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Sunday March 30, 2014 MYT 10:27:05 PM
Sunday March 30, 2014 MYT 10:27:39 PM
by patrick johnston
SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Mercedes worried only about becoming complacent on Sunday as they celebrated two wins in two races and a first one-two finish since 1955 in their title sponsor's home Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton claimed a pole-to-flag victory in Malaysia, and made sure of the fastest lap as well, ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg - the winner of the season-opener in Australia two weeks ago.
That put Mercedes on top of the constructors standings with 68 points, 25 clear of the McLaren team who use the same engine.
While there were no doubts about the car's pace, there had been issues about reliability after Hamilton was forced to retire after three laps in Melbourne.
In the event, both engines stood up to the demands of steamy Sepang where track temperatures hit 50 Celsius.
"This is an incredible day for our team," Rosberg said after extending his lead in the drivers championship to 18 points with Hamilton his closest challenger. "For the first time in the modern Silver Arrows era, we have achieved a one-two finish which is an incredible result."
Mercedes returned as a works team only in 2010 after leaving in 1955.
Mercedes executive director Paddy Lowe said it had been particularly pleasing to achieve the one-two in Malaysia, home of oil and gas company Petronas.
"We are especially proud to have delivered our first one-two finish at their home race," he said. "The entire team has spent several years working on this silver arrow and today we delivered the final piece of the jigsaw."
Mercedes have been swiftest to adapt to the switch to the new V6 turbo engines and the raft of new changes brought into the sport for the new season and Hamilton paid service to the work of his engineers.
"They have done a fantastic job and I have to say a huge thank you to everyone here and back at our factories who have been pushing non-stop to get the car where it is," he said.
"It's great to see Mercedes leading the championship but we know we have to make these early races pay."
The win was Hamilton's second for Mercedes following his switch from McLaren, where he won the world championship in 2008, and 23rd of his career.
Mercedes F1 Executive Director Toto Wolf said it was crucial the team pushed on in order to aid Hamilton and Rosberg's bid for more with reigning champions Red Bull appearing to edge closer in Malaysia.
"We cannot afford to be complacent," he said.
"We still have room for improvement in our package and the race showed once again that the competition are right behind us.
"We will savour the moment this evening but we all know that if you stand still in this business, you go backwards."
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