Verstappen beats Hamilton to Malaysian GP win

Red Bull driver takes first win of the season

Malaysian Grand Prix – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed his second win in Formula One at the Malaysian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo.

Verstappen triumphed in an early battle with Mercedes’ Hamilton to take his first win of the season, winning by several seconds.

Following Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement from the front-row of the grid before the start of the race, Hamilton was free to make a clean getaway from grid and lead the opening laps.

With Verstappen in second, he soon challenged the championship leader and took the championship lead on lap four into turn one. Hamilton was unable to respond, and eventually had to settle for second place.

Sebastian Vettel recovered from a back-of-the-grid start to challenge for a podium place in the closing stages of the race.

Starting on a harder tyre, Vettel scythed his way through the midfield and caught up to Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas prior to the pit stops.

Passing the Finn through the pit stops phase, Vettel reeled in Ricciardo and looked poised to overtake the Australian. However, solid defensive driving prevented a Ferrari podium.

The result means the Hamilton extends his championship lead over Vettel to 34 points.

In a bizarre post-chequered flag incident, Vettel came together with Lance Stroll after trying to pass the Williams on the outside of turn five on the cool-down lap, destroying the rear-end of the Ferrari.

Valtteri Bottas could only manage fifth place, whilst Sergio Perez placed his Force India in sixth, ahead of McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.

Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa finished eighth and ninth for Williams, with Estaban Ocon claiming tenth place in a combative race for the Force India driver, which saw him collide with Massa and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.

To view the full results of the race, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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