Sebastian Vettel sits on pole for Red Bull in the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix with the two Ferraris right behind. Can Vettel make Malaysia his first win in 2013?
It seems there were two races going on at the Sepang track in Malaysia this morning as the second race of the 2013 F1 Grand Prix season played out; one race on track, and the other between team drivers. But let’s get the race result out of the way first.
Sebastian Vettel took the win for Red Bull after passing team mate Mark Webber with a dozen laps to go, and Lewis Hamilton took third place behind the Red Bulls for Mercedes with his team mate, Nico Rosberg, in fourth.
Behind the Mercedes cars was the Ferrari of Felipe Massa (whose team mate Alonso crashed out on lap two) followed by the Lotus’ of Grosjean and Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber and Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso.
Button – and McLaren’s – torrid starts to the new season had the icing put on its disappointing cake when Jenson left the pits with a loose front wheel whilst still in a position to take a few points.
But the real scrap was internal, with both Red Bull and Mercedes looking like they will be bending ears and soothing egos to smooth out the tensions played out on track.
Mark Webber led for Red Bull after pitting for dry tyres, but was harried by Sebastian Vettel to such an extent that team boss Christian Horner took to the pit radio to warn Vettel he was being stupid. Webber did eventually yield to Vettel with 10 laps to go, but it seemed more to avoid a coming together than anything else.
After the race ended – with Vettel’s victory – he was congratulated over the pit radio, but told “…you’ve got some explaining to do”.
Similar tensions were apparent at Mercedes as Rosberg closed in on Hamilton as the race drew to a close. Rosberg demanded he be allowed to pass Hamilton, but was told no by Ross Brawn. Rosberg continued to demand he should be allowed to pass but was told Hamilton could go faster but was saving fuel and to stay put.
Rosberg did stay behind Hamilton to finish fourth – conceding the podium to Hamilton – but commented as the race finished: “Remember this one”.
Lots of toys being chucked out of prams as the F1 Prima Donnas vie for team superiority, tensions which, if managed well, could make this a classic F1 season.
On a lighter note, Lewis Hamilton managed to go in to auto pilot coming in to the pits for a tyre change and pulled up outside the McLaren garage, before being waved through by the bemused McLaren pit team.
Some habits are hard to change.
Malaysian Grand Prix 2013 Results
- Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull
- Mark Webber | Red Bull
- Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes
- Nico Rosberg | Mercedes
- Felipe Massa | Ferrari
- Romain Grosjean | Lotus
- Kimi Raikkonen | Lotus
- Nico Hulkenberg | Sauber
- Sergioe Perez | McLaren
- Jean-Eric Vergne | Toro Rosso