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Team by team analysis of the Malaysian Grand Prix

Team by team analysis of the Malaysian Grand Prix”

"I'm very grateful." Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, the same position the Australian started from a year ago when he led Verstappen to a Red Bull one-two.

The 30-year-old's qualifying upset left the way clear for Hamilton to chalk up his 70th career pole position. The German, who trials Hamilton by 28 points at 235 in Driver Standings, will start the race from the last spot.

The Dutch driver, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Saturday, never looked back after overtaking Hamilton into Turn One of lap four in Sepang and went on to finish 12 seconds ahead of the Mercedes' driver.

"It's been a dramatic season so far so of course I'm very happy then to win this race and hopefully from now onwards it will be OK", he said of his campaign.

"I think the whole race [was on merit]". If I needed to speed up, I speeded up. I need the points, I want the points. "It's fantastic in a very tough race and is incredible to win".

The luck for Mercedes held - even with a second place for Hamilton - with Raikkonen's Ferrari suffering a similar engine turbo fault before the race started, with Raikkonen not making the starting grid.

Race stewards later ruled "no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident" and took no action.

It was Max Verstappen who came home with the win at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

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.

With five rounds remaining, Hamilton's worry is clearly that despite his healthy championship lead, there might be little Mercedes can do to ensure he has race-winning machinery at his disposal. "We have lost so much pace this weekend". But that won't change the fact that Vettel has scored just 12 points from two races where the auto was good enough to claim 50. Yeah, the others have just generally picked up a bit more pace than us. "We have to keep pushing", Hamilton said.

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

"I didn't have any pace, that was the main issue".

"Valtteri seems to struggle more having the vehicle in that sweet spot than Lewis", Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said. "There are definitely positives in terms of the actual result we got".

Esteban Ocon qualified 6th in his Force India, while Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso gave McLaren their first double top 10 qualifying performance this season by qualifying in 7th and 10th, respectively.

"There´s no doubt this session was also a tough moment for Ferrari, with Sebastian unable to take part, but there are no points scored on Saturday", said Wolff.



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