Vettel battles to Malaysian Grand Prix win

Vettel battles to Malaysian Grand Prix win

24 March 2013 – Sebastian Vettel claimed victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix after a stunning but controversial battle with Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber. The German, whose triumph is his 27th in Formula 1, takes the championship lead as a result. Lewis Hamilton finished ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to complete the podium, while Melbourne winner Kimi Räikkönen came home seventh.

With a rain shower preceeding the 56-lap race, Intermediates were the only option as the lights went out. Vettel made a strong start to hold his pole advantage, but Webber found even more grip to move up to second from fifth on the grid. The Australian was a beneficiary of Fernando Alonso's early misjudgment, with the Ferrari driver tagging the back of Vettel's Red Bull at the second corner and damaging his front wing.

Alonso slides into the gravel

In an uncharacteristic manner, Alonso stayed out, with the wing dramatically breaking away along the pit-straight on the second lap. The two-time World Champion, contesting his 200th Grand Prix weekend, slid into the gravel trap and was left to lament what might have been. As the rest of the field lapped, the crossover point from Intermediates to slicks soon arrived. Webber made the best call, staying out one lap later than team-mate Vettel to assume the lead.

Webber came under increasing pressure as the race wore on, with Vettel repeatedly asking for clearance to make a move over his team radio system. With his appeal expectedly being rejected, Mercedes duo Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took advantage of the situation and closed in. Hamilton was able to jump Vettel at the third pit-stop phase as a result, but the pair ultimately slid back amid a late fuel-saving phase.

Webber, now on the Hard tyres, came out just ahead of Vettel for his final stint. The latter, who had already disposed of Hamilton on the Medium rubber, ignored messages from his Red Bull pit wall and quickly attacked for the lead. After initially failing to make a move stick, the German extracted the maximum from the two DRS zones, putting himself in a position to squeeze past at the second corner. He later pulled away, taking the chequered flag 4.2 seconds ahead of a disillusioned Webber.

Hamilton held on to third, but not without complaints from Rosberg who felt he was fast enough to take the position. Instead, Mercedes Team Principal ordered the two men to hold position until the chequered flag, leaving Rosberg visibly frustrated after the race. Behind the top four, there was a comfortable gap back to Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari, who pitted later than his rivals to surge through the field in the late stages. Jenson Button had looked set to claim the position, but a faulty pit-stop saw him slip well down the order before he retired his car with two laps remaning.

Lotus duo Romain Grosjean and Räikkönen were next up in sixth and seventh positions respectively, ahead of Nico Hülkenberg who completed his first race for Sauber. Sergio Pérez wound up ninth, with Jean-Éric Vergne completing the top ten. Jules Bianchi again finished as the lead driver in the battle at the back, securing a 13th place finish in his Marussia. In addition to Alonso's retirement, Adrian Sutil, Paul di Resta and Pastor Maldonado ended their respective days early, with the Force India pair suffering wheel gun issues and the Williams driver's KERS unit failing.

As the championship moves on to China, Vettel sits at the top of the Drivers' standings with a total of 40 points to his name, nine ahead of nearest rival Räikkönen.

The third round of the 2013 season takes place in China from 12-14 April, with practice, qualifying and the race covered via the GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Sunday 21 September 2014

  2. 12:35

    Follow the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix live!

    F1
  3. Video: Hill, Herbert become mechanics 10:44

    Video: Hill, Herbert become mechanics

    Watch as Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert become Marussia mechanics for a practice session in Singapore.

    F1
  4. 10:42

    Photos: Historic F1 race in Singapore

    F1
  5. Hamilton: Rosberg relations 'back to normal' 10:41

    Hamilton: Rosberg relations 'back to normal'

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says that his relationship with team-mate Nico Rosberg is 'back to normal' following the...

    F1
  6. Grosjean hits out at Renault problems 07:02

    Grosjean hits out at Renault problems

    Romain Grosjean has hit out at continual Renault problems, which he says are having a negative impact on the morale of his...

    F1
  7. 06:32

    Photos: Special helmets for Singapore

    F1
  8. Video of the Day: Formula 1's Safety Car 05:03

    Video of the Day: Formula 1's Safety Car

    There has never been a Singapore Grand Prix without the appearance of Formula 1's Safety Car. Ahead of the night race,...

    F1
  9. Pérez sure of Force India race recovery 01:04

    Pérez sure of Force India race recovery

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez says he is sure that he can recover from a lowly grid spot and notch up a top 10 finish in...

    F1
  10. 00:35

    Starting grid for the Singapore Grand Prix

    F1
  11. Saturday 20 September 2014

  12. Massa encouraged by Williams improvements 18:32

    Massa encouraged by Williams improvements

    Felipe Massa says he is encouraged by the progress which Williams has made since Friday's practice sessions after qualifying...

    F1
  13. 17:25

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Singapore

    F1
  14. Magnussen seeks help from Safety Car 17:24

    Magnussen seeks help from Safety Car

    Kevin Magnussen says he is hoping to see the Safety Car called into action during Sunday evening's Singapore Grand...

    F1
  15. Alonso hopeful of fighting for victory 17:09

    Alonso hopeful of fighting for victory

    Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso is hopeful that he will be able to challenge for victory during Sunday's Singapore Grand...

    F1
  16. Vettel reckons pole position was possible 16:42

    Vettel reckons pole position was possible

    Sebastian Vettel feels he could have had a shot at claiming pole position in Singapore with a cleaner final qualifying...

    F1
  17. Rosberg ruing late change of brakes 16:16

    Rosberg ruing late change of brakes

    Nico Rosberg was left to rue a change of brakes after Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton beat him to pole position in...

    F1
  18. Hamilton pleased to recover from early error 15:57

    Hamilton pleased to recover from early error

    Lewis Hamilton says he was pleased with his recovery after an early error threatened to ruin his final qualifying attempt in...

    F1
  19. 15:08

    Singapore GP: Qualifying results in full

    F1
  20. Hamilton pips Rosberg to Singapore pole 15:07

    Hamilton pips Rosberg to Singapore pole

    Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to pole position during a tight qualifying session in Singapore, with...

    F1
  21. 13:52

    Follow qualifying for the Singapore GP!

    F1
  22. 12:16

    Singapore GP: Full Free Practice 3 results

    F1
  23. Alonso back on top in final Singapore practice 12:03

    Alonso back on top in final Singapore practice

    Fernando Alonso returned to the head of the field during final practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, putting his Ferrari...

    F1
  24. 10:55

    Follow final practice for the Singapore GP!

    F1
  25. Full radio ban delayed to ensure 'fairness' 10:31

    Full radio ban delayed to ensure 'fairness'

    The FIA backtracked on its plans to introduce a full radio clampdown in Singapore to ensure "fairness". After announcing...

    F1
  26. Video: Maldonado crashes out of practice 09:56

    Video: Maldonado crashes out of practice

    Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado suffered this heavy crash during Friday evening's second practice session in Singapore. The...

    F1
  27. Maldonado gets new chassis after crash 09:49

    Maldonado gets new chassis after crash

    Pastor Maldonado has been forced to switch to a new chassis for the remainder of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, after...

    F1
  28. 07:06

    Photos: Historic F1 action in Singapore

    F1
  29. Ravetto: Caterham already working on 2015 06:01

    Ravetto: Caterham already working on 2015

    Newly-appointed Caterham Team Principal Manfredi Ravetto insists that there are long-term plans in place at the outfit,...

    F1
  30. Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide - Part 8 05:00

    Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide - Part 8

    Sauber's Head of Aerodynamics, Willem Toet, concludes his talk on the science of F1 wind tunnel design.

    F1
  31. Friday 19 September 2014

  32. Ferrari reasonably competitive, says Alonso 19:49

    Ferrari reasonably competitive, says Alonso

    Fernando Alonso reckons that Ferrari put in a "reasonably competitive" performance during Friday's free practice sessions...

    F1
  33. Button sure of 'decent opportunity' for McLaren 18:39

    Button sure of 'decent opportunity' for McLaren

    Jenson Button believes that this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix presents a "decent opportunity" for McLaren as the team bids...

    F1
  34. Pirelli admits tyre gap bigger than expected 18:17

    Pirelli admits tyre gap bigger than expected

    F1 tyre supplier Pirelli admits that the time difference between its supplied compounds in Singapore has been larger than it...

    F1
  35. Vettel praises mechanics for 'massive job' 18:02

    Vettel praises mechanics for 'massive job'

    Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel has praised his mechanics for the work they completed between practice sessions in...

    F1
  36. Rosberg positive despite ruined attempt 17:37

    Rosberg positive despite ruined attempt

    Nico Rosberg was in a positive frame of mind after the opening day of practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, despite failing...

    F1
  37. Hamilton still not happy with car balance 17:15

    Hamilton still not happy with car balance

    Lewis Hamilton says he is still not comfortable with the handling of his car, despite topping Friday's combined timesheets...

    F1
  38. 16:48

    Latest F1 photos: Friday in Singapore

    F1
  39. Verstappen could get Suzuka practice outing 16:44

    Verstappen could get Suzuka practice outing

    Max Verstappen could take part in his first official Formula 1 session at the Japanese Grand Prix. The 16-year-old Dutch...

    F1
  40. 16:13

    Singapore GP: Full Free Practice 2 results

    F1
  41. Hamilton moves ahead in second practice 16:03

    Hamilton moves ahead in second practice

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton moved to the top of the times during Friday's second practice session for the Singapore Grand...

    F1
  42. 14:16

    Follow second practice for the Singapore GP!

    F1
  43. Ferrari paying tribute to Botín in Singapore 13:46

    Ferrari paying tribute to Botín in Singapore

    Ferrari is paying tribute to Emilio Botín in Singapore, following the death of the Santander Chairman. Botín, who passed a...

    F1
more news