Motor racing-Team by team analysis of Malaysian Grand Prix
March 24 (Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday's Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit (listed in championship order):
RED BULL (Sebastian Vettel 1, Mark Webber 2)
Vettel's 27th career win (equalling Jackie Stewart's tally), and first of the season, was one of his most controversial after the champion ignored team orders and passed Webber in the closing laps. Vettel took the championship lead. Webber started fifth and, leading, eased up as ordered to save tyres and engine. Red Bull took the lead in the constructors' table.
LOTUS (Romain Grosjean 6, Kimi Raikkonen 7)
Raikkonen scored points for the 19th race in succession but fell to second overall in the standings after winning the season-opener in Australia. The Finn lost part of his front wing at the start. Grosjean had to let Felipe Massa past towards the end as his tyres went off.
FERRARI (Felipe Massa 5, Fernando Alonso retired)
Alonso damaged his front wing at the start when he tagged Vettel. The wing then dislodged and wedged under the car at the start of lap two, sending the Ferrari into the gravel while in third place. Massa started on the front row for the first time since Bahrain 2010 and continued his resurgence.
MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 3, Nico Rosberg 4)
Hamilton's first podium for Mercedes (and 50th of his career) since his move from McLaren owed much to Rosberg obeying team orders. Hamilton, on a four stop strategy, provided the comedy moment of the race when he pulled in to the McLaren pit. The points haul was the most on a single weekend by Mercedes since they returned as a works team in 2010.
FORCE INDIA (Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta retired)
Both drivers retired in the pits after problems with the team's new captive wheel nut system.
SAUBER (Nico Hulkenberg 8, Esteban Gutierrez 12)
Hulkenberg's first race and points for Sauber after being unable to start in Melbourne due to a fuel system problem. Both drivers did four stops.
MCLAREN (Sergio Perez 9, Jenson Button retired)
Perez scored his first points for McLaren since he moved from Sauber, ending a seven race drought. He also set the fastest lap. Button led the race for a while but his hopes of scoring big, a possible fifth place or better, ended when he lost time after a wheel gun problem left him with a wobbly wheel. He retired in the pits later on with heavy vibrations from the front left.
TORO ROSSO (Jean-Eric Vergne 10, Daniel Ricciardo retired)
Vergne opened his tally for the season but a pitlane collision with Charles Pic's Caterham robbed him of a better result. The team were fined 10,000 euros ($13,000) for a dangerous release. Ricciardo damaged the floor when he aquaplaned off into the gravel at turn three before the start. He retired with an exhaust problem.
WILLIAMS (Valtteri Bottas 11, Pastor Maldonado retired)
Still no points for the former champions. Bottas ran wide at the start but fought back from last to miss out on the points by 1.486 seconds. Maldonado smashed his front wing when he ran wide on lap 15 and then stopped on track with a KERS problem.
MARUSSIA (Jules Bianchi 13, Max Chilton 16)
Another strong performance from Bianchi, the only driver to go into the weekend with no prior experience of the circuit in any series. Chilton had to queue for his first stop.
CATERHAM (Charles Pic 14, Giedo van der Garde 15)
Pic lost about 25 seconds due to the pitlane collision with Vergne. Van der Garde had a front left puncture at the end of the first stint. The Malaysian-owned team also had problems with a failed intercom, telemetry that froze and malfunctioning timing software. ($1 = 0.7694 euros) (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Mark Meadows)
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