SEPANG, Oct 1 – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrated his birthday by winning the 2017 F1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit here today, as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished second to extend his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel to 34 points.
Verstappen, 20, starting from second after Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari failed to make the grid, overtook pole-sitter Hamilton on lap four before clinching the second victory of his career and first this season. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished third ahead of Vettel, who started the race from last but drove brilliantly to take fourth place and limit the damage to his title hopes.
The results mean Hamilton enjoys a big championship lead over Vettel with five races left in the season, starting next week in Japan. Compounding Ferrari’s woes, Vettel’s car ended the day with only three wheels following an impact with Williams’ Lance Stroll after the finish line. — PN