Malaysian F1 Grand Prix 2014 Results: Winner, Final Standings and Reaction
An incredible start from Lewis Hamilton took him well clear of the field by the end of the first lap and two seconds ahead by the end of the second.
In an exciting opening, Kimi Raikkonen noted right-rear tyre problems after a coming together with Kevin Magnussen, per AutoSport.com's Ben Anderson, and he was already in the pits by the third lap.
Vettel made use of the DRS to overtake team-mate Ricciardo by the fourth lap, and he started to make in-roads on Rosberg.
A crash on Lap 5 between Pastor Maldonado and Jules Bianchi saw Bianchi receive a five-second penalty and the former was forced to retire just two laps later because of engine difficulties.
Hamilton's first pit stop on Lap 16 briefly saw Nico Hulkenberg take the lead for half a lap with Jean-Eric Vergne retiring shortly afterward after complaining of a lack of power throughout the race, according to The Hindu.
Vettel continued to set his best laps through the middle part of the race, but he was never quite close enough to trouble Rosberg.
Ricciardo suffered a disastrous pit stop on Lap 41, meaning Red Bull will now be investigated for an unsafe release.
Some late heroics between Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso, as each passed the other twice, got the crowd on their feet.
There was simply no stopping Hamilton, however, who finished a majestic 17 seconds ahead of the field.
Here's the story of the race including full results, updated standings and post-race reaction.
The Race Weekend on Bleacher Report
The Malaysian Grand Prix live blog and report
Bleacher Report Malaysian Grand Prix expert predictions
Full Results per Formula1.com:
Updated Driver Standings
Here's the drivers' standings after the second race of the 2014 season, per Formula1.com:
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||German||Force India-Mercedes||18|
|7||Sebastian Vettel||German||Red Bull Racing-Renault||15|
|13||Sergio Perez||Mexican||Force India-Mercedes||1|
|22||Daniel Ricciardo||Australian||Red Bull Racing-Renault||0|
Updated Team Standings
Here's how the constructors' championship looks after the second race of the 2014 season, per Formula1.com:
BBC F1 analyst Allan McNish highlighted the importance of the podium finish for all three drivers, via BBC Sport:
The podium celebration is an important thing, especially for these guys. Hamilton has ended a run of nine races without a podium finish, Nico has extended his championship lead, and Vettel with his third can now see some tangible improvement. So a much-deserved celebration.
Mercedes executive director Paddy Lowe was ecstatic with the drive, per BBC Sport:
We knew we had the pace to win, then it's just a case of playing out the pace to finish. We knew we had the cars for a one-two but we didn't manage to achieve it in Melbourne. It's what we wanted this weekend, so we are very happy and relieved to have delivered that.
This sport is just the same as it always was - Formula 1 gets more complicated every year and that's the real beauty of it. People enjoy that complexity - we enjoy operating in it and I think people enjoy watching it. But the racing is just the same - Lewis was out the front dominating the race. That's just normal stuff. We've made history today - this is our first one-two since 1955.
BBC Sport also reports Red Bull team principal Christian Horner remained happy despite Daniel Ricciardo's disastrous ending:
When you consider where we were a month ago just to see the chequered flag was a result.
It [Ricciardo's car] doesn't look like the car has got on the jack properly [at the pit stop]. The front-left then didn't attach. We think the problem with the wing may well have been done on the front jack we need to take a look at the video.
He got stuck in at the start and he is a real quality act and I have been nothing but impressed with him since he arrived. I think there is a lot to come from him.
Per a live post-race interview with Sky Sports, winning driver Lewis Hamilton noted:
I'm so grateful really really happy, the team have done an incredible job [...] Great to be able to have a one-two.
[...] We're in the most difficult climate and the car was fantastic, we've got to keep on pushing.
Winners in Malaysia
Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Mercedes
There's no doubt whose race this was. It became an absolute procession for Mercedes with their first one-two finish in Sepang.
From pole to chequered flag, Hamilton was imperious and there was simply no chance of anyone catching him. Pit strategy from the team was perfect and both drivers got quicker throughout.
If any further warning were needed to show just how far ahead the Mercedes car is than its competitors, it was provided right from the off, Hamilton streaking into the opening corner closely followed by Rosberg.
The effortless way in which the cars powered away from the rest of the field provides an ominous insight into how much the other F1 teams must improve to stop this result becoming an all too familiar one throughout the rest of the 2014 race season.
Losers in Malaysia
Poor old Ricciardo. The Red Bull driver had been flying around the Sepang circuit with consummate ease until a disastrous pit stop on Lap 41.
A loose tyre meant he had to be pushed back into the pit lane by his pit crew, losing vital seconds.
If that wasn't bad enough, just a lap later damage to the front of his car saw him right at the back of the pack.
Five pit stops in total were needed before a retirement just three laps from home.
It was simply not good enough from Red Bull.