GP of Malaysia

Vettel behind the Mercedes

After going it alone at the front of the Malaysian Grand Prix on the Sepang circuit, Lewis Hamilton carried off his first victory of the season ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg and quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

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The facts

Following the perfect start, Hamilton, who had claimed his 33rd pole position under the previous day’s rain, ahead of Rosberg and Vettel, maintained his lead at the first turn and never relinquished it, well served by both his talent and his machine. Rosberg, who won in Australia, couldn’t match his pace and had to make do with a second place ahead of Vettel, whose performance was a marked improvement on his withdrawal during the inaugural race.

Fourth place should have gone to the other Red Bull driver, Daniel Ricciardo, who fell victim to a final extended pit-stop due to a imperfectly secured wheel. The Australian, who is still waiting for the decision concerning his Melbourne podium place (the appeal will be ruled on in Paris on 14 April), eventually withdrew after his front wing broke. He ceded the spot next the podium to Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.

The figure

0 – The Lotus team has not yet scored a single point in 2014, whereas it had already notched up 40 by this time last season. Only Romain Grosjean has finished a race, this weekend in Malaysia – a first milestone for the guys from Enstone. The team’s new driver, Pastor Maldonado, had to withdraw early on in Sepang to spare his Renault engine.

The quote

“I kept remembering our battles with Kimi to make sure he didn’t get past.” Grosjean, who finished in eleventh position, successfully fended off his former team mate, back in a Ferrari, at the end of the race.

The anecdote

Much has been said about the noise made by the V6 engines due to their lack of decibels. Opinions can be very cut-and-dried. “I think Formula 1 should be spectacular and that sound volume is one of the most important things” declared Vettel this weekend

Next GP

Bahrain (4-6 April)

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