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Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in Malaysia, ahead of Rosberg and Vettel

Lewis Hamilton led from pole position in Malaysia, with the Mercedes again looking untroubled at the front of the F1 pack. His teammate Nico Rosberg finished second, with Sebastian Vettel on the podium in third.

Lewis Hamilton led the Malaysian Grand Prix from start to finish, building an early cushion to teammate Nico Rosberg and managing it throughout the race. Hamilton completed the 56th and final lap with a 17-second lead over his teammate.

Rosberg, who had qualified third in the wet on Saturday, claimed second position from Sebastian Vettel at the very first corner. Vettel sought to squeeze his countryman towards the wall after making a comparatively poor start but Rosberg held both his ground and his nerve to keep the inside line.

Silver supremacy

The race was a further indication of the early-season supremacy enjoyed by the Mercedes team. Sunday's Mercedes 1-2 was the first for true "Silver Arrows" - Mercedes-owned and Mercedes-labeled F1 cars - since 1955; it is the carmaker's best result since buying out BrawnGP and returning to F1 as a complete constructor for the 2010 season.

Formel 1 Grand Prix Malaysia 30.03.2014

Rosberg was the big winner off the line

Hamilton has qualified on pole for both races this season, and his teammate Rosberg won the season-opener in Melbourne.

Vettel remained close to Rosberg throughout the race, but could never really position himself for an attack. Rosberg's ability to respond whenever Vettel closed in suggested that the Mercedes drivers had a little more pace in their pockets.

Hat trick of horrors for Ricciardo

Fernando Alonso finished fourth, inheriting the position from Vettel's Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo - who continued his early-season bid to be F1's least lucky driver. After his disqualification from second place in his home Grand Prix, Ricciardo was hit with three problems in quick succession at around two-thirds distance. The main issue was a botched pit stop where the front-left wheel was not properly secured - prompting a long delay in the pits.

Ricciardo then lost his front wing after light contact with a kerb, was forced to pit again, and was then penalized for being released from his pit box into the path of another car. Soon thereafter, his afternoon in tatters, he retired. The FIA stewards later confirmed that Red Bull's new boy would also face a 10-place grid penalty at the next race in Bahrain, as the authorities seek to clamp down on misbehavior in the crowded pit lane.

Formel 1 Grand Prix Malaysia 30.03.2014

The three championship front-runners?

As well as the two Germans on the podium, Nico Hülkenberg had another impressive outing for Force India. Hülkenberg stopped for fresh tires just twice, as opposed to the three stops favored by the front runners, and only lost fourth position to Alonso in the closing laps of the race. Hülkenberg also finished a strong sixth in Melbourne.

Jenson Button finished sixth for McLaren, fending off the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas for much of the latter stages. The wet qualifying had not favored Williams, whose quick 2014 car lacks rear-end grip and therefore stability in the rain, but the Mercedes-powered pair made up ground in Sunday's dry race.

'Felipe, Valtteri is faster than you'

Massa faced surely an all too familiar situation, akin to his years playing second fiddle at Ferrari, late in the race, when his new employers radioed in to ask him to let his young teammate Bottas past. The Brazilian chose not to obey, instead holding seventh position and complaining about the order after the race. Williams told Bottas over the team radio after the race that all involved would "talk about it later."

Rookies Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat, 21 and 19 years old respectively, rounded out the top 10. Both have started their F1 careers in style, also scoring points finishes at their debut race two weeks ago.

In a sign of the quality of the new engine Mercedes built to meet the drastic rule changes of 2014, seven of the top 10 cars to finish in points-paying positions were powered by the three-pointed star.

Rosberg retains his lead in the drivers' title at this early stage in the season, but now both of his likely rivals at the front - Hamilton and Vettel - have opened their accounts. Both those world champions dropped out early in Melbourne two weeks ago, allowing Rosberg an early headstart in the title hunt.

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