4. The Malaysian Grand Prix – Round 16 of 21.

For the 2016 Season, Malaysia was moved back in the calendar, after traditionally being an early season fixture. Following the Singapore Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg had reclaimed the Drivers championship lead to 8 points.

During Free Practice, Lewis and Nico traded places on topping the time sheets on Friday. Saturday saw Lewis being the quicker than Nico and took a comfortable pole position. On the Race, incidents started on the first turn itself. Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg collided at the first corner itself. This also led to the former retiring from the race.

Nico and Max made early pit stops to their teammates at Lap 9, while Lewis and Daniel pitted around lap 20. The 2nd round of pit stops took place around Lap 32 and the 3rd round around Lap 41 when all the front runners made their final stops. Surprise came at lap 40. Lewis Hamilton’s engine blew up during the race, putting him out of the race. His pain was obvious, in the radio messaging crying “NO”.

Lewis's engine failure at Malaysia
Lewis’s engine failure at Malaysia

The Red Bulls would battle, both being on similar tyres but it was Daniel Riccardo who took the win ahead of Max. Both finished comfortably ahead of Nico, who had a 10 second penalty applied for causing an avoidable collision.

Malaysian Grand Prix Podium
Malaysian Grand Prix Podium

It was the first Red Bull 1-2 since Brazil 2013 and Daniel Riccardo’s first win in over 2 years, who he dedicated to Jules Bianchi.  Nico extended his championship lead to 23 points. Toto Wolff believed this was the tipping out of the title, firmly in favour of Nico Rosberg.

Also, with just 45,000 spectators attending the race, and the rising costs of hosting, Malaysia would no longer participate in F1 after 2017.


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