be_ixf;ym_202208 d_11; ct_100
Sunday images from the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

F1: Lewis podiums at Sepang’s final Grand Prix

Oct 012017

The 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix certainly proved to be a thriller and a fitting end to Sepang’s final chapter in F1; as Lewis Hamilton opened up a 34-point lead in the Drivers' Championship after taking second place, in dramatic circumstances.

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team star now has a commanding lead in the championship, ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who finished fourth in Sepang. Lewis' Silver Arrow’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas was fifth in what proved to be a difficult weekend for the team, although they still also increased their lead over Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship.

Lewis, who started on pole position, knew he was in for a tough afternoon as both Ferrari and Red Bull had shown plenty of pace during the practice sessions. The 32-year-old is now hoping the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team can now discover a way to improve their performance ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix on the 8th October.

Lewis said: "It was a much better weekend than we had anticipated after our Friday, considering the issues we did have with the car this is a good result. But still we have a lot of work to do; some of the corners really magnified the issues we have. These next races are going to be crucial in terms of ironing out some of the creases we have with the car."


Lewis was passed by race-winner, Max Verstappen, at the end of the third lap when he suffered a problem with his electrical system. Ordinarily, he would have put up a bigger fight with the 20-year-old, but with crucial championship points on offer, Lewis played the long game.


Lewis continued: "I was having some problems with de-rates at the beginning of the race, so I was struggling with battery power. Valtteri seemed to struggle a lot more; I was able to pull a little bit more out of it. Naturally, I wanted to win the race, winning the races is still the goal. So even to be second is not that satisfying. Today was a step towards in trying to win the world championship and every point counts."


Valtteri was also experiencing a problem with pace, and repeated Lewis' desire to rectify the problems in preparation for the next round at Suzuka.

Valtteri said: "Today was difficult. I was trying everything I can, I was giving it all I had, but I was lacking pace and I was sliding around. The start was definitely the best part of the day. It was really good; I could actually attack a little bit and fight for positions. But not long after that I just started to drop down and couldn't keep up with the others.


"We need to analyse the race because the upgrade package should have been quite a step forward in terms of downforce, but I couldn't really see it. There are still a lot of things we need to try to understand; we need to learn from today. For Japan, we need to make sure we choose all the right bits for the car, and hopefully we will see some cooler temperatures."


Race result – 56 laps:

1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 56 1h30m01.290s

2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 56 12.770s

3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 56 22.519s

4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 56 37.362s

5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 56 56.021s

6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 56 1m18.630s

7 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 55 1 Lap

8 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 55 1 Lap

9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 55 1 Lap

10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 55 1 Lap

11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 55 1 Lap

12 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 55 1 Lap

13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 55 1 Lap

14 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 55 1 Lap

15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 55 1 Lap

16 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 55 1 Lap

17 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 55 1 Lap

18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 54 2 Laps

- Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 29 Electrical

- Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0 Not started