Red Bull Racing F1 Malaysian GP qualifying

Red Bull Racing F1 Malaysian GP qualifying

30.09.2017: Max Verstappen celebrated his 20th birthday in style by taking third place in qualifying for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix.



Max Verstappen celebrated his 20th birthday in style by taking third place in qualifying for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix.



Daniel Ricciardo added to the party atmosphere by claiming fourth spot to hand Red Bull Racing a row two lockout behind pole position man Lewis Hamilton and second-placed Kimi Räikkönen.



While Daniel and Max made short work of Q1, with the Aussie through in P6 with a lap of 1:32.416 and Max progressing in P2 with a time of 1:31.920, the major story of Q1 surrounded Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.



A problem late in the earlier final practice session led Ferrari to swap his ICE and MGU-H as a precaution, and as qualifying began and Vettel took to the track all seemed to be well.



However, soon after Vettel left the pit lane, he was on the radio saying that he had lost drive. "It feels like I have no turbo," he said as he limped back to the pits. There followed some frantic work to try to repair the car and with three minutes it looked like they had succeeded as the engine cover was put back on.



 However, despite the crew appearing ready, Vettel was held in the garage and eventually the clock ran out on his chances of completing a warm-up lap and crossing the line for a flying lap before the chequered flag was waved. Vettel was eliminated from the session having failed to set a time.



Also ruled out at this stage were 16th-placed Romain Grosjean of Haas, with the Frenchman finishing ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen and the Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson



In Q2 it was Räikkönen, in the remaining Ferrari, who set the early pace, with the Finn taking P1 with a lap of 1:30.926, just five thousandths of a second ahead of Max. However, as both elected to stay put for the final runs, it was Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas who ended the segment in P1, the Mercedes driver setting a time of 1:30.803.



Daniel chose to complete a second run in the session and his eventual best time of 1:31.061 was good enough to see him through to Q3 in fifth place behind Bottas, Max, Räikkönen and Hamilton.



In Q3 Hamilton made his decisive move, claiming provisional pole at the end of the first runs, with Räikkönen three tenths behind the Briton. Daniel staked his first claim, taking third place with a time of 1:30.595, just under four hundredths of a second ahead of fourth-placed Max.



However, Daniel failed to improve on his final run and Max was able to jump ahead of his team-mate to claim P3 with a lap of 1:30.541, 0.054s ahead of the Aussie.



It was then Hamilton's turn to post a final time and the Mercedes driver also failed to improve. That left the door open for Räikkönen, the Ferrari driver put in a superb effort to improve by almost two tenths, but he ended up in P2, just 0.045s behind Hamilton.



With the Red Bulls locking out row two, fifth place went to Valtteri Bottas. He was followed by Force India's Esteban Ocon, McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne, the Renault of Nico Hulkbenberg, the second Force India of Sergio Perez and the second McLaren of Fernando Alonso.



Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying Top Ten Result


1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Kimi Räikkönen
3. MAX VERSTAPPEN
4. DANIEL RICCIARDO
5. Valtteri Bottas
6. Esteban Ocon
7. Stoffel Vandoorne
8. Nico Hulkbenberg
9. Sergio Perez
10. Fernando Alonso


- Red Bull also photos and Sutton

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30.09.2017 / MaP

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