Malaysia signs off from F1 with a larger turnout

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Malaysia signs off from F1 with a larger turnout

Red Bull's Max Verstappen gave himself a ideal 20th birthday present by winning the last Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, while Lewis Hamilton stretched his Formula One world championship lead to 34 points.

SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Ferrari driver, remains bullish that the 28-point F1 championship gap to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton can still be bridged.

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.

The German left the Ferrari garage during the first stage of qualifying but was unable to set a time and complained over team radio that his turbo was not working.

Title contender Sebastian Vettel will start from twentieth place for tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix after suffering engine related issues during Free Practice 3 and in Qualifying.

Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen did not even start, despite qualifying second. Max Verstappen was third.

"I don't want to be sandwiched", said Verstappen, pincered by the Ferraris in the opening-lap Singapore crash. Not a great day as you can imagine but the response from the whole team has been very positive. "It was an opportunity lost for Ferrari, but there are more races to come so we will see what will happen next". The guys worked a miracle today and did the change successfully in time. "There is no other racing series that I have any desire to drive in, it is a shame, I wish I did have more passion in me to do IndyCar or Le Mans but there isn't, there is zero, nothing".

Malaysia signs off from F1 with a larger turnout
Malaysia signs off from F1 with a larger turnout

"The lights went off, we did our start".

Verstappen drew cheers from the Sepang crowd - watching a race here for the last time - after sweeping past Hamilton, who failed to defend his position aggressively enough.

"We will have a tough battle".

"Difficult day with the vehicle". "I didn't sleep very well last night, probably like all my engineers as well, because we didn't know whether we were going to fix the issue or not". "I've been struggling with the vehicle today, so we have to review and try to understand where we have gone wrong with the balance".

"So, to come out of it the other way around was obviously a surprise".

"The auto is damaged, in my opinion, things like this in 2017 shouldn't happen on a permanent circuit, they shouldn't happen on any circuit".

Vettel will now put plenty of faith in team-mate Raikkonen, who ran Hamilton close for pole but ultimately missed out by less than 0.1 secs. In 2013, Vettel famously ignored team orders and overtook Red Bull teammate and race leader Mark Webber before taking the checkered flag. Sergio Perez was sixth for Force India, just ahead of McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne, who matched his best F1 result in seventh.

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