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Malaysian Grand Prix – Red Bull Master Class

by F1Fan on April 5, 2010

Finally everything came good for the Red Bull Racing Team at the Malaysian Grand Prix. No broken spark plugs or wheel problems today. Both Vettel and Webber performed flawlessly, proving once again that the RB6 Chassis has unmatched race pace and even more importantly now has the reliability to win a Grand Prix.

A poor start cost Webber the race win and allowed Vettel to come from third place on the Grid to claim the lead after a hard fought battle with his tam mate through the first four corners. Once in front Vettel gradually pulled away from Weber and both Red Bulls easily gapped the rest of the field to battle for the remaining positions. It really was completely dominating performance that must be worrying McLaren, Mercedes Gp and the current Championship leaders Ferrari.

You may be thinking that this made the Malaysian Grand Prix a boring race, but that is definitely not the case. While Vettel and Webber were in a different race at the front  and Nico Rosberg pretty much running his own race in third, their was plenty of action throughout the rest of the field. Lewis Hamilton starting 20th made a great start making up 8 positions in the first 2 laps and at one point rose as high as second place because of the leaders pitting to change tires, before pitting himself on lap 31 to come out in front of his team mate Jenson Button and claim 7th. After that he quickly caught Adrian Sutil in the Force India but was unable to pass him, the Force India car carrying a smaller rear wing being just fast enough on the long straights to prevent Hamilton from passing but it was a great dice between Sutil and Hamilton for the rest of the race.

Malaysian Grand Prix Results (Top Ten)

DriverTeamGrand Prix
1GermanySebastian VettelRed Bull Racing25
2AustraliaMark WebberRed Bull Racing18
3GermanyNico RossbergMercedes GP15
4PolandlRobert KubicaRenault F112
5GermanyAdrian SutilForce India10
6GBLewis HamiltonMcLaren8
7BrazilFelipe MassaFerrari6
8GBJenson ButtonMcLaren4
9SpainJamie AlguersuariToro Rosso2
10GermanyNico HulkenbergWilliams1
last updated Apr 04, 2010
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Button started 17th and while he did not have such a great start still managed to finish in 8th place even after an early tire change strategy similar to the one he used in Melbourne last week failed to pay off this time. With his tires getting worn Button was in a huge fight with Fernando Alonso for the later portion of the race only to be saved by Alonso’s engine or Transmission going up in Smoke with one lap to go.

In fact Fernando Alonso really had the drive of the race starting from 19th on the grid around Lap 20 it became evident that he was having Gearbox problems when changing down, with the transmission going into neutral between gears. Even with this massive disadvantage he still managed to put in competitive times for the remainder of the race, at one point setting fastest lap after his tire change and was challenging Button for 8th place when the engine finally expired in a cloud of smoke.

Felipe Massa had better luck than his team mate and even though he started 21st managed to carve his way though the field up to 7th position.

The Malaysian Grand Prix saw a number of first, the first point scoring finish at the Sepang Circuit for race winner Sebastian Vettel, the first F1 poduium finish for Nico Rosberg and the first points of the season for Jamie Algursuari of Toro Rosso and Nico Hulkenberg of Williams F1.

With the new teams both Lotus Racing and HRT completed the race although Heikki Kovalainen finished 10 laps down suffering from a puncture and Hydraulic problems that took a long time to fix. For Virgin Racing only Lucas Di Grassi finished but he managed a respectable 14th place ahead of the rest of the new teams.

Malaysia saw high attrition rate in part caused by the very high temperatures BMW Sauber F1 had a terrible Grand Prix with Pedro De Rosa’s engine expiring on the reconnaissance lap not even making it to the grid and Kamui Kobayashi parking his car on lap 9 suffering the same problem. Other retirees were Timo Glock (Virgin Racing) on lap 3 after a spin and collision with Jarno Trulli, Michael Schumacher (Mercedes GP) on lap 10, Tonio Liuzzi (Force India) on lap 12 with a suspected throttle problem and Vitaly Petrov (Renault F1) lap 32 with transmission problems .

All in all Malaysia proved to be a great Grand Prix, the rain held off, the mixed grid caused by a wet Qualifying session created some great racing as the faster cars pushed their way to the front and the Red Bull Racing team showed that they are truly in a class by themselves right now. Vettel’s win Sepang marks the third consecutive win for a different constructor in he first three races this season, the first time that has happened since 1990.

It seems like this the 2010 Formula One Season sure has all the ingredients to be great.

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