Verstappen wins as Vettel fights back

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins the final Malaysian GP ahead of Mercedes Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel fights back after starting 20th.


Qualifying Result

1.Hamilton  2.Raikkonen  3.Verstappen  4.Ricciardo  5.Bottas  6.Ocon  7.Vandoorne  8.Hulkenberg  9.Perez  10.Alonso  11.Massa  12.Palmer  13.Stroll  14.Sainz  15.Gasly  16.Grosjean  17.Magnussen  18.Wehrlein  19.Ericsson  20.Vettel

Tyre Choice

Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson and Sebastian Vettel will start on the Soft tyre while everyone else will start on the Supersoft tyre. It’s more likely to be a 1 stop rather than a 2 stop.

Non-start for Raikkonen

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen will not start the race due to a suspected Turbo issue. On the lap to the grid from the pits, the Finn reported the issue back to Ferrari. Raikkonen was able to make it to the grid and his mechanics tried to fix the problem. It wasn’t to be and Raikkonen was removed from the grid to his garage and will not start the race.


The lights go out and it’s a good start for the first two rows. Lewis Hamilton leads as Valterri Bottas overtakes Daniel Ricciardo round the outside of turn 1 and tries to overtake Max Verstappen down the inside of turn 2. Verstappen holds onto 2nd as they exit turn 4. Lap 2, Sebastian Vettel overtakes Nico Hulkenberg for 12th place into turn 4. It’s been a very good start by the German who along with Stoffel Vandoorne, Lance Stroll and Magnussen how now 5th, 8th and 10th. Lap 4, The gap between the top 2 has been hovering around 1.5 seconds and now Verstappen has DRS on Hamilton.

With the DRS and the over speed, Max Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton for the lead into turn 1. Lap 8, Verstappen has built a gap of 2.4 seconds to Hamilton with Sebastian Vettel now in 11th. Lap 9, Daniel Ricciardo has been stuck behind the second Mercedes of Valterri Bottas and has now overtaken the Finn for 3rd into turn 4 as Vettel overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 9th into turn 15. Lap 10, Nico Hulkenberg pits for the Soft tyre and rejoins in 19th place. Lap 12, Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean pit for the Soft tyre with Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly doing the same the next lap.

Lap 14, Stoffel Vandoorne and Jolyon Palmer pit for the Soft tyre. Lap 18, Max Verstappen has increased the gap to Lewis Hamilton to 9 seconds with Daniel Ricciardo only 4.3 seconds behind Hamilton in 3rd. Lap 21, Sebastian Vettel finally overtakes Sergio Perez for 5th place into turn 1. Lap 25, Esteban Ocon spins after trying to overtake Carlos Sainz round the outside of turn 1. Lap 27, Hamilton pits from 2nd to go onto the Soft tyre. Lap 28, Verstappen pits from the lead and goes onto the Soft tyre. Vettel also pits on lap 28 and goes onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 29, Valterri Bottas pits, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins with Vettel ahead.

Lap 30, Daniel Ricciardo pits and rejoins in 3rd on the Soft tyre. Max Verstappen leads ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Ricciardo, Sergio Perez, Sebastian Vettel and Valterri Bottas. Carlos Sainz is retiring with an engine problem. Ricciardo will now have to hold off Vettel who is on the Supersoft tyre and gaining quite fast. Lap 46, Vettel’s progress on the Supersoft tyre hasn’t been as expected and has now only caught up to Ricciardo. The gap is only a second. Lap 52, Ricciardo looks to have sustained the challenge of Vettel to hold onto 3rd. Lap 56, Max Verstappen wins the final Malaysian GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo.

Race Result

1.Verstappen  2.Hamilton  3.Ricciardo  4.Vettel  5.Bottas  6.Perez  7.Vandoorne  8.Stroll  9.Massa  10.Ocon  11.Alonso  12.Magnussen  13.Grosjean  14.Gasly  15.Palmer  16.Hulkenberg  17.Wehrlein  18.Ericsson  DNF Sainz  DNS Raikkonen

My View

His first podium since the Chinese GP earlier this year and his second GP win, Max Verstappen thoroughly deserves this victory after the torrid year he has had so far. With Daniel Ricciardo in 3rd, it was the first time this year that both Red Bull’s have been on the podium together. A good recovery drive by Sebastian Vettel to finish 4th just shows the pace of what both Ferrari drivers could have done if they started higher up or even started at all. My driver of the day has to go to Stoffel Vandoorne who out-raced and out-qualified team-mate Fernando Alonso. The result lifts Vandoorne to 14th in the championship with 13 points. It was also a strong debut drive for Pierre Gasly who has replaced Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso.

Drivers Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 281pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel 247pts
  3. Valterri Bottas 222pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo 177pts
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 138pts
  6. Max Verstappen 93pts
  7. Sergio Perez 76pts
  8. Esteban Ocon 57pts
  9. Carlos Sainz 48pts
  10. Nico Hulkenberg 34pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 503pts
  2. Ferrari 385pts
  3. Red Bull 270pts
  4. Force India 133pts
  5. Williams 65pts
  6. Toro Rosso 52pts
  7. Renault 42pts
  8. Haas 37pts
  9. McLaren 23pts
  10. Sauber 5pts



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