Christian Horner compares Max Verstappen to Sebastian Vettel

Oct 04, 2017, 00:14

Three-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, of Mercedes, leads the driver standings on 263 points, with Ricciardo's former Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel second on 235 for Ferrari.

Vettel started last on the grid after failing to set a time in qualifying, but drove brilliantly to take fourth place behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and limit the damage to his own title hopes. Hamilton also had a good start, staying ahead of Verstappen early, but the Dutchman scored an overtake not long after, with the Brit seemingly bothered by battery issues.

One of the most coveted rounds of the F1 season, the Malaysian Grand Prix hosted its very last race before signing off as an F1 venue.

Verstappen quickly pulled away, building a seven-second lead within 10 laps and, despite problems with his neck muscles in the closing laps on this demanding track, was always in control.

But it's Hamilton winning the war.

With teammate and championship contender Sebastian Vettel failing to set a time in qualifying after suffering with a turbo problem, Raikkonen seemed to be struck by an nearly identical problem on his way to the grid on Sunday. But for sure it's not ideal if you retire one vehicle [on Saturday] and one [before the race], so it's something we need to obviously understand.

Hamilton now leads Vettel by 34 points in the championship with only five races to go, starting with the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka next weekend.

Max Verstappen looks like Formula One's most exciting young prospect.

"After a weekend where we have lacked a significant chunk of performance, we couldn't have imagined such a good outcome, but we can't let that distract us from the job we have in front of us", said Wolff.

The Red Bull of Verstappen was third on his 20th birthday, nearly half a second behind Raikkonen.

But that success was tempered by concerns over the pace of his vehicle, 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. Raikkonen then qualified in second place but was unable to start the race as he too suffered power unit trouble on the way to the grid.

Meanwhile Vettel insists he is confident of reeling in Hamilton after Ferrari proved they have the fastest auto heading into the final five races.

Lewis Hamilton didn't win the race, but it was kind of a win nonetheless.

"We were quicker than anticipated, to be honest with you".

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