Call it redemption for his bad luck in the previous race in Singapore, but Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen managed to take home the win on Sunday at the 2017 Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Dutch youngster, who celebrated his 20th birthday the previous day, now has two F1 wins under his belt. His first was at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
With Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton starting on pole in the final Malaysian Grand Prix (the race will no longer be on the calendar), and Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen failing to start due to power unit troubles and Sebastian Vettel all the way at the back of the grid due to his own power unit troubles in qualifying, many were expecting a Mercedes win.
However, Verstappen, who started at third on the grid, was already in second by the end of the first lap. By lap four, he would be overtaking Hamilton who admittedly was suffering from car troubles too. Hamilton managed to cling on to claim second, however, some 12.7 seconds after Verstappen.
Red Bull’s other driver, Daniel Ricciardo, finished third after dispatching Mercedes’ other driver, Valtteri Bottas, early on. Towards the end of the race, Ricciardo faced a challenge from Vettel who managed to fight his way from the back of the grid to fourth, the position in which he crossed the finish line. Rounding out the top five was Bottas.
Vettel’s troubles weren’t over yet, however. On the cool-down lap following the race, the Ferrari driver came into contact with Williams’ Lance Stroll while both were going around a corner, with both drivers later pointing the finger at each other. Stroll’s Williams suffered little damage but Vettel’s Ferrari was launched into the air and had its left-rear wheel wrecked. Vettel may also face a gearbox penalty for the next race if the unit suffered damage and needs replacing. Stewards decided that no further action was neccessary.
Following the Malaysian race, Hamilton’s lead in the 2017 Drivers’ Championship now stretches 34 points. The Mercedes driver sits on 281 points versus the 247 of Vettel. Bottas is third with 222 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes sits on 503 points versus the 385 of Ferrari and 270 of Red Bull. The next race on the calendar is the Japanese Grand Prix this coming weekend.
Hit the next page for the full results of the 2017 Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix.