He finished off the podium, but Fernando Alonso is still leading the championship on Sunday night after a thrilling Australian grand prix.
Rendering ‘Bore-rain’ stories to history, the dark and drizzly skies contributed to an exciting Melbourne race, but it was a decidedly bad event for the previously dominant Red Bulls.
Local hero Mark Webber had a scruffy race to ninth and had to apologise to Lewis Hamilton for a late collision, while Sebastian Vettel once again had reliability trouble from the lead.
A spark plug had been his foil two weeks ago, while in Australia he skidded into the gravel with a brake failure.
Among his first comments to the German-speaking press was the well-known curse “Scheisse”, while to the English reporters Vettel said the frustration “breaks my balls”.
“It’s nobody’s fault, but we need to get on top of it and make sure that we see the chequered flag in Malaysia,” the 22-year-old added.
Also unhappy was McLaren’s Hamilton, who while his winning teammate Jenson Button made an excellent early strategy call to pit for slicks, was heard on the radio to criticise the decisions made for him.
“The strategy was not right,” said the Briton. “Everyone else in front of me did one stop and I did two.”
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh acknowledged that McLaren “made a team call which disadvantaged” 25-year-old Hamilton.