Max Verstappen wins the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

Verstappen, who had celebrated his 20th birthday on Saturday, threw caution to the winds, as Mercedes were flummoxed by Red Bull's searing pace. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished in second place, while Verstappen's team mate Daniel Ricciardo took third place. The victory also makes him the youngest ever victor at the Malaysian GP. "You know, especially after the season I've had, I think this victory came at a very good time", said Verstappen, whose father Jos - a former Formula One driver himself - and sister Victoria were moved to tears. Vettel had started last but displayed very strong form to make fourth and Hamilton accepted that his auto had simply not been good enough.

Verstappen, who started third on the grid, overtook Hamilton on the fourth lap of 56 around the 5.543km Sepang International Circuit and, with Mercedes struggling for pace, had no problem in cruising to victory. But, as title rival Vettel battled his way forward from the back, Hamilton did not have it all his own way and was soon reeled in and passed by Verstappen at the start of lap four. Hamilton, however, still accomplished what he came to do-extend his lead over Sebastian Vettel in the championship race, with Hamilton finishing second in Sepang and Vettel down in fourth place.

Vettel put in a storming drive from the rear of the field to eventually catch, but not pass, Ricciardo, the Ferrari driver having been forced to start from the rear after an engine problem prevented him from qualifying.

"I did not really know how close Max was and I was having some problems with the vehicle and was struggling with battery power", said the Brit. "I feel positive, the debrief was one of the best debriefs we have had".

But that success was tempered by concerns over the pace of his auto, with Hamilton failing to convert his pole position into a win and Vettel fighting his way from the back of the grid to take fourth place.

"This auto has been on several occasions the quickest vehicle out there, Monza and Silverstone come to mind where we blew everyone away". "I think it's all fine, I don't see that we have an issue". It was the best I could really do.

And Vettel continued his criticism of the former Scuderia favourite after the race, adding: "Fernando chose to jump in the middle. So not too anxious to be honest, but we need to get on top of the problems that we have".


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