Five facts about the Malaysian Grand Prix

Two in a row, five in a row

Sebastian Vettel’s pole position in the Malaysian Grand Prix meant he has started the first two races of the season at the front. Incredibly, this is the fifth year in a row that this has happened, after Vettel himself managed it in 2010 and 2011 and English duo Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton achieved the fact in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

Of the previous four occasions, only Hamilton in 2012 failed to win the title.

Saturday not Alonso’s day

Fernando Alonso’s failure to beat Felipe Massa in qualifying marked the fourth race in a row that the Spaniard has been outqualified by his teammate. You have to go back to 2007 to find the last time this happened, when Lewis Hamilton got the better of Alonso on the Saturday in Canada, the USA, France and Great Britain.

Bragging rights for Felipe

Furthermore, Alonso’s failure to finish the race on Sunday means Massa now leads his more illustrious teammate in the drivers’ championship. This hasn’t happened since the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix, or 57 races ago, when Massa was leading the world championship after a consistent start to the year.

Double double hundred

Both Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber celebrated their 200th Grands Prix in Sepang, making it the first time in F1 history that two drivers had reached the milestone on the same weekend. Unfortunately, fortune was not smiling on either driver on race day, with Alonso crashing out after his front wing failed on the second lap, and Webber the victim of the already infamous saga at Red Bull.

Late charging Vettel

Sebastian Vettel took the 27th victory of his career after his controversial win in Malaysia on Sunday. Incredibly, his pass on teammate Mark Webber made it the first time that Vettel has ever won a Grand Prix after taking the lead following the final round of pitstops. The latest into the race Vettel has ever taken over at the front (not including pitstops) was at the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix, when he moved into first place after the second round of stops.

Stephen D’Albiac


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