Cape Town - For the second consecutive race Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo found himself chasing the Mercedes duo.
But unlike in Singapore where he finished second behind Nico Rosberg, Ricciardo was able to capitalise on Lewis Hamilton's engine woes.
In addition to the win, it was also Red Bull’s first 1-2 finish since the 2013 Abu Dhabi GP, as Max Verstappen joined Ricciardo on the podium.
The race was one of the more interesting GPs this season, as the McLaren duo of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button delivered stellar drives to put both their cars in the top 10.
Renault’s Joylon Palmer did well to finish tenth place after starting on the backrow of the grid alongside Alonso.
Results aside, the 2016 Malaysian GP was exciting; and for all the right reasons.
1 Ricciardo takes first win of 2016
In Singapore ,the smiling Australian said he’ll perform a 'shoey' if he should win the race but that didn’t happen.
Fortunately, two weeks later, he was able to deliver on his promise by winning the Malaysian GP. Ricciardo went from fourth to second at the start of the race but had no answer to the superior pace of Hamilton’s Mercedes. Everything changed when Hamilton’s engine blew and the win was up for grabs for either Red Bull driver.
Ricciardo managed to keep his younger, and perhaps faster (?), team mate at bay to take his first win of the season. On the podium Ricciardo got team mate Verstappen, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner and third-placed Rosberg to join him perform a shoey.
READ: As it happened: Malaysian GP
After drinking from the shoe Rosberg said: "I hope he does not win any more races this year!"
2 Rosberg shows he can overtake
Charging down the start/finish straight when the race got underway, Rosberg positioned himself going into turn one. Unfortunately for him, Sebastian Vettel had the same idea and catapulted his Ferrari into the same turn. The result: Vettel rammed into the rear of Rosberg’s Mercedes.
Vettel’s race was effectively over but Rosberg managed to rejoin the grid. A spirited drive, tenacity and nerves of steel were needed as Rosberg drove his Mercedes past other drivers and onto the podium to finish in third place. He made short work of rivals in his path but was given a ten second penalty after colliding with Vettel’s team mate, Kimi Raikkonen.
Despite the penalty, Rosberg continued to power ahead and finish in third place, extending his championship by 23 points.
3 Hamilton suffers championship blow
Hamilton was supposed to win this race. In all fairness, he was head and shoulders above the rest of the grid the entire weekend and no one was ever going to touch him. Sadly, his hopes of regaining the championship lead went up in smoke. Literally.
With 15 laps left and charging down the main straight, a puff of smoke, followed by spitting flames, erupted from the rear of his Mercedes. A demotivated, disgruntled, disappointed Hamilton kneeled next to his car as he fell victim to yet another mechanical failure.
READ: Hamilton on Malaysian GP engine failure - 'Someone doesn't want me to win'
Hamilton said after the race: "We have so many engines made for drivers, but mine are the only ones failing this year. Someone needs to give me some answers because this is not acceptable. Someone doesn't want me to win this year, but I won't give up. I will keep pushing."
4 McLaren scores double points
Alonso has been saying for the past couple of months that McLaren-Honda will be challenging for the world championship in 2017. And there may be substance to his claim given the strong showing by both McLaren cars during the Malaysian GP.
Alonso finished in seventh place after starting the race in last place and team mate Jenson Button came home in ninth. En route to their top ten finishes both drivers were involved in exciting, nail-biting, edge-of-your seat duels that gave both the team and the F1 fraternity something to hope for in 2017.
5 From bad to worse for Vettel
If Ferrari's season has gone off the rails, it's been even worse for lead driver Vettel, who has slipped behind team mate Raikkonen in the overall standing. He qualified fifth at Sepang before his race-ending collision with Rosberg.
READ: Malaysian GP - 'Out of control' Vettel angers rivals with first-corner crash
Verstappen branded Vettel "crazy" and an "idiot" over team radio, and Rosberg later described him as "out of control". Worse, Vettel has also been penalised three grid places for Japan, which doesn't help his chances of improving from his current fifth place in the drivers' standings.
6 Not just a race track
The Malaysian GP has been on the calendar since 1999 and its designer, Hermann Tilke’s attention to detail was evident when Romain Grosjean’s Haas buckled under braking and sent the American race car into the sandpit at over 300km/h.
It may seem like just another driver losing control of his car, but the layout of the track is such that even at that speed Grosjean’s car came to a standstill before hitting the barriers. The near-perfect design and engineering thought pattern highlighted the intense calculations that go into securing the safety of drivers.
Every ounce of sand and small stones, every meter has a purpose in the grander scheme of things.