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Hamilton leads Merc one-two in Malaysia

2014-03-30 16:25
Vincent Thian

FIRST WIN AT SEPANG: Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (centre), celebrates on the podium after winning the 2014 Malaysian GP. Team mate Nico Rosberg (left) finished second ahead of Red Bull Sebastian Vettel. Image: AP

SEPANG, Malaysia - Lewis Hamilton won the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prixwith a pole-to-flag victory ahead of Nico Rosberg on Sunday (March 30) in a first Mercedes one-two since it returned to Formula 1 as a factory team in 2010.

Hamilton pulled away from his rivals on a dry track with a three-stop strategy to win the race by 17.3 seconds, his 23rd career victory and first in Malaysia at the eighth attempt.


The Mercedes ace paid tribute to the victims of the mysterious MH370 plane disappearance, which cast a shadow over the race and was blamed for poor ticket sales with the Sepang circuit only about half-full.

Hamilton said of his victory:"Incredible, incredible," "I just feel so grateful particularly after such a tragedy three weeks ago. I would like to dedicate it to those people and their families."

Rosberg's second place extended his early lead in the Drivers' Championship to 18 points ahead of Hamilton, and Mercedes already has a sizeable lead atop the Constructors' Championship

Rosberg remains wary of Red Bull: "They were absolutely nowhere (after preseason testing) and now (Vettel) is right in the back of me, pushing me.

"They have ramped up their pace, very very impressive, so we need to keep on it to keep our advantage."


Rosberg, who won the season-opening 2014 Australian GP, started in third place but slipped past quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel on the first corner and was able to keep the Red Bull at bay and stay top of the driver standings.

Vettel finished third, 7.2 seconds behind Rosberg, for his first points of the season following an early retirement in Australia as he struggled to make an impact on the Mercedes pair without the rain that helped his qualifying bid on Saturday (March 30).

Vettel, who put a squeeze move on Rosberg in the run to the first corner that almost forced the Mercedes into the pit wall, was compromised in his attempt to catch the silver cars by high fuel consumption, and settled for third place.

Vettel said: "We need to make quick steps because they are quite far ahead but I am happy with the steps we are making.

"It's still a bloody good result to be finishing right behind them on the podium, and that is what we need to keep doing."

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso secured his second fourth finish of the season after coming out ahead in a tight battle with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg in the closing stages.

McLaren's Jenson Button was sixth with Felipe Massa of Williams seventh just ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas after Massa refused to yield to his team mate despite team orders to do so.


McLaren's Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen and Toro Rosso's Russian newcomer Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10 of a race that suffered just a couple of light drops of rain despite concerns about possible thunderstorms.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who was disqualified in Australia pending an appeal, missed out on points for the second race in a row after a disastrous third pit stop when he was in fourth.

Ricciardo pulled away before his front left wheel was fully attached with engineers sprinting down the pits lane to push him back and fix the issue.

He was then handed a ten second penalty for the unsafe release but his chances of points were already over after he shredded a tyre and damaged a wing shortly before the stewards' decision and he retired before the end.

2014 Malaysian GP results at the Sepang race circuit:
Race results
Third practice
Second practice
First practice

Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings after the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix:

1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 43
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 25
3 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 24
4 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 23
5 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 20
6 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 18
7 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 15
8 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 14
9 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 6
10 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 6
11 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 4
12 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso 3
13 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1
14 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 0
14 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber 0
16 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 0
17 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 0
18 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham 0
19 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham 0
20 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 0

Constructors' points:
1 Mercedes 68
2 McLaren 43
3 Ferrari 30
4 Williams 20
5 Force India 19
6 Red Bull 15
7 Toro Rosso 7
8 Sauber 0
9 Lotus 0
10 Caterham 0
11 Marussia 0

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Malaysian GP weekend.


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