Mahindra rider Danny Webb gained two positions on the final lap to finish 13th in the sweltering heat of the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang. Team-mate Marcel Schrötter was battling to get into the top ten when he high-sided out of the final corner on lap six.
Webb held his ground until lap six, when he gained one position and another a lap later. Then came a protracted battle that saw the 20-year-old Englishman going back and forth with Alexis Masbou and several others contesting 12th.
On the penultimate tour of the 5.548k circuit, Webb dropped back to 15th before a heroic final lap shot him up to 13th and three valuable championship points. The points solidified third in the Constructors Championship for Mahindra, the only machine on the 125 grid with both engine and chassis made by the team. Mahindra now has a 16 point lead with only one race remaining.
Schrötter, the 18-year-old German, started strongly by moving quickly into 11th place and inserting himself into the battle for eighth place in the 29-rider field. Schrötter was a close 12th at the end of the sixth lap when the rear of his Mahindra let go, sending him into the air. He was unhurt, but unhappy after a rare race crash. It also denied him a chance to cement his championship position. He remains tied in 15th.
“We made a big step at the last race in Australia, so I’m slightly disappointed with the result, but I think Danny really pulled it off on the last lap,” said Team Principal Mufaddal Choonia. “He gained two positions from where he was at the beginning of the lap. So 13th position is OK, but we are aiming to be hitting the top ten at the end of our first season’s racing.”
The final round of the championship is the Valencia GP in Spain in two weeks.