Max Verstappen wins Malaysian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen wins Malaysian Grand Prix

Ricciardo sits fourth in the F1 standings ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, with a top-three finish still in his sights.

"There are some real big problems that I can't really explain to you", Hamilton said after a race that saw team mate Valtteri Bottas, with a package of supposed improvements, finish only fifth.

Verstappen had control of the race from when he had a comfortable lead of 3.7 seconds from lap 11 onwards to a 9.5 second lead with just six laps to go in the race.

But Vettel's world championship hopes suffered a huge blow when his Ferrari failed to set a time in the first qualifying session, meaning he will start last. Vettel, too, was quicker than his championship adversary for much of the race.

Vettel set the fastest lap and a lap record on his charge through the field on Sunday even as Mercedes struggled for the second weekend in a row with a auto described by team boss Toto Wolff as "capricious".

"Congratulations to Max, said Hamilton".

But Red Bull boss Christian Horner says his team still would have won even if Vettel had started up front.

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Hamilton started the race in pole position before being passed by the flying dutchman in the early part of the race.

Verstappen has been plagued with bad luck all season long, and his victory in Malaysia is only the second time he has stood on the podium this season. "Of course in qualifying, I think it's a bit more tricky for us to be in front of them but we know that in the race normally our auto is a bit stronger".

Max Verstappen "really needed" his win at the Malaysian Grand Prix after a tough 2017 Formula One season, according to father Jos.

The second Ferrari of Raikkonen had qualified second but the Finn did not make the start due to a battery issue - although Vettel is unconcerned by the reliability. Moments before the race, mechanics wheeled Raikkonen's vehicle back to the garage but could not get it ready.

Meanwhile Vettel insists he is confident of reeling in Hamilton after Ferrari proved they have the fastest vehicle heading into the final five races. The German was thus able to limit the damage in the championship race. He could be hit with a five-place grid penalty at the next race in Japan if he is forced to change his gearbox, which would deal a further blow to his title challenge.

"We still have problems with this vehicle and it was magnified here", Hamilton said. "We have to keep pushing". Stoffel Vandoorne finished an impressive 7th for the second race in a row in his McLaren-Honda, while Williams Martini Racing had Stroll and Felipe Massa take 8th and 9th, respectively.