The year 2011 has so far been a triumphant one for Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull Racing team who won the Sepang International Circuit – their second straight race this year. The winning margin in this recent race wasn’t as wide as in the Australian race a couple of weeks ago but Vettel didn’t have any difficulty keeping the lead.
He crossed the finish line with a 3-second lead over Jenson Button of McLaren. And again, last place went to Lotus Renault just like in Albert Park. The difference is that in the Sepang race, driver Nick Heidfeld had the unenviable position.
At the beginning, Vettel immediately dominated from pole position and he was able to create a comfortable margin. Meanwhile, Heidfeld did well at the start and quickly rose from sixth place to second place as he turned the first corner, where he got in front of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Renault started off great, with Vitaly Petrov climbing a few positions to take fifth place, to the front of Ferrari’s own duo: Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.
Mark Webber had a poor start, as he got behind by 5 positions and fell to eighth place overall. After the first round of pit stops, Vettel maintained his lead but the back positions switched some. After losing a significant amount of time, Heidfeld got back in sixth place while Massa returned in seventh place.
Moving into the second stint, the McLaren duo and Fernando Alonso benefited and they were able to put in fast lap times and put Vettel’s lead at risk. Alonso then passed Jenson Button to take third place, before the second set of pit stops brought changes in the leading positions once again.
Alonso lost a lot of time in the pits as he stayed more on the track and pitted last. He then got back on the track following Hamilton and Button. After the third round of pit stops, Alonso lost positions to Petrov and Webber. Meanwhile, Button and Hamilton exchanged places behind Vettel.