Vettel makes his mark in dry Malaysia

Posted on April 4, 2010

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Sebastian Vettel finally took his first win of 2010 in Malaysia after jumping Red Bull team mate Mark Webber off the line as the rain held off.

The reliability troubles which hampered the young German during the first two races of the year were absent as he led home the team for its first 1-2 finish of the year. The result will be a huge relief for Christian Horner’s and outfit – and Adrian Newey who has faced many questions about the fragility of his latest design.

Nico R0sberg drove a steady race to third for Mercedes after also being jumped on the start line. His was an anonymous race, unable to keep pace with the Red Bull cars but easily able to manage the Renault of Robert Kubica who finished fourth.

McLaren will be reasonably satisfied with 6th for Lewis and 8th for Jenson but it caps a poor weekend for the Woking team. Jenson would have lost out to Alonso late on if it weren’t for the gearbox problem and ultimate engine failure in the Ferrari. Lewis made fantastic progress in the early stages, racing from 20th to 10th in just four laps but he was largely stuck after that, resigned to passing in pit stops.

The underlying problem in the 2010 version of Formula One was plain to see here: absent rain, overtaking was very difficult at the front of the pack. Lewis could drive past cars much slower than him but faced with Ferraris and Force Indias he didn’t stand a chance.

Alonso was all over Jenson late on because the British driver’s tyres were about to give out. Instantly there was a race on, despite the Ferrari needing nursing. This still to me seems the obvious way to improve the racing in 2010 and it is in Bridgestone’s gift. It happened today because McLaren stopped Jenson too early but most of the other cars were completely fine.

More later, got to go to the day job now!

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Posted in: Formula One, Race