World champion Sebastian Vettel incensed Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber on 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.
Afterwards, Hamilton admitted he didn’t feel “spectacular” to be on the podium rather than his team-mate Rosberg. “It isn’t the best feeling to be up here,” he said during the victory ceremony.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished fifth, stealing limelight from Fernando Alonso after he 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.
Later, Vettel offered a profuse apology to his team-mate. Both drivers had been told by their team to hold their positions until the end of the race.
“I’m not entirely happy – I think I did a big mistake,” Vettel said. “We should have stayed in the positions that we were in. I didn’t ignore it on purpose but I messed up in that situation and obviously took the lead from Mark.
“I can see now that he’s upset. I want to be honest at least and stick to the truth. I know that doesn’t really help his feelings right now.”AFP