Malaysian Grand Prix: Red Bull's Max Verstappen takes second career victory at final Grand Prix in Malaysia
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News October 1, 2017 Updated: 10:17 PM
SEPANG, Malaysia -- Red bull driver Max Verstappen took his second career victory as Malaysia says goodbye to F1 after nineteen years on the calendar. The young Dutchmen, was able to complete his birthday weekend beating championship leader Lewis Hamilton who but walked away adding more points his lead in the championship. Verstappen's pace appear to be legit as he was hold off the Mercedes driver.
"I think the whole race went well. Once I got past Lewis I could basically just focus on my pace and look after the tyres and when I needed to speed up I had the pace to do it. So, that was, of course, very pleasing. I think the first time I’ve had that in my career so far and I’ve won. So, to do something like that was, of course, great," said Verstappen.
As for Hamilton it was a rollercoaster weekend with his car in terms of pace and set-up but there were other small technical issues that need to addressed.
"It was a much better weekend than we had anticipated after our Friday, considering the issues we did have with the car this is a good result. But still we have a lot of work to do with the car, some of the corners really magnified the issues we have. These next races are going to be crucial in terms of ironing out some of the creases we have with the car. I was having some problems with de-rates at the beginning of the race, so I was struggling with battery power. Valtteri seemed to struggle a lot more; I was able to pull a little bit more out of it. Naturally, I wanted to win the race, winning the races is still the goal," said Hamilton.
Things already begun to go Verstappen's way when Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire his car after the discovered an issue minutes before the race.
The 2007 world champion and the now twenty year old came into contact with each other at the Singapore Grand Prix just two weeks ago.
"We don't know what happened today, it's too early to say. The car had been working perfectly all weekend and suddenly, out of nothing, we had an issue. It's one of those things that unfortunately can happen. Car and speed wise we have been very good, but then unfortunately Seb had problems yesterday and we had ours today. I'm pretty sure that I would have had a very good car today," said Raikkonen.
Verstappen's teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished third after he was able to hold off a charging Sebastian Vettel who started the race from the back of the grid leaving him in fourth but failed to make the podium increasing his deficit to Hamilton by 34 points.
After the race during the slow down lap Vettel made heavy contact with Williams driver Lance Stroll, Vettel unable to driver car back to the pits but was given a left by fellow German Pascal Wehrlein. Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas who struggled with pace finished fifth.
Six went to the Sergio Perez followed by McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne took another strong finish in seventh. Williams drivers Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa duked it out with each other for eighth and ninth.
Esteban Ocon finished in the final points paying spot in tenth. Fernando Alonso fought hard with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen for 11th with teammate Romain Grosjean behind in 12th.
Pierre Gasly who made has F1 debut this weekend finished 13th beating the Renault's of Jolyon Palmer and Nico Hulkenberg in 14th and 15th.
Pascal Wehrlein finished after a hard push to score points but finished 16th after squeezing everything he could out of the car's year old Ferrari engine. Teammate Marcus finished out the final spot on the grid in 17th. Carlos Sainz made the second car to retire from the final Malaysian Grand Prix after his car suffered an engine issue.
With over 110.604 in attendance to bid farewell to Formula One in Malaysia many will hope that this magnificent circuit will one day return to the canlendar.