Malaysia was a happy place for Australian Daniel Ricciardo at the weekend when he secured his fourth Formula One career victory after a dramatic 56 laps on the Sepang Racing Circuit. Ricciardo started fourth on the grid, behind the dominant Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg and alongside his team mate from Red Bull Max Verstappen.
A fast starting Sebastien Vettel tried to barge his Ferrari to the front, pushing Verstappen wide and then running into the back of Rosberg's Mercedes. The impact sent the Mercedes into a spectacular smoky spin, which dropped Rosberg from 2nd place to 21st, while villain Vettel's Ferrari got a broken front suspension. Ricciardo benefited from the chaos and remained calm behind Hamilton until lap 41 when the Mercedes engine exploded into a ball of flames. Three seconds behind Ricciardo was Verstappen who had earlier tried to pass Ricciardo, resulting in one of the most exciting dices of the race. The young Dutch driver drew alongside of Ricciardo on two occasions, but never got by.
Nico Rosenberg put in an exceptional performance to fight his way back from the tail end of the field to finish third. Extending his Formula One race lead by twenty three points with five races remaining on the 2016 circuit championship.
Red Bull Renault team principal Christian Horner said the race was unbelievable. To achieve a victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix was beyond our wildest expectations, he said.
Later Ricciardo said he wanted to dedicate his Malaysian win to Jules Bianchi, the young Formula One driver from France who died in a crash in the Japanese Grand Prix two years ago. I have been waiting to dedicate this victory to him, Ricciardo mentioned. My life definitely changed after that incident. I am extremely grateful and appreciative of everything that I have got, I will dedicate this to him.
Published by Julian Groom