Raining Red Bulls, Vettel and Webber 1-2 in Malaysia
Everyone was certain, double "for sure" (Stephano Dominicali), and triple "yeah, no, definitely" (Christian Horner) that there would be rain during today's Malaysian Grand Prix. But it didn't materialise. The only rain was Red Bulls, as they scampered into the distance and to the chequered flag.
Third on the grid Sebastian Vettel took the honours by virtue of a banzai run into the first corner, quickly disposing of Nico Rosberg, and slipping up the inside of Mark Webber's RB6.
Webber tailed Vettel all the way to the flag, only falling behind momentarily at the pit stops when a sticking front wheel cost the Australian a few seconds.
After taking all three pole positions, and leading significant portions of the races this far it was important for Red Bull to finally chalk up some serious points. Doubly important given that their title challengers fumbled in qualifying yesterday.
The 1-2 finish scores an optimum 43 points for the team, immediately boosting them to 3rd in the constructors championship, and Vettel to 3rd in the drivers.
Speaking of McLaren and Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton was the highest placed of the 4 drivers managing to get his MP4-25 into 6th from 20th on the grid. Felipe Massa finished 7th from 21st, and Button 8th from 17th.
Fernando Alonso had a similar result on the cards, despite a gearbox that just didn't want to downshift. However in the end it was his engine that let him down. Two laps from the end, moments after putting a move on Jenson Button into turn one for 8th place the Spaniards engine let go.
Renault's Robert Kubica put in another stellar performance in the R30, picking up a comfortable 4th position. Impressive stuff from the yellow and black team that didn't look too sharp in the pre-season - or just two rounds ago in Bahrain.
Adrain Sutil had a solid drive in the Force India, kickstarting his season, he took 5th and 10 points. The Silverstone-based team have now picked up points in all three races so far this year.
Rounding out the top ten were Jaime Alguersuari and Nick Hulkenberg, scoring the first points of their Formula 1 careers.
That means BMW Sauber are the only established team still to make it onto the scoreboard. The Swiss team suffered another double retirement, de la Rosa not even making it round to the grid.
Today's race certainly wasn't vintage, perhaps it could have been given a little of the wet stuff, who knows? It was tame compared to Australia, but making a comparison with Melbourne would be unfair.
Was there overtaking? Yes. Was there action? Yes. Was it a good race? Simply yes.
|1||S Vettel||Red Bull||1:33:48.412|
|2||M Webber||Red Bull||+4.8 secs|
|3||N Rosberg||Mercedes||+13.5 secs|
|4||R Kubica||Renault||+18.5 secs|
|5||A Sutil||Force India||+21 secs|
|6||L Hamilton||McLaren||+23.4 secs|
|7||F Massa||Ferrari||+27 secs|
|8||J Button||McLaren||+37.9 secs|
|9||J Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||+70.6 secs|
|10||N Hulkenberg||Williams||+73.3 secs|
|11||S Buemi||Toro Rosso||+78.9 secs|
|12||R Barrichello||Williams||+1 lap|
|DNF||F Alonso||Ferrari||+2 laps|
|14||L Di Grassi||Virgin||+3 laps|
|15||K Chandhok||HRT||+3 laps|
|16||B Senna||HRT||+4 laps|
|17||J Trulli||Lotus||+5 laps|
|NC||H Kovalainen||Lotus||+10 laps|
|DNF||V Petrov||Renault||+22 laps|
|DNF||V Liuzzi||Force India||+44 laps|
|DNF||M Schumacher||Mercedes||+46 laps|
|DNF||K Kobayashi||BMW Sauber||+48 laps|
|DNF||T Glock||Virgin||+53 laps|
|DNF||P De la Rosa||BMW Sauber||+56 laps|