AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (front L) leads the pack at the start of the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (C) leads the pack at the start of the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (L) leads the pack at the start of the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP leads the field during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1
  • Drivers take the first corner at the start of the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing race during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing race during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (front) takes a turn off the main straight after the start of the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing race during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers his car during the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won the race. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers his car the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany steers his car during the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany steers his car during the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1
  • McLaren driver Jenson Button of Britain turns a corner during the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico and Sauber F1 drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1-PODIUM
  • Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan turns a corner during the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Andrew Hone/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1
  • Williams driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland turns a corner during the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari and Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Force India race during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing
  • McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen of Denmark steers his car during the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Force India drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP makes a pitstop during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Kamui Kobayashi of Japan and Caterham drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing is pushed back into his pitbox during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing has a front nose change during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing is pushed back into his pitbox during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Williams drives during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP takes the chequered flag as he is victorious during the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (L) gestures from his car after winning the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari looks at the car of Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing in parc ferme after the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1-PODIUM
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (C) celebrates his victory on the podium as second-placed Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (L) and third-placed Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel (R) look on at the awards ceremony after the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1-PODIUM
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (top C) holds up the winner's trophy as he celebrates his victory as second-placed Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (L) of Germany, third-placed Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel (R) and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C-back to camera) look on, at the awards ceremony following the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Race
  • KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 30: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP (L) celebrates on the podium with second placed Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP after the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on March 30, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Getty Editorial
  • Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, second right, of Britain stands with Andy Shovlin his chief driver engineer at Mercedes GP, and second placed teammate Nico Rosberg of Germany, left, and third placed Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany after winning the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
  • Image Credit: Associated Press
  • Image Credit: F1.com
The Malaysian Grand Prix is always one of the jokers on the Formula One calendar: you know it's going to rain during the weekend, but you don't know when. This year it began during qualifying, the dammed up clouds over the Sepang track dumping their reservoirs just before Q1 and causing a 50-minute delay.

The conditions helped Infiniti Red Bull Racing close the gap on Mercedes AMG Petronas and split the Silver Arrows cars, Sebastian Vettel lining up in second on the grid behind pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, ahead of Nico Rosberg. Fernando Alonso recovered from a suspension-damaging incident with Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kyvat to take fourth, followed by the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo in fifth, then the off-form Kimi Räikkönen in sixth in the second Ferrari, Nico Hülkenberg in the Force India, star rookie Kevin Magnussen in the first McLaren ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso, and Jenson Button in the second McLaren finishing up the top ten.

After that, though, the clouds decided they were done with F1. Save a few drop at the final corners during the race, the track stayed completely dry. And except for the beginning and the end, for the most part, so was the race.
Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

Hamilton, who hasn't been on the podium in nine races, did his impersonation of the late-2013 Vettel, owning the race from lights to flag. Getting a great start when the lights went out, he took chunks of time out of his teammate every lap, Rosberg having managed to grab second place in the first series of corners, and kept anywhere from nine to 14 seconds of overcast daylight between himself and the cars behind. The only time Hamilton didn't lead the event was when he pitted and Hülkenberg stayed out for a few extra laps. When he crossed the line to finish the 57th and final lap, he earned his 33rd win and his 100th points-paying finish in F1.

Rosberg followed him home, fellow German Vettel putting him under pressure at a few points during the race but never enough to cause genuine trouble. Any time you hear a race engineer say, calmly, "Nico, you lead Vettel by 3.7 seconds, we'd like to get that up to five seconds," you know the situation is copacetic. The finish marked the first Mercedes one-two result since 1955.

Save for a flurry of passing and contact at the start and the usual tire-worn drama at the end, the grand prix was a procession. Jules Bianchi in the Marussia said he was hit by Vergne not far off the line and had his car damaged, causing him to plow into Pastor Maldonado in the Lotus at Turn 4. Maldonado was out of the race right there, Bianchi carried on but had to retire a few laps later.

Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

Magnussen and Räikkönen also came together on Lap 4, the Finn in the Ferrari closing the door on the Dane into a corner and clobbering the McLaren's front wing. Räikkönen punctured his left rear tire and limped back to the pit lane, and the incident took all the air out of his race: after starting sixth on the grid, he finished in 12th, having labored near the back of the grid for a disconcerting amount of time. The stewards put the blame on Magnussen with a a five-second stop-go penalty and two points assessed on his superlicense. He finished in ninth.

Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

Vettel took third place, a surprise podium for a Red Bull team that was described as being six weeks behind the program after pre-season testing due to Renault engine troubles. He had to get around his teammate to earn the place, though, passed by Ricciardo off the line and behind the young Australian for four laps before he made his move, also on Lap 4.

Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

If Ricciardo thought things wouldn't go as badly in Southeast Asia as they had in Australia, he was wrong. Arguably, they went worse. His FIA-supplied fuel-flow sensor failed completely, but this time Red Bull worked with the FIA to use pre-agreed fuel consumption monitoring points. After a strong drive got him into fourth and he looked unbothered for the position, during his second pit stop on Lap 42 the pit crew released him before his left front tire was on properly. He pulled away, realized the tire wasn't fastened while still in the pits and had his car rolled back to his box and the tire put on properly but that ended his chances of a top-five finish. Back on track and fresh out of his stop, he hit the kerbing at Turn 14 and it broke his front wing, so he headed right back to the pits. The race stewards gave him a 10-second stop-go penalty during the race for unsafe release for the tire incident, and after that, more problems with the car saw him retire on Lap 49. After the race, the stewards hit him with a 10-position grid penalty for the next race in Bahrain.

Fernando Alonso nabbed fourth place, a late overtake on Nico Hülkenberg keeping him from turning in another one of his qualify-fifth-and-finish-fifth performances. It's looking the same as ever at Ferrari, Alonso saying after the race that the car felt slow the entire time and he doesn't know why it doesn't have pace. Alonso was seen taking a good look at Vettel's car in Parc Ferme after the race, perhaps looking for visible signs of Red Bull's phenomenal turnaround that he could take back to the Scuderia.

Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

Hülkenberg, the driver who keeps putting midfield cars near the top of the order, made it another solid haul of points for Force India with his fifth-place finish. His teammate, Sergio Perez, didn't even get to start the race, his gearbox having problems downshifting. Hülkenberg was followed by Jenson Button, driving his usual studious race to sixth place and managing to keep the two Williams drivers behind him in the latter stages. That was helped by Felipe Massa, who disobeyed team orders and didn't let teammate Valtteri Bottas through to challenge Button even though he was instructed to do so several times in several ways. At this point we wouldn't be surprised to hear the funeral director overseeing Massa's final services declare, "Bury Massa second – the other corpse is faster." Still, the seventh and eighth places scored by Massa and Bottas prove that Williams, so far, is playing for real this year.

Magnussen, who had to recover from his penalties and a nose change, rocked up ninth in the second McLaren, followed by the quietly consistent Kyvat in the Toro Rosso.

Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

After the second race, Rosberg holds onto first place in the driver's standings with 43 points, Hamilton leaps into second with 25, followed by Alonso with 24, Button with 23 and Magnussen with 20. Mercedes AMG Petronas pulls away from the field in the Constructor's Championship with 68 points, followed by McLaren with 43 and Ferrari with 30.

The next race is next weekend in Bahrain. We'll see you then.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • Share This Photo X