The Malaysian GP was absolute carnage
Karma finally paid Daniel Ricciardo back for his Monaco loss as he claimed victory at the Malaysian GP amid a messy and turbulent race.
Sebastian Vettel tagged Championship-contender Nico Rosberg going into turn one, sending his fellow German to the back of the field and ending his own race.
Hamilton started to sail off into the distance, but Red Bull made the inspired decision to pit Max Verstappen under the virtual safety car and appeared to have the strategic upper hand that could win them the race.
Hamilton and Ricciardo then pitted and slotted in behind Verstappen, however Hamilton’s pace soon put the Dutchman under pressure and the victory appeared to be his.
Meanwhile Rosberg fought his way up the field following his first lap incident and was sitting in fifth behind Kimi Raikkonen. A bullish, bold move saw him make small contact with the Finn as he relieved him of fourth place, and was handed a time penalty by the stewards.
Verstappen, now in third, was catching Ricciardo and was desperate to get past to try to have any hope of taking the fight to Hamilton. However his teammate would not yield his position and the two snaked and slid round the track in close combat.
In the end, a pass on Ricciardo wasn’t needed to beat Hamilton. The Brit suffered another failure on his car with fifteen laps to go after a dominant and controlled weekend. This promoted teammate Rosberg onto the podium and handed him a 23-point lead with five races to go.
Red Bull now held first and second position, though Verstappen wasn’t giving up on victory yet. He got himself to just outside DRS range of his teammate with six laps to go, but ultimately it was Ricciardo who saw the chequered flag first.
Jolyon Palmer claimed his first F1 point for Renault, managing to beat the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz into 10th position.
Fernando Alonso was looking racy and finished in seventh after a 45-place penalty sent him to the back of the grid. Given the last time Alonso started on the final row this year, we really should have seen the carnage coming.
2016 Malaysian GP results
- Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL
- Max Verstappen RED BULL
- Nico Rosberg MERCEDES
- Kimi Raikkonen FERRARI
- Valtteri Bottas WILLIAMS
- Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA
- Fernando Alonso MCLAREN
- Nico Hulkenberg FORCE INDIA
- Jenson Button MCLAREN
- Jolyon Palmer RENAULT
- Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO
- Marcus Ericsson SAUBER
- Felipe Massa WILLIAMS
- Danill Kvyat TORO ROSSO
- Pascal Wehrlein MANOR
- Esteban Ocon MANOR
DNF: Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES; Felipe Nasr SAUBER; Esteban Gutierrez HAAS; Kevin Magnussen RENAULT; Romain Grosjean HAAS; Sebastian Vettel FERRARI
The Japanese GP is 9th October 2016