Surprise, Surprise, surprise
as Daniel Ricciardo and his teammate Max Verstappen of Red Bull finished one-two
in the 2016 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix. Ricciardo held off a charging
team mate Verstappen to win an incident-filled race which saw several players retiring
and which included Hamilton too docking for a Mercedes engine failure. Lewis’
teammate Nico Rosberg came through the pack after a bit of skirmish to finish
third. With this, he extends his championship lead over Hamilton to 23 points.
And not to forget the fun,
continuing with tradition, after the win Ricciardo went ahead and drank champagne
from his shoes. He has done this in the past and these post-race antics are
well known. Ricciardo has told reporters in the past that this is an Australian
thing called “shoey”. Let’s keep this tradition going!
Force India’s Sergio Perrez
and Nico Hulkenberg came in sixth and eighth respectively. With his win, for
Ricciardo it is the first victory since Spa 2014 - two months before Jules Bianchi's
accident at Suzuka later that year, which Ricciardo admitted had been hard to
move on from. "It's been just over two years since my last victory, and it
feels like a long two years - a lot has happened," he said, adding that, "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.”
Meanwhile, even though Rosberg
came in third, he picked up a 10-second time penalty for a mid-race clash with
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who finished fourth. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas took
fifth while McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who came from the back row, took seventh.
Team mate Jenson Button was ninth in his 300th Grand Prix, as fellow Briton
Jolyon Palmer took his first F1 point with 10th for Renault.
As the race began, Hamilton
who was in pole position took the lead but then Sebastian Vettel made a huge
mistake as he squeezed up to third ahead of Verstappen, but after minor contact
with the Red Bull in the braking zone he damaged his left-front suspension as
he shoved Rosberg into a spin. Vettel was out immediately and was later
penalised with a three-place grid drop for Japan for causing the collision. .
As for Hamilton as he headed
for Turn 1 on his 41st lap, his Mercedes engine blew and emitted flame, sealing
his fate. Rosberg was lucky as he had earlier bumped his way past Raikkonen’s
Ferrari to grab fourth in Turn 2 on the 38th lap, but later got a 10s penalty
for what stewards deemed an unnecessary collision. Those who did not finish the
race included Hamilton, Vettel, Felipe Nasr of Sauber Ferrari, Esteban Gutierez
of Haas and his teammate Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen of Renault.
Romain Grosjean spun into the
gravel and retirement on Lap 9 after a suspected brake failure on his Haas
coming into the final turn, and team mate Esteban Gutierrez looked to have
similar issues when the left-front wheel flew from the Mexican’s car at speed
on lap 42.
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