Verstappen eases to second Formula 1 race victory
Max Verstappen has claimed his second Formula 1 race win after heading home Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for a Red Bull 1-3 in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Verstappen moved into the lead after passing pole-sitter Hamilton at the start of the fourth lap, pulling into a clear lead which he held for the remainder of the race.
Hamilton then slipped back towards Ricciardo, who had made short work of the fast-starting Valtteri Bottas with a solid move under brakes at Turn 4, but the Australian was never able to mount a serious challenge.
A decision to stop Ricciardo on Lap 29 effectively extinguished his hopes of second place, emerging from his stop 12-seconds off the back of Hamilton having been just five-seconds behind as Hamilton stopped on Lap 26.
After starting from last on the grid, Sebastian Vettel quickly climbed up the order, claiming six positions on the opening lap alone.
The Ferrari driver continued to make strides forward during the opening stanza of the race, serving his first stop from fifth on Lap 27.
Having been tucked up behind Bottas for the laps approaching his stop, Vettel climbed to fourth once the Mercedes pitted, where he would remain despite closing on Ricciardo in the second half of the race.
The pair almost made contact on Lap 48 in what proved Vettel’s only opportunity to make the move.
The German was then involved in an unusual incident which saw he and Lance Stroll make contact after the chequered flag, tearing the left rear wheel of his Ferrari.
Vettel’s performance was the only positive for the team, which had earlier pushed Kimi Raikkonen off the grid after the Finn suffering a turbo problem on the sighting lap to the grid.
Back in the garage, the team hoped to have the car sorted in time to start from the pit lane, though their optimism was quickly extinguished and the Ferrari was retired without ever joining the race.
The result sees Hamilton increase his advantage in the points standings by 6 points, the difference between the two now standing at 34-points with five races remaining.
Verstappen’s victory was the second of the Dutchman’s career, and the second of the season for Red Bull after Ricciardo’s success in Azerbaijan.
Result: Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1h30m01.290s|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||22.519s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||78.630s|
|7||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Honda||1 lap|
|8||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||1 lap|
|9||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||1 lap|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1 lap|
|11||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||1 lap|
|12||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||1 lap|
|13||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||1 lap|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 lap|
|15||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||1 lap|
|16||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||1 lap|
|17||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber/Ferrari||1 lap|
|18||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||2 laps|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso/Renault|