Daniel Ricciardo wins the Malaysian GP ahead of Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen and Mercedes Nico Rosberg as Lewis Hamilton suffers another engine failure with only 15 laps to go.
Valterri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Felipe Nasr will start the race on the Medium tyre with Jolyon Palmer, the only car on the Hard tyre. The rest of the grid will be on the Soft tyre.
On the Formation lap, Felipe Massa was stranded on the grid and he will now start from the pit lane. The cars are on the grid and Carlos Sainz reports of a loss of power. The lights go green and its a good start by both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. An even better start by Sebastian Vettel and he is going down the inside of Max Verstappen. Contact! Not between Verstappen and Vettel but between Vettel and Rosberg. Rosberg is sent spinning with Vettel’s front left suspension broken and out of the race. The replay shows Vettel hitting Rosberg’s right rear tyre, sending him into a spin and to the back of the pack.
Max Verstappen describes Sebastian Vettel’s actions as “crazy” to his team behind the Virtual Safety car. Esteban Gutierrez, Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen and Felipe Massa pit due to repairs and change of strategy. Lap 2, the VSC has ended with Lewis Hamilton leading. Lap 4, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Sergio Perez into turn 2 and up into 4th place. Lap 8, the Stewards are investigating the incident at the start of the race. Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean has found himself in the gravel trap at turn 15. The replay shows Grosjean trying to brake into turn 15, there is no response from the brakes and he finds himself in the gravel trap. The brings out the Virtual safety car with Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso pitting for the Soft, Medium and hard tyre.
Lap 10, the VSC has ended with Lewis Hamilton leading Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen. Lap 14, Jenson Button overtakes Jolyon Palmer into turn 1 and up into 10th place as Esteban Ocon is under investigation for speeding in the pit lane. Lap 16, Ocon is given a 5 second time penalty for the incident. Lap 18, Nico Rosberg overtakes Marcus Ericsson into turn 1 and up into 7th place as Renault decide to retire Kevin Magnussen. Lap 20, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen pit for the Hard tyre. Raikkonen exits the pits just ahead of Rosberg in 4th and 5th places. Lap 22, Daniel Ricciardo pits for the Hard tyre as Verstappen leads. Lap 28, Verstappen pits for the Hard tyre as Hamilton once again leads the race.
Lap 30, Valterri Bottas makes his first pit stop of the day changing the Medium tyre to the Hard. Lap 32, Nico Rosberg and Jolyon Palmer pit putting on the Hard and Soft tyre. Lap 33, Kimi Raikkonen pits and goes onto the Hard tyre and again emerges ahead of Rosberg in 4th and 5th. Lap 36, Esteban Ocon is again under investigation for speeding into the pits. Lap 39, Nico Rosberg seizes his chance for an overtake on Kimi Raikkonen into turn 2. Rosberg has the inside and both Rosberg and Raikkonen touch tyres. Rosberg is through and up into 4th place while the Stewards are investigating the overtake and they have also given Ocon a 5 second time penalty.
Lap 41, “NO, NO, NO!” Lewis Hamilton shouts in frustration as his Mercedes is on fire at turn 1! Another engine failure for the Brit. He pulls over and is out. The Virtual safety car is deployed as Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen pit. They all have taken a set of the Soft tyre and will be going to the end of the race. Esteban Gutierrez has pulled over to the side of the track missing his front left tyre. Lap 43, Rosberg has been given a 10 second time penalty for the incident with Raikkonen as the VSC ends with Daniel Ricciardo leading. Rosberg is pushing hard to extend the gap between himself and Raikkonen.
Lap 47, Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon scrap with Wehrlein getting the better of Ocon in 16th place as Jolyon Palmer is on course to score his first F1 point in 10th place. Lap 50, Max Verstappen is only 1.3 seconds behind Daniel Ricciardo in 1st place as Esteban Gutierrez is under investigation for the lost wheel. Lap 53, Nico Rosberg has pulled a gap of 12 seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen to secure a podium place. Lap 56, Daniel Ricciardo wins ahead of Max Verstappen and Nico Rosberg.
1.Ricciardo 2.Verstappen 3.Rosberg 4.Raikkonen 5.Bottas 6.Perez 7.Alonso 8.Hulkenberg 9.Button 10.Palmer 11.Sainz 12.Ericsson 13.Massa 14.Kvyat 15.Wehrlein 16.Ocon DNF Nasr, Hamilton, Magnussen, Gutierrez, Vettel and Grosjean
Vettel given penalty for Japan
Sebastian Vettel has been given a three-place grid penalty at the Japanese Grand Prix for causing a first-corner crash in Malaysia with Mercedes Nico Rosberg. He has also been given two penalty points on his licence for the incident.
- Daniel Ricciardo won his first GP of the year and his first F1 victory since 2014. With team-mate Max Verstappen 2nd, it was Red Bulls first 1 – 2 finish since 2013 and the first non Mercedes 1 – 2 of the Hybrid era.
- Nico Rosberg extended his championship lead to 23 points over team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
- For the 2nd time this season, Fernando Alonso finished 7th place after starting 22nd on the grid.
- Jenson Button finished in the points on his 300th race in 9th place.
- And for the first time this season, Jolyon Palmer picked up his first ever point in 10th place for Renault.