Shoeys for everyone!
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was victorious at today’s Malaysian Grand Prix, as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton fell into a late retirement due to engine woes.
Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen finished second, ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, who narrowly clinched the final podium spot as he was impended by a 10-second penalty for hitting Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
This victory allowed Ricciardo to get his own back after narrowly missing out of victory earlier in the season at the Monaco Grand Prix, and was the fourth win of his F1 career.
He later reported that he dedicated the “pretty emotional” win to the late Jules Bianchi.
“It’s been just over two years since my last victory, and it feels like a long two years – a lot has happened,” he spoke.
“It was definitely a life-changing moment, the loss of Jules, a competitor and a friend. That was hard to take. I would have loved to have won sooner, and dedicated this a bit sooner.
“Since that day it definitely changes [you] as a person, for the better. I’ve become more appreciative of the things I have and the position I am in. Today I won a Formula 1 race. It’s another dream come true – so this one is definitely for him.”
After a tense battle between himself and Verstappen on the 39th lap, as they went wheel-to-wheel, but eventually the Australian won out in the end.
On the podium, as the crowed chanted and cheered for Ricciardo, he proceeded to pour his sparkling wine into his race boot and drank out of it, a ‘shoey’, as it is known. Team Principal Christian Horner and Verstappen also drank out of his boot, as did Rosberg.
Out on Turn One
Although it was a time to celebrate in the Red Bull Garage, perspective of the race was much different for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
As expected, there was drama going into the first corner, as Vettel had managed to climb up to fourth place at the start, ahead of Verstappen. However, after contact with the Red Bull in the braking zone, he damaged the front-left suspension on his car, as he sent Rosberg into a spin, and down into 17th place.
However, it was worse for Vettel, as the incident sent him immediately out of the race, and dashed any hopes the German had for repeating last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Late race engine woes
After getting a good start to the race, things seemed to be going in Lewis Hamilton’s favour, as he was leading the pack, and seemed to be the one to watch to take victory at this Grand Prix.
However, after opening up a gap of 22.7 seconds on the 4oth lap, ahead of a pit stop, going into Turn One of lap 41, his engine belched out smoke as flames were coming out of the rear of his car, causing him to stop and retire.
This was a particular blow to Hamilton, as he was about to re-take the World Championship at this race, however he still remains behind, as teammate Rosberg builds up a larger gap between the two.
Rosberg’s fight to 3rd
Among the dramatic first corner collision, Nico Rosberg was hit, causing him to spin out and loose in place among the pack, leaving him stranded down in 17th.
This meant the charge was on for Rosberg to get up as far as he could, and finish as high as he could. Admittedly helped by the emergence of some Virtual Safety Cars, the German managed to fight his way up the pack, including a small incident with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen whilst battling for 4th on lap 38.
This incident lead to Rosberg getting a 10-second time penalty, which would be added to his time at the end of the race. After Hamilton’s retirement, it meant that he needed to stretch and maintain at least a 10-second gap between himself and Raikkonen to clinch the final spot on the podium, which he managed to do so, after Raikkonen’s Ferrari was lumbered with brake temperature problems and battery harvesting issues.
Retirements, retirements, and a no-Haas finish
Vettel and Hamilton were not the only ones to retire; they were joined by Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean, and Renault’s Kevin Magnussen.
Nasr suffered a brake-by-wire system problem on lap 47, after he was running in P13, causing him to retire.
“It was not a good day for me. After the start, in Turn 1 Nico [Rosberg] spun and I had to avoid running into him,” he said.
“I lost some time because of this incident. After that we were able to recover quite well and went for a one stop strategy. Unfortunately, I then had issues with the brake-by-wire system, which forced me to retire.”
After his good form in qualifying yesterday, Kevin Magnussen was unable to translate it into a strong finish for Renault. After contact both on the front and back of his car on the dramatic first lap, damage was caused to a brake cooling drum fence. As a result of this, the Dane’s brakes became unsustainably hot, forcing him into retirement.
However, it was not all bad for the French team as Jolyon Palmer managed to grab his first point of the season, as he came home in 10th place.
It was a particularly bad day for Haas, as neither car crossed the finish line due to a double retirement.
Romain Grosjean had a suspected brake failure on his car coming into the final turn on lap nine, as he failed to brake sufficiently to make the turn and ended up in the gravel.
Meanwhile, his teammate Esteban Gutierrez also failed to see the chequered flag as his front-left wheel came flying off on lap 42.