- Malaysian Grand Prix
Post-race driver rundownLaurence Edmondson April 4, 2010 « Vettel survives stewards' enquiry | »
Sebastian Vettel - 1st Once he had the lead into the first corner he made it look easy. The Red Bulls lacked any real competition today and Webber never looked like making a move after the first lap.
Mark Webber - 2nd He'll be disappointed when he sees the replay of the first lap because he left a massive gap for Vettel to come through on the inside. He didn't manage to get close enough to even attempt a pass for the rest of the race and cruised home, apparently happy, with second place.
Nico Rosberg - 3rd A quiet but well judged race. He didn't have the car to take the challenge to Red Bulls but was comfortably quicker than Kubica in fourth.
Robert Kubica - 4th Another drama-free afternoon saw him continue to rack up the points for Renault. In Kubica's hands the car is currently in performance-limbo between the top four and the rest of the field.
Adrian Sutil - 5th The only man who could put a hold on Hamilton's charge, he never put a wheel out of line in holding off his good friend in the McLaren. It was an important result that puts him two points ahead of team-mate Liuzzi in the championship.
Lewis Hamilton - 6th The most exciting driver to watch in the race was rewarded with eight points and a sixth place finish from 20th. His defensive moves on Petrov raised a few eyebrows, but he did what he had to do to make the most of a good car that was suited to the long straights of Sepang.
Felipe Massa - 7th It looked like another humdrum performance from Massa as he held up Alonso in the early stages and failed to supply the same kind of drama as Hamilton. However, he was close to (and made up as many positions as) the McLaren at the end of the race and pulled a good overtaking move on Button to finish seventh.
Jenson Button - 8th Another leftfield tyre strategy for Button, but this time it failed to pay off. Starting on soft tyres was a mistake and that put him on the back foot throughout the race as he had to nurse his set of hards for 46 laps. He would have lost another position had it not been for Alonso's gearbox/engine problem.
Jaime Alguersuari - 9th Another contender for driver of the day alongside Hamilton. He performed a number of bold overtaking manoeuvres in a car that was far from the best, and gained a well-deserved two points. He said after the race: "I think I learned a bit about the art of fighting with Michael (Schumacher) last weekend in Melbourne."
Nico Hulkenberg - 10th He scored his first F1 point on a weekend when the car was not competitive. After the race he admitted that the result had more to do with reliability than speed.
Sebastien Buemi - 11th A two-stop strategy and a damaged front wing meant Buemi wasn't able to challenge for points. The wing was clipped on the first lap and he had to go for most of the rest of the race with the problem, working through two sets of soft tyres and a set of hards.
Rubens Barrichello - 12th A botched start ruined any chance of a points finish as the car simply didn't have the pace to come through the field. Williams tried running him on a two-stop strategy but it didn't work out and he finished last of the unlapped runners
Fernando Alonso - 13th In his own words: "Probably the hardest race of my whole life in terms of driving." A gearbox malfunction meant he had to adapt his driving style in the steamy heat of Sepang, but amazingly he still managed to keep pace with his team-mate Massa. Eventually it was all in vain after his engine blew up as he was making a passing move on Button.
Lucas di Grassi - 14th The fastest of the new drivers, di Grassi had to deal with losing a front wing endplate when Kovalainen made a mess of an overtaking manoeuvre. But with the Lotuses struggling with more serious problems, he cruised home happily ahead of the HRTs.
Karun Chandhok - 15th A second solid result for him and HRT as he finished the race ahead of team-mate Bruno Senna. He may have been 3 laps down on Vettel but he was only 17.7 seconds off di Grassi. He even notched up the first overtaking move of his F1 career on the struggling Trulli.
Bruno Senna - 16th His first F1 finish, albeit four laps down, was a great result. His race consisted of looking in his mirrors more than anything else.
Jarno Trulli - 17th After being hit by Glock early on, he had to cope with a damaged car for the rest of the race and finished five laps down. He was lapped by race leader Vettel under yellow flags but the stewards took no action on account of how badly the Lotus was handling.
Heikki Kovalainen - 18th Problems with his left tyre after banging wheels with di Grassi meant his team took him into the garage to assess the damage. When it was clear the car was safe, he rejoined the race but finished 10 laps down.
Vitaly Petrov - DNF (Gearbox -28 laps) A suspected gearbox problem brought his race to a premature end. During his time on track he came wheel-to-wheel with Hamilton in a thrilling battle for position. When he retired he was running 13th, but that was in part due to the car's worsening performance.
Tonio Liuzzi - DNF (Throttle - 22 laps) He had been fighting with Hulkenberg for sixth place when he finally dropped out. The car was quick, his team-mate Sutil proved that, but without any power he had to pull off the track and into retirement
Michael Schumacher - DNF (Wheel-nut - 9 laps Hugely disappointing for Schumacher after he had rallied up to sixth place at the start. He would have been in position for a great battle with Kubica and Sutil but a loose left wheel saw his race come to a safe but slow end.
Kamui Kobayashi - DNF (Engine - 8 laps) A problem with the pneumatic system on his Ferrari engine brought his race to an end. He had been running in 11th when the car lost power coming out of turn one.
Timo Glock - DNF (Stalled - 2 laps) He locked his rear wheels attempting to overtake Trulli, and as he bounced off the Lotus while travelling backwards, his anti-stall system didn't kick in. It will be frustrating as his team-mate finished the race.
Pedro de la Rosa - DNS (Engine - 0 laps) A similar problem to Kobayashi's occurred on his Sauber even before he made the grid for the start of the race. The engine cut at the end of the pit lane, and despite the team getting the car going again, it only lasted three more corners before giving up completely.
Laurence Edmondson is an assistant editor on ESPNF1
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