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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen dominated Sunday’s 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix, taking the win ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel.
The Dutchman overtook the Mercedes No. 1 early and cruised the rest of the way. Vettel made a fantastic charge into fourth place after starting from the back row, finishing ahead of Valtteri Bottas, but Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen couldn’t start because of engine problems. Vettel was involved in a crash after finishing.
Here’s a look at the race results:
Formula 1 @F1
INITIAL CLASSIFICATION: @Max33Verstappen wins on his birthday weekend as Hamilton extends championship lead to 34 points #MalaysiaGP 🇲🇾 https://t.co/lm9HQjw6BL
As shared by Motorsport.com’s Pablo Elizalde, Ferrari’s poor luck with their cars continued into Sunday, with Raikkonen complaining of a lack of power on his way to the grid:
Pablo Elizalde @EliGP
Raikkonen has problems on the way to the grid. Going well for Ferrari.
The Finn did not make it to the grid in time for the start and eventually retired, but his team-mate got away well, moving up to 13th in no time. Hamilton also had a good start, staying ahead of Verstappen early, but the Dutchman scored an overtake not long after, with the Brit seemingly bothered by battery issues.
Grand Prix Diary couldn’t help themselves:
Grand Prix Diary @GrandPrixDiary
Verstappen breezes past Hamilton. Expect the Red Bull to grind to a smoky halt any minute now…
Team-mate Ricciardo added to Red Bull’s good start with a superb pass on Bottas, and he soon turned his attention to Hamilton. Further back, Fernando Alonso held up Vettel for a while, but the German moved into the points.
Verstappen cruised around the track until the window for pitstops opened, while Vettel’s pace was impressive as well―he quickly moved up to fifth, setting his sights on Bottas.
WTF1 was impressed:
Vettel reached the Mercedes man just before pitting, trying the undercut and easily beating Bottas to fourth place.
The Ferrari man had his work cut out for him reaching the top three, with the gap at 10 seconds entering the last 20 laps.
At the front, there was a scary moment for Verstappen, with Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen making contact just as he overtook the pair under the blue flag. He navigated it well, however.
Vettel reached Ricciardo with time to spare but was held up by Alonso under the blue flag. Via F1 Fanatic Live, he didn’t take kindly to the Spaniard’s actions:
F1 Fanatic Live @f1fanaticlive
Vettel: “Hey what a… Come on, Alonso. Really? I thought you were better than that.” #F1 #MalaysianGP
After a short battle, the Aussie started to pull away once again, with Ferrari telling Vettel to back down. The race seemed destined to play out without any late drama, but while TV cameras followed Verstappen on his way to the win and his celebration lap, Lance Stroll made contact with Vettel, who ended up with one of his wheels on top of his car.
Sky Sports F1 shared images of the damage:
Sky Sports F1 🏎 @SkySportsF1
“Stroll completely shunted into my car,” says Vettel
Blog: https://t.co/W4Jk8Z66xd #SkyF1 #MalaysiaGP #F1 https://t.co/K1tSLVstdG
The collision took place after Vettel crossed the finish line.
Hamilton increased his championship lead to 34 points by finishing second, but Ferrari will be happy with Vettel’s sensational comeback nonetheless.