The Malaysian Grand Prix produced on of the biggest surprises of the season so far as an engine failed robbed Hamilton of a likely victory and the lead of the championship.
It opened the door for Red Bull to take a one-two which was decided by an exciting duel between their drivers. And Nico Rosberg tangled with both Ferraris on his way to third.
The upshot was one of the best races of the year so far according to F1 Fanatic readers, who gave it an average score of 8.01 out of ten, making it the third-best Malaysian Grand Prix since 2008.
Here’s what you had to say about the grand prix:
A lot of moments reminded me of some classics! Rosberg on Raikkonen: the famous corkscrew pass at Laguna Seca by Alex Zanardi (the penalty for Rosberg was too harsh).
Awesome recovery drive by Rosberg though, yes he has the best car, but he cut through that field like a knife through butter. Bad luck for Hamilton, I was hoping for a fight between him and Verstappen in the closing stages.
Verstappen and Ricciardo! Awesome racing, brought to mind Villeneuve and Arnoux. Verstappen lost a lot of time in the double pit stop. He might have taken Ricciardo without that, but either way a superb race for both the Red Bull drivers, I really think they are the best driver combination on the grid.
When Verstappen made his early stop under the Virtual Safety Car I thought that it had given him an opportunity to win the race or at the very least that Hamilton would have to pass Verstappen on track later on to retake the lead.
But then Hamilton stayed out a while before making his first stop and it looked like he may have even managed to convert to a one stop that was until he started to routinely put fastest laps in to pull a gap on the Red Bulls and so wasn’t nursing his tyres to the end.
Just as it appeared that Hamilton was set for a dominant win having almost pulled a big enough gap to make a pit stop and still retain the lead his engine blew.
The late battle between the two Red Bulls just before Hamilton’s retirement was great and boosted my rating of the race, however after their final pit stops under the virtual safety Verstappen wasn’t able to really challenge Ricciardo again.
While anything could still happen and a win for Hamilton and DNF for Rosberg at the next race would put Hamilton back in the championship lead, that engine failure could be pivotal, Rosberg must now be the heavy favourite to take the title.
The penalty for Rosberg’s pass on Raikkonen attracted differing views, though most seemed to be unhappy with the penalty it received:
the totally unnecessary penalty to Rosberg for doing one of the best overtaking moves of the year. This is the sort of things that pull people out of F1.
It was a dumb divebomb that would never have resulted in a clean pass.
I am a little undecided about the Rosberg overtake. I think it was good to see him try this but if he had taken Raikkonen or himself out of the race then everyone would have been saying what an idiot he was. He would have passed Raikkonen anyway sooner or later so it was a bit risky but, on the other hand, exciting. I think a five-second penalty would have been more fair and more of a slap on the wrist.
Phil Norman (@Phil-f1-21)
There was plenty of other noteworthy action as well, not least that exchange between the Red Bulls:
The fight between the Manors was lovely, great gutsy move from Rosberg to pass Raikkonen, really don’t get the harsh penalty for it. And that fight between which turned out to be for the lead the Red Bulls was lovely.
I found it quite enjoyable, the tyres weren’t as much of an issue as I thought they might have been and I think partly because of this we actually saw some good racing for once. I don’t think I have ever seen two cars go through turns five and six completely side by side before, kudos to the Red Bull guys for that moment.
It’s a shame that Rosberg was torpedoed by Vettel but it was fun to watch him comeback up the order and to witness that brilliant overtake on Raikkonen really put a smile on my face, it’s disappointing that the stewards thought differently. I’m sure that most people want to see more close and exciting racing, and for them to give out a penalty just because there was a slight bang of cars is not going to encourage close and exciting racing. The stewards need to back off.
Only a few dissented from a generally positive verdict on the 16th race of 2016:
It had it moments definitely: exciting start, Verstappen’s overtakes, Rosberg’s progress (though it was pretty straightforward) and that manic few minutes where all was happening.
However it also had dull periods, underlining big gaps between teams. A few years ago it would have been just called a good race but seems the expectations have dropped a bit now and of course a non-Mercedes win plays some part as well. Anyway it was worth getting up for it, absolutely.
We knew what the top three would end up being ten laps before the end.
The race was pretty average, then got really exciting with the Red Bulls fighting each other, Robserg barging his way past Raikkonen en Hamilton blowing up, but ended up as boring as the first half.
DRS was too powerful yet again.
2016 Rate the Race Results
|2016 Spanish Grand Prix||8.706|
|2016 Austrian Grand Prix||8.097|
|2016 Malaysian Grand Prix||8.013|
|2016 Chinese Grand Prix||7.853|
|2016 Australian Grand Prix||7.757|
|2016 Monaco Grand Prix||7.747|
|2016 Bahrain Grand Prix||7.382|
|2016 Belgian Grand Prix||7.249|
|2016 Singapore Grand Prix||7.112|
|2016 Canadian Grand Prix||6.583|
|2016 British Grand Prix||6.478|
|2016 German Grand Prix||5.814|
|2016 Russian Grand Prix||5.396|
|2016 Hungarian Grand Prix||5.052|
|2016 Italian Grand Prix||4.944|
|2016 European Grand Prix||4.728|
Rate the Race
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2016 Malaysian Grand Prix
- Alonso wins Driver of the Weekend after salvaging seventh
- Hamilton ‘wasn’t pushing’ when engine blew
- Dramatic Malaysian GP gets strong rating
- Mercedes reveal why Hamilton’s engine failed
- 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix team radio transcript