Post-race row erupts as Red Bull team-mates almost clash on track for lap after lap; Webber says team-mate broke team orders, Vettel forced to apologise
Jim Holder
24 March 2013

Sebastian Vettel won a thrilling and controversial 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix, the second Formula 1 race of the season being enlivened both by rain and two intra-team battles between the Red Bull and Mercedes team-mates at the front of the field.

Pole-sitter Vettel led the race away in his Renault-powered Red Bull, but on the wet but drying track opted to stop early for slick tyres. That proved to be marginally the wrong decision, and fast-starting team-mate Mark Webber was able to leapfrog him during the pit sequence.

At that point in the race Mercedes racer Lewis Hamilton moved up to third, despite pitting outside his old team McLaren's garage initially. He quickly realised his mistake, and soon closed the gap down to Red Bull team-mates Webber and Vettel to make it a terrifically close three-way fight for victory.

The trio provided lap after lap of enthralling racing, but as the race and pitstops unfolded, it became clear that the battle for glory would boil down to the Red Bull pairing. Despite frantic calls from the drivers' pit crew to take care, the two duelled wheel to wheel for many laps in an enthralling battle.

On lap 46 team boss Christian Horner was heard to tell the triple world champion that his dogged attacks against his team-mate were getting "silly" - just as the German finally made the most of his DRS advantage and made a move stick. A disgruntled Webber hung on for second.

After the race Vettel was told by his team that "there will be some explaining to do" while the broadcasters blocked Webber's response when congratulated on his second place finish by his pit crew.

Post-race Webber added: "I want to race as well, but in the end the team made a decision which we always say before the start of the race is how it's probably going to be: we look after the tyres and get the cars to the end. In the end Seb made his own decisions today and will have protection as usual, and that's the way it goes."

Vettel later apologised in an official team statement: "I took quite a lot of risk to pass him and I should have behaved better. It doesn't help his feelings right now. Apologies to Mark and now result is there, but all I can say is that I didn't do it deliberately."

Meanwhile, as Hamilton slipped off the pace of the lead duo he found himself under attack from his team-mate, Nico Rosberg, who was consistently quick, if less dramatic, throughout the entire race. The race between the team-mates raged for many laps, until team boss Ross Brawn ordered an end to the battle with a couple of laps to run, leaving Hamilton to take the final podium spot.

Following the race, Rosberg appeared to suggest he could have beaten Hamilton, asking the team to "remember this one" on the radio.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa enjoyed a competitive but relatively quiet run to fifth. Team-mate Fernando Alonso had enjoyed a great start to the race, but slid in to the back of Vettel's Red Bull early in the opening lap, damaging his front wing. At the start of the second lap the front wing broke, pitching him off the track and in to retirement.

Jenson Button also showed decent pace, but his hopes of a points finish were ruined when his McLaren team failed to fit a wheel correctly at one of his tyre stops. The stricken car was recovered in the pitlane and the errant tyre fixed, with Button going on to show good pace before retiring when it became clear he wouldn't score points.

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix top ten results - all timing unofficial 1. Vettel (Red Bull-Renault); 2. Webber (Red Bull-Renault) +4.298sec; 3. Hamilton (Mercedes) +12.1sec; 4. Rosberg (Mercedes) +12.6sec; 5. Massa (Ferrari) + 25.6sec; 6. Grosjean (Lotus-Renault) +35.5sec; 7. Raikkonen (Lotus-Renault) +48.4sec; 8. Hulkenberg (Sauber-Ferrari) +53.0sec;  9. Perez (McLaren-Mercedes) +72.3sec; 10. Vergne (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) +87.1sec.

F1 drivers championship points: 1. Vettel 40; 2. Raikkonen 31; 3. Webber 26; 4. Hamilton 25; 5. Massa 22; 6. Alonso 18; 7. Rosberg 12; 8. Grosjean 9; 9. Sutil 6; 10. Di Resta 4; 11. Hulkenberg 4; 12. Button 2; 13. Perez 2; 14. Vergne 1.

F1 manufacturers championship points: 1. Red Bull-Renault 66;  2. Lotus-Renault 40; 3. Ferrari 40; 4. Mercedes 37; 5 Force India-Mercedes 10; 6. McLaren-Mercedes 4; 7. Sauber-Ferrari 4; 8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.

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Comments
23

24 March 2013

Autocar, did you really need to post this before the bbc show it?

 

24 March 2013

artill wrote:

Autocar, did you really need to post this before the bbc show it?

Yeah, the whole world should wait for you to catch up.

24 March 2013

The bbc show the same headline before they show their highlights.  Although they might still say 'look away now' before football results just before Match of the Day, it's pretty difficult to do enough to avoid F1 results.

Incidentally, why don't bmw say 'look away now' before showing the 5 series GT to anyone?

It's not all about the stats

24 March 2013

Its simple just don,t go on to any websites ,watch any  news on tv or listen to any radio untill you ge to see it and that way you can then enjoy it . I just don,t go online  untill I have seen the race and I thorally enjoyed ths one . Was surprised that Alonso did not pit  hen his wing got damaged surely the team should have said that wing could come off and he should pit he still could have done very well instead  off going out off the race  . It was great to see the two Red Bulls and the two Mercs racing each other and there was some nice acing between Kimi and      Nico  Hulkenberg too . It should have been Webbers race  do but Vettel does not seem to like team orders . Massa done well too .

24 March 2013

watch it online, i do

24 March 2013

Fastest lap. Sergio Perez, Mclaren. Bonus Point. Ding. Read commentary live on the Autosport website. Oh dear 3 week wait till next GP at China.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

24 March 2013

@artill

I am happy to know the result before I watch the highlights, in the same way as I am happy to read road test result, and then see how it was achieved.

Advertisers are sure to want to see Autocar with an early report as the more website hits/traffic the better for them potentially, on a free website too. 

24 March 2013

The simple way for them not to spoil the result is to have a title called 'Malaysian GP result', then you can choose to read it or not.

It's no surprise Perez got fastest lap, he put new tyres on with 2 laps to go.

As for Vettel, I think he lost a ton of respect from a lot of people today. Webber towed the line for him plenty of times in the past, this was his turn to do the same.

24 March 2013

Don't forget, everyone, F1 is a business and not a sport.

Remember that and you won't be disappointed by the obvious lack of sportsmanship, honesty and the selfishness displayed today. It's a shame but that's the way it is.

It's also the reason that a lot of people I know have stopped watching F1.

24 March 2013

Zeroboost wrote:

Don't forget, everyone, F1 is a business and not a sport.

Remember that and you won't be disappointed by the obvious lack of sportsmanship, honesty and the selfishness displayed today. It's a shame but that's the way it is.

It's also the reason that a lot of people I know have stopped watching F1.

yes vettel dragged f1 down toward the level of football and cycling today

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