Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix this afternoon with teammate Mark Webber finishing second, both collecting their first podiums of the year.
Webber was on pole, but Vettel, who started right behind him in third, not only overtook Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg before the first turn but also dived inside Webber’s right-hand wheels to take the lead.
From there on it was a straight march to the line. Both drivers began the race on the softer option tire and pitted one after the other on laps 23 and 24, changing to the harder prime. And, apart from the odd blue flag as they lapped the back-markers, that was the race done and dusted – the RB6, which had demonstrated so much potential in Qualifying runs, finally delivered on track.
“Thanks to the team – it’s crucial not to panic in that moment and stay relaxed as it’s a long season," said Sebastian after stepping down from the podium. "Sitting here on Sunday afternoon after finishing in first position is the best result we can get. On top of that, Mark is in second place. It’s a big plus for the team and a lot of points for us. I’m very, very happy.”
The other podium spot (underneath an Australian flag after a mix-up with Mark) went to Rosberg, whose teammate Michael Schumacher was forced to retire after only nine laps. Fourth was Renault’s Robert Kubica, and fifth Force India’s Adrian Sutil, who held off a prolonged attacked from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who finished sixth.
Congratulations also to Jaime Alguersuari who fought hard to secure his first-ever F1 points and achieve first points on the board for Scuderia Toro Rosso this season.
It sets Red Bull Racing up nicely for a return to China, where they won their first-ever race 12 months ago.