Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won the final edition of the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished second to extend his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel to 34 points.
Verstappen, 20, starting from second after Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari failed to make the grid, overtook pole-sitter Hamilton on lap four before clinching the second victory of his career and first this season.
Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was third ahead of Vettel, who weaved through the field to finish fourth after starting from the back of the grid following engine problems.
The results mean Hamilton enjoys a big championship lead over Vettel with five races left in the season, starting next week in Japan.
Compounding Ferrari’s woes, Vettel’s car ended the day with only three wheels following an impact with Williams’ Lance Stroll after the finish line.
“That’s impossible,” Vettel thundered over the radio. “Stroll wasn’t looking where he was going!”
DRIVER OF THE DAY
Max Verstappen put in an inspiring performance to win the final race in Sepang – his second career victory since the Spanish Grand Prix last May.
The 20-year-old has endured a frustrating campaign, retiring from seven of the 15 races due to mechanical issues.
Starting from P3, the Dutchman pulled away from Lewis Hamilton on lap 4 and never looked like being caught.
With his team mate Daniel Ricciardo finishing third, it proved to be a successful weekend for Red Bull.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 1, 2017
Sebastian Vettel may have fallen short after starting from P20 on the grid, however his lap of of 1:34.080 on 41 proved to be the fastest of the day.
Nico Hulkenberg’s 1:34.266 on lap 52 was the second-fastest, with Lewis Hamilton’s 1:34.452 on 48 third fastest as he pushed for second place.
After an impressive weekend in practice, Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire before the race even started.
Starting from P2, the Finn was pulled from the race as the Ferrari engineers were unable to fix a turbo issue.
Ferrari had hoped to salvage something from Kimi’s grid place as Sebatian Vettel was handed a 20-place penalty after the Italian side made several changes to his engine before the race.
ONE TO WATCH
Another fantastic performance from Stoffel Vandoorne as the Belgian finished seventh for the second consecutive race.
In his rookie Formula One season, the McLaren star looked solid in Sepang as he held off the challenges of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez to finish comfortably in the points.
After being forced to retire four times due to mechanical issues this campaign, the 25-year-old is starting to show flashes of his class as he bids to finish the season on a high.