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Lewis Hamilton will look to make it four consecutive wins during the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Mercedes driver took full advantage of Sebastian Vettel’s early crash last time out to extend his lead at the top of the championship from three points to 28, and another win here would set him up well for the final five races.
Here’s the information you need about the upcoming clash on the Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur.
Date: Sunday, October 1
Time: 8 a.m. BST/3 a.m. ET
TV Info: Sky Sports F1 (UK), Channel 4 (UK), NBC Sports (U.S.)
Live Stream: Sky Go (UK), All 4 (UK), NBC Sports App (U.S.)
For the full drivers’ list, visit the F1 website.
It will be difficult for this race to match the drama of its predecessor, but the Malaysian Grand Prix lends itself well to thrilling contests.
A combination of long straights and tight turns makes the Sepang International a tricky circuit to navigate for the drivers, but thanks to the width of the track, there’s also plenty of scope for overtaking.
Nevertheless, Vettel will undoubtedly be hoping to secure pole position again after being unable to capitalise last time out.
Per F1’s official Twitter account, the German is hoping to defy expectations and pull off an unlikely comeback in the drivers’ championship:
Formula 1 @F1
The experts are saying Mercedes have the advantage, but do they Seb? https://t.co/Y0jnIGSwsk
Having won on the circuit four times in the past, he’ll be eyeing a victory here to help reduce the deficit between himself and Hamilton.
The Englishman is still expecting him to have a big say in the title race, per BBC Sport’s Andrew Benson: “Greats generally bounce back so I have to anticipate he will bounce back even stronger. I don’t remember the last time I have seen him falter under pressure. I don’t know whether he feels pressure.”
Hamilton took the chequered flag here in 2014, though, so he too has experience of putting together a successful run in Malaysia.
Although the likes of Vettel, Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen were not in contention in Singapore owing to their early crash, Hamilton did not simply ease to victory, rather he produced an excellent drive, per Benson:
Andrew Benson @andrewbensonf1
This is a very impressive drive by Hamilton. Doesn’t have the fastest car here, and is on older tyres, but still fastest laps & pulling away
Former world champion Damon Hill is among those who believe that, with that result, Hamilton has secured the title:
Damon Hill @HillF1
Lewis Hamilton @LewisHamilton will win the 2017 world championshp. #4 #F1 #44
If Vettel is to prove the likes of Hill wrong, starting with a win here will go a long way.
Provided the drivers are able to avoid any early drama, it’s set to be a close contest on Sunday, and the results could have a big impact on the championship at large.