Red Bull goes one two in Malaysia as Lewis Hamilton's Engine fails
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News October 2, 2016 Updated: 5:57 AM
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo took his first victory of the season after an unexplained engine failure saw race leader Lewis Hamilton retired from the race.
“What a day, I’m feeling a bit emotional and overwhelmed! It’s been a long time between drinks; a couple of weeks ago I said we’d win a race this year but to be honest I didn’t expect a win to come at this circuit. This is probably the sweatiest race to win and do a shoey, but for me it’s not so bad, I felt a bit sorry for the others though having to drink from my shoe, but the crowd was encouraging me! We had an opportunity today that we needed to capitalise and I was determined to not let it go,” said Ricciardo.
Hamilton led the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen by as much as 20 seconds before his engine caught fire and lost power.
“I think I’d done that, almost. But then, on the straight, I just lost power all of a sudden. You could hear something blew and I obviously had to stop. Honestly, you’ve got to understand it from my point of view. On one side, we’ve had the most incredible success these past two years, for which I’m so grateful,” said Hamilton.
The Red Bulls were fighting for second, with Max Verstappen trying to pass his teammate, but after Hamilton’s DNF the pair moved up to first and second.
“Having both drivers on the top two steps of the podium is a fantastic result for the team. I was really pleased about my start, finally it worked well again and put me right up there into turn one. I was then compromised due to Sebastian’s move, I had to avoid his collision with Nico which meant I lost a few places. The time I lost ultimately cost me at the end of the race along with a few unfortunate Virtual Safety Cars, but that is racing. Once I had the hard compound on I was catching guys ahead. The battle with Daniel during the race was great and really good fun,” said Verstappen.
As for Nico Rosberg, who was spun at the first corner by Ferrai’s Sebastian Vettel, made contact with Kimi Raikkonen while attempting to overtake. This resulted in a 10-second time penalty, which now makes the third time this season that he has penalized for causing a collision. Despite this, Rosberg struggled to find his way to third.
“I can’t say that I am happy. After the first corner, it was looking pretty dark. I thought my race was over and never thought I’d be able to continue. It felt like an uncontrolled four-time World Champion torpedo had hit me! I reported to the pits that it was a pretty hard hit. I was fortunate to be able to fight through the field. But I got the knife between my teeth and went for it.
I fought my way through, with some great battles along the way which I really enjoyed, and was pleased to make it back up to the podium. To be honest, I can’t believe that I’ve just been standing up there from last! After the incident with Kimi I was surprised that I got penalized. I had to give it a go at some point and I saw the opportunity, so I went for it. You need to be creative and wherever a chance comes, take it,” said Rosberg.
This now gives Rosberg a 23-point lead in the drivers’ championship over Lewis Hamilton with just five races left in the season.