Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have secured a one-two finish in another dominant race weekend, which saw Mercedes take a dominant lead in this year’s grand prix tour.
The championship favourites now lead both the drivers and the constructors’ championships after the second race of the season in Malaysia.
On the other side of the spectrum, it was a disastrous race for Daniel Ricciardo. Fresh off his disqualification in the Australian Grand Prix for a fuel flow irregularity, the Australian was eager to make up lost ground on the championship leaders. With a great start to the race where he went up to third after over taking team mate Sebastian Vettel, all seemed to be going well. However, after two thirds of the race had passed, Ricciardo came into the pits for his final stop and disaster struck.
The Australian driver left the pit box with three out of four of his tyres fully secured and had to stop his car and be pushed back to the pit in a bizarre series of events. This all but ended his hopes for a points finish as he dropped down to 16th. However, his bad luck was not going to end soon as one lap later the car received damage to the front wing and a puncture to the front right tyre, and to top that all off he also received a ten second stop go penalty for an unsafe release in the pits. He then went onto retire just four laps short of the end of the race.
Ricciardo was not the only driver to receive a stop-go penalty during this race. McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen received a five second penalty for a collision with 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, which led to the Ferrari driver having to pit in for tyre damage and dropping him to second last in the field. Magnussen had front wing damage from the incident but he was able to hold off the two Williams’ cars until he had to do his first pit stop.
The other driver to receive a stop-go penalty was Marussia driver Jules Bianchi. He collided with Pastor Maldonado on the first lap, the latter of which retired a few laps later due to engine problems.
Sebastian Vettel finished off the podium places, which puts to rest that last years’ champions would struggle this season. He was followed Ferrari Driver Alonso who earned fourth place with a beautiful piece of racing to overtake Niko Hulkenberg late on into the race. After failing to overtake the German in the DRS Zone on the start-finish straight, they proceeded to do battle through the first few corners of the circuit with Alonso finally overtaking the Sauber car to secure fourth.
The next four spots were taken by the McLaren and Williams drivers as they engaged in a race long battle for position, which ended up with the McLaren drivers sandwiching the Williams’ cars. Although this wouldn’t go without drama as Filipe Massa received a message from the team that he has been all too familiar with during his years at Ferrari, and that was to move over for Bottas as he was faster than him. This was not received well by the Brazilian as he ignored team orders and fought the Finn during the last few laps of the race to secure seventh and eighth for the team.
After his impressive debut to F1, Kevin Magnussen put his early race accident behind him to come home in ninth position just ahead of fellow rookie Daniil Kvyat who put in another impressive shift in his Torro Rosso, proving the pre-season doubters wrong about whether he would be ready to race in Formula One.
Outside the points, Kamui Kobayashi finished 13th for Caterham which will go a long way to deciding where the back marker cars finish at the end of the season. There was also another race finish for Max Chilton who has now finished all 22 of his career races for Marussia.
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||18|
|7||Sebastial Vettel||Red Bull||15|