Sebastian Vettel has won the Malaysia Grand Prix beating the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Vettel was one of only a few drivers who opted for a two stop strategy while most others went for three. He also stayed out during an early safety car while Mercedes stacked their cars in the pit-lane. The safety car was deployed due to a mistake made by Marcus Ericsson which saw him beached at Turn 1. He became the first retirement of the race and was later joined on the side lines by Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, and Pastor Maldonado. Both McLarens retired due to power unit problems – Alonso on lap 22 and Button on lap 43.
19 drivers started the race with Manor’s Will Stevens forced to sit out due to a fuel pump problem which also forced him to sit out qualifying. His team-mate Roberto Merhi made his first F1 Grand Prix start and he made it to the end of the race, albeit three laps down. Also finishing outside the points were the Force India duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Both drivers picked up ten second stop/go penalties during the race for separate incidents. Hulkenberg made contact with Daniil Kvyat while Perez made contact with Romain Grosjean. It was another disappointing afternoon for Lotus who failed to get either car to the chequered flag in Australia. Maldonado retired with just nine laps left. Grosjean did finish but outside the points.
Up at the front Vettel finished 8.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton who in turn was 3.7 seconds ahead of Rosberg. Kimi Raikkonen recovered from an early puncture – caused by Felipe Nasr who finished 12th – to finish an impressive fourth. Valtteri Bottas completed a late pass on team-mate Felipe Massa after the pair had made contact to finish fifth. Max Verstappen took his first F1 points with a seventh place finish, finishing ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz. The Toro Rosso pairing finished ahead of both Red Bull drivers who rounded out the top ten. Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were both lapped by Vettel.