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F1 2013 POLL: Who was the main man in Malaysia?
25 March 2013
If anyone thought that the Australian Grand Prix possesed drama and an unexpected outcome, it had nothing on round two in Malaysia.
Yes, Red Bull led from the front, but the fall-out from the 'Multi21' issue will rumble on long beyond round three in China, with Mark Webber feeling that he had been robbed of a merited victory, and RBR admitting that there will be 'a meeting' to try and diffuse the tension, as well as regain control of its 'star' driver.....
There will be those, however, who believe that Sebastian Vettel only did what true champions do, showing a ruthless streak and then taking the flak knowing that an extra seven points are already safe in the bank. With Fernando Alonso having ended his race on lap two, following contact with the back of the Red Bull car, the German clearly felt that it was time to make hay.
Webber, meanwhile, was playing it by the book, having used a combination of pace and tyre strategy (as well as great start from fifth on the grid) to get to the front. Following instructions from the pit-wall, he dutifully turned down his engine in a bid to preserve both the RB9 and its tyres - only to find Vettel barrelling down his inside into turn one. His body language - and careful choice of words - on the podium said everything about what he thought of the situation.
Lewis Hamilton also cast a decidedly unexcited figure on the podium, admitting that Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg had probably deserved third spot after pushing him all the way to the line, but under instruction not to pass as the W04s needed to measure their fuel consumption.
Rosberg toed the team line, but left Ross Brawn and co in no doubt that they owed him one should the tables be turned in future.
Felipe Massa's fifth place was remarkable only for the passes he made in recovering positions having been bundled backwards from a spot on the front row of the grid, while Jenson Button probably deserved a top five finish after battling his recalcitrant McLaren prior to a botched pit-stop in the closing stages.
Lotus wasn't as potent as Kimi Raikkonen had shown in Melbourne and the Finn had to follow team-mate Romain Grosjean home in seventh spot - but only after seeing off a feisty Nico Hulkenberg, the German having hauled his Sauber into the points after the personal frustration of a week ago.
Sergio Perez and Jean-Eric Vergne completed the scorers, the Frenchman having come from the lower reaches of the grid and then survived contact in the pit-lane with Charles Pic. Toro Rosso team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had been targeting the top ten but, when he retired, his colleague was there to pick up the baton.
Further back, the star turn was once again Marussia's Jules Bianchi, who again showed his ability by claiming a precious 13th spot for the Banbury squad....
But who impressed you most at Sepang? To have your say, simply pick your favourite from the list here
- and don't forget to explain your choice in the comments section....