For the second race in succession, reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) has converted pole position to a win on Pirelli tyres. Tyre strategy proved crucial to the race, with the drivers who best looked after their tyres in the punishing conditions of Malaysia being rewarded with the top positions.
The second race of Pirelli in Formula One provided plenty of action and overtaking from beginning to end. The podium was not decided until the very final lap, with Vettel winning by just over three seconds while Heidfeld just managed to hold off fourth-placed Mark Webber.
The top three finishers all selected a similar three-stop strategy, running the soft tyre for the first two stints before switching to the hard tyre for the final stint. Button conserved his rubber to maximum effect, running to the end of the race on the hard tyre following his final stop on lap 38.
“If we thought the Australian Grand Prix was good” – Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said – “then Malaysia was something else! Thankfully the weather stayed dry, which meant that we were able to see our tyres performing without the rain factor. The Malaysian Grand Prix turned into a battle of strategy and bravery from start to finish, where choosing the right tyres at the right time was absolutely crucial. (…) After such a breath-taking race though there’s no actual time to draw breath, as now we head straight to China for yet another new challenge – and hopefully just as thrilling a spectacle.”
The Chinese Grand Prix takes place next weekend at Shanghai, where Pirelli will once more supply hard and soft PZero compounds to the 12 Formula One teams.