Today was a strange day at the Malaysian Formula1 GP at Sepang. Sebastian Vettel took victory by ignoring team orders while Nico Rosberg ended up in fourth position by obeying team orders. That meant that Mark Webber who seemed assured of a victory had to finish second while Lewis Hamilton who could well have finished fourth actually finished third and ahead of his teammate Nico Rosberg who followed team orders. There was yet another difference. The Red Bull Racing Renault drivers made their bitterness pretty clear especially Mark Webber, but the Mercedes drivers were very generous to each other with an embarrassed looking Lewis Hamilton admitting to interviewer and commentator Martin Brundle that Nico Rosberg should have stood on the podium and Nico Rosberg while talking to Alex Yoong saying that there was no problem since the team was giving instructions to drivers based on what they could see in the telemetry.
Whatever the other problems it was clear that the Mercedes AMG Petronas cars today had a genuine pace and that team Principal Ross Brawn was better at managing his drivers than Red Bull Racing Renault team Principal Christian Horner was, at least today. Nico Rosberg was heard repeatedly asking for an opportunity to go ahead of Hamilton, but was politely but firmly told by Brawn to hold station, reasoning that the reason why Hamilton was slow was because he was asked to wind down his pace. On the other hand as Sebastian Vettel was clearly being told by Christian Horner that they needed to have a talk and Helmut Marko an ardent supporter of Vettel and critic of Webber stood glumly even as Webber took pot shots at Vettel.
Fernando Alonso of the iconic Ferrari team who was one of the favourites tipped off to win the race crashed out of the race pretty early on, but his teammate at Ferrari, a resurgent Felipe Massa followed his 4th position last week in Australia with a fifth at Sepang. The winner of Australia Kimi Raikonnen could only finish seventh even as his teammate at Romain Grosjean took sixth position. Nico Hulkenberg who was driving the Sauber Ferrari for the first time this season in a race took ninth place. The fastest lap of the race was set by Sergio Perez who finished with the last place in a McLaren which was not all that better than what it was in Australia. The other McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button retired with gearbox issues while he was in 12th place. It is believed that Button was deliberately retired in order to be able to change his gearbox without incurring a penalty for the next race in China. Neither of the Force India cars finished the race, let alone finishing in points.