F1 Loses Out to Motorcycle Grand Prix in Malaysia

Sheri Evans
October 2, 2017

Still, retired champion Nico Rosberg finished third past year after dropping to the back of the field with a spin on the opening lap and Vettel is optimistic he can minimise the damage. "We'll see what tomorrow brings".

Vettel saved Ferrari's blushes but, as if Ferrari's luck could not get any worse, Williams driver Lance Stroll smashed into the side of his auto on the warm-down lap, cutting it nearly in half. "We had no idea how it was going to go today. It has been a kind of diminishing returns for us", he said. "But as I said, this evening we'll have time".

"I know that Lewis has more to lose because he is fighting for the championship so maybe I took an extra risk but I think that was one of my only chances", he said.

"I think it's good for the people to have a distraction, to have a moment of happiness".

"I really hope that I can give a massive Sunday for my people". "It's a tight first three corners so a lot usually happens".

The day after turning 20, Verstappen turned on the style, making a fine move to overtake Hamilton on lap 4. Moments before the race, mechanics wheeled Raikkonen's auto back to the garage but could not get it ready. "I am very happy to have this opportunity".

Eddie Irvine won the first-ever Malaysian Grand Prix in 1999 - the Northern Irishman's fourth and final F1 victory - while in 2003, Fernando Alonso finished third to claim the first of his 97 podiums.

Vettel posted the fastest lap in his Ferrari.

"It's been a hard day but the guys were phenomenal fixing the auto, changing the engine in just two hours".

Vettel was on his first lap when his engine cut out.

"I'm sorry to say that I'm not sad".

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Verstappen had ended Friday's opening session fastest ahead of the Australian.

That was the largest weekend turnout since 2013, the season before Formula One replaced the screaming 2.4 litre V8 engines with quieter 1.6 litre turbo-hybrid power units. Any more will incur grid penalties.

A Formula One support race in Malaysia descended into farce when all nine drivers ran out of fuel before the finish.

"We have more tires than everybody else and we maybe can do something with strategy", Vettel said. "Then for sure if the Safety Car comes out at a time that suits you, you might come back and you never know what's possible".

Mercedes enjoyed a huge surprise win in Singapore two weeks ago but going into Formula One's farewell grand prix in Malaysia this weekend, they are taking nothing for granted.

"Of course, it is a part of a turning point on the season when you are coming from behind all season long and now you are leading the championship".

Another strong performance could see Hamilton clinch a fourth straight win, eighth of the season and 61st overall, and take a giant stride toward a fourth F1 title with five races left after this.

"We just lacked pace today and we have 12 hours to understand why", Wolff said. The 21-year-old Frenchman told Formula1.com that he is looking forward to the race in Sepang and does not feel any pressure. "It's very unfortunate for him".

Hamilton also had a spin, losing the rear and sliding off track at Turn Seven. He has been the best driver in the series outside of Hamilton.

Vettel could be forgiven for hoping for a similar ending on Sunday.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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