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2011 Malaysian Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel wins again

By Rigval on 11 Apr 2011

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Okay people, the second race of the 2011 Formula 1 Grand Prix had just concluded and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel has won the 13th Malaysian Grand Prix held on Sunday, the 10th of April 2011. Two races on and Vettel is faultless to date. After Melbourne a couple of weeks ago he has done it again. Second place went to McLaren's Jenson Button and third place to Nick Heidfield of Renault, who must have surprised some F1 pundits as he was a last minute replacement for Robert Kubica, who suffered a pre-season rally car accident that was pretty bad.

The top 10 grid positions at the start was as follows: 1.Vettel, 2.Hamilton, 3.Webber, 4.Button, 5.Alonso, 6.Heidfeld, 7.Massa, 8.Petrov, 9.Rosberg and finally, 10.Kobayashi. The race started off with concerns of rain but as the lights went out everyone was moving in on everyone. Third grid spot Mark Webber had a fault with his KERS and was overtaken by quite a few people behind him till he ended up ninth. Michael Schumacher from eleventh ended up eighth. Heidfield from sixth up to second place. I suppose the amazing thing was there was no major accidents or damage towards all the participants with the exception of Rubens Barrichello who unluckily suffered an early tire puncture.

One of the newer drivers, Kamui Kobayashi, driving the Sauber Ferrari drove spiritedly. I suppose this was to make up for Sauber's disqualification in Melbourne for an illegal sized rear wing. He was in a skirmish from the start. On Lap 4 to Lap10 he was involved in a scuffle for position with Mark Webber . It only ended when Webber pitted for tires. This was one of the first few tire changes of the race due to everyone predicting that it was going to rain soon. By Lap 12 just about everyone came in as there was sign of rain on the track.

It did rain but those that thought it was going to be a long and heavy one were disappointed. Those that changed to intermediates or wets must have been truly disappointed as it rained lightly and it dried up quickly due to the heat on the track. It was a little chaotic but nothing really dramatic happened. I suppose some teams wanted rain to even up the playing field. That didn't happen and things were seemingly the same from this point onwards. The only piece of accident excitement that happened was when Vitaly Petrov driving the Renault went airborne after running wide and then crashing.

There wasn't any real threat towards race leader Sebastian Vettel at all throughout the race. At the very best, Lewis Hamilton, who was second behind Vettel tried a push but he was at best, 6 seconds behind. This attempt was thwarted when Hamilton's car suffered problems with his left tire. Hamilton's troubles left him with a seventh placing at the end of the race.

Sebastian Vettel/Red Bull had won a rain free Malaysian Grand Prix. Jenson Button finished second some 3 seconds behind with Heidfield, Webber, Massa and Alonso coming up after that. It was quite a good race that showed off a lot of Pirelli tire changes -with three to four tire changes due to the teams unsure whether it was going to rain or not and also because the tires were temperamental with some strange handling characteristics. It looks like Pirelli is still getting some slack for their tires in their first year of being the sole tire supplier in F1. Some also had problems with the DRS wings and some had KERS that decided to take a holiday instead of working on the track. But sometimes, especially during Formula 1, it is better for us viewers, fans and enthusiasts that things don't go as planned.

But can I add some non-race issues to this year's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang? The first is that if you drove there from Kuala Lumpur you'd expect a 10 minute drive from the toll booth as you exit the ELITE highway. But what I cannot fathom is how can things get so bad in the middle of nowhere (Yes, Sepang IS in the middle of nowhere) you need over an hour to park your car and it isn't close to the track. Then you add the humidity and overall temperature to the situation it gets close to unbearable.

And secondly, parking during F1 events are usually expensive, but a jump from RM5 to RM50? That's a tenfold increase. And if most are aware, a successful event needs regular people to fill up an event and local Malaysians do not earn in Euro, US Dollars or even Singapore Dollars. I can bet you that the locals will stay away from next year's F1 because of these two issues. Imagine battling through the traffic jam and then reaching the parking only to find out that it costs a bomb. You already know that a cheap 'night market' standard burger will not cost RM1.50 but at least RM5-10. It may be cheap to the tourists from Europe but as I said, its the locals who actually make up most of the crowd on the hillstands and cheaper grandstands. The Malaysian man on the street who drives a normal Perodua or a Proton to Sepang isn't too happy actually.

Oh, by the way, it is great to see Ol' man Schumacher still able to duke it out with the younger boys. Ninth position is pretty good in my opinion. Makes a good role model for people in their forties (which is actually just around the corner for yours truly).

BUT...This isn't the end. Both Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of McLaren were each handed a 20 second penalty for overly aggressive driving against each other. Their jostle for third place was actually quite a jostle. Alonso's front wing made contact with Hamilton's car and forced Alonso to the pits to finish in sixth as well as forcing the stewards to slap him with the penalty. Hamilton's penalty came as a result of very aggressive defensive driving on the previous lap. But since both were given penalties, but the race results have not changed as somehow both of them had quite a buffer from the car right behind them. Look towards the end of this article for the official results. The ones below were the results at the end of the race not at the end of the race stewards final decision. Actually they shouldn't have been given any penalty as it did make the race slightly more interesting. Somehow racing as if their lives depended on it isn't allowed anymore.

Race Results
01. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h37:39.832
02. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 3.261
03. Heidfeld Renault + 25.075
04. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 26.384
05. Massa Ferrari + 36.958
06. Alonso Ferrari + 37.248
07. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 49.957
08. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:07.239
09. 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
Not classified/retirements:
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

Revised Results
01. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h37:39.832
02. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 3.261
03. Heidfeld Renault + 25.075
04. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 26.384
05. Massa Ferrari + 36.958
06. Alonso Ferrari + 57.248
07. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:07.239
08. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 69.957
09. 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

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photo source: planetf1

formula 1, motorsports, malaysia and 13 more...

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Rigval
Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.



  • 1
Kar_lover Apr 12 2011 09:32 AM

For me, F1 has lost its shine. No refuelling means one entire strategy option is gone. Stupid tricks like DRS is very artificial and further reduces drivers' role and skill, i.e. overtaking now require less skill since the DRS does most of the work.

Watch MotoGP - much more exciting.
  • 1
 
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