Max Verstappen took his second career win in dominant fashion at the last Malaysian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton extended his Championship lead with second place. His title rival, Sebastian Vettel, drove a great race from the back to fourth to keep in touch with Lewis at the top.
In the ultimate race, it has been a torrid fortnight for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari. With mechanical issues robbing him of qualifying, Sebastian did his best to get his car to fourth at the finish line. Unfortunately for him, it was still two places below Hamilton, meaning the Brit increases his lead.
As for Lewis, he neglected to fight Max too hard for the lead, putting the Championship ahead of a potential race win. He had some issues with battery power, allowing Max to overtake him, but he kept it under control to finish in second place.
Ferarri’s torrid two-weeks was compounded by Kimi Raikkonen not being able to take the start due to mechanical issues. As such, Mercedes take a firm stranglehold on the Constructors’ Championship.
Some good news for Ferrari is that despite their issues, their car has been fundamentally quicker than the Mercedes. It makes the final few races more interesting than they could otherwise be.
Away from the title contenders, Max Verstappen and Red Bull had an excellent race. When Max overtook Lewis Hamilton, he took complete control of the race and never looked back. It was a very good drive from the Dutchman, who only turned 20 on Saturday, which underlines his enormous potential. It is also just rewards for a season that has been blighted by mechanical issues and driver error.
Interestingly for the rest of the season, with Danny Ric finishing third, the Red Bulls will be looking to elbow their way between, or ahead, of the title-chasing men that could make the final five races more of a three-way fight rather than a duel.
BAD LUCK FOR THE ICEMAN
After a very good qualifying, it looked like Kimi Raikkonen was in the best position all season to take his first win. With the pace of the Ferrari superior to the Mercedes, it looked tailor-made for the popular Finn to get back to the top step of the podium. Unfortunately for him, his car had a lack of power on the way to the grid causing him to miss the start and then retire without making it to the circuit. It was the final sting in the tail of what has been an awful couple of races for the Finn and Ferrari.
MADNESS ON THE COOL-DOWN LAP
If Ferrari’s fortnight could not have been any worse, on the cool-down lap, Sebastian Vettel and the Willaims of Lance Stroll collided, destroying the left rear of the Ferrari. This could be a further disaster for Vettel if it means a grid-drop at the next race for a broken gearbox. A never-before-seen accident and one that could only happen to Ferrari in this fortnight of disasters for the Scuderia.
MALAYSIA SAYS GOODBYE
Just a quick word on the Malaysian Grand Prix. Joining the circus in 1999, Malaysia has always thrown up some amazing Grand Prix moments. From the deluge in 2009 to Schumacher v Montoya in 2002, the Malaysian Grand Prix will be sorely missed. Hopefully, one day, the great track will return.
MOMENT OF THE GP
It was not a race chock-full of incidents, but clearly, the moment of the race was Max Verstappen overtaking Lewis, leaving him a clear run to the chequered flag.
DRIVER OF THE GP
Max gets the nod just ahead of Sebastian. After a season of calamities, he showed experience beyond his years to drive a controlled race. A great job.