Hamilton 23 points behind Rosberg

ROAD BLOCKED: With Red Bull claiming the top 2 spots, with Ricciardo (centre) and Verstappen on the podium, Rosberg's third place did not earn enough points for Mercedes to win the constructor's race.


    Oct 03, 2016

    Hamilton 23 points behind Rosberg


    DANIEL Ricciardo led a Red Bull one-two as a distraught Lewis Hamilton's hopes of regaining the world championship lead went up in smoke at a dramatic, action-packed Malaysian Grand Prix yesterday.

    Hamilton was leading with 15 laps to go when his engine exploded.

    "No, no," cried the Englishman as flames appeared at the back of his car, leaving Ricciardo to take the lead ahead of teammate Max Verstappen.

    Championship leader Nico Rosberg survived a Turn One spin involving Sebastian Vettel and a 10-second penalty to take third place and extend the gap over Mercedes teammate Hamilton to 23 points with just five races remaining.

    Hamilton was almost in tears after the dramatic end to his race which has dealt a severe blow to his chances of securing a third drivers' championship in a row.

    He had looked all set to snatch back the lead from Rosberg, who was relegated from second on the grid to 21st after he was hit by Vettel at the first turn.

    Hamilton had got away cleanly from pole position and sped off into the distance, clear of the trouble behind him.

    He looked to be heading for a comfortable win until his engine blew up.

    An ecstatic Ricciardo celebrated his first win of the season on the podium with a "shoey" - drinking champagne from his driving boot.

    "Lewis got the lead and had his problems. It went the other way in Monaco, and I will take this today," said the Australian, referring to his botched final pit stop which handed Hamilton victory in Monaco earlier in the season.

    "It has been two years since (my) last win, and it has been a bit emotional. I said two weeks ago we would win one and we did."

    Rosberg sliced his way back through the field after the first corner drama and was surprised to make the podium.

    Said Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda: "We should not let him (Hamilton) down with an engine failure.

    "It was a fairly new engine, it was not old in the car."