Sebastian Vettel managed to win and the second stage of the Formula 1 World Championship 2011 securing first position in a race that Red Bull racing driver has dominated it from start to finish. In second place finished Jenson Button, Nick Heidfeld on three, which took advantage of an accrochage between Alonso and Hamilton and then managed to defend its position before the final attacks of Mark Webber.
Start of the race in Malaysia was full of unpredictability, the positions pilots had at start being completely mixed after the first turn. The most notable changes came from Renault pilots, and especially from Nick Heidfeld, who managed to climb from sixth position on the second. His colleague, Vitaly Petrov, managed to get some good positions, up in front of Alonso but the Spaniard overcoming the Russian from Renault after a mistake. Sebastian Vettel went great, better defending itself against attacks made by Lewis Hamilton and later distancing from the British. McLaren fans were disappointed, expecting a home run.
But Red Bull didn’t have too many reasons to celebrate, Mark Webber having problems at start and lost somewhere in the middle of the platoon, where he battled Kobayashi several laps for the ninth position.
The rain never came
First entry to the pits, made between tours 11 and 18, have left pilots on soft slick, although the Sepang circuit was threatened by the first drops of rain announced even before the race in Malaysia, but it turned out to be just a false threat.
In the middle stint two, on the first four positions were four world champions: Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Button. Right after they sat Nick Heidfeld, who lost three positions after the first entry in the pit, and Felipe Massa, who easily surpassed Mark Webber, Australian’s race continuing to be mediocre. In the middle of the race in 25th round, we witnessed the first notable abandons: Barrichello, who until that time struggling with the car throughout the race, and Perez, who was forced to abandon due to technical problems when it was ranked very well, eighth place.
Last session of entries at the pits led to a Hamilton-Button castle in the fight for second place, Lewis losing the second place after a very weak tires exchange.
A little later, before the final ten laps, Hamilton was overcome by Fernando Alonso, but the Spaniard touched the British when maneuver took place and was forced to retire to the pits to replace the front wing. Alonso has sanctioned such a frustrating race for Ferrari, Italian Scuderia proving that it can’t keep up with Red Bull Racing and McLaren at the moment.
However Hamilton failed to preserve the third position until the end, the British was overtaken by Nick Heidfeld, who gave those of Renault a second consecutive podium after Petrov occupied third place in Australia. Furthermore, Hamilton later entered at the stands, move that has eliminated any hope of a podium. Meanwhile, Vettel has continued to maintain its top position without any problems, a first place which he did’t given up any time during the race.
Malaysia – Race Rankings and overall standings
The Malaysian Grand Prix – Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;
56 laps; 310.408km; Weather: Dry.
Fastest lap: Webber, 1:40.571
1. Vettel / Red Bull-Renault 1h37:39.832
2. Button / McLaren-Mercedes +3.261
3. Heidfeld / Renault +25.075
4. Webber / Red Bull-Renault +26.384
5. Massa / Ferrari +36.958
6. Alonso / Ferrari +37.248
7. Hamilton / McLaren-Mercedes +49.957
8. Kobayashi / Sauber-Ferrari +1:07.239
9. Schumacher / Mercedes +1:24.896
10. Di Resta / Force India-Mercedes +1:31.563
11. Sutil / Force India-Mercedes +1:45.000
12. Rosberg / Mercedes +1 lap
13. Buemi / Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
14. Alguersuari / Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
15. Kovalainen / Lotus-Renault +1 lap
16. Glock / Virgin-Cosworth +2 laps
17. Petrov / Renault +4 laps
Driver / Team / Tour
Liuzzi / HRT-Cosworth / 47
D’Ambrosio / Virgin-Cosworth / 43
Trulli / Lotus-Renault / 32
Perez / Sauber-Ferrari / 24
Barrichello / Williams-Cosworth / 23
Karthikeyan / HRT-Cosworth / 15
Maldonado / Williams-Cosworth / 9
World Championship standings, round 2:
1. Vettel – 50 1. Red Bull-Renault 72
2. Button – 26 2. McLaren-Mercedes 50
3. Hamilton – 24 3. Ferrari 32
4. Webber – 22 4. Renault 30
5. Alonso – 20 5. Sauber-Ferrari 14
6. Petrov – 15 6. Mercedes 2
7. Heidfeld – 15 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1
8. Massa – 12 8. Force India-Mercedes 1
9. Kobayashi – 8
10. Perez – 6
11. Schumacher – 2
12. Buemi – 1
13. Di Resta – 1
Next Race: China 15-17 Apr