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Vettel on fine form in Malaysia

Sebastian Vettel does it again in Sepang at the Malaysia Grand Prix

Posted Apr 10, 2011 by Weekend Round-Up

Sebastian Vettel

What a weekend of sport it has been, a spectacular Grand National yesterday (despite the sad equine fatalities), some cracking football results and then an eventful grand prix in Malaysia this morning.

Red Bull driver, reigning champ and this year’s man to beat Sebastian Vettel was once again in a league of his own as he stormed home to a spectacular victory in Kuala Lumpur.

McLaren driver Jenson Button came home in second place and Nick Heidfeld fought a good fight to finish in third place. Sebastian Vettel has certainly struck a never with Lewis Hamilton, formerly the sport’s young gun, as Hamilton gave an almost petulant interview blaming tyres and poorly timed pit stops for his seventh place finish. In the finishing stages of the race, Hamilton clashed with the Ferrari driven by Fernando Alonso offering the crowds a nail-biting finish.

Teams battled with scorching temperatures in Sepang with many drivers forced to drive in a more reserved fashion than usual for fears of tyre blowouts and unsteady handling. The leader of the race Vettel also drove carefully to maintain his lead at the top of the driver’s table only occasionally using the Kers power-boost system fitted to his Red Bull car.

Today was Vettel’s 12th career win and takes him further into the lead in the driver’s championship, clearing his closest rival Jenson Button by a whole 24 points. Martin Brundle, the F1 commentator for the BBC, pointed out that the fight behind Vettel in the rankings is close but the young German now has a very strong lead.

McLaren certainly endured an eventful race with both their drivers facing run-ins with Fernando Alonso and a confusing array of pit-stops and lack of knowing whether the tyres need attention certainly hampered their chances, although Button did steal third place in the end after as he puts it “the car came alive” thanks to the prime tyres that were fitted to the McLaren-Mercedes.

It seems that perhaps it wasn’t the drivers that were being cautious but rather the team bosses that had given orders to drivers to hang back after Pirelli said this was the first run out for their tyres in these extreme temperatures.

The defining moment in the race for Alonson was when he attempted to pass former team-mate Hamilton with a whole 10 laps remaining, he clipped the right-rear tyre and lost a portion of his front wing – compromising his ability to overtake in the final stages of the race. Alonso admits he engineered his own position saying the move cost him a place on the podium.

That’s it for another week until the 24 drivers hit the grid once again for Friday’s practice sessions in Shanghai ready for the Chinese Grand Prix which takes place next Sunday.

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