Max Verstappen has won the Malaysian Grand Prix 2017, his second career win and the fifth different winner this season. He has also become the final Malaysian GP winner as the race was removed from the calendar. Verstappen has just turned 20 this weekend, a great way to celebrate his birthday.
Hamilton finished second and extended his championship lead to 34 points. Ricciardo then made it a double podium for Red Bull.
Malaysian GP 2017 Results
1. Verstappen – Red Bull
2. Hamilton – Mercedes
3. Ricciardo – Red Bull
4. Vettel – Ferrari
5. Bottas – Mercedes
6. Perez – Force India
7. Vandoorne – McLaren
8. Stroll – Williams
9. Massa – Williams
10. Ocon – Force India
The formation lap for the Malaysian GP 2017 got underway smoothly, all but for one man, Raikkonen. His Ferrari was wheeled back to the garage, ultimately missing the start, the Finn had qualified in P2. For Verstappen, this was good news as he now had a shot at Hamilton on turn one.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 1, 2017
Wehrlein, Ericsson and Vettel started on softs while the rest of the field was on supersofts. After the start, Hamilton held the lead pretty well, Verstappen managed to fend off a hungry Bottas who had already passed his teammate Ricciardo. The top three were now Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas after the start.
As expected, Vettel’s drive up the grid was going to be aggressive as he tried to make positions after starting from the back. After lap 1, the German had already moved to P11, Raikkonen meanwhile was still in the garage.
Verstappen was having a race of his own, he managed to set the fastest time and on lap 4 he snatched the lead from Hamilton at turn 1. “That’s how we do it,” celebrated Verstappen. And the dutchman went ahead to set an even faster lap on 1m36.867s.
“Opportunities will come along later,” Mercedes assured Hamilton who was having some form of low battery issues.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) October 1, 2017
More fastest laps from Verstappen confirmed his dominance in the race, to a point where Mercedes warned Hamilton that the Red Bull driver may be a threat towards the end of the race. Vettel meanwhile had moved up to P7 by lap 13/56, he was on softs and would even be quicker once he switched to super softs like everyone else.
The first rounds of pit stops came on lap 12 with Massa going in first, Grosjean was next followed by Stroll and Gasly. The gap between Verstappen and Hamilton was up to 8s by lap 14/56.
Yellow flags flew on lap 25 after Ocon spun, meanwhile, Hamilton’s tires were starting to wear long, not a bad stint on super softs. Vettel was now looking around Bottas but the Mercedes was still in command in P4.
Hamilton stopped on lap 27 and managed to come out in front of both Bottas and Vettel, he was on softs now. The Red Bulls were now in P1 and P2 and yet to stop.Verstappen pitted on the next lap, Bottas and Ricciardo also made their stops but Vettel managed to undercut Bottas.
After those stops, Verstappen led the race followed by Hamilton 6s behind, Ricciardo, Vettel and Bottas in the top five. Sainz lost power on lap 30.
Well that's a shame… @Carlossainz55 has to retire. He parks the car in front of the box and jumps out. He was doing a great job in P8
— Toro Rosso (@ToroRossoSpy) October 1, 2017
📻 ALO: "What an idiot – Hulkenberg was right!" 😠
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 1, 2017
Vettel managed to set a new fastest lap record in Malaysia with a 1m34.3s, he was on supersofts now with ten laps left in the race. Red Bull had already warned Ricciardo that the Ferrari was bound to catch up with him.
“Come on Alonso… really… I thought you were better than that,” Vettel complained after the McLaren let Ricciardo pass through easily then waited a few moments before doing the same for him. Vettel tried to pass Ricciardo once more this time with 7 laps left, but the Red Bull held firmly to P3. “I think you’ve broken Vettel’s spirit, he’s having to look after his tyres,” Red Bull told Ricciardo who now held a comfortable lead over Vettel.
Two laps left and Verstappen was in a lone race, 11s lead over Hamilton in P2. Ferrari gave Vettel a final message to attack Ricciardo, after assuring him the engine was fine, but the red Bull was 7s ahead and only two laps remained.
The chequered flag flew and Verstappen won the race a day after his birthday. This was the final Malaysian GP.