Hamilton 2nd in Sepang as Verstappen wins Malaysian GP

Hamilton 2nd in Sepang as Verstappen wins Malaysian GP

Hamilton 2nd in Sepang as Verstappen wins Malaysian GP

But from the small sample of laps we can piece together, Ferrari appears to hold the edge on race pace with Red Bull second.

The pace Vettel displayed will worry Mercedes who were found wanting for the second weekend in a row. "I think in the beginning, straight away, the auto felt good", said Verstappen.

"You know, especially after the season I've had, I think this victory came at a very good time", Verstappen told reporters.

Hamilton was driving maturely, thinking about his championship challenge rather than the race win, but even so, the fact that Verstappen was able to pull away and control his advantage over the Mercedes-GP man was an impressive effort of maturity.

"There is a lot of work for us to do", explained Hamilton.

"We have lost so much pace this weekend.how can a vehicle that is so fast on many circuits lose so much with a tyre that is overheating?"

"It's impossible to say but I'm pretty certain that I would have had a very, very good auto". Today we arrived and the vehicle was much better but still it looked like Ferrari was a little bit ahead, so some big calls to make ahead of qualifying.

Hamilton said he drove a cautious race, not fighting Verstappen when the Dutchman went to pass him on lap four.

"I think he just didn't look", said Vettel, who set the fastest lap of the race, a day after he failed to complete a timed lap in qualifying due to an engine issue.

"We knew going into the race that [Ferrari] had eight tenths on us, so it's no surprise".

BIRTHDAY BOY MAX Verstappen claimed the second victory of his career at the Malaysian Grand Prix, as Sebastian Vettel limited the damage caused by his qualifying nightmare. He stretched his overall lead to 34 points with five races remaining.

Having started the weekend with such promise, this was another grand prix to forget for Ferrari.

He added: "Before qualifying I was thinking of going back to the new package, because Valtteri's and my times were very similar and Valtteri seemed really happy with it and so I didn't want to carry a penalty going into qualifying". "I'm just very down, I must say", he said.

"They were struggling in Singapore and they got lucky with the first corner shunt".

Vettel (Ferrari) did well to slice his way through the field and finish fourth (+37.362s) to keep his title hopes alive.

"At the end of the second stint it was looking a little bit better for us but the auto was still having big problems at certain corners and I think Max was just managing the pace".

Vettel trails Hamilton by 28 points at the top of the drivers' standings and it looks nearly certain that the German will lose more ground on Sunday. "I saw Lewis was struggling more with traction, so I used my battery a bit more".

"When you get that close it´s a disappointment", said Raikkonen.

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