Six drivers did not finish the Malaysia Grand Prix on Sunday, but Daniel Ricciardo capitalized on those driver’s misfortune to win his first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix at this circuit. While he continued to perform well against Ferrari, Ricciardo was able to beat Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. This win has made it possible for him to compete against Hamilton for second place. Although Hamilton has a 61 point lead over the Red Bull driver, Ricciardo is successfully separating himself from the Ferrari duo.
The day truly belonged to Red Bull as Max Verstappen finished just behind Ricciardo, leaving Rosberg to fall to third. For most of the race, Verstappen was nipping at his teammate’s heels, even attempting to pass him. However, Ricciardo’s experience helped him endure and remain ahead of his young teammate.
While his driving on Sunday was near flawless, Ricciardo would have taken second place had it not been for Hamilton’s car trouble. On lap 41, his engine caught fire which forced him out of the race. Hamilton was on pace to overthrow his teammate in the driver standings, but now falls behind by 23 points. Rosberg helped bring Mercedes back from disaster as he managed to finish third after a long uphill battle. An early collision with Sebastian Vettel dropped Rosberg from second into last place.
While other teams have been plagued with technical issues or penalties, season long perseverance has brought Red Bull 2 wins in 2016, as well as put them in second place in the Constructor Championship. The combination of Ricciardo and Verstappen has proven a powerful duo that continues to compete against the highest caliber of Formula 1.