With a seventh place on Sunday, and no race wins yet in the bag, Felipe Massa took the lead of the drivers' world championship at Sepang.

With a seventh place on Sunday, and no race wins yet in the bag, Felipe Massa took the lead of the drivers' world championship at Sepang.

The Brazilian's Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso, who was the previous title leader, had a downshift problem throughout the hot Malaysian race, and then retired with a very smoky engine failure.

Spaniard Alonso is now two points behind, and so too is Sepang winner Sebastian Vettel, who after two technical problems in Bahrain and Melbourne finally won a race.

The sister Red Bull driven by pole sitter Mark Webber was second, prompting the RB6's designer Adrian Newey to collect the constructors' trophy, after a tough couple of weeks facing criticism that his cars are fast but fragile.

"Adrian does not design wheel nuts (Melbourne) or spark plugs (Bahrain)," team boss Christian Horner told BBC television.

Behind Massa, Alonso and Vettel, the next contenders for the drivers' title are also closely bunched, with Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica all within 9 points of the lead.

 

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 56 1:33:48.412 3 25
2 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 56 +4.8 secs 1 18
3 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 56 +13.5 secs 2 15
4 11 Robert Kubica Renault 56 +18.5 secs 6 12
5 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 56 +21.0 secs 4 10
6 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 +23.4 secs 20 8
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 56 +27.0 secs 21 6
8 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 56 +37.9 secs 17 4
9 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 56 +70.6 secs 14 2
10 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 56 +73.3 secs 5 1
11 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 56 +78.9 secs 13  
12 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 55 +1 Lap 7  
13 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 54 +2 Laps 19  
14 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 53 +3 Laps 24  
15 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 53 +3 Laps 22  
16 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 52 +4 Laps 23  
17 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 51 +5 Laps 18  
Ret 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 46 +10 Laps 15  
Ret 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 32 +24 Laps 11  
Ret 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 12 +44 Laps 10  
Ret 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 9 +47 Laps 8  
Ret 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 8 +48 Laps 9  
Ret 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2 +54 Laps 16  
DNS 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 0 +56 Laps 12

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