The Malaysian GP held on Sunday was an exciting race. While Max Verstappen won the competition, Lewis Hamilton, who finished second, managed to extend his title lead over Sebastian Vettel.
Dutchman Max Verstappen, who celebrated his 20th birthday on the eve of the race, claimed his second victory in Formula 1, at Sepang. Lewis Hamilton started from pole position, but he was overtaken by Verstappen on the 4th lap, out of 56. The later managed to maintain his lead until the end of the race.
Sebastian Vettel started from the back of the grid – his Ferrari engine problems ruined his qualification session. However, he had a really good day and was very fast on track. Still, he could not dislodge Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, from the final spot on the podium.
Vettel’s teammate, Kimi Raikonnen, suffered engine problems as well and he did not even start the race.
Although Lewis Hamilton is now 34 points ahead of Vettel, the Mercedes driver is concerned of Ferrari’s pace. He said:
“We still have problems with this car and it was magnified here.”
“I’m hoping it’s not like this at the next few races. It feels like it is getting worse as the season goes on but it has been great in other races. I have no idea where it will be an issue and where it will be fine. Hopefully it won’t be so bad.”
He added that there was “nothing we can do about the car”.
Moreover, Hamilton acknowledged that his car was slower than the ones from Ferrari and Red Bull. He said that although many people claim Mercedes Formula 1 cars are the best, that is not the case.
“There are some real big problems that I cannot really explain, but we need to rectify for next year’s car if we are going to have any chance of fighting both these teams next year when they step up their game.”
The British driver also said he and his team will do their best to stay on top, for the remaining part of the season. According to him, he opted for a cautious approach during the race. Therefore, he avoided fighting Verstappen, when the latter went to pass him on lap four.
“Driving mistakes are starting to come into play. You’ve seen a couple from Sebastian. Today for example – crashing into someone. Who knows whether that is his gearbox busted for the next race? We will see. So I am just trying to be smart with the decisions I make on track, so I didn’t put up much of a fight [with Verstappen]. He had everything to gain and I had everything to lose. That goes against my heart but you live to see another day.”