What did we learn from Malaysia?

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As they say in Australia “Ripper tune, Boris!” Aussie Dan Ricciardo (Red Bull) won the Malaysian Grand Prix, after some luck when Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) dropped out with engine failure. Catastrophic engine failure.

The first corner set the action for the entire race with Hamilton up and away, but Verstappen (Red Bull) and Vettel (Ferrari) tangled, pitching Vettel into Rosberg (Mercedes) and tearing off the Ferrari left front suspension. However Rosberg managed to get going, rejoining in 17th place from previously 2nd BV (before Vettel).

The race seemed to settle for a few laps, with Hamilton in charge and Rosberg carving his way through from well behind. Another on the charge was Alonso (McLaren) who started stone motherless last after being relegated with a 35 place grid slot (on a 22 slot grid) after not eating his crusts or something equally as silly. Total FIA nonsense.

When the action and tyre changes did settle about mid-race, Hamilton was secure in front of Ricciardo and Verstappen, who then put on one of the best dices seen in years, side by side through corners 5, 6, 7, and 8 with Ricciardo coming out best on lap 39.

The next action was two laps later when Hamilton’s engine let go leaving Ricciardo and Verstappen first and second, with a distraught Hamilton raising the concept of a conspiracy to stop him winning the championship. “My questions are to Mercedes – we have lost so many engines,” he told the BBC. “There are eight drivers (using the Mercedes engines) and mine are the only ones that have failed. Someone has to give me some answers and it is not acceptable. Or someone doesn’t want me to win this year.

“It’s a brand new engine, I’ve done one race with it. I did P3 with it, qualifying, it’s a brand new engine from the three that I had. It’s just odd. There’s been like 43 engines from Mercedes and only mine have gone. Something just doesn’t feel right, but there’s nothing I can do about it. Something just doesn’t feel right.”

(It would appear that stoicism isn’t one of Hamilton’s strong suits.)

After that excitement, there was more to come, with Rosberg giving Raikkonen (Ferrari) a tail swipe and getting a 10 second time penalty for it, which did little other than show some bias against the German, who still managed to get more than 10 seconds clear of Raikkonen and claim 3rd outright.

The other strong drive came from Alonso to finish 7th from his grid position in Indonesia.

This was a great Grand Prix, and this week’s Japanese GP should be equally as exciting.

Results:

1 D Ricciardo Red Bull

2 M Verstappen Red Bull

3 N Rosberg Mercedes

4 K Raikkonen Ferrari

5 V Bottas Williams

6 S Perez Force India

7 F Alonso McLaren

8 N Hulkenberg Force India

9 J Button McLaren

10 J Palmer Renault

Retirements

R F Nasr Sauber Brakes

R L Hamilton Mercedes Engine

R E Gutierrez Haas Lost wheel

R K Magnussen Renault Brakes

R Grosjean Haas Brakes

R S Vettel Ferrari Accident