Verstappen wins in Malaysia, Hamilton second

Verstappen wins in Malaysia, Hamilton second

Verstappen wins in Malaysia, Hamilton second

Hamilton said the vehicle was good at some races, and not at others, but Mercedes would do everything they could to stay ahead.

"When you have a hard day, when the s**t really hits the fan, that is when there are more questions and you go into more detail".

"I don't know which one of these next races are going to be good for us but we'll do everything we can to try and stay ahead", he said.

His 1:51.518 on the last of his eight timed laps of the 5.54 kilometre Sepang International Circuit was three seconds behind the leading Red Bull and eclipsed by both Ferraris.

It's the mid-season break for F1, so the drivers are putting their feet up.

Daniel Ricciardo is lucky enough to be one of 10 drivers who've won the race.

Ferrari's Vettel, running a new spec engine, hunted Ricciardo down in the closing laps, but had his challenge cooled when his team told him to back off because of concern over engine temperatures.

Raikkonen's race was ended before a wheel had turned, the Finn also suffering a terminal power unit problem.

Despite Hamilton's pole position, Mercedes struggled all weekend with what team-boss Toto Wolff described as a "capricious" vehicle.

"Once I have digested the race I will think about the six points we have gained over Ferrari but right now it's still sore". "I thought you were better than that", Vettel complained after the McLaren let Ricciardo pass through easily then waited a few moments before doing the same for him.

"I went to defend (when Verstappen overtook) but I did not really want to risk it and did not completely close the door on Max".

"It's the way the vehicle is".

"Those laps, particularly the first Q3 lap, was very well put together, very nice lap, I don't really know where it came from to be honest", Hamilton, whose first flying lap in the final part of qualifying remained his fastest, said after the session. "We need to be positive".

Hamilton's 18 place points-haul ensures that he continues to lead the championship standings, now with 281 points to Vettel's 247.

Vettel was exonerated of blame for the Singapore crash by stewards, but many observers felt the German four-time world champion was at fault as he had forced Verstappen towards Raikkonen.

Vettel clipped the rear of his opponent with the impact leaving his car's rear-left tyre detached and its bodywork a crumpled mess.

The Dutchman, who prior to Sepang had only finished half of the races he started this season, said it was a huge relief. He then got to within four seconds of Hamilton before a unusual decision to keep him out for four laps more than his competitors put his chances of a top 2 finish to bed.

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