Red Bull finally taste success in 2010
SEBASTIAN VETTEL finally won his first race of the season earlier this morning in the surprisingly dry Malaysian Grand Prix. He won the 56 lap race in a time of 1:33:48.412, an average speed of 120.922 mph. His Red Bull team-mate, pole sitter Mark Webber chased him for the whole race after Vettel had passed him at the first corner. Webber set the fastest lap of the race in a time of 1:37.054 (125.225 mph). Nico Rosberg came third, giving the returning Mercedes team their first podium in F1 since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix.
Vettel passing Webber wasn’t the only highlight of the first lap. Both McLarens and Ferraris tore through the field from their poor grid slots. Hamilton (McLaren) was the pick of these four drivers in the early part of the race. In fact by lap four he had made up 10 places. Two of these places were gifted to him like a kids Easter egg though. Barrichello stalled his Williams on the grid and Pedro de la Rosa never even got going, his Sauber’s Ferrari engine gave up on him as he made his way to the grid.
On the second lap Alonso (Ferrari) passed Button (McLaren) and was again stuck behind Massa (his team-mate) as he was for most of the race in Australia. Makes you wonder who really is the biggest threat at Ferrari doesn’t it?
Lap eight saw Hamilton and Petrov (Renault) snake their way down the front straight. Hamilton was given a warning by the race stewards for excessive weaving. I bet you in years gone by he would have been given a drive-through penalty.
Michael Schumacher retired on lap 10 after his left-rear wheel broke. His come-back still hasn’t got going yet has it?
Vettel pitted on lap 24 and just managed to get back out onto the track ahead of Hamilton. The follow lap it was Webber’s turn to pit, but his seemingly endless bad luck struck again. The front right wheel gun didn’t come off properly, costing him any chance of jumping Vettel and taking the lead.
The next big moment in the race came on lap 44. Massa passed Button and set off in search of Hamilton who was stuck behind Sutil’s Force India. A couple of laps later and Alonso made a move on the world champion. But he couldn’t make it stick and Button took the position back.
Alonso tried to pass Button again on the penultimate lap but again couldn’t make the pass stick. This time his engine, which had been abused for much of the race by a faulty gearbox downshift, finally decided to blow up.
Some notable firsts occurred during the race as well. Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) and Nico Hülkenberg (Williams) scored their first points, Bruno Senna (HRT) finished his first race and so did Virgin Racing, di Grassi coming home in 14th.
In my opinion Vettel and Red Bull really needed this win. They should have won all three races so far this year, and to lose this one would have been heart breaking. Especially because the McLarens and Ferraris were never going to mount a challenge for the race win.
So it is on to China in a few weeks time, and with just nine points separating the top seven anybody could win. Just the way we fans want it.
- Massa 39pts
- Alonso 37pts
- Vettel 37pts
- Button 35pts
- Rosberg 35pts
- Hamilton 31pts
- Kubica 30pts
- Webber 24pts
- Sutil 10pts
- Schumacher 9pts
- Ferrari 76pts
- McLaren 66pts
- Red Bull 61pts
- Mercedes 44pts
- Renault 30pts
- Force India 18pts
- Williams 6pts
- Toro Rosso 2pts