Third time lucky for Vettel in Malaysia

Posted on Apr 4, 2010 by
Sebastian Vettel leads Mark Webber into the first corner of the 2010 Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel leads Mark Webber into the first corner of the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel has won his first Grand Prix of 2010 at the third time of asking.

After losing the lead of the season’s first two races through mechanical problems, the German had no issues as he swept to victory in Malaysia. His Red Bull Racing teammate Mark Webber was second, with Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg third.

The race at the Sepang circuit had started in unusual fashion with several top drivers lining up towards the back of the grid following a chaotic qualifying session on Saturday. The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, as well as the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, had to fight their way through the field after misjudging the weather during qualifying.

From the start, Vettel eased past pole-sitter Webber and never looked like relinquishing the lead. Hamilton had a storming start, flying up the order and at one point sitting in second place before his first and only pit stop. Button pitted early in an attempt to relive his strategic victory at the previous race in Australia, but when Hamilton pitted late the 2008 champion emerged just ahead of his teammate.

Nico Rosberg finished third in the race for Mercedes GP

Nico Rosberg finished third in the race for Mercedes GP

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso made similar charges through the field, with Massa catching and passing Button late in the race to finish seventh behind Hamilton, whose own charge was halted when he was unable to pass the Force India car of Adrian Sutil in fifth. Alonso also caught Button and had just attempted a pass when the Spaniard’s Ferrari engine blew up with just a few laps to go.

Rosberg had a solid race to take the final place on the podium, but his team mate, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, was forced to retire when his suspension failed on lap 10. Robert Kubica finished fourth after another impressive drive for Renault, while Torro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari and Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg round off the top 10. Sebastian Buemi was 11th for Torro Rosse and Rubens Barrichello’s Williams was 12th.

There were mixed fortunes for the rookie teams. Pedro de la Rosa’s BMW Sauber failed to start after his engine failed, while team mate Kamui Kobayashi stopped on the track on lap nine.

The Virgin car of Timo Glock retired after a collision with Lotus’ Jarno Trulli, while the second Virgin, driven by Lucas di Grassi, finished 14th. The Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen retired with hydraulic failure, and although he completed the race he was not officially classified in the results. Trulli finished in last place, while both Hispania cars finished – Karun Chandhok in 15th place and Bruno Senna in 16th. The other retirements were Vitaly Petrov’s Renault and Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force India.

The results mean that Felipe Massa leads the world championship with 39 points after three races. Alonso and Vettel are tied on 37, with Button and Rosberg close behind on 35.

The next race is the Chinese Grand Prix on April 18.

2 Responses to Third time lucky for Vettel in Malaysia

  1. Pankaj Dev

    Pankaj Dev Reply

    April 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Third time lucky…

  2. Shiny Reply

    April 4, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Congrats Vettel!!!

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