Malaysian Grand Prix: Victory as birthday's present to Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen gave himself the best possible present for the 20th birthday he celebrated on Saturday. On Sunday, Max took a victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit, scoring his second F1 victory in a career.
A driver of the #33 RB13 is the winner of the 15th round of the 2017 Formula One season ahead of championship leader and pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, who reached his 70th Grand Prix pole position a day earlier. The celebrations for Red Bull Racing were doubled as Daniel Ricciardo finished third at Sepang, taking his 26th career podium finish and the team’s 145th podium.
It was a weekend from a nightmare for Ferrari. After Sebastian Vettel suffered from engine problems in qualifying, getting the last position on the starting grid, his teammate and the second-fastest qualifier Kimi Räikkönen was a victim on Sunday.
A drama started when he reported a loss of power on his way to the grid. The mechanics tried to fix the issue on the grid but they were forced to roll his car back to the garage, where eventually Räikkönen had to retire from the race.
However, Vettel managed to save at least something, making a heroic progress to the fourth place at the end of the race.
Hamilton defended a lead on the start, ahead of two Red Bulls and his teammate Valtteri Bottas. Verstappen decided to make a move on lap 3, overtaking Hamilton in Turn 1. From that moment, Verstappen was uncatchable on a way to his second win in a career.
Behind Vettel, other point scorers in Sepang are Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez (Force India), Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren), Lance Stroll (Williams), Felipe Massa (Williams) and Esteban Ocon (Force India).
After fifteen rounds, with five more events on a calendar, Hamilton leads the championship with 281 points. Vettel follows with 247 points on his account. The next races is the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on October 8.
Photos: Red Bull Racing,