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Snatch in the pack

Snatch in the pack
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World champion Sebastian Vettel incensed Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber Sunday as he pulled off a risky overtaking move to snatch victory in a pulsating but contentious Malaysian Grand Prix.The German ace went wheel-to-wheel with Webber late in the race, earning a stern rebuke from team principal Christian Horner, before emerging in front and taking his 27th race win.

Former world title-holder Lewis Hamilton was third, claiming his first podium spot for new team Mercedes, after his frustrated stablemate Nico Rosberg was ordered not to overtake as they duelled in the closing stages.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished fifth, stealing the limelight from Fernando Alonso after the two-time world champion went out on the second lap with a collapsed front wing.

France’s Romain Grosjean was sixth, outshining his Lotus team-mate and last week’s winner Kimi Raikkonen in seventh, with Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Jean-Eric Vergne rounding out the top 10. McLaren’s Jenson Button was a late retirement.

Webber and Vettel exchanged words in the team garage and the Australian was stony-faced during the victory ceremony, spraying little of the customary champagne.

A heavy tropical shower in the hour before the race greased up the track to such an extent that several cars including Webber’s slid off in the pre-formation drive.

Massa dropped back off second place and Alonso damaged his front wing on the Red Bull of pole-sitter Vettel at an otherwise ultra-careful start.

But there was disaster for Ferrari’s Alonso when the wing folded under his front wheels as he duelled with Webber on lap two, leaving him sliding helplessly out.

Webber moved into the lead when Vettel pitted for medium tyres on lap six, quickly followed by Massa, and the Australian remained there after his team told him ‘stay out, it’s too wet’. He finally switched tyres on lap nine.


‘I F***ED UP,’ SAYS CONTRITE VETTEL 


Sebastian Vettel held nothing back in a grovelling apology for unfairly overtaking Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber to win the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, bluntly admitting: ‘I f***ed up.’ The frank statement, during a tense press conference featuring both drivers, did little to appease the emotional Webber, who led into the closing stages and had been told by his team that he could cruise to victory with Vettel second. Instead, Vettel ignored team orders and plunged past his team-mate with a risky overtaking manoeuvre, snatching his 27th grand prix and denying Webber his 10th. ‘I cannot say much more than I did a mistake, I’m not proud I did it. If I had the chance to do it again I would do it differently,’ Vettel said. He added: ‘When I came back I saw the team’s reaction and I had a short word with Mark, it hit me quite hard that, language, I f***ed up.’ For Webber, who has played second fiddle to Vettel his team-mate’s behaviour was galling after orders were issued over the team radio. ‘The team rang up and said the pressure is off now, you need to look after the tyres until the end, basically don’t fight each other. I turned the engine down. Emotions obviously are probably not the best at the moment,’ said Webber. Team principal Christian Horner said the team would discuss the incident. ‘Sebastian decided to take things into his own hands and race Mark, thankfully making a clean pass,’ he said.
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