MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX 2.10.16
Designed by Hermann Tilke, the Sepang International Circuit is one of the most technical in Formula One; tight twisting corners and long high-speed straights make it particularly complicated. Unusually for Formula One it’s wide track makes it perfect for overtaking.
Malaysian GP Race Results 2016
1st: Daniel Ricciardo
2nd: Max Verstappen
3rd: Nico Rosberg
4th: Kimi Raikkonen
5th: Valtteri Bottas
6th: Sergio Perez
7th: Fernando Alonso
8th: Nico Hulkenberg
9th: Jenson Button
10th: Jolyon Palmer
This formula one race had absolutely everything…
Daniel Ricciardo won his first race since his rookie season in 2014 in a wonderful day for Red Bull; the ‘party animals’ of Formula One took their first one-two since Brazil in 2013.
“I’m exhausted… it’s such a hot race here. It was a race of challenges.” (Ricciardo)
Ricciardo had come close before this season, but luck had not gone his way – it did today and this win was hugely deserved. Ricciardo was in 2nd until Hamilton’s departure and following that had gone into the last 13 laps with a 2.3 second lead and new tyres. A battle ensued with his young team mate Max Verstappen. – from which the Australian emerged victorious.
Ricciardo Loving The Limelight!
Only the 4th driver to win this year, he appeared euphoric on the podium; giving the fans what they wanted – with a beaming smile and his trade mark ‘shoey’ he drank the sweaty champagne from his racing boot, encouraging every one else to do the same. With team mate Max Verstappen in 2nd, they clearly enjoyed being together on the podium.
Mercedes, however, cancelled their Sunday night party and the t-shirts celebrating the team winning the constructors’ championship were left in their boxes. To win that championship they needed to win this race.
Lewis Looked Like He Was Back To Winning Ways – Then The Fire!!!
Lewis Hamilton had started in pole and led from the first corner on a one stop strategy, until an internal combustion engine failure on Lap 43 put him out of the race – leaving the car in flames and Hamilton downcast. Up until this point, Hamilton had dominated the weekend. Clearly still the fastest driver in Formula One, but such a run of poor luck suggests – in his words – that “someone doesn’t want me to win” this year. Later he was to refer to this ‘someone’ as a higher power. It is the 4th time this year (China, Belgium, Russia and Malaysia) that a win has been prevented for reasons outside his control. This doesn’t include his poor starts with clutch issues in Australia, Bahrain, Canada and Italy.
As Hamilton’s head fell into his hands as his race ended, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff did the same, saying afterwards: “This is a mechanical sport…it’s a very unfortunate coincidence. I have no words. I’m gutted in the same way.”
Conspiracy Theories Abound!
A frustrated Hamilton hints at conspiracy following the race, “my question is to Mercedes, we have so many engines made for drivers, but mine are the only ones failing.”
Toto Wolff responds to this: “..he is allowed to say whatever he wants. It’s completely understandable.” Hamilton will not be fined for his comments.
Nico Rosberg had a bad start after Sebastian Vettel collided with his right rear wheel – this caused Rosberg to spin, putting him at the back of the grid and gave Vettel a 3 place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix. However, Rosberg made his way up the grid and was definitely the recipient of the Mercedes’ luck in this race. Even the 10 second time penalty he received for a late move and consequent collision with Raikkonen at Turn 2, Lap 38, could not stop him from achieving his podium place in 3rd. And with his team mate having a shocking exit with 13 laps to go – 3rd place was enough to give Rosberg a championship lead of 23 points, with 5 races and 125 possible points remaining.
Jenson Button came 9th and in the points in his 300th Grand Prix and Jolyon Palmer scored his first Formula One point finishing 10th.
After regaining his composure, Hamilton began to try to lift the spirits of his mechanics and engineers for next week in Japan. If he does retain the title this year – surely it would be his greatest achievement so far?
But Rosberg certainly won’t be making it easy…