Sebastian Vettel wins controversial race in Malaysia
SEPANG, MALAYSIA (BDCi) — Sebastian Vettel led teammate Mark Webber home to what should have been a celebratory Red Bull 1-2 finish on Sunday in Sepang, but the success was marred by a post-race argument between the two drivers.
Webber led for most of the race after a timely switch to dry tires following the use of intermediates on a wet surface in the opening laps. Vettel complained for much of the time he was following Webber and continually asked his team to tell him to move over.
As far as the Australian was concerned, he had the race in the bag and Vettel was bound by team orders to follow him home as they conserved tires and fuel. However, Vettel launched an attack to take the lead on the 46th lap and pulled away after a brutal bout of side-by-side running which enthralled the crowd.
Eventually, Vettel was able to pull away for the victory which equaled Sir Jackie Stewart’s 27 wins. Later, Vettel claimed to have realized only when they removed their helmets post race, that he had made a mistake in overtaking Webber, but he had been warned on lap 46 by team boss Christian Horner that he had a lot of explaining to do after the race. Vettel apologized to Webber and admitted he got it wrong, but the Australian was unimpressed.
Lewis Hamilton finished third followed by Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen.
The controversial results puts Vettel into the lead in the Driver’s Championships with 40 points followed by Raikkonen’s 31 points, Webber’s 26 points, Hamilton’s 25 points and Massa’s 24 points. Red Bull now has a comfortable lead in the constructor’s stakes with 66 points from Ferrari and Lotus with 40 and Mercedes 30.