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Mercedes triumphs in Malaysia

2014-03-30 12:37
Vincent Thian
FIRST WIN AT SEPANG: Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (centre), celebrates on the podium after winning the 2014 Malaysian GP. Team mate Nico Rosberg (left) finished second ahead of Red Bull Sebastian Vettel. Image: AP
SEPANG, Malaysia - Lewis Hamilton won the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prixwith a pole-to-flag victory ahead of Nico Rosberg on Sunday (March 30) in a first Mercedes one-two since it returned to Formula 1 as a factory team in 2010.

Hamilton pulled away from his rivals on a dry track with a three-stop strategy to win the race by 17.3 seconds, his 23rd career victory and first in Malaysia at the eighth attempt.

The Mercedes ace paid tribute to the victims of the mysterious MH370 plane disappearance, which cast a shadow over the race and was blamed for poor ticket sales with the Sepang circuit only about half-full.

Hamilton said of his victory:"Incredible, incredible," "I just feel so grateful particularly after such a tragedy three weeks ago. I would like to dedicate it to those people and their families."

KEEPING VETTEL AT BAY

Rosberg, who won the season-opening 2014 Australian GP, started in third place but slipped past quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel on the first corner and was able to keep the Red Bull at bay and stay top of the driver standings.

Vettel finished third, 7.2 seconds behind Rosberg, for his first points of the season following an early retirement in Australia as he struggled to make an impact on the Mercedes pair without the rain that helped his qualifying bid on Saturday (March 30).

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso secured his second fourth finish of the season after coming out ahead in a tight battle with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg in the closing stages.

McLaren's Jenson Button was sixth with Felipe Massa of Williams seventh just ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas after Massa refused to yield to his team mate despite team orders to do so.

RICCIARDO’S GP WOES

McLaren's Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen and Toro Rosso's Russian newcomer Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10 of a race that suffered just a couple of light drops of rain despite concerns about possible thunderstorms.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who was disqualified in Australia pending an appeal, missed out on points for the second race in a row after a disastrous third pit stop when he was in fourth.

Ricciardo pulled away before his front left wheel was fully attached with engineers sprinting down the pitlane to push him back and fix the issue.

He was then handed a ten second penalty for the unsafe release but his chances of points were already over after he shredded a tyre and damaged a wing shortly before the stewards' decision and he retired before the end.

2014 Malaysian GP at the Sepang race circuit:
Race results
Qualifying
Third practice
Second practice
First practice

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Malaysian GP weekend.

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