Mercedes AMG Petronas made it two out of two so far this season, winning the 2014 Malaysian GP last weekend in style. This time, it’s the 2008 world champion and new Petronas Primax technical performance consultant Lewis Hamilton taking the victory, ahead of teammate and Australian GP winner Nico Rosberg and – who else – Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton entered the record books with the dominant win, securing his first Grand Chelem. That’s getting the pole position, the fastest lap of the race and winning the grand prix while leading every lap. Only 23 drivers have ever achieved this, and just 11 of them have more than one. Vettel, for instance, has four.
The Mercedes duo now heads the championship table (the German ahead with 43 points, the Briton 25) with Fernando Alonso hanging in close quarters with 24 points. Ferrari’s double world champion finished where he started – fourth – having spent the whole race dicing for positions with Daniel Ricciardo.
Red Bull’s new signing again showed why he fully deserves Mark Webber’s seat with another impressive showing. Unfortunately, he proved to be as unlucky as his fellow Australian, suffering a botched pit stop and then a front wing failure near the end of the race, forcing him to retire.
Coming after his disqualification from his home race (where he finished second on the track) he walks away with no points to his name. Adding insult to injury, his shambolic pit release (to no fault of his own) also means that he will enter the next race with a 10-place grid penalty, having already served a 10-second stop and go penalty in Sepang.
Further down the field, Nico Hulkenberg punched well above Force India’s weight to end up fifth, beating Jenson Button’s McLaren and the Williams of Felipe Massa. Along the way, ex-Ferrari man Massa refused to follow Williams’ team orders to let teammate Valtteri Bottas pass. Funny, you’d think he’d let his teammate through by instinct by now.
Rookies Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat took the last point scoring positions. The McLaren driver clashed with Kimi Raikkonen early on, ruining both their races. Fighting a damaged Ferrari, the Iceman finished a disappointing twelfth, behind the Proton-branded Lotus of Romain Grosjean. The Caterhams of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson were next, leaving rival team Marussia’s Max Chilton in last place.
Next up: Bahrain, in a week’s time.