Kuala Lumpur – From the very start, Mercedes AMG Petronas dominated today’s F1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur. Lewis Hamilton started off at pole and didn’t look back for the next 56 laps, finishing a full 17.3 seconds ahead of the next closest driver, his German teammate Nico Rosberg.
Mishaps and misfortune were afoot once again amongst the drivers as Force India’s Sergio Peréz (MEX) did not start due to a gearbox failure. 6 other drivers would follow him into retirement from the race for various reasons including Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) whose bad luck from the disqualification in Melbourne followed him to Malaysia in the form of leaving the pits with his front left tyre not properly attached. The mistake leaves him with a 10 spot grid penalty for the next race in Bahrain.
One of the more interesting struggles to take place in the race was between Williams drivers Felipe Massa (BRA) and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) the former having been ordered by the team to let the latter pass him by, as Bottas had the faster car. Massa didn’t make Bottas’ attempts at passing easy, resulting in the Fin finishing just behind the Brazilian in 7th and 8th respectively.
McLaren’s Jenson Button (GBR) did fairly good, finishing in 6th with his rookie Danish teammate Kevin Magnussen coming in 9th. This comes just after the 2 McLaren drivers finished in 2nd and 3rd on the official tables following the season opener from Albert Park in Melbourne.
Ferrari suffered this weekend, with only one of their two drivers, Spaniard Fernando Alonso, scoring any points. Alonso finished in 4th place, whereas his Finnish teammate Kimi Räikkönen finished in 12th after suffering damage to his right-rear tyre following a collision with Magnussen.
Thus far 2014 has been the year of the Silver Arrows. For a while, it certainly seemed as though the years of Red Bull dominance might well be over, but after German Sebastian Vettel’s 3rd place finish that previous assessment may prove to be false. Certainly between the seasoned champion Vettel and the young, quite talented, if not a bit unlucky, Ricciardo I’d say Red Bull stands a chance at making a strong mark on this year’s championship. Whether they will win outright for the 5th time in a row is for the future to tell.
The results for the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix are as follows:
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (GBR) 25 pts. 1:40:25.974
- Nico Rosberg, Mercedes (GER) 18 pts. +17.3 secs
- Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull (GER) 15 pts. +24.5 secs
- Fernando Alonso, Ferrari (ESP) 12 pts. +35.9 secs
- Nico Hülkenberg, Force India (GER) 10 pts. +47.1 secs
- Jenson Button, McLaren (GBR) 8 pts. +83.6 secs
- Felipe Massa, Williams (BRA) 6 pts. +85.0 secs
- Valtteri Bottas, Williams (FIN) 4 pts. +85.5 sec
- Kevin Magnussen, McLaren (DEN) 2 pts. +1 lap
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso (RUS) 1 pt. +1 lap
- Romain Grosjean, Lotus (FRA) 0 pts. +1 lap
- Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari (FIN) 0 pts. +1 lap
- Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham (JPN) 0 pts. +1 lap
- Marcus Ericsson, Caterham (SWE) 0 pts. +2 laps
- Max Chilton, Marussia (GBR) 0 pts. +2 laps
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull (GER) 0 pts. Retired.
- Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber (MEX) 0 pts. Gearbox
- Adrian Sutil, Sauber (GER) 0 pts. Power unit
- Jean-Éric Vergne, Toro Rosso (FRA) 0 pts. Turbo
- Jules Bianchi, Marussia (FRA) 0 pts. Accident damage
- Pastor Maldonado, Lotus (VEN) 0 pts. Power unit
- Sergio Peréz, Force India (MEX) 0 pts. DNS, gearbox
Formula 1 returns this coming Friday, 4 April at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. The race will begin the following Sunday, 6 April, at 18.00 Bahrain (10.00 Chicago, 14.00 London.)