Hamilton Cruises To Malaysian Grand Prix Victory, Heading a Mercedes One-two
Mercedes
Posted By:   |  30 Mar 2014   |  11:23 am GMT  |  628 comments

Lewis Hamilton made up for the ground lost last time out in Australia, dominating the Malaysian Grand Prix from lights to flag, heading a Mercedes one-two with Nico Rosberg in second and Sebastian Vettel in third.

It was the first Mercedes 1-2 of the modern F1 era.

It is his first win in Malaysia and the 23rd win of Hamilton’s career, joining Nelson Piquet with the eleventh most victories in Formula One.

And after claiming pole position only for his Mercedes car to suffer engine issues and a subsequent retirement in Melbourne, there were no such troubles today with the Briton establishing a ten second lead in the opening stint of the race and from there controlling his pace. He gave a brief reminder of Mercedes’ single-lap superiority to post the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap using the hard tyre.

“I’m incredibly happy today,” said Hamilton. “This is my first win in Malaysia after eight attempts and to do it. The race was tougher than it perhaps looked today and the conditions here always make it a great challenge. But I was able to look after the car, the tyres and the fuel and still keep a bit of pace in hand which made my job that little bit easier.

“This is an important result for us. One-two finishes don’t happen very often and this is a real achievement for the team.

With tyre degradation on the high side and therefore three-stops turning out to be the order of the day, the leading three cars left the switch to the hard compound until the final laps, partly due to the speed difference between the two compounds and also due to the threat of rain that pesters the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Rosberg had a closer race than his team-mate. Having used the power of his Mercedes power-unit to take second place from Vettel in to the first corner on lap one, Rosberg had a snap of oversteer at turn three and was under pressure from the Red Bull pair, now headed by Daniel Ricciardo who had overtaken Vettel around the outside of turn two.

Blocking up the hill to turn four Rosberg was able to hold second place and open up a gap to the following cars prior to the first set of pit stops.

As Vettel pitted a lap earlier and with use of the fresher medium tyres he was able to close on Rosberg but not pressure his countryman. However, during the second phase of stops Vettel posted the fastest lap of the race to put himself within the DRS-zone of the car ahead. A lap of close following for Vettel was the only chance he had as Rosberg quickly stretched out the gap between the two, putting eight seconds between them in the next fifteen laps and giving Mercedes their first one-two since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix.

The sister Red Bull of Ricciardo was having another strong performance at the wheel of the RB 10, initially taking third from Vettel only for DRS to allow the German back through. He sat comfortably in fourth place until his final pit-stop, in which he left the pit-box without his front-left wheel fully attached and was forced to stop in the pit-lane.

After being rolled back and having all necessary nuts tightened the Australian made his way back out on track, only for his front-wing to dismantle over a kerb and necessitate a further pit-stop. A ten-second stop/go penalty would follow following the safe release with a loose wheel and the team eventually retired the race in the closing laps. He was also penalised 10 grid places for the next race in Bahrain.

That gave Nico Hulkenberg fourth place, in the short-term at least. The Force India driver was running on old, hard Pirelli tyres and had a closing Ferrari of Fernando Alonso in his wing mirrors. With a high speed differential between the two, as Alonso had recently switched to the medium tyre, there was little struggle from Hulkenberg when Alonso challenged with three laps remaining.

Hulkenberg had, however, opened up a fourty-five second gap to the cars behind, completing another stellar drive for Force India. His distant pursuers were headed by Jenson Button, the McLaren driver holding off a late charge for a Williams duo that between them could have lost their team points.

Felipe Massa was told to let Valtteri Bottas past as the Finn had stronger pace and could challenge Button. But Massa has been subject to such demands before and opted to hold ground this time, keeping Bottas at bay with the two coming close numerous times in the final two laps. Williams were unhappy with the driver, as he had been told his engine was running hot, hence the need to ease off and let Bottas past. In ignoring that, the suggestion is that he may have damaged it. With only 5 engines for the season, that could prove a problem.

The second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen took ninth place after a collision with Kimi Riakkonen required a front-wing change and a five second stop/go penalty. The Dane headed Danii Kvyat, who maintains his 100% record of points finishes in Formula One for Toro Rosso.

Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang, Race, 56 Laps

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m40m25.974s
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +17.313s
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +24.534s
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +35.992s
5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India +47.199s
6. Jenson Button McLaren +1m23.691s
7. Felipe Massa Williams +1m25.076s
8. Valtteri Bottas Williams +1m25.537s
9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren +1 lap
10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso +1 lap
11. Romain Grosjean Lotus +1 lap
12. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +1 lap
13. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham +1 lap
14. Marcus Ericsson Caterham +2 laps
15. Max Chilton Marussia +2 laps

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1

James did Hamilton lap both Mclarens in the last race????

2

A sensor fail doesn’t automatically mean there is anything wrong with the sensor itself, and it should be remembered that when and if that happens the rules provide a back-up system for a team to race with.

3

A second thought – does anyone else think that Red Bull’s flow sensor failure is very suspicious and self serving for their hearing. Hmmm

4

I think it would be pretty hard for them to somehow make a sensor fail on cue.

Also, I believe they had a sensor fail on the Saturday in Australia on Ric’s cars which is why they went back to the sensor they had run on the Friday which they claimed was faulty and had the offset applied for the race.

5

James, just listened to your chequered flag wrap up – it doesn’t sound like you three were watching the same race as the rest of us. This was truly a boring spectacle. If it weren’t for Raikkonen’s recovery drive, Grosjean, drivers leaving the pits and Ericson there would have been nothing else to do but watch the weather radar. And now the prospect of another sterile track and processional race in Bahrain, followed by China.

In the absence of common sense to improve the entertainment they should a)flood tracks randomly at 40% distance b) randomly pick two drivers from the top ten to go the back on lap 2 c) award double points to drivers that win their home grand prix d)award a point for each overtake in that advances one place e) five bonus points if you ignore team orders f) ten bonus points if you overtake a team mate who ignores team orders.

Yours in frustration Jamie Boy

6

Why don’t you listen to our commentary on the F1 app and turn the sound down on your TV. I guarantee we would bring out the excitement and talking points for you!

7

After two races and Merc lead by a mile, I’m thinking what’s going to happen for the rest of the season. Any runaway team is not good for F1. Overall race was boring IMHO.

Being at the circuit, gosh it was really quietly strange as the engines really sounded weird and didn’t have an exclusive feel to it, that’s not F1! Am very disappointed honestly.

9

1. A morale-destroying pace (vs. his team mate in identical cars)

2. Better use of tyres (permitting later stops)

3. Reduced fuel usage (contrary to the ‘car destroyer’ myth)

4. Fastest lap on HARDer tyres (on an earlier lap than his teammate, meaning car was heavier)

5. Leading EVERY lap

6. Starting on POLE

What was that again about ‘this formula favoring to the “more intelligent” driver’?

Can we FINALLY accept that Lewis Hamilton IS the more intelligent driver? Or like Usain Bolt asked, ‘what will it take’?

10

“What was that again about ‘this formula favoring to the “more intelligent” driver’?”

Give it a few more races mate – your question naturally requires at least a complete season to get answered correctly. Any driver could have a really nice race or two here and there. The intelligent driver, is overachieving (relative to others with same material) in the long run.

It won’t take more than that. 🙂

11

quattro, if, as you say the “question naturally requires at least a complete season to get answered correctly” then why, WITHOUT the benefit of said ‘complete season’ have certain people arrived at the CONCLUSION that Hamilton (the presumptive ‘less intelligent driver’) will have ‘difficulty’ in this new formula?

12

I quoted/commented to the wrong sentence from your post. Sould be

“Can we FINALLY accept that Lewis Hamilton IS the more intelligent driver? “

To get an answer to such a question in relation to team mate and new rules, you will need more than one race. I am sure you agree as that is no rocket science.

Then reg your question, I believe HAM has not always made full use of the capacity of the packages he has had, hence I do not consider him that highly. He should have been higher up on the final standings than what he have managed, for half a decade or so imo – mostly because his own shortcomings. If he focused more on the sport and the driving, than e g the style of his hat, the story could have been different…

13

Aldo Costa has given Mercedes one hell of a car this year.

14

F1 needs reformatted.

If a team are dominating it can be very boring to watch them streak away into an uncatchable lead for a 2hour race.

I think most would agree that in general, the most exciting parts of an F1 weekend are qualifying and the start of the grand prix where all the cars are jockeying for position.

Therefore I feel it would better to keep qualifying as it is, but split the race into two parts.

Part One (Qualifying Race) – 20 laps:

Drivers start the race from their qualified positions. This race is worth 1/4 of the points of a normal GP. Whatever position you finish this race, is the position you start the next. If you fail to finish, then you do not compete in part two.

Part Two (Endurance Race) – 45 laps:

Drivers start this race from their finishing position from the Qualifying Race. This race is worth the remaining 3/4 points of the race weekend.

This format would encourage more ‘racing’ and require more from the drivers. It would just make for a mroe intereting spectacle in my opinion.

15

Your comment is daft. Assume nico & lewis wins every race alternatively and vettel finish 3rd. How do they take point off each other to help vettel. To win it he (vettel) needs to beat them.

16

Look at how beautiful is that Mercedes w05 at the title picture there. I like lookin at it from that angle! Especially this chassis, with the body work opened at the rear for cooling.. Look at the curves!!!

Which brings me to one of the silliest stats I would dare to post here.

Lewis Hamilton, whenever he’s mounted a serious Championship fight had an incredibly beautiful car. The McLaren MP4-22, MP4-23 and now the Mercedes W05!! 😛

17

Massa knuckled under at Ferrari because it was Ferrari. Williams can’t play him the same way.

18

just two positives out of the race that I can see: (1) Ricciardo’s start showed that he could mix it up against top competition, and fight wheel to wheel successfully, without losing his head, (2) At least we have something to look forward to watching in Bahrain, with Ricciardo starting x + 10 on the grid. Everything else is banal.

19
Jaded_former_fan

The FIA has effectively killed F1. I paid a substantial amount of money out of my own pocket to sit in the Paddock Club in Melbourne, having gotten increasingly excited hearing the Minardi 2-seater V10 screaming around the track from my hotel room 3km away!

Imagine my sheer and utter disbelief and disappointment when the “new” improved F1 cars spluttered their way onto the circuit sounding like castrated Toyota Corollas and producing less than half the volume of the V8 Supercars and Porsche Carrera Cup GT3’s?

To add insult to injury we had a timed lap “shootout” between a Merc road car, a V8 Supercar and the glorious sounding Red Bull RB7 which was the only time the crowds lifted their heads from their food and wine.

So .. we have a bore-fest with ugly cars that sound like blowflies and furthermore; utter stupidity added with fuel measurement devices that are irrelevant to the driver’s efforts and try to attribute some sort of “green” image to F1 – a circus that spends billions and burns more fossil fuel attending each race meeting than all other motorsports combined.

Now the Melbourne race organisers are suing Bernie for breach of contract and are looking to replace the $60m F1 race with a $5m Indycar race where you can actually hear the cars.

And RB are threatening to pull out too. The sh!t has already started to hit the (turbo, pun intended) fan.

F1 has lost me as a fan I’m afraid – and I have been attending races since 1987. If a die-hard enthusiast like me can turn off the TV broadcasts, what does this mean for the sport as whole?

I was planning to attend Silverstone this year. Not now.

Sorry FIA, you’ve seriously f__cked up and this is the beginning of the end. Who loses? The fans of course.

20

Domination of Vettel was a bad thing for me last year and I did not watch the last 2 races. But I knew the reason I was had a high hope that this season will be different. I am still shocked how bad F1 came to be. Just can’t believe and I am seeing and hearing and reading!

But again, I do not think complaining will change anything….I do not like this F1, completely not the same sport I used to love. I am not even remotely thinking about attending a race anymore and did not last half of the race on TV yesterday because of the sound. I did not hear cars….

The only way for FIA and FOM to see the problem is when they will be financially penalized. If fans will keep attending and watching on TV as per usual….they will deem the change successful.

Only financials can speak loud enough for all these greedy people to feel the pain and start listening. It is all about money. Not falling for this anymore….

21

I hate to say it but ive completely lost interest in f1. Ive been a fan non stop since 1993. I turned off after the first 10 laps.

If they want electric racing so be it. Im not paying money to go to a race and watch vacuum cleaners driving around the track. Yes they are fast but I am not interested.

im going to start following indycar racing I think. I don’t know who they are trying to please – new fans or existing fans.

They have completely ruined it.

The best way of protest is quite simply not to watch. Hopefully the figures will go down and they will get the message.

22

agree with you. Complaining is bad, but action as much better.

23

James, I watched the race from Grandstand F which provides a great view of both the straights at Sepang. I noticed that the rear red lights on the cars often, but not always, flash under braking/ change down on the approach to Turn 1. It doesn’t happen on all cars and appears to be intermittent on others. Do you know the reason for this?

24

After so many years at the ass end of the field, Williams wanted to reach for the stars, and probably were not confident of getting the chance again.

Felipe Massa, coming from the more successful Ferarri, and messed up by them, didn’t get that.

25

Deserved win for HAM, but I so wish he would refrain from heaping praise on himself – let the journos and public make the appropriate conclusions. Drawing attention to how tough the conditions were when he set his pole and how tough it was leading the race are so inappropriate. He did a good job (that is what he is paid to do) in qualy, but everyone else had the same conditions and clearly ALO performed some magic as well with an ill handling car, as did VET. In the race HAM had the lowest fuel consumption so clearly he didn’t have to extend himself whereas ROS was pushing and had a sig higher fuel cons. The MERCS have a distinct advantage with great power and lower fuel consumption.

Great drive by HUL and hopefully he can graduate to a better team.

Can’t wait for RB and Ferrari to close the gap as this was not a very exciting race. Having expected closer racing and more overtaking, it was very disappointing. Nothing much has changed from last year when the best chances to overtake are at the start, undercutting with pitstops, & better strategy with tyres like ALO used to get by HUL. The extra power from the stored energy & DRS don’t seem to have made a big difference.

Finally one wonders if there was some rough justice for RB. Their arrogance over the fuel sensor issue and threats by the RB Boss to pull out have been made to look rather silly when poor RIC was again a victim of a team error and no points after a spirited drive. Still mystified as to why RB seem to have a problem that doesn’t seem to afflict other teams. Maybe they just keep their traps shut.

26

I would really like to see a rough calculation of what Red Bull’s pace would be if they had the top speed and efficiency of the Mercedes engine.

27

Hmm. I seem to have watched a different race to many. Really enjoying this season so far. You can see the cars moving around as the drivers push the grip limits, you can hear the throttle control as drivers manage the grip under acceleration, drivers can push hard offline (at least at Malaysia) to create overtaking opportunities… “normally” a race would be boring when someone was as comfortably in front as Hamilton, but there was still a lot to be watching. That may change if RB or someone else can’t get one terms with the Mercs within a few races, but the formula itself is looking pretty good so far.

As far as looks and noise goes, who cares? It’s a race, not a concours… I bet anyone who works in the paddock isn’t complaining about the sound levels.

28

who cares? majority of fans care!

29

It’s interesting how people who have something to complain about always believe they’re in the majority. We saw it with DRS, with KERS, with the refueling ban, etc… “the majority of fans hate X”, or my personal favourite, “real fans hate X”.

Majority? Maybe, but it’s well established that unhappy human beings are much more motivated to complain than happy ones are to praise, so it can be hard to tell.

I’m sorry that you’re not enjoying the racing.

30

RBR destroying RIC’s ride is a familiar sight.

A 10 Place grid penalty as well ?

What a joke.

Fine the team and donate that to a charity.

Yes RBR have a lot of money so make the fine very big. Don’t penalize the guy behind the wheel.

31

james

how long before red bull are level with merc in terms of pace ? im thinking by the time we get to barcelona in 6 weeks time ,what do you think ?

32

1sec + is a lot to make up as Merc are developing too
But if Renault get it together maybe by May yes

33
kenneth chapman

as a throwaway comment after listening to the ‘pit wall to car’ details i am fastly coming to the conclusion that F1 is nothing more than ‘drive by wire’.

the drivers are becoming more like puppets than ever before and the R & R are slowly strangling any real sporting endeavours.

a perfect example is the ‘double’ penalty dished out to ricciardo for a mistake that had nothing to with him, the same as in melbourne. i am fastly becoming disgusted with where all this is headed. he has driven superbly and not put a foot wrong and he should be sitting on 30points! what has he got for his troubles… a big fat zero. is this really where we want to see F1 headed?

34

I feel for him as well, but don’t blame F1, blame his team.

35
kenneth chapman

@ doug… correct me if i am wrong but ricciardos 10 place grid penalty is imposed by the the FIA. he already served a 10sec penalty in the pits so why double up? simply overkill.

as for the melbourne issue, as i have stated many times, if red bull lose their appeal in the ICA hearing then by all means penalise the team but not ricciardo. he has been absolved of any blame, so give him his points back.another fault with the F1/FIA in over regulation.

36
kenneth chapman

hi doug, just a couple of points there. you claim that the others took a ‘performance loss’ by accepting the FIA’s numbers? you simply cannot say that as there is no published evidence to support that theory.

now given that that is not an established fact then you also cannot claim that red bull gained a competetive advantage. RB claim that at no time did they exceed the mandated max flow rate. according to some reports the fuel rail was sealed and tested at viry under FIA scrutiny and it was absolutely correct.

there is no ‘spirit of the rules’. rules are rules nothing more and nothing less.

you appear to believe that the penalty given to ricci was possibly excessive due to the red bull ICA issue. if this is in fact the case then once again why penalise ricci? the FIA should be totally impartial as they are now messing with the possible results of both championships.

not a very nice thought at all.

37

Hi Kenneth,

I think there is an understandable backlash from Charlie & the boys regarding Red Bulls attitude towards the whole fuel sensor issue.

It’s been fairly well reported that the FIA knew that the sensors were a bit iffy & asked the teams if they would abide by their work-arounds if the sensors miss-read. All of the teams with the exception of Red Bull played ball (with resulting performance loss). Red Bull decided to use the situation to gain a competative advantage…this much is a fact.

The court may find that Red Bull were not breaking the rules, only the spirit of them & let them off.

Now, back to the issue in question, DR’s penalty. Yes, I agree, it’s overkill.

However, it is within the power of the FIA (stewards) to issue these penalties. Would they have been more lenient without Red Bulls ongoing protest…almost certainly.

I think this situation is Charlie & the boys saying, “OK, take us on if you wish..but we are the rule makers & you WILL lose!”.

I have to say that I feel Red Bull have had this coming for some time now…what a shame that it is also affecting DR, a great driver who seems to be pushing Vettel hard.

38

Well done Lewis in silencing the critics, who is adaptable in his racing craft.

I strongly feel re-fueling would have made the racing interesting, who knows Lewis could have lapped the entire field. The fuel flow is now restricting the racing. For 3 years tyres had caused a lot of problems.

39

the best f1 driver to have stepped foot in the sport hints why he is the best ever.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cli2XEoca24

40

Correct… Senna was the best ever.

41

you’re correct too, senna was the best ever but hamilton is the best ever. senna drove much slower cars and didn’t once do this.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fzFDvZhntvQ

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