Dramatic Malaysian GP gets strong rating

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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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:

Hamilton was out of luck
Awesome race!

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.

Rosberg was penalised for Raikkonen clash
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.
Robert (@Rob91)

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.
Michal (@Michal2009b)

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.
Patrick (@Paeschli)

2016 Rate the Race Results

RaceAverage score
2016 Spanish Grand Prix8.706
2016 Austrian Grand Prix8.097
2016 Malaysian Grand Prix8.013
2016 Chinese Grand Prix7.853
2016 Australian Grand Prix7.757
2016 Monaco Grand Prix7.747
2016 Bahrain Grand Prix7.382
2016 Belgian Grand Prix7.249
2016 Singapore Grand Prix7.112
2016 Canadian Grand Prix6.583
2016 British Grand Prix6.478
2016 German Grand Prix5.814
2016 Russian Grand Prix5.396
2016 Hungarian Grand Prix5.052
2016 Italian Grand Prix4.944
2016 European Grand Prix4.728

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2016 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Dramatic Malaysian GP gets strong rating”

  1. If only F1 would allow credits (positive penalties).
    Race stewards could have given ROS a 10sec credit after VET hit him, which ROS collected when forcing his way past RAI ;-)

  2. Even without the drama of Hamilton’s engine blowing at the end it was a good race.

    1. @wildfire15 Really? You wake up early in the morning, you watch a full uneventful race at which point you look at the lap count and you realise you are halfway there. Losing Vettel early was a downer however that’s slightly offset by having Nico plummet to last, the subsequent safety car period meant virtually the whole field was converted to the same strategy. Dry race in Malaysia is also a downer.
      The only driver on a different strategy battled with another car and that was exciting but as the crowd noise suggests it was Hamilton’s demise that made up for an interesting race and potentially rest of the season. F1 fans in general relished having Ricciardo and RB winning for a change, the same way we did relish to see anyone else but RB winning from 2010 to 2013.

      1. I’m not sure if we saw the same race, to be honest.
        The first VSC (lap 1) had almost no impact on strategy, as only 4 driver pitted, mosty due to damage, or in Massa’s case, to make the mandatory switch and enjoy free choice of tyres after that.
        The second VSC (lap 9) still didn’t streamline the strategies, as only 7 drivers pitted on that occasion, 6 of whom went on to finish in the top 10. Verstappen was on a different strategy than Ricciardo and Hamilton, as were Rosberg and Räikkönen. Two drivers scored points with a single pit stop (not under VSC), 3 drivers scored points with 2 stops, Hamilton was hesitating between 1 or two stops, just like Ricciardo, 7 drivers pitted under the final VSC, which made Verstappen’s and Ricciardo’s strategies converge, as well as Rosberg’s and Räikkönen’s.
        This race may well have been one of the three races with the most divergent strategies thus far.

        Also, this race had a first corner incident between two of the most competitive drivers, one of whom overtook all but 2 (or 3, if you count Hamilton) cars on his recovery drive, two cars that stalled or almost stalled on the grid, Alonso cutting through the field on lap 1 as if he were driving a racing simulation with all sorts of cheats activated, Pérez surfacing in P3, Verstappen recovering the position he lost due to Vettel’s antics by overtaking Pérez and Räikkönen, the Red Bulls and Manors scrapping for position as if there were no tomorrow, Rosberg forcing his way past Räikkönen, Hamilton pushing to make a second pit stop without having to overtake Verstappen, until his engine goes up in flames …

        I mean, what else should’ve happened to make this race more exciting? I can only think of a few aspects that could’ve made this a wow! race instead of a very good race. But I’m taking of the upper end of the scale here, far, far away from Complainland.

        1. Some people can never be satisfied.

  3. I am a bit surprised my comment was judged to be non-positive as I gave 7.5 which is on higher end of the scale. Anyway thanks for another mention :)

    1. @michal2009b I agree.
      The racing was better in the early season. Now it’s getting tougher as usual but it doesn’t mean the races can’t still be entertaining.

  4. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    6th October 2016, 15:52

    So what’s the ratings for all other Malaysian GPs? Last year was 8.369.

  5. Surprised this got such a rating.

    Until the Hamilton blow up, it was one of the more bland races of the year, very little going on other than Verstappen being on a contra strategy.

  6. The majority of the top voted races are outside Europe. So many people want to keep Monza, but it produces dull races

    1. Yeah lol. Intresting.

    2. It’s a lot simpler than location. If Mercedes loses, it’s a high-rated race. If Mercedes stumbles and at least one of their drivers has a bad day, it’s a high-rated race. If it’s another regularly scheduled Mercedes cakewalk, it’s a poorly-rated race.

      That should be telling us something, but for most of us, it seems it still isn’t.

      1. That is too simple.
        Spain, usually a dull race, was rated best because it saw a real battle for the win between two teams.
        We don’t want to see Mercedes fail on itself. We just want to have a fight for the win. If that means Mercedes must stumble, so be it. But if we can have a fight between the 3 top teams, including the Mercs, that would be even better.

        1. The problem is that these days, the *only* way we can see a fight between the three top teams is if the Mercs stumble. They are completely and utterly dominant. Realistically, they are in a different class to every other car in the field, largely due to an engine which was very well designed, but whose performance edge has been maintained artificially by the very system which was intended to promote fairness back when the engines were intentionally brought to parity when it was first introduced.

          Spain, to take your example, was rated best solely because the two Mercs weren’t in the race because they took each other out. Had they been in the race, it would almost certainly have been yet another Merc 1-2, and the rating for that race would have been much lower.

          1. If mercs stay in the race they usually get easy p1 and p2 or p3. That usually leaves some kind of fight for positions 4-6 which many don’t find interesting. It doesn’t help when those fights for p4-p6 are almost all decided by strategy. Not on track passes. And even if there is a pass it is this stupid drs slamdunk where the car behind just presses a button, yawns and gains a position.

            However when the mercs are out you generally have a battles for all positions from p1 through p6. This not only puts more cars into the mix but also means the drivers have to overtake others on track. There are then more strategies that can win the race and there are 5 other cars who can counter your strategic moves when in typical races there is only the other merc who can try it.

            Unless you have rain that’s pretty much it. Without the mercs the racing would be a lot better. Sure it is not merc’s fault the others can’t build fast cars but the mercs are so dominant that it really makes f1 a lot worse than it is.

          2. Not sure why DRS suddenly disappears when Mercedes’ car aren’t competing @socksolid.

          3. @x303
            Drs is an issue regardless where or who uses it. That’s what I meant but I can’t edit my post so there it is.

    3. You’ve never been to Monza if you say that.

  7. Still don’t understand how ramming into the side of another car is considered an “awesome” overtake.

    1. This isn’t new, I remember Bianchi getting praised for destroying Kobayashi’s car around Monaco.

    2. Me neither.

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