Malaysian GP

Thowback to Malaysia 2014 – First KL win for Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton won his first Malaysian Grand Prix, after dominating the race in his Mercedes from team mate Nico Rosberg.

Before the start, it already went wrong for Sergio Perez didnt make the end of the pit lane, having a problem at the end of the pitlane, with the car going into a standby mode. He didnt make the race start, and retired.

Formula 1, also marked the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines MH370, with a one minute silence before the national anthem headed by Bernie Ecclestone and the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
With qualifying in the wet, everyone had new tyres and could choose which compound they wanted to use at the start of the race. To get the extra grip off the start, the whole field elected to use the medium tyre.

It was a clean start, with Rosberg getting a good launch getting ahead of Vettel on the straight. Ricciardo got ahead of the Ferrari. Loosing time in turn 3 by putting the power down too early, Rosberg lost time with the Red Bulls behind able to reduce the gap. Jean Eric Vergne had a terrible start, falling all the way back down the bottom of the field. Maldonado and Bianchi clashed in turn 4, while Magnussen attached Raikkonen.

Hamilton led Rosberg by 2 seconds at the end of the first lap. Hulkenberg overtook Alonso, but regained the position, with Magnussen also overtook Raikkonen. Raikkonen slowed with a puncture after contact with the McLaren driver. Bottas also made up 6 places up to 12th. having got back to the pits, Bianchi pitted with a flat rear tyre.

Jenson Button overtook Magnussen into the first corner. With Massa and Bottas making it up to 9th and 10th. Jean Eric Vergne also pitted with Bianchi, Vergne had hit Bianchi, who in turn hit Maldonado. Jules Bianchi was later given a 5 second stop/go penalty, of which he was expectantly unhappy with.

Massa overtook Magnussen into the last corner on lap 4. Vettel also passed Ricciardo into the first corner and Magnussen got passed Massa again into the first turn. At the front Hamilton was told that Rosberg was struggling with his rear tyres. Kvyat overtook Gutierrez into the first corner of the next lap in the queue behind the struggling Magnussen. After the accident on the first lap, it was another short race for Lotus, with Maldonado retiring on lap 7.

The top 10 after lap 9 were Hamilton leading from Rosberg, Vettel, Ricciardo, Alosno. Hulkenberg was in 6th ahead of the McLarens of Button and Magnussen, and the Williams cars of Massa and Bottas in 9th and 10th.

Magnussen pitted at the end of lap 10, releasing the Williams and Toro Rosso who he was pushing back into the pack. They changed the front wing, but were slow in swapping it over loosing a lot of time. Just as he was leaving the pits it was announced by the stewards that he would have to take a 5 second stop/go penalty for his collision with Kimi Raikkonen. Kvyat also pitted on lap 10, along with Chilton and Gutierrez.

Alonso from 6th, pitted a lap later, taking another set of the medium exiting just behind Grosjean and quickly passed through turn 3. Ricciardo responded a lap later, with Alonso gaining time on the undercut. Alonso got past, with Ricciardo alongside into the first corner and the Red Bull just got ahead. Massa also pitted on the same lap. Having pitted first, Daniil Kvyat set the fastest lap in the Toro Rosso, a 1:46.923.

Knowing about the undercut, Vettel pitted a lap later for the mediums. Button followed him in. The Red Bulls came out behind Bottas, and on older tyres they passed him quickly, with the order being Vettel ahead of Ricciado and Alonso.

Rosberg pitted on lap 15, again taking the medium tyres. He came out easily ahead of the Red Bulls with a 2.5 second pit stop. Hamilton the last to stop of the leaders, and came out just behind Hulkenberg in the Force India who took the lead, but hadn’t stopped. Kobayashi, in the Caterham had made his way up to the top 10 in the pit stops, but he also stopped. With a huge difference in performance Lewis got past quite quickly. Hulkenberg pitted at the end of the lap 17, although only 3.9 seconds.

With everyone having pitted the order was Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel, Ricciardo, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Button, Massa, Kvyat and Bottas. After his problems Magnussen was 11th.
Raikkonen pitted on lap 19 for the hard tyre, and Jean Eric Vergne also came in to retire the Toro Rosso from the back of the field.

It was then reported that the fuel flow sensor had failed on Ricciardo’s car, although team principle Christian Horner said that they are working with the FIA this time around.
Lap 20 and Bottas was close behind Kvyat. Along the start finish straight the superior speed of the Williams got past. Massa in the other Williams also starting to catch Jenson Button further up the road. Kvyat stopped for a second time, taking the hard tyre on lap 23. At the front, both Mercedes told to turn their engines down.

Magnussen pitted and took the 5 second penalty, as well as changing his tyres on lap 26, down to 13th. Button stopped a lap later, taking the medium tyres, which caused him to fall behind the Williams cars. Alonso pitted his Ferrari on lap 28, and he took on the hard compound. Massa in the Williams followed him in,but they fitted mediums. Magnussen, who had pitted earlier got his tyres working and set the fastest lap of the race.

It was then the time for Red Bull to stop, with Ricciardo pitting for the hard compund a lap later. Trying to regain the time he lost, Magnussen passed Kobayashi for 11th, where the Caterham was later to stop again than the cars around them. To add a twist to the race, the teams were also reporting that there were showers around the circuit, but didnt show any immediate threat.
Valtteri Bottas pitted the Williams on lap 30, while Ricciardo set the fastest lap. Kobayashi and Grosjean were battling for 12th.

Vettel pitted on lap 32 for the Mediums, while Hamilton was told that they were going to try and extend the stint. That wasnt the case though for the other Mercedes, with Rosberg pitting to cover the Red Bull where they were in close formation. Kobayashi also pitted, dropping behind a recovering Raikkonen.

Rosberg exited behind Hulkenberg’s Force India, but ahead of the Red Bulls. Although Mercedes were trying to eek out the life of his tyres, Hamilton was told to stop a lap later. Another set of the mediums for Hamilton. Vettel setting the fastest lap, was closing the gap to Rosberg.

Lap 34 and Hulkenberg came in. Sutils Sauber stopped on the grid just on the exit of the start finish straight, which caused a yellow flag, but not a safety car, with the marshals moving the car quickly.

Raikkonen reported that it was raining a little on the back of the circuit, but Lewis Hamilton was told that the rain would be light by his team. It was a terrible couple of laps though for Sauber, with Esteban Gutierrez retiring in the pits on lap 37.

Jenson Button pitted on lap 40 for the 3rd time, for the hard tyre, coming out in 9th. Magnussen followed in behind him, also for the hards. Ricciardo also pitted, but had a problem. A tyre hadnt been attached properly and he stopping the the pitlane, waiting for the team to pull him back. Alonso, now in 4th, pitted. Massa and Bottas now in 6th and 7th, although hadn’t stopped ahead of Button and Magnussen. Ricciardo was down in 14th. Hulkenberg promoted to 4th not expect to pit again.

Daniel Ricciardo’s afternoon wasnt getting any better with his front wing braking on the kerb of the second to last corner, but didnt realise until he was past the pitlane, having to do another whole lap. He stopped for a new one a lap later, but with a 12 second stop he was now dead last.

Hamilton still ahead of Rosberg, Vettel and Hulkeberg. Bottas pitted on lap 45. Ricciardo, with the errant pit stop by his team was given a 10 second stop/go penalty for an unsafe release.
Massa was closing in behind Jenson Button, trying to use the DRS on lap 47, he tried to overtake on the outside of turn 3, and then was on the outside of turn 4, but was easily covered by Jenson. Valtteri Bottas in the other Williams was closing in behind this battle. Having to charge his battery, Massa dropped back from Button slightly.

Vettel pitted on lap 50, the hard tyres which he had yet to use and Rosberg also told to pit. Hulkenberg on older tyres was only 2 and a half seconds behind Vettel. Rosberg pitted for the hard tyres a lap later, plenty of time ahead of Alonso. Hamilton came in a lap later, again on the hard tyres which he had use. After having a catalogue of errors Ricciardo pitted on lap 52 and retired.

Alonso also got up to the back of Hulkenberg on fresher tyres, and was overtaken a lap later by the faster Ferrari. In a strange turn of events, Massa was told over the radio that ‘Valterri is faster that you!’, Bottas was given a hurry up.

Massa stayed ahead of Bottas, who wasnt able to get ahead in the DRS. Bottas was then told he was race Massa, with the Brazilian upping his pace. Bottas got very close at turn 4, but was not able to get past his team mate. Jenson Button getting away from the pair of them.

But in the end it was all about Mercedes, and Hamilton won ahead of Rosberg, Vettel, Alonso, Hulkenebrg, Bitton, Maasa, Bottas, Magnussen and Kvyat in 10th. Kobayashi finished 13th, with Ericsson 14th in the Caterhams.

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

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