The young German starts the season better as in 2010 and has already a comfortable lead compare to the other drivers.
After setting again the fastest lap during the last session of the qualifying, being the only one to drive less than 1''35', Vettel managed to keep his position after the race start. Hamilton who started in second position couldn't reach the Red Bull and was also surprised by the Lotus Renault of the other German Nick Heidfeld. Both of the Lotus Renault did an excellent start and respectively moved up from 6th to 2nd position and 8th to 5th position. They surprised everyone. On the other Red Bull, Mark Webber, who started 3rd, missed his start and dropped to 9th position after the 1st corner. The Australian had a problem with his SREC system. Next to that, both of the Ferraris didn't do a perfect start either and they dropped one position.
After 3 laps the Williams of the Brazilian Rubens Barrichello had to stop in the pits due to a tyre defect. On lap 5 Red Bull team warned the leading Vettel, that some rain drops were expected but no proper rain. On the other hand, Mercedes team told Michael Schumacher that rain was expected in the 5-10 next minutes. Meanwhile, the car of Russian Vitaly Petrov went offtrack and dropped from 5th to 7th position. During the same lap, the other Williams of the novice Venezuelien Pastor Maldonado was out of race due to mechanical problem.
After 10 laps, the gap between Vettel and Heidfeld increased to 7 seconds and at the same time, Heidfeld battled with Lewis Hamilton to keep his position. Between lap 11 and 16 almost all cars did their first pit stop to change the tires. Unfortunately for the teams, the expected rain started just when drivers needed to change their tires. Situation was doubtful for some laps because in Malaysia you never know how long and how heavy it rains. Everyone was checking if the rain would last or not. But as Red Bull team said before it was only rain drops, it was not heavy enough to wet the track.
The standings after 19 laps of race was : Vettel / Hamilton / Alonso / Button / Heidfeld / Webber / Petrov and finally Massa.
We could see some battles on the track, for example for the 9th position between Schumacher and Japanese Kamui Kobayashi. They battled almost until the end of the race. Meanwhile the second wave of pit stops started. Between lap 23 and lap 30, again almost all the cars stopped to change tires. Lewis Hamilton was one of the few who changed the tire compound (soft to hard). During these pit stops, Rubens Barrichello was out of race due a mechanical problem. Just as in Australia, Williams team was out. Hard season start for them. On lap 27, Vettel was driving behind the Ferrari of Felipe Massa and after a short battle he managed to overtake him. This was really important for the German for his strategy. Short time later, we heard a radio communication coming from Alonso's car saying that his DRS (Drag Reduction System) on his rear wing was not working anymore. The DRS helps a car to overtake a slower opponent.
Coming to lap 30, both of the Mclaren were getting closer to Vettel, gaining important seconds lap after lap. Obviously something was wrong on Vettel's car because he was driving one or two seconds slower. On a radio communication his team asked him to not use SREC system fearing a defect just as Webber's car. While the Mclarens were getting closer to Vettel, Alonso with his Ferrari was getting also closer to the Mclaren of Jenson Button. Almost all the cars were getting faster and so we could expect the 3rd wave of pit stops. And so it was, between lap 37 and 41, the top 10 drivers stopped for a tire change.
On lap 41, the standings was : Vettel / Button / Hamilton / Webber / Alonso / Petrov / Heidfeld / Massa / Schumacher and finally Kobayashi.
Nevertheless Mark Webber's tires seemed to get damaged faster and he had to stop a 4th time on lap 44. At the same time, Heidfeld overtook Petrov and Massa did the same. For two laps, Hamilton and Alonso were battling for 3rd position. But the battle finished with a collision between the two drivers as Alonso hit the back of Hamilton's car, he lost a part of his front wing and couldn't continue so he had to stop to change it. Right before this collision, the novice Belgium Jerôme D'Ambrosio had to give up the race due to engine failure.
The end of the race was full of battles on the track, between Massa and Webber for 5th position, between Hamilton and Heidfeld for 3rd position. All the battles finished by overtakings. Webber moved up to 5th on lap 50 and Heidfeld to 3rd on lap 52.
4 laps to go before the end and Hamilton went offtrack in the second sector of the circuit, due to tire damage. Webber moved up to 4th and Hamilton had to stop in the pits for tire change. After the pit stop, Hamilton was 7th and his hopes to finish on podium were gone. Until the end of the race, Heidfeld struggled with Webber to maintain his 3rd position, which he did.
2 laps before the end, Vitaly Petrov went offtrack and unfortunately his car got bumped and flew over some meters before ending in the grass and with his steering wheel broken.
After 57 laps and 1h37 of race, Sebastian Vettel won the second race of the season, Jenson Button finished second and Nick Heidfeld with his Lotus Renault arrived 3rd. This is the second podium for the French team and it gives a lot of hopes for the next races.
After two races, the strongest teams during races are Red Bull, Mclaren and Renault.
We can notice that it is the second race without intervention of the safety car which also gives a lot of hopes for the season. There is no will to live heavy accidents on the circuit.
Race standings after finish :
1) S. Vettel (RBR Renault)
2) J. Button (Mclaren-Mercedes)
3) N. Heidfeld (Lotus Renault GP)
4) M. Webber (RBR Renault)
5) F. Massa (Ferrari)
6) F. Alonso (Ferrari)
7) L. Hamilton (Mclaren-Mercedes)
8) K. Kobayashi ( Sauber)
9) M. Schumacher (Mercedes GP)
10) Paul Di Resta ( Force India)
Alonso and Hamilton got a 20 seconds penalty after the race for the collision in lap 47. Hamilton dropped to 8th position.
Drivers standings after 2 races :
1) S. Vettel : 50pts
2) J. Button : 26pts
3) L. Hamilton : 22pts
4) M. Webber : 22pts
5) F. Alonso : 20pts
6) F. Massa : 16pts
7) N. Heidfeld : 15pts
8) V. Petrov : 15pts
9) K. Kobayashi : 6pts
10) S. Buemi : 4pts
Constructors standings after 2 races :
1) Red Bull Renault : 72 pts
2) McLaren-Mercedes : 50 pts
3) Ferrari : 36 pts
4) Renault : 30 pts
Next race will be in next weekend in Shanghai, China.