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Daniel Ricciardo Wins Dramatic Malaysian Grand Prix

In what was a race full of twists and turns, it was Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo who was victorious in the Malaysian Grand Prix, marking his fourth Formula 1 victory and first win since the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix. Also for Red Bull, Max Verstappen finished in second place while Nico Rosberg finished in third.

Daniel Ricciardo Wins Dramatic Malaysian Grand Prix

At the Malaysian Grand Prix, it was Daniel Ricciardo who secured his fourth Formula 1 win for Red Bull Racing, marking the team’s second victory this season. Ricciardo’s team mate, Max Verstappen finished in second place, marking Red Bull Racing’s first 1-2 finish since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix. Through this very strong finish, Red Bull Racing attained the maximum points haul for this weekend, thus stalling the Constructors Championship from falling into the hands of Mercedes for a third year in succession, although it being very unlikely that Red Bull will be able to contend with the reigning champions in the Constructors Championship this season.

After leading for the majority of the race, Lewis Hamilton made an unexpected exit with just over 10 laps to go, with his Mercedes car experiencing a power unit issue, causing the engine to explode. Hamilton’s team mate, Nico Rosberg finished the race in third place, allowing him to secure 15 points to his championship fight. Due to this retirement, Rosberg has extended his lead in the Drivers Championship table, now leading Lewis Hamilton by 23 points.

With only five races remaining this season, it will be very difficult for Hamilton to close this gap to Rosberg, with the title hopeful being nearly one race win ahead of Hamilton in terms of points. Nico Rosberg’s race however, was not plain sailing. At the start of the race, Rosberg was involved in a first corner accident, being hit by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Through this contact, Rosberg’s car was spun around, leaving him in second last place at the end of the first lap. Despite this incident, Rosberg continued to work his way up the grid, performing many spectacular overtakes. One notable overtake was Rosberg’s pass on Kimi Raikkonen for third place, in which the Merecdes driver barged his way up the inside of turn two, clashing with Raikkonen, causing him to be handed with a 10 second time penalty to be added on at the end of the race. Rosberg however, managed to obtain a ten second gap to Raikkonen, cementing his place on the podium. Raikkonen finished the race in fourth place.

Securing a large points haul for Williams was Valtteri Bottas who finished the race in fifth place, securing ten points after starting the race in eleventh place. Bottas’ team mate, Felipe Massa once again experienced a very difficult race, being forced to start from the pit lane after being unable to accelerate away from the grid for the formation lap. Following a Virtual Safety Car period, Massa then pitted, fitting the hard compound tyre, aiming to have a long stint. This however, also fell  apart, with Massa getting a puncture on one of his front tyres, meaning that he once again had to pit, causing him to finish in thirteenth place.

Finishing in sixth place for Force India was Sergio Perez, securing an important eight points for the Constructors Championship, with Force India being in a straight fight with Williams for fourth place in the standings. Perez’s team mate, Nico Hulkenberg also finished in the points finishing in eighth place. Through the double points finish, Force India have managed to overtake Williams in the Constructors Standings, leaving them with a three point lead in fourth place.

The Malaysian Grand Prix marked a good race weekend for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button both finishing in the points. Alonso finished the race in seventh while Button finished in ninth in what was his 300th race.

Rounding out the top ten for the first time this season was Renault’s Jolyon Palmer. Palmer started the race in nineteenth place, however, drove brilliantly, using a one stop strategy to his advantage by starting on the hard compound tyre. This marks Palmer’s first points finish in Formula 1- a result that he needed with his future at Renault for the 2017 Formula 1 Season being under much speculation and doubt. Palmer’s team mate, Kevin Magnussen retired from the Malaysian Grand Prix after sustaining damage on the first lap. This happened when Magnussen drove into the back of Haas F1’s Esteban Gutierrez, whilst also simultaneously being hit at the rear by Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso. This left Magnussen with a damaged front wing, a puncture, and most likely more damage at he rear of the car.

Haas F1 faced disappointment at Malaysia, with neither of their drivers finishing the race, with both Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez retiring. Grosjean’s retirement came when he experienced brake failure going into the last corner early on in the race. Esteban Gutierrez retired when one of his tyres was not properly fitted to his car following a pit stop later on in the race.

In terms of driver of the day, there are many candidates such as Nico Rosberg for his fight from second last to the podium, Fernando Alonso for finishing in seventh place after starting in last, or Jolyon Palmer for securing his first points finish in Formula 1. Max Verstappen is also a worthy candidate for Red Bull, having a close fight with his team mate towards the end of the race and recovering from what was a poor first lap. My driver of the day however, is Jolyon Palmer, simply for finishing in the points in what is one of the worst cars on the grid. Palmer started in nineteenth place and perfected a one stop strategy to finish in the points.

Results from the Malaysian GP:

  1. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 25 points
  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 18 points
  3. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 15 points
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 12 points
  5. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 10 points
  6. Sergio Perez, Force India, 8 points
  7. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 6 points
  8. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 4 points
  9. Jenson Button, McLaren, 2 points
  10. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1 point
  11. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 0 points
  12. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 0 points
  13. Felipe Massa, Williams, 0 points
  14. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 0 points
  15. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 0 points
  16. Esteban Ocon, Manor, 0 points
  17. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Ret
  18. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Ret
  19. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1, Ret
  20. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, Ret
  21. Romain Grsojean, Haas F1, Ret
  22. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Ret

Drivers Standings after 16 races:

  1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 288 points
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 265 points
  3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 204 points
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 160 points
  5. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 153 points
  6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 147 points
  7. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 80 points
  8. Sergio Perez, Force India, 74 points
  9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 50 points
  10. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 42 points
  11. Felipe Massa, Williams, 41 points
  12. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 30 points
  13. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 28 points
  14. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 25 points
  15. Jenson Button, McLaren, 19 points
  16. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 7 points
  17. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1 point
  18. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 1 point
  19. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1 point
  20. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1, 0 points
  21. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 0 points
  22. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 0 points
  23. Rio Haryanto, Manor, 0 points
  24. Esteban Ocon, Manor, 0 points

Constructors Standings after 16 races:

  1. Mercedes, 553 points
  2. Red Bull Racing, 359 points
  3. Ferrari, 313 points
  4. Force India, 124 points
  5. Williams, 121 points
  6. McLaren, 62 points
  7. Toro Rosso, 47 points
  8. Haas F1, 28 points
  9. Renault, 8 points
  10. Manor, 1 point
  11. Sauber, 0 points

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