MALAYSIAN GP – Ricciardo takes victory after Hamilton’s title hopes may have suffered fatal blow

Testing & Race Reports

Daniel Ricciardo put together a brilliant race victory and the fourth of his career after holding of team-mate Max Verstappen at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Ricciardo was handed victory after Mercedes Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead after his engine failed on lap fourth one.

Hamilton looked until the point of the failure to be on cause for victory which would have allowed him to retake the lead of the title race and he had over a twenty second lead.

Hamilton’s retirement a trilling battle for the race win between the two Red Bull’s. But could lead to another engine penalty at Suzuka next weekend. Mercedes said “an unexpected mechanical failure of the internal combustion engine with no prior warning.”

Hamilton told Sky Sports “I just can’t believe that there’s eight Mercedes cars and only my engines are the ones that have gone this way. Something just doesn’t feel right. There’s been 43 engines from Mercedes and only mine have gone – it’s odd.”

But, Verstappen was caught in traffic following Hamilton’s retirement meaning he couldn’t catch his team-mate. It wasn’t a much better race for Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes he was hit on the opening lap by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Red Bull imposed team orders it seems after they instructed Verstappen to let Ricciardo go which may have been them payback to Ricciardo, who they cost two victories earlier this season with a strategy call in Spain and a pit error in Monaco.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told the BBC there had been no team orders: “It made total sense, after Lewis had blown up, there was a free stop for both of them – give them both fresh tyres and then flat-out to the finish.”

Ricciardo who lost victory in Barcelona and Monaca because of mistakes told Channel 4’s Mark Webber on the podium “It was a race of challenges, Lewis got the lead and had his problems. I am not one for believing in a whole lot, but it went the other way in Monaco, and I will take this today.”

Vettel was out at the first corner after the German hit Verstappen going into Turn One which then caused him to tag Rosberg. Rosberg then fought with Kimi Raikkonen, but his five second lead was wiped out by a ten-second penalty applied by the stewards for causing a collision.

Also there was contact behind with Renault’s Kevin Magnussen hitting the  rear of Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas and then being hit from behind by Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso. This impacted all three, Gutierrez a right-rear puncture, Kvyat needing to pit for a new nose and Magnussen retiring on lap 17 due to the damage sustained in the incident.

If Haas’s race wasn’t already bad Romain Grosjean’s car snapped on him at the hairpin which the car going off into the gravel and into retirement. After the contact on the opening lap Gutiérrez lost his left-front wheel flew from the car at speed on lap 42.

It was another good day for Fernando Alonso who drove from the back to seventh and Jenson Button finishing ninth giving McLaren there best result of the season.

Sauber’s Felipe Nasr was the other non-finisher.




Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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