Vettel Wins Malaysian GP, Leads 1-2 Finish for Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel powered through his first win of the 2010 Formula One season, leading the Malaysian Grand Prix from beginning to end and heading Red Bull’s first 1-2 finish this season. The German driver got off to a perfect start on Sunday afternoon and emerged as leader of the race after the first corner – passing teammate and pole sitter Mark Webber – a position which he managed to keep until the finish line.

The Red Bull duo drove perfectly until the chequered flag, something that the other title contenders found particularly hard. Fernando Alonso had a poor start and was passed by both Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa by the first corner, and then struggled for the entire race.

Hamilton then started to pass the cars in the mid-pack one by one, entering the Top 10 in a matter of laps. In the meantime, the Ferrari duo got stuck behind Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari, losing precious seconds in their fight for a points’ finish.

In the first half of the pack, Nico Rosberg ran in a strong 3rd place for the majority of the race, a position which he managed to hold on to until the chequered flag. Once again, the German driver outscored his 7-time world champion of a teammate Michael Schumacher, as the latter pulled out of the race after 9 laps due to a loose wheel nut.

Robert Kubica showed everybody that his podium in Australian was not necessarily a luck-related performance, as the Pole finished the Malaysian Grand Prix in a comfortable 4th place, ahead of Force India’s Adrian Sutil. The German spent the majority of the day inside the Top 10 and managed to maintain his position in the second half of the race despite a late surge from Hamilton.

The Brit recuperated plenty of positions in his first stint and, thanks to a well-thought late pit stop, managed to emerge in 6th place at the finish line, ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and McLaren’s Jenson Button.

The reigning world champion failed to piggyback on his Aussie performance in Bahrain and struggled throughout the entire race at Sepang. However, while pressured by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the late laps of the race, the Brit managed to keep his cool and not get passed by the championship leader, while forcing him into an engine breakdown.

Only a few laps to the finish line, when trying to overtake Button at the end of the main straight, Alonso’s engine broke down, forcing the Spaniard into his first DNF of the season. His retirement brought Jaime Alguersuari a well-deserved 9th place – the Spaniard pulled off some great overtaking maneuvers during the Sunday race – ahead of Williams’ rookie Nico Hulkenberg.

With this win, Sebastien Vettel climbs to 3rd overall in the drivers’ classification, level on points with 2nd placed Fernando Alonso (37). Both drivers are 2 points behind Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and 2 points clear of Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg. In the manufacturers’ classification, Red Bull is now 3rd overall, 5 points behind McLaren Mercedes and 15 behind leaders Ferrari.

For full results, click HERE, for full classification, click HERE.
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