SEPANG, Malaysia — Mercedes domination.
That was the story in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix as 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton won for the first time in eight tries at the Sepang Int’l Circuit.
And he did it in convincing fashion, beating his Mercesdes teammate Nico Rosberg by a whopping 17.3 seconds.
“This is my first win in Malaysia after eight attempts and to do it for our PETRONAS family in their home country makes it even more special,” said Hamilton. “It’s all down to the team. They have done a fantastic job and I have to say a huge thank you to everyone here at the track and back at our factories who have been pushing non-stop to get the car where it is.
“The race was tougher than it perhaps looked today and the conditions here always make it a great challenge. But I was able to look after the car, the tires and the fuel and still keep a bit of pace in hand which made my job that little bit easier. It’s great to see Mercedes leading the championship but we know that we have to make these early races pay. Anything can happen as we saw in Australia, so this is an important result for us. One-two finishes don’t happen very often and this is a real achievement for the team.”
Rosberg, who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix for Mercedes, finished second.
“This is an incredible day for our team and for Mercedes-Benz,” Rosberg said. “Everyone back at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth, and all employees of Mercedes-Benz, can feel very proud today. For the first time in the modern Silver Arrows era, we have achieved a one-two finish, which is an incredible result. The team did a phenomenal job over the winter and my thanks once again for that.”
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel finished third for Red Bull, 24.5 seconds behind Hamilton.
“We have certainly made a good step forward, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Vettel said. “It’s great to get a podium finish today. Considering where we were, not even two months ago, I think this weekend is a massive step in the right direction. It’s a shame we didn’t finish with both cars, but it’s good to see the car is quick and we need the laps; for now it’s important to collect points. The guys are pushing back in the factory and at Renault — it’s been a massive job from them — and we’ll try to be up there very soon again.”
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished fourth with Nico Hulkenberg fifth for Force India.
Rosberg leads the standings with 43 points to 25 for Hamilton.