Malaysia Grand Prix top 10

Sport360 staff 12:53 02/10/2016

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 leading teammate Max Verstappen.

Championship leader Nico Rosberg survived a first-bend 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 with his head in his hands 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 on the first bend.

Vettel was forced to retire with a broken front suspension in the incident that also involved Verstappen.

Hamilton had got away cleanly form 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 let go in the most spectacular fashion.

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

Verstappen, who turned 19 on Friday, celebrated his podium finish and his birthday by also drinking the sweaty cocktail.

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LIVE: Malaysian Grand Prix

Sport360 staff 11:03 02/10/2016
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Who will win in Malaysia?

Lewis Hamilton blitzed his rivals in qualifying Saturday to secure pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion clocked the fastest lap ever of the 5.543km Sepang circuit in 1min 32.850sec to finish more than four-tenths of second ahead of Mercedes rival and championship leader Nico Rosberg.

Third on the grid will be birthday boy Max Verstappen, who celebrated turning 19 on Friday before clocking 1:33.420 a day later, less than 0.2sec off the pace of Rosberg.

Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo completes the second row of the grid for Sunday’s race.

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Rosberg: I didn't play it safe on last lap

F1i 19:02 01/10/2016
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Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg has laughed off suggestions that he played it safe to ensure a front row start at the Malaysian Grand Prix, as the Mercedes driver qualified second and 0.4s off team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

The German was only fifth and nine tenths adrift of his title rival after the drivers involved in Q3 completed their first runs. Although Rosberg managed to find half a second on his final flyer, the gap to Hamilton remains substantial.

“Of course I am going for pole, what else would I be doing?” replied Rosberg when asked if he was solely focussed on beating the Red Bulls. “But Lewis’ lap was very quick so it was always going to be difficult.

“I would have come closer but unfortunately I had a mistake in the last corner. Something was not going right in that final hairpin. I could not get the settings right, and always got a bit of oversteer going into there. Anyway, second place, I can live with that now.”

Rosberg was also quick to point to previous races this season, where a pole position on Saturday have not necessarily translated into a win on Sunday.

“As we know from this year, second place does not mean that victory is not possible,” the current championship added. “We have seen that so many times. Still very optimistic for the race.”

The last time Rosberg lined up second behind Hamilton on the grid was at the Italian Grand Prix, where he took a comfortable win after beating his rival at lights out.

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