Red Bull Racing F1 Malaysian Grand-Prix race review

Red Bull Racing F1 Malaysian Grand-Prix race review

01.10.2017: Magic Max masters Malaysia Highlights Max starts third and executes superb move on Hamilton on lap 3 to

Magic Max masters Malaysia  Highlights



    Max starts third and executes superb move on Hamilton on lap 3 to take the lead

    Max leads for the remaining 53 laps to take second career win

    Daniel passes Bottas on lap 8 to take third

    Daniel defends attack from Vettel to take 26th career podium finish



Max Verstappen gave himself the perfect 20th birthday present by taking a flawless Malaysian Grand Prix victory ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.



The celebrations were doubled for the Red Bulls as Daniel Ricciardo took his 26th career podium finish and the team's 145th, with third place.



There was drama before the start when Kimi Räikkönen reported a loss of power on his laps to the grid. Ferrari tried to fix the issue on the grid but eventually they were forced to roll his car from its P2 grid slot back to the garage, where eventually they had to retire him from the race. It meant that fourth-on-the grid Daniel had a clear view of the long run down to Turn 1.



However, when the lights went out at the start, Daniel moved to his right to attempt to make a move on Max and pole position man Lewis Hamilton.



Hamilton held his advantage ahead of Max however, and as Daniel took an inside line through Turn 1, Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes was able to make his way round the outside and past Daniel to claim third.



Ahead, Max was already plotting his move on Hamilton. The Dutchman had noticed that the Mercedes driver was struggling for traction out of corners and making the most of his battery power, Max powered alongside the championship leader on the pit straight at the start of lap three and passed the Mercedes in Turn 1 to take the lead.



From there Max was simply flawless. By the end of the first stint, with Hamilton pitting at the end of lap 26, Max was over eight seconds ahead of the Mercedes driver.



Max made his stop to switch from his opening supersoft tyres to softs on lap 27 and afterwards he was again error free.



The Dutchman effortlessly controlled the gap to Hamilton through the second half of the race – to the degree that it rarely shifted from the nine second mark until the final laps, when Hamilton began to coast and the deficit widened to almost 13 seconds.



Behind Max, Daniel's wait to overtake a Mercedes was slightly longer as Bottas defended well. He finally launched a successful attack into Turn 1 on lap eight. The Finn fought back and they tussled hard through the next three turns before Daniel at last drew ahead and firmly shut the door on any further resistance. With third place his, the Australian then began to edge his way towards Hamilton.



The man making the biggest moves at this point, however, was Sebastian Vettel. A problem in qualifying meant the Ferrari driver has started 20th but by lap 10 he was up to P9 and by the time the frontrunners were beginning to contemplate their sole pit stop, the German was in fifth place and exerting heavy pressure on Bottas.



However, before he could pass the Finn on the track, Hamilton triggered the pit stops. After Hamilton and Max had taken on soft tyres, Daniel and Vettel were next in, with the Ferrari man swapping starting softs for quicker supersofts. Daniel made the opposite switch.



Bottas was the last of the top five to pit and when he did so he had lost fourth place to Vettel. At the front, Max now led Hamilton by 6.5s, with Daniel a further 11.7s back.



Vettel, though, was continuing to push ahead and by lap 42 he was just 4.4s behind Daniel and on lap 46 the German slipped inside DRS range of the Australian's RB13.



Daniel's defence was robust, however, as he bypassed traffic and dropped backmarkers into the space between himself and Vettel to slow the German's march. He also invited attacks in an effort to make the German burn his supersoft tyres. The tactic evidently worked. As the final laps began, Vettel drifted out to three seconds behind the Australian and Daniel's third place finish was secure.



Ahead, Max was coasting and after 56 laps he crossed the line to take a superb, faultless and fantastic second career win in his 55th grand prix, just 24 hours after leaving his teenage years behind.



Race Stats

2 – Career wins for Max Verstappen, in his 24th and 55th grands prix

11 – Max is the 11th winner of the Malaysian Grand Prix and its last

26 – Career podium finishes for Daniel Ricciardo

145 – Podium finishes for the team



- Red Bull Racing also photos (Getty Images)

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01.10.2017 / MaP

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