Dude, Where’s My Team?

Formula 1, Spultured

Published on: http://www.spultured.com

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If you look up “awkward” in the dictionary, the new definition would be “the Malaysian Grand Prix 2013”. Race winner Sebastian Vettel took the top step of the podium, hurting his Australian teammate Mark Webber after not obeying team orders.

Sebastian Vettel started on pole position for the second time this year, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa lining up the front row of the grid. Vettel got a great jump, with Mark Webber unusually getting a great start.

The field made it through turn one, with Alonso tapping Vettel into turn two. Although it came back to bite, with Alonso’s front wing collapsing under him, causing him to crash out in the gravel and become the race’s first retirement.

The race was action packed, with the drivers pushing hard on the intermediate Pirelli tyres in the wet weather.

All teams decided on the same pit strategy, with four stops inclusive of race.

With the track beginning to dry out before the first lot of pit stops, Sebastian Vettel was told by the team, “let us know when you want the dry tyre”.

This saw Vettel pit one lap earlier than teammate Mark Webber, with Webber gaining advantage, pulling out in front of his German teammate.

On the same lap, newly signed Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton “accidently” drove through the wrong pits, visiting his old team McLaren! The McLaren team waved it off, saying goodbye as he drove through the correct pit bay.

Lap 14 saw the second retirement of the race, with Pastor Maldonado crashing out due to his damaged front wing, finishing his race in the sand trap.

Bad news then arrived for Force India, with a problem occurring with the wheel nuts in the pit bay. Both Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta were later forced to retire from the race.

By mid-race distance, the battle for the front of the field was on like Donkey Kong. Both RedBull Racing and Mercedes filled the top four placings, with the two teams then working the “team orders”.

Now that team orders are legal in Formula One, drivers were told to hold their positions and bring the cars home safely, meaning that Mark Webber will hold the lead with his teammate Sebastian Vettel behind him. Mercedes also told Nico Rosberg to hold fourth position behind Hamilton.

This all changed after the final round of pit stops. Vettel decided that he wanted to lead, with Webber only just pulling out in front of Vettel for first place after his pit stop. Vettel then battled with Webber, eventually taking first place.

With team orders in place, Vettel was told by team boss Christian Horner to not be silly, but passed Webber anyway.

Nico Rosberg from Mercedes obeyed the team orders, frustrated by driving behind his teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel crossed the finish line with his team and Aussie teammate frustrated by his ignorance. Mark Webber finished in second, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg rounding out the top four.

Vettel now leads the driver’s championship after taking victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

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