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Malaysia analysis - what price Vettel’s victory? 25 Mar 2013

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F138 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 (L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren on the grid with Race Engineer Dave Robson (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8 and Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham CT03 exit the pit lane.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham CT03 and Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham CT03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06 retires from the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sebastian Vettel led home a commanding Red Bull 1-2 in Sunday’s 2013 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix, but rarely have television viewers witnessed such tension between a driver, his team mate and team management en route to the podium. Vettel’s controversial pass on Mark Webber, despite having been told to hold station, netted him 25 points and the championship lead. As to its impact on relationships within the team - and on the German’s reputation - only time will tell. We take a team-by-team look at how things unfolded at Sepang...

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P1
Mark Webber, P2

The controversial manner in which Vettel overtook Webber against team orders inevitably sullied his 27th Grand Prix triumph, which brought him level with Sir Jackie Stewart’s score, and tellingly there was none of the usual celebratory team photos after the race. The result did, however, push Red Bull into the lead of both the drivers’ and constructors’ standings and confirmed that in the RB9 the reigning world champions still have the fastest car - in qualifying and race trim - despite their unhappiness with the 2013-spec Pirelli tyres.

Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton, P3
Nico Rosberg, P4

Mercedes again looked very competitive, but both Hamilton and Rosberg had to back off, lifting and coasting, all through the race to conserve fuel after adopting an aggressive fuel strategy in the unsuccessful attempt to match the Red Bulls for race pace. Nevertheless, third and fourth places were further testimony to the serious progress the team have made.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, P5
Fernando Alonso, Retired lap 2, broken front wing

Ferrari gamble’s on keeping Alonso out with a damaged front wing, following a collision with Vettel in Turn 2 at the start, had spectacular consequences when the wing collapsed and sent him off the road on the second lap. Massa fell back immediately from his front row starting position and lacked the leaders’ race pace, but took solid points for fifth.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, P6
Kimi Raikkonen, P7

Lotus were unable to reproduce Raikkonen’s Australian performance, and this time Grosjean was their better finisher after the Finn received a three-place grid drop for impeding Rosberg in qualifying. Grosjean raced and beat Hulkenberg and Perez but couldn’t hold off Massa, while Raikkonen eventually battled by Hulkenberg after a fraught encounter. The E21s again ran a stop fewer than their rivals, with three to everyone else’s four.

Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg, P8
Esteban Gutierrez, P12

Hulkenberg reminded everyone of his talent with a feisty drive in which he raced wheel to wheel with many of the established stars and held off Melbourne winner Raikkonen for many laps in an inferior car. In the end he had to settle for eighth, after a great afternoon’s work. Gutierrez showed well and was in the fight for the final point for a while until dropping back to 12th.

McLaren
Jenson Button, Classified P17
Sergio Perez, P9

Button drove a great race in a McLaren that could run its designated ride height on this smoother track. He ran fifth for a long time, led briefly during the third stops, and might even have worked into the fight for third, but for a disastrous third stop in which the right-front wheel was improperly attached. Later he was withdrawn because of vibrations in the left-front suspension. Perez fought hard in the upper midfield, taking ninth place and another two points.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne, P10
Daniel Ricciardo, Retired lap 52, broken exhaust

Vergne lost a lot of time when Toro Rosso unsafely released him into Pic’s path on the seventh lap. Both cars needed new noses. He then fought back up to take the final point after a great drive. The team were subsequently fined 10,000 euros. Ricciardo went off the road in the wet and damaged his floor, and was ultimately forced to retire for the second race in a row with exhaust problems.

Williams
Valtteri Bottas, P11
Pastor Maldonado, Retired lap 46, KERS problem

Both drivers went off the road on their way to the grid. Bottas then drove strongly after another early off in the wet, and finished within a second and a half of the final point. Maldonado went off the road yet again in the race, damaging his front wing, before stopping out on the track with an imminent KERS problem.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, P13
Max Chilton, P16

Once again Bianchi drove superbly to give Marussia a great 13th place finish, well ahead of the Caterhams, while Chilton finished his second race, in 16th place.

Caterham
Charles Pic, P14
Giedo van der Garde, P15

Pic lost a lot of time in the incident in the pits with Vergne on the seventh lap, but fought back to lead team mate van der Garde home.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, Retired lap 28, wheel nut
Paul di Resta, Retired lap 23, wheel nut

Sutil and Di Resta both pitted on the sixth lap to switch to slicks. Unfortunately for both, Sutil encountered a problem with a sticking left-rear wheel nut. After waiting for his team mate to be serviced, Di Resta then caught and passed him and was setting fastest laps as he pulled back into points contention. Then both drivers suffered further wheel nut problems, prompting both cars to be withdrawn.

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