Daniel Ricciardo has won the Malaysia Grand Prix as Red Bull took first and second place. Britain's Lewis Hamilton saw his hopes of a first victory in two months go up in smoke.
Daniel Ricciardo headed a surprise Red Bull one-two at an eventful Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday during which leader Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire following a dramatic engine explosion.
Max Verstappen completed the Red Bull double whilst Nico Rosberg increased his drivers’ championship lead over Hamilton to 23 points with a third place finish.
A first bend collision with Verstappen and Rosberg forced Sebastian Vettel to crash out almost immediately.
If the race began in dramatic fashion, then it reached a whole new level as Hamilton’s hopes of a third successive drivers’ championship crown were dealt a blow when his engine went up in smoke with 15 laps remaining.
Dig at the team
Hamilton - in pole - had avoided Vettel’s first bend collision with Verstappen and Nico Rosberg to open up a comfortable lead but was left visibly and audibly distraught following the engine failure.
"Only my engines are the ones that have gone this way. Something just doesn't feel right," he told television, in a thinly veiled dig at his Mercedes team.
"It was a brand new engine. It's just odd, there's been like 43 engines for Mercedes and only mine have gone. Right now I don't even know if my car's going to make it."
"I know we've got it in us [to rectify the situation] but who knows what my next engines are going to do."
Race winner Ricciardo cut a jubilant figure on the podium, celebrating his first win of the season by gulping champagne from his driving boot.
"Lewis got the lead and had his problems. I am not one for believing in a whole lot, but it went the other way in Monaco, and I will take this today," he told reporters.
"It has been two years since the last win, and it has been a bit emotional. We have come so close but I said two weeks ago we would win one and we did."
Mercedes could have clinched the constructors' title with five races to spare but their champagne was put on ice at least until Japan next week.
Meanwhile, Jenson Button finished ninth to point in his 300th career Grand Prix.
mf/rc (dpa, AFP)