Formula One returned to action this weekend when it traveled to Sepang Circuit in Malaysia, where it was just as full of drama as the race in Melbourne was. Daniel Ricciardo’s luck did not improve this weekend as he left his pit stall before his left front tire could be attached properly during a pit stop on lap 40. Then, on lap 43, his right-front wing mount failed and he had to pit for a new one. Afterwards, he received a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for unsafe release from the pits. He eventually had to retire with five laps to go and will receive a 10-spot grid penalty in Bahrain for unsafe release from the pits–the same one that gave him the stop-and-go penalty. There was also a case of déjà vu for Williams driver Felipe Massa late in the race when the team ordered him to move aside for teammate Valtteri Bottas. This time, however, Massa did not heed team orders and finished ahead of Bottas. Lewis Hamilton went on to win the race with Nico Rosberg in second and Sebastian Vettel in third.
Lewis Hamilton said, “I'm incredibly happy today. This is my first win in Malaysia after eight attempts and to do it for our Petronas family in their home country makes it even more special. …The race was tougher than it perhaps looked today and the conditions here always make it a great challenge. But I was able to look after the car, the tyres and the fuel and still keep a bit of pace in hand which made my job that little bit easier." And in a classy move, he honored those affected by missing flight MH370 by adding, “I'd really like to dedicate it to the families, after such a tragedy three weeks ago.”
Nico Rosberg said, “For the first time in the modern Silver Arrows era, we have achieved a one-two finish which is an incredible result. …I had a great start again, even though it was tight with Sebastian. It was very close at the wall and I just closed the eyes, went for the gap and did it. Later I was able to control the pace and to defend my position against Seb but Lewis was out of my reach, so congratulations to him for his win. I really look forward now to next weekend in Bahrain.”
Sebastian Vettel said, “We have certainly made a good step forwards, but we still have a lot of work to do. It’s great to get a podium finish today. Considering where we were, not even two months ago, I think this weekend is a massive step in the right direction. It's a shame we didn't finish with both cars, but it’s good to see the car is quick and we need the laps; for now it's important to collect points. The guys are pushing back in the factory and at Renault – it’s been a massive job from them – and we’ll try to be up there very soon again. It was a shame to lose a place at the start, but third was our maximum position today, so I'm very happy with that. It’s a shame for Daniel with what happened, he drove really well.”