Lewis Hamilton drove to an untroubled victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix this morning, leading team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg to the first Mercedes 1-2 finish since 1955.
Hamilton started the race from pole and took advantage of the scuffle between Rosberg and the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo to break away at the front, thereafter able to conserve his fuel and tyres to make the distance with relative ease given the dominance of his machinery. Rosberg overcame the Red Bull challenge to run solidly in 2nd all race, maintaining the gap seemingly at will and leaving Ricciardo to be passed by Vettel.
Fernando Alonso had a lonely opening to the race, running ahead of a starring Nico Hukenberg and Jenson Button for McLaren, who had his work cut out keeping the faster Williams cars running behind him. There was discord at the Grove-based team, as Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas clashed over team orders; Bottas was ordered to stay behind Massa early on, but later in the race the Brazilian ignored instructions to let the Finn past to attack Button for 6th place. Kevin Magnussen had run with the group during the first stint but made contact with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, puncturing the F310’s right-rear tyre and damaging his own front wing. He was awarded a stop/go penalty for his troubles, which dropped him down the order.
Daniel Ricciardo had succumbed to the attentions of team-mate Vettel but was still running strongly in 4th when he made his third stop on lap 40, a situation that rapidly unravelled when his crew sent him out the pit box without a secured front-left tyre; the resulting loss of time coupled with a front wing breakage and stop/go penalty effectively eliminated him from the race and he retired the RB10 with five laps to go.
Daniil Kvyat avoided incident and drove well to take another point for 10th, while Sauber missed out with both cars retiring within a few laps and Romain Grosjean completed a race distance in 11th for Lotus.
More to follow.
CLASSIFICATION – RACE – 2014 Malaysian GP
|Ret||Perez||MEX||Force India||Did not start|