Red Bull has won the Malaysian GP 2016 in a fashionable 1-2 finish, Daniel Ricciardo flashed across the finish line first leading his teammate Max Verstappen in the other Red Bull. The race took a huge turn after Hamilton’s car caught fire, the Brit was in the lead before that unfortunate incident. Upon his retirement, the Red Bulls took it all the way home.

Nico Rosberg finished third even after serving his 10s penalty, denying Ferrari a much needed podium finish with Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn finished fourth eventually. Rosberg now leads the championship by 23 points.

This was Ricciardo’s fourth win in his career, and the first since the 2014 Belgian GP, as for Max, this was his fifth podium win in his F1 career.

Malaysian GP 2016 Results

1. Ricciardo – Red Bull
2. Verstappen – Red Bull
3. Rosberg – Mercedes
4. Raikkonen – Ferrari
5. Bottas – Williams
6. Perez – Force India
7. Alonso – McLaren
8. Hulkenberg – Force India
9. Button – McLaren
10. Palmer – Renault

Held since 1999 at the Sepang International Circuit, the Malaysian Grand Prix comes just two weeks after the Singapore GP. Here, Sebastian Vettel has the most wins at four followed by Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso each with three wins. Ferrari leads the manufacturer’s category with seven wins.

Jenson Button marked his 300th race start today, only two other drivers have reached this milestone in Formula 1 history – Rubens Barrichello (322 starts) and Michael Schumacher with 306 starts. Elsewhere, Alonso started from the back after picking up 45-place grid penalty, the McLaren driver changed several engine components on his car.

All top ten drivers started on soft tires with a limit of 17 laps, the mediums had a limit of 23 laps while the hard tires had a limit of 28 laps. The latter was mandatory in the race. In total, 18 of the 24 drivers started on soft tires besides Bottas, Magnussen and Nasr starting who were on mediums, while Palmer opted for hard.

As the formation lap got underway, Massa was left stranded on his starting point, “The throttle is not working, guys,” the Williams driver said. Sainz also radioed in saying his engine switched off. But that was just the beginning of a dramatic race, barely after the lights went out there was contact between Verstappen and Vettel, and Rosberg spun during that shunt.

It was Vettel who dived into the inside of Verstappen causing the contact that would eventually force Rosberg’s car to spin. The Ferrari was out with a broken front-left suspension. Meanwhile, Sainz managed to get away despite his earlier engine issue.

After the virtual safety car ended, the race was led by Hamilton who managed to get away just in time. Behind him was Ricciardo, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Perez, Button, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Grosjean and Alonso who had climbed up from last. Rosberg dropped back to 15th place.

By lap 4/56, just 0.8s separated Hamilton and Ricciardo, the Red Bull had already set two fastest times of the race. Grosjean lost his braking power on the final left-handed corner forcing him to spin into the gravel trap. “The brakes breaked,” he said.

Verstappen pitted under the VSC that was deployed to crane Grosjean car away. Perez also pitted and was followed by Button, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Rosberg and Wehrlein. Verstappen was on new softs while Perez picked up mediums.

After 12 laps, Hamilton led the field away from Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Bottas, Sainz, Ericsson, Ocon and Perez. Rosberg meanwhile was gradually getting to the top and by lap 18 the Mercedes driver was already in P6. Magnussen became the third driver to retire after Vettel and Grosjean. A replay showed that the Renault’s retirement came after being rear-ended by Kvyat on the first corner.

Hamilton pitted on lap 21, the Briton picked up a set of hards, Ricciardo also pitted and picked up hard tires meaning they were going to the end on those compounds. Verstappen led for some time with the older soft tires but he was forced to pit as well, the Red Bull also switched into hard tires and rejoined in third ahead of Raikkonen.

By lap 32/56, Hamilton led the field away from Ricciardo, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Perez, Rosberg, Button, Bottas, Sainz and Alonso. Rosberg pitted at the end of this lap and switched to a fresh set of hard tires.

Rosberg forced his way past Raikkonen as they approached turn 2, a bold move that saw the two drivers make contact. The German was now in fourth place behind Verstappen, but he was under investigation for that move.

“NO, NO, NOOO!!” yelled Hamilton after his car caught fire while in the lead. It was over for the Briton, the Red Bulls took over the lead just before the virtual safety car was deployed. Good news for Rosberg who came to Malaysia with an advantage of 8 points over his teammate.

Hamilton was followed into retirement by Gutierrez after his front-left wheel flew off the car. Meanwhile, Rosberg who was now on softs set a new fastest lap on lap45/56, he was 20s behind the leader but still had a 10s penalty to serve due to that earlier collision with Raikkonen.

Rosberg used his qualifying mode for a few laps towards the end, allowing him to inflate the gap between him and Raikkonen to 12s. The battle at the front remained the same, and it was Ricciardo who crossed the finish line first, winning the Malaysian GP 2016 in style. Max made it a double podium finish for Red Bull.

VIA Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic, Getty Images, F1, Sam Bloxham, Steve Etherington, Andy Hone, Glenn Dunbar,
Previous articleChantilly Arts & Elégance 2016 Highlights
Next articleOfficial: 2016 Range Rover Supersport by Overfinch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here