This is silly, come on: Vettel wins in mopey Malaysia
Sebastian Vettel has fought tooth-and-nail to come home the victor of the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix.In a race marred by internal team tension, Vettel supposedly broke team orders to hold station behind his teammate and challenged for the lead, forcing himself past Mark Webber.”It was obviously very close,” said Vettel of his scrap with Webber. “Wheel to wheel racing, there wasn’t much room for either of us.””Maybe I was a little bit too keen too soon. For sure we both enjoyed that. I’m standing in the middle [of the podium] now, so I probably enjoyed it a little bit more.”As the fighting became increasingly tense, Vettel was implored to slow down, at one point being told by team principal Christian Horner his behaviour was “silly”.On his warm down lap, Vettel was congratulated on his team radio before being told “there’ll be some explaining to do”.”I think obviously it’s very hot today,” continued Vettel. “I think if there’s something to say, we need to talk internally.”Webber came home a deeply unhappy second, dropping off in the closing stage of the race after being squeezed and passed by Vettel on lap 46.Webber spoke out after the race in the podium room, accusing the triple World Champion of breaking the rules.”After the last stop, the team told me the race was over,” said Webber, referring to the team calling team orders into play. “I turned my engine down, started cruising on the tyres, but then the game was on.””In the end Seb made his own decision today, and will have protection as usual.”I was disappointed with the outcome of the race. I did my best.”Vettel later apologised to Webber in the post-race press conference.The story doesn’t get much happier on the third step of the podium, with a similarly despondent Lewis Hamilton consolidating Mercedes’ start to the season and collecting 15 points.Hamilton was in contention for the win for much of the race, but ultimately had to save fuel and back away from challenging the Red Bulls.Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes quickly closed on his more decorated teammate, but was told not to pass – which Hamilton revealed made him uncomfortable.”If I’m honest, I feel Nico should be standing up here instead of me,” said Hamilton. “I can’t say it’s the best feeling being up here.””Nonetheless, we brought it home. The team did a fantastic job, I’m proud to be up here for them.”Rosberg finished an audibly unhappy fourth after pleading with Ross Brawn multiple times to be let through.Felipe Massa completed the race as the sole runner for Ferrari after Fernando Alonso crashed on lap two with a front wing collapse.Alonso made contact with Sebastian Vettel at the beginning of the race and damaged his front wing, but failed to return to the pits to have it replaced. It failed on the way down to the first corner, sending the car into the gravel and out of the race.The Ferrari generally proved less quick over the course of the race than expected after qualifying, but Massa recovered from a late pit stop to finish ahead of the Lotus cars.Grosjean led Räikkönen over the line by almost 13 seconds after the team managed to fix an unnamed problem with the number two car.Grosjean said his car lacked the expected downforce during the race in Melbourne, and the problem reoccurred during practice this weekend.While Grosjean looked strong during the race, Räikkönen’s car seemed to have none of the driveability it had in Melbourne, the Finn finding himself off the track a number of times throughout the afternoon and making up only three places from his starting position.Sauber driver Nico Hülkenberg spent much of the race battling with former Sauber driver Sergio Perez, eventually pulling away when Perez had to make a late dive into the pits for tyres on lap 55.Perez was able to bring home two points from ninth – which are the entirety of McLaren’s haul after Jenson Button’s car was retired on lap 55.Button was running confidently in fifth before a botched stop on lap 36 left him with a loose front-right wheel. He was pulled back to his box to have it re-attached, but ran the rest of the race out of the points before the team decided to call it a day.Jean-Eric Vergne collected the final point of the race, just up the road from Williams new kid on the block Valtteri Bottas.Gutierrez finished in twelfth, while Bianchi again made himself best of the backmarkers by finishing in P13 and over half a minute faster than Charles Pic’s Caterham.Giedo van der Garde followed home his more experienced teammate closely, while Max Chilton was the only car of the afternoon to finish two laps down.Daniel Ricciardo was retired for the second consecutive race with technical problems, while Maldonado again found himself off the road and forced into the retirement after a driver error.Curiously, both Force India cars were retired after long pit stops brought about by problems with wheel nuts, ruining what looked like promising races for both Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil. Formula One returns for the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday 14 April.