Mark Webber (26.3s) chased Heidfeld hard in the final laps but couldn't get past, finishing in fourth place in the second Red Bull, followed by Felipe Massa (36.9s) in the Ferrari in fifth place, Fernando Alonso (37.2s) right behind his team mate in sixth place, Lewis Hamilton (49.9s) in the second McLaren in seventh place, Kamui Kobayashi (66.4s) in the Sauber-Ferrari in eighth place, Michael Schumacher (84.8s) in the Mercedes GP in ninth place, and Paul di Resta (91.5s) finishing with the final point in his Force India-Mercedes.

At the start Vettel took the lead from pole position, while the two Renaults made big jumps, with Heidfeld coming around the outside of the first corner, taking second place away from Hamilton. Webber, who's KERS wasn't working from the start was down from third to ninth, Nico Rosberg down to 13th. The order was Vettel, Heidfeld, Hamilton, Button Vitaly Petrov, Massa, Alonso, Schumacher, Webber and Kobayashi in tenth.

On lap 2 Vettel pulled out a 2.4 second lead over the field. Rosberg and Di Resta fighting for 13th place.

On lap 4 Sutil pits, while Rubens Barrichello pits for a punctured tyre. Petrov gets by the Ferrari of Alonso.

On lap 5 Petrov locks up under braking and runs wide and Alonso takes back sixth place. Red Bull tells Vettel that there will be a few drops of rain for the next half hour and then it will be clear, while Mercedes tells Schumacher it will rain in 10 minutes.

On lap 7 Webber passes Kobayashi, but then Kobayashi retakes him on the front straight in the DRS zone. Vettel is 4.7 seconds clear of Heidfeld.

On lap 9 Pastor Maldonado pits and retires. Hamilton pressures Heidfeld for second.

At lap 10 Vettel leads Heidfeld by 7.4 seconds, followed by Hamilton (8.1s)), Button (10.4s), Massa (11.5s), Alonso (13.2s), Petrov (17.2s), Schumacher (22.3s), Kobayashi (23.5s) and Sebastien Buemi (25.7s) in tenth.

On lap 11 Webber pits from 9th place, putting on another set of soft tyres rejoining in 16th place, while light rain starts to fall in the pitlane.

On lap 12 Di Resta pits.

On lap 13 Hamilton pits from sixth for another set of soft tyres, rejoining in 10th place.

On lap 14 Vettel, Heidfeld, Button, Massa and Jarno Trulli pit for soft tyres. Alonso and Schumacher pit for soft tyres, with light drops of rain falling. Heidfeld loses out during the stops and runs fifth.

Narain Karthikeyan stops on the side of the circuit.

On lap 16 Petrov, Buemi, Rosberg and Kovalainen pit.

On lap 17Alonso passes Button for fourth place into the first corner.

On lap 18 Kobayashi pits from seventh place, while Massa runs the fastest lap.

Vettel leads by 5.7 seconds, while Hamilton goes slightly faster and takes fastest lap.

Barrichello makes a second pitstop.

Alonso takes fastest lap and is making ground on Hamilton in second place.

At lap 20, Vettel leads Hamilton by 5.5 seconds, followed by Alonso (8.7s), Button (11.6s), Heidfeld (13.6s), Webber (15.9s), Massa (17.7s), Petrov (21.3s), Di Resta (29.9s) and Schumacher (34.4s) in tenth place.

A replay shows a piece of Petrov's Renault flies off.

On lap 22 Massa passes Webber for sixth place.

On lap 23 Webber makes a second pitstop. Heidfeld slides off the edge of the track but continues.

On lap 24 Button pits from fourth place.

On lap 25 Hamilton pits from second place and takes on hard tyres, rejoining in , Di Resta pits from ninth. Barrichello retires in the pits. Sergio Perez pulls off the track and stops.

On lap 26 Vettel pits from the lead, taking on another set of soft tyres, rejoining in fourth behind Alonso, Heidfeld and Massa. Webber sets fastest lap. Hamilton passes Petrov for fifth place. Alonso and and Heidfeld pit. Vettel passes Massa and retakes the lead into the first corner.

On lap 28 Massa and Petrov pit. Schumacher and Kobayashi battle for ninth place, the Sauber getting ahead of the German. Schumacher then pits.

The Red Bull team is telling Vettel not to use the KERS system, as Hamilton slowly closes on Vettel.

On lap 29 Rosberg pits.

At lap 30, Vettel leads Hamilton by 4.4 seconds, followed by Button (5.7s), Alonso (10.1s), Webber (12.8s), Heidfeld (21.3s), Massa(23.2s), Kobayashi (30.2s), Petrov (32.9s) and Di Resta (42.5s) in tenth place.

McLaren relays to Hamilton that Vettel can not use his KERS.

On lap 32 Trulli pits and is rolled back into the garage - Trulli sits in the car. Webber pits from fifth place, changing to hard tyres. Jaime Alguersuari, Adrian Sutil and Buemi pit.

Petrov passes Kobayashi for eighth. Vettel sets fastest lap in the 1m41s range.

On lap 36 Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock pit. Sutil passes Alguersuari for 14th place.

Vettel has increased his gap to Hamilton to 8.8 seconds. Webber sets fastest lap.

On lp 37 Kobayashi pits, taking on hard tyres.

On lap 38 Hamilton pits for the third time from second place, staying on the harder tyre. Di Resta pits from tenth.

Webber chases Hamilton for sixth place.

On lap 39 Button and Massa pit, switching onto the hard tyre, coming out just ahead of Hamilton and Webber.

On lap 40 Heidfeld pits from third place, rejoining in seventh. Di Resta passes Rosberg for 11th place.

McLaren tells Hamilton that they want to finish the race on this set of harder tyre - not pitting again.

At lap 40, Vettel leads Alonso by 15.8 seconds, followed by Button (31.5s), Hamilton (35.2s), Webber (36.1s), Petrov (42.3s), Heidfeld (46.7s), Massa (48.8s), Schumacher (68.3s) and Kobayashi (73.2s) in tenth place.

Button sets fastest lap.

On lap 41 Vettel pits from the lead and changes to the hard tyre rejoining in the lead. Alonso pits from second place, on the hard tyre as well, rejoining in fifth place.

On lap 43 Schumacher runs off the track and through the gravel. Kobayashi passes Schumacher for ninth place. Schumacher then pits for hard tyres.

Webber pits from fifth place. Heidfeld passes Petrov for sixth place. Massa passes Petrov as well.

On lap 45 Petrov pits from seventh place. Alonso is closing on Hamilton in third place.

Alonso makes a run on Hamilton but clips his front wing on Hamilton's rear tyre, pieces flying. Alonso pits to change his front wing, dropping from fourth to seventh place.

Webber sets fastest lap. Rosberg passes Alguersuari for 14th place.

Webber is attacking Massa for fifth place, while Heidfeld is quickly closing on Hamilton for third place.

On lap 49 Webber passes Massa on the outside of the first corner. Massa fights back, but can't match Webber's newer tyres.

At lap 50 Vettel leads Button by 6.0 seconds, followed by Hamilton (25.4s), Heidfeld (26.6s), Webber (31.5s), Massa (34.3s), Alonso (43.0s), Petrov (54.9s), Kobayashi (60.2s) and Di Resta (79.1s) in tenth place.

Heidfeld closes to under a second of Hamilton, who is running slower lap times.

On lap 53 Heidfeld passes Hamilton for third place. Hamilton goes wide and Webber takes fourth place. Hamilton pits and falls to sixth.

Petrov, running in eighth goes wide into the runoff, launching the car into the air as he rejoins, damaging the car as it lands - the steering column breaking - he ends up off the circuit, his day is done.

Webber chases Heidfeld hard for third place. Heidfeld holds on and takes the final podium position behind Vettel and Button. Vettel takes the second race of the 2011 season from pole.