Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel stormed to victory in a thrilling Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, leading a Red Bull one-two ahead of team mate Mark Webber in a race packed with intrigue, incident and plenty of bad blood.
The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crossed the line in unison 12 seconds behind Vettel, while last year’s winner Fernando Alonso crashed out on the second lap when his damaged front wing buckled under the Ferrari’s chassis.
The cars started the race on intermediate tyres following a heavy downpour in the mid-afternoon but the main talking point will be the disharmony between the drivers of the leading four cars with both Webber and Rosberg feeling let down by their teams.
Webber moved up from fifth on the grid to first after the second round of pit stops and finally gave up the lead to Vettel, who had demanded his team mate be moved aside by his team, on the 44th of the 56-lap race.
Rosberg also had the pace to get past Hamilton late in the race, but team principal Ross Brawn told the German to stay behind the 2008 world champion and make sure they finished rather than race each other.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa came home in a distant fifth place with the Lotus duo Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen, winner in Melbourne a week ago, taking the sixth and seventh spots.