Verstappen wins on another bad weekend for Ferrari

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix review

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This was Ferrari’s race. At least, it should have been.

The SF70Hs loved Sepang. Red Bull’s RB13 was at home in the winding middle sector. Mercedes’ W08, back in full ‘diva’ mode, made up for lost time on the straights. But Ferrari’s all-rounder was in its element.

And yet Ferrari contrived to get neither of its drivers onto the podium. It wasn’t as total a disaster as the great Singapore wipe-out of 2017, but it marked another missed opportunity for the team and another blow for Sebastian Vettel’s championship hopes.

Early bath for Raikkonen

Raikkonen didn’t get as far as he did in Singapore
Vettel’s power unit failure in qualifying consigned him to starting from last position. That at least afforded him the opportunity to fit a full replacement of his hardware for the races ahead without being put at a further disadvantage.

Kimi Raikkonen had a quick enough car for pole position but slipped up at the final corner which meant he started second alongside a surprised Lewis Hamilton, who’d been 1.4 seconds off the pace on Friday.

Raikkonen said his immediately for the race was to “try to get further than 100 metres”. He didn’t even make it that far. Another power unit problem struck on his reconnaissance lap and minutes before the start his car was wheeled off the grid. That left Hamilton alone on the front row with the two Red Bulls closest to him.

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Verstappen risks a move for the lead

Hamilton lost his lead after three laps
The remnants of another Sepang downpour were still evaporating from the track surface as the drivers assembled on the grid. Several teams took steps to dry the racing line in front of their cars, but Force India did not and subsequently claimed their rivals had broken the rules. That left their drivers at a disadvantage.

The Mercedes pair got away quickly. Hamilton kept his lead and Valtteri Bottas went to work on the Red Bulls. He used the outside line to work his way around Daniel Ricciardo and applied brief pressure to Max Verstappen as well before settling into third place. So far so normal.

But within a few corners the race pace disadvantage which Mercedes had predicted manifested itself. Hamilton’s lead never got above a second. As lap four began Verstappen maxed out his energy recovery system on the straight and fired his Red Bull down the inside at turn one, betting that Hamilton would have one eye on the championship and let him go.

He did. “Maybe I look a bit of extra risk,” said Verstappen afterwards, “but it was my only chance.” Verstappen had correctly sussed that Hamilton was experiencing ‘de-rates’ on his power unit. “That was one of the laps I could see he was clipping a bit more than I was, so I used the battery I had.”

Bottas was struggling more than Hamilton, losing up to a second per lap compared to his team mate at times, yet it took Ricciardo longer to find a way past him. When the pass finally came it followed three corners of superb dicing between the pair. Bottas eventually left Ricciardo the inside line at turn four and the Red Bull was through. Ricciardo immediately began cutting half a second per lap and more out of the gap to Hamilton.

Vettel races into the top five

2017 Malaysian GP in pictures
While all this was going on Vettel was making up for lost time. He out-accelerated the Saubers on the run to turn one and then began picking off the stragglers with ease. He was 13th by the end of lap one, then took Nico Hulkenberg after the Renault had been forced onto the grass by Felipe Massa.

Hulkenberg was unhappy with the balance of his car after his grassy moment and made an early pit stop which played into Vettel’s hands beautifully. Once he’d picked off Fernando Alonso the Ferrari appeared behind a series of cars which all pitted in turn to cover Hulkenberg: Kevin Magnussen, Massa, Lance Stroll and finally his team mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

This promoted Vettel to sixth, which became fifth once he caught and passed Sergio Perez with ease. “That was not really my fight,” admitted Perez after the race.

Ricciardo resists Vettel

Ricciardo clung on to the final podium spot
Hamilton could do no more than watch the Red Bull ahead of him get smaller and the one behind him get bigger. “On circuits like this there are corners that really magnify the issues we have with the car,” he explained. As half-distance approached Verstappen’s lead grew to eight seconds while Ricciardo closed to within four seconds of Hamilton.

At this point Ricciardo was getting more out of his worn super-soft tyres than his team mate. The longer the first stint went on the better Ricciardo’s situation became. And with the front-runners on the look-out for one of Sepang’s sudden showers, they had good cause to leave their drivers out.

Mercedes weren’t prepared to risk Hamilton getting jumped, however. They brought him in on lap 27 and he returned to the pits immediately two seconds faster. Verstappen responded with his own pit stop the next time around but Red Bull left Ricciardo out for two further laps before bringing him in.

Vettel had caught Bottas before the pit stops and soon began losing time behind the Mercedes. Having started the race on the harder soft tyres Vettel potentially stood to gain an advantage if he ran longer. But he would need to pass the Mercedes on the track, and the only use Bottas could serve Mercedes at this point was to remain out and hold up the only Ferrari left in the race.

Ferrari therefore sacrificed Vettel’s tyre advantage and brought him in to ‘undercut’ Bottas. His performance edge was so great that he soon began hauling in Hamilton and Ricciardo at a second per lap or more. Had Vettel started from the pole position he probably would have taken with a working car on Saturday, the others wouldn’t have stood a chance.

By lap 48 Vettel was on Ricciardo’s tail. They caught Alonso, who took the trouble of letting Ricciardo by at turn one and waiting until the exit of four to let Vettel by. “I thought you were better than that,” chided Vettel on the radio as he lost six-tenths of the 14 seconds he’d taken out of Ricciardo since his pit stop.

The next time around Vettel stalked Ricciardo into turn one, the Red Bull driver eyeing his mirrors closely as he edged off-line to hold the Ferrari up. That seemed to break Vettel’s charge as over the final few laps he backed off considerably. That set the finishing order for the top five, Verstappen leading home Hamilton, Ricciardo, Vettel and a distant Bottas.

Vettel and Stroll clash

Despite carrying a stomach infection which had been severe enough to put him on an intravenous drip at one point during the weekend, Perez brought his Force India home first in the ‘B’ class, and the only other driver to complete the race distance.

Contact spoiled Massa and Ocon’s races
Esteban Ocon had accused his team mate of causing him to collide with Massa at turn two on the first lap but a greater portion of the blame belonged with the Williams driver. Having started superbly from 11th with the benefit of new tyres Massa’s line through the corner failed to account for the fact he had two cars on his inside instead of one.

The contact left Massa with floor damage and Ocon with a puncture which sent him into the pits on lap two. He then completed the rest of his race – 53 laps – on a single set of soft tyres. Ocon continued his run of finishing races in the points despite also being knocked into a spin at one stage by Carlos Sainz Jnr. The stewards, who seemed in docile mood, chose not to get involved in this or any of the day’s other incidents.

Between the two Force Indias came Vandoorne, who’d been in great form all weekend, and brilliantly exploited from an ill-timed team orders call at Williams to pass both their cars. Massa followed Stroll home.

The younger Williams driver was then involved in one of the season’s most bizarre incidents. Having been lapped by Verstappen, Stroll took the chequered flag before Vettel. The Ferrari driver was in the process of sweeping around him at turn six when the pair made contact, ripping the left-rear wheel from Vettel’s Ferrari.

“Sebastian came flying by me, pushing round the outside like the race was still on,” said Stroll afterwards. Vettel laid the blame at his rival’s feet. Again both were cleared, but it remains to be seen whether the incident will require Vettel to use a new gearbox at Suzuka, which would mean a five-place grid penalty.

Alonso finished one place outside the points and ahead of Magnussen. The Haas driver tried hard to resist Alonso at turn one, but to no avail. “What an idiot,” Alonso remarked on the radio. “Hulkenberg is right,” he added, referring to the Renault driver’s disparaging assessment of Magnussen’s driving in Hungary.

The only driver to join Raikkonen in retirement was Sainz, whose Toro Rosso was running in the points when its electrics died. His new team mate Pierre Gasly took the chequered flag in 14th place. He was passed by Grosjean with two laps to go, though the Haas driver had the twin advantage of fresher tyres and, unlike Gasly, a working drinks bottle.

‘It had been a season to forget’

Vettel hitched a ride home
For the second time in as many races, Vettel had missed a clear opportunity to reduce Hamilton’s lead. Unlike in Singapore, this one had been out of his control, though that was little consolation.

It was a bittersweet day for Hamilton, however. While he extended his championship lead to 34 points the alarming lack of pace exhibited by his Mercedes will be a cause for concern.

For Verstappen, however, victory was both joy and relief. After being taken out at the start in Singapore he had played down Red Bull’s chances of winning again in 2017.

As was the case with his team mate’s victory in Malaysia 12 months earlier, Verstappen’s win came after a season of some frustrations. And in a happy coincidence, the second win of his career came in the first race after his 20th birthday on Saturday.

“It’s been a dramatic season so far so of course I’m very happy to win this race,” he said. “Hopefully from now onwards it will be OK. I’m not saying we’re going to win every race but at least score some good points.”

“Up until now, it was really a season to forget.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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45 comments on “Verstappen wins on another bad weekend for Ferrari”

  1. Ferrari have the best car and they are blowing the championship. They could have won all the races after the summer break except for Monza but for one reason or another they have failed to capitalise….

    1. +1 But theres still a long way to go yet. Vettel can and likely will win a few more races yet. With RedBull now looking strong and Mercedes dropping off I’d be surprised if Vettel isn’t leading by the end of October.

      1. Hamilton has been very solid after the summer break. The Mercedes is more reliable as well.

        If HAM would end 3rd on average, and VET wins all 5 races, VET will win the WDC. But if VET doesn’t finish one more race, it will be down to the wire. And he will probably get a 5 place grid penalty for Japan.

        It could be very close at the end, but Vette has shown irrational behaviour on a number of occasions this year. My money is firmly on Hamilton.

      2. Depends a lot on track conditions and set up I think. If they luck into a good combination, they could suddenly be the faster car again. Say that happens twice, allowing two Hamilton wins, and they’ll be safe. Problem is, not even Mercedes seem to have any real idea when the car will tune in or not.

        1. suzuka will see Mercedes come back to form as it’ll be significantly cooler than Malaysia.

          1. The problem with that Steve is that Spa was much cooler and Mercedes Ferrari were right there. It’s safe to say Mercedes domination is over. They will either be quite far behind or just on pace for the remaining races. Hamilton may get the results he needs to clinch it, but it’s going to be close and my money is on Vettel.

        2. Mercedes understand that it’s the higher track temperatures and particular corner profiles that causes the car to slide around, especially with the Supersoft tyres – we’ve seen that in the hot sessions through the year. However it looks like they really don’t understand why – James Allen was observing that the post-race Merc debrief lasted another hour than scheduled.

    2. Yeah, in a fictional/gaming world where only the speed matters, Ferrari might be the best car. Quite insignificantly faster overall tho, and only on some circuits. But, not the best car in the real world called F1, where reliability matters too… and it matters so much that it can lose or win a champ. 2005 is one of the best examples in my opinion because ALO and RAI had the same number of wins at the end of the season too, so we can ask RAI and ALO about losing and/or winning a WDC strictly because reliability made a difference.

      1. digitalrurouni
        2nd October 2017, 15:29

        Man I could not disagree more. Time and time again has shown Ferrari is easier to set up at ALL circuits. Sure their peak performance at some tracks is less than Mercedes like Silverstone and weirdly enough Monza but they definitely have the best all rounder car. Meaning on average across all tracks we have been to so far it has been a better car. However with the Mercedes’s peaky performance and with Hamilton at the wheel they are able to dampen that advantage somewhat by producing some epic 1 lap performances in qualifying and taking pole. That has helped them more than anything. I am definitely a fan of Hamilton’s race craft and seeing how far Valterri has been lagging behind in the races despite both are on equal machinery especially as the season has progressed, there is no doubt in my mind that Hamilton is a key component in the Merc being up there.

        Also Ferrari has not done themselves any favors and with Vettel’s brain farts in the races and also their some times quite poor strategy it’s like they are doing all they can to sabotage themselves.

        This championship has been endlessly fascinating. The hybrid era has finally come in to its own with Ferrari stepping up big time and stopping the Merc onslaught. Red Bull is almost there and all that is left is for Renault to figure out their PU and next year will be even more epic. It was only a matter of time and patience before the cream would rise to the top and I bet the racing will be EVEN tighter next year. Hopefully Ferrari will have learned from their mistakes this year and then we have a 3 way fight at the top next year! Hamilton v Vettel v Max!!! Sorry Danny Ric it seems Max has got your number.

  2. Again a great sign why Hamilton wins this season and is the better driver of the two was iconic shown in this race; he just accepted 2nd place and didn’t risk anything at all. VER showed some great consistent race-craft for the first time in I think… 5, 6 months on race craft. If he stops whining about the engine, the car, other drivers, the FIA publicly every time something goes wrong too… perhaps, I’ll finally support him.

    Meanwhile our bipolar German guy, wasted his Russian pole in 1 lap, risks and gets his front wing taken off in Canada, plays bumper cars in Baku, got out-smarted in Spa and Austria..
    And with a little bit Ferrari shenanigans – for example Sepang now, Monza and Britain – and the fact the Mercedes reliability was already near perfect in winter testing… someone with the name of Villeneuve or EJ needs to cause serious commotion by calling him and the Ferrari crew out out for robbing the community of a serious battle this season. How can the most prestigious team suffer from so many lapses of concentration? Very sad.

    In other news. Why is everyone so mad on track this year? I get the feeling is it the domino effect of the increased soft way the FIA punishes certain drivers now along with the increased pressure as there are no new teams, a very quiet silly season ahead along with the increased media-pressure invoked by Liberty. Wider cars and closer racing of course play a part but this is getting to look like two mid-life crisis parents that are having too many kids that are entering puberty and now let the kids settle things along themselves only for the kids to now come back with broken arms calling for broken arms on the other kid. Nuts. If they race-banned Vettel in Baku, non of this would’ve happened.

    1. [quote]Again a great sign why Hamilton wins this season and is the better driver of the two was iconic shown in this race; he just accepted 2nd place and didn’t risk anything at all. VER showed some great consistent race-craft for the first time in I think… 5, 6 months on race craft. If he stops whining about the engine, the car, other drivers, the FIA publicly every time something goes wrong too… perhaps, I’ll finally support him.[/quote]

      Sorry, but can you blame a teenager in the prime of his life, eager to show what he can? i admit, some of the DNF’s are due to some inexperienced behavior, but in most of the cases it wasn’t his fault. I would be whining too if i were in his place. But most of is ‘whining’ is way blown up by the media. On the other hand, he and his dad play the f1 politics game pretty well.

      He showed some balls today, fighting for the only chance he had and took it with both hands. a talented man with a lot of promise for sure. Max gave Ham (and us) a glimp of a possible future.. who knows. For now.. Lets follow the Merc-Ferrari battle.. RBR has nothing to do in this years championship, sadly enough..

      1. Mmmm… RBR had something to do in this champ indeed. Not enough to be a title contender, but yesterday VET lost some points in his battle with HAM because he couldn’t overtake a slower RBR. It’s just 1 example. So, yeah, RBR had a word, they “stole” some points from Ferrari and Mercedes, especially from Ferrari.

      2. People keep pointing at Versteppen as being (partially) at fault in either one of his 7 DNF’s… while he’s been absolute spotless in all his DNF races, didn’t put a foot wrong. Verstappen was to blame in Hunagry, but not in Spain, Austria or Singapore.

        He wasn’t able to show his strength in many hight potential races like Baku, Canada and especially Singapore.
        Verstappen was the fastest many in Singapore, Ferrari took pole on engine mapping.. i’m rather sure of that, neither Kimi or Vettel could have kept Verstappen behind in Singapore, especially in the wet

  3. Suzuka is a lot cooler in temps than Sepang and the tyres will be harder. I believe Mercedes will bounce back there.

    Can’t see Hamilton not being able to win at least one of the remaining races. Vettel, on the other hand is being ultracompetitive but losing some results. He should’ve won at least 3 more races than he did.

    China, he was the faster guy but took a risk with a premature pit stop and it backfired.
    Spain, Ferrari was outsmarted by Mercedes.
    Singapore, everybody knows.

    1. I would add Belgium and Baku as well.

      1. Not Belgium. Cause I’m a nice guy, if you want to add Belgium, be it… but add Hungary for Hamilton! If you really think speed is everything, then HAM should have won in HUN. VET was a sitting duck. He had the faster car, yet he didn’t win because he couldn’t.

  4. “This was Ferrari’s race. At least, it should have been.”

    It is now very clear for me that Ferrari is the best overall car this year. Quickest + Easy to setup for different circuits. Singapore and now Malaysia, two completely different circuits and Ferrari was the car to beat at both of them. Its only because of errors of Vettel and Ferrari team that they are not leading both championships.
    Good thing is that Mercedes team knows this as Toto said after the race they are very concerned with the pace of their car and Ferrari was close to a second per lap faster than them, so hopefully they improve their car and bring updates soon because the Ferrari car is beginning to look dominant now or at least the quickest car at the moment and 38 points gap can be recovered by Vettel. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari is quicker than Mercedes at all the remaining tracks. Game On.

    Those who still think Mercedes is the fastest car… maybe they dont understand the sport.

    1. @amg44 I don’t want to read “Hamilton won the championship despite Vettel having a better car” at the end of the season because this has been true only for a small portion of the WC. Besides that, a car that breaks is NOT the best car; Ferrari blew it at Singapore while capitalizing all the other times, like in Monaco or Budapest. Now, take a look at the timetables from all the other races, especially in qualifying and then come back saying that I “don’t understand the sport”. Here they had the fastest car, not the best. Giving up reliability for performance may or may not be a good strategy.

      1. I think you may well have to because the Ferrari is the better car.

      2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        2nd October 2017, 12:27

        @m-bagattini Vettel lost 13 potential points in Baku by incurring a 10 second stop & go penalty, and another 25 points in Singapore in a race he ought to have won. Even with the problem in Malaysia he should now be leading the WDC. If he gets a 5-place penalty (gearbox replacement) in Suzuka, he can’t in all honesty blame that on mechanical unreliability either. The reason he’s lagging far behind Hamilton is due to his own failings, not that of the car.

        The Mercedes has not been good enough this season: it needs a specific type of track configuration and weather conditions to get into its perfect window – as at Silverstone. When everything is to its liking it is a rocket ship, but on too many other occasions it’s been quick but eaten through its tyres (e.g. Melbourne) or simply been off the pace relative to Ferrari (e.g. Sochi, Monaco and Singapore). If has been saved by its Q3 engine modes.

        The problem is down to a suspension geometry which was banned just before the start of the season, which has ruined the concept behind the car. The team has learnt how to adjust the set-up to minimise the problem, but they can’t fix it short of redesigning the whole car.

        Ferrari ought to be leading both championships but, due to Vettel’s errors and their retention of a lacklustre number two, they are on course to lose both. Next season Mercedes will have a new design which resolves the fundamental design flaw with the suspension – I expect the car to be working at its true potential on the vast majority of circuits. Ferrari had a real chance this season, they blew it, I wouldn’t bet on them being so competitive next year.

    2. If this Ferrari looks dominant to you, wonder how the 2014-2016 Mercedes look.

  5. At this point Ricciardo was getting more out of his worn super-soft tyres than his team mate.

  6. Ferrari was very fast both in Singapore and in Malaysia, they missed a great opportunity to put both drivers in the podium in Singapore and in KL, maybe two 1-2 finishes.

  7. What’s also interesting is the difference between the team mates at the top: Bottas was nowhere compared to Hamilton, and while Verstappen won with ease, Ricciardo could not manage to edge closer to Hamilton to turn it into a Red Bull 1-2. Was this simply a case of raw speed, or wrong setups, or (for Ricciardo) running in the dirty air for the whole race?

    1. I would put both down to setup tweaks that didn’t pay dividends. Struggling lately, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that BOT tweaked setup away from the sweet spot. It is known he differed from HAM’s setup in Singapore and suffered for it and I expect he tried something slightly different at Sepang and paid a price. As for RIC, my suspicion of the same is stronger still as: a) Sundays are his forte and b) The Red Bull is perhaps the best car on the grid in “dirty air”

      1. @ AndrewW: finally… someone who noticed the same thing, quite obvious thing now in my opinion: Red Bull is perhaps the best car on the grid in “dirty air”. VER managed to pass BOT and HAM, all on the same tyre, while VET struggled a lot behind RIC and couldn’t pass him in the end (BOT too actually), although VET was on SS and lapping a lot faster. It was like Spa revisited for VET: he could follow the car in front, but only at 1-2sec distance, which is too much and kinda killed his chances of overtaking. Didn’t check, but I think this season RBR managed more on-track overtakes against their faster rivals (Mercedes and Ferrari) than their rivals managed against them, starts apart.

    2. Verstappen made sure in turn one not to lose his position to Bottas, that was a key moment. The second key moment was when DRS became activated Lewis had a bad exit out of the last turn. Just prior to that Verstappen had already noticed Lewis had a battery issue and therefore. Max never needs to to think twice. After he passed Lewis his laptimes where much quicker than Ricciardo’s, but Ricciardo was driving in dirty air. As soon Ricciardo had passed Bottas, his laptimes went down, but stilll Max being marginally quicker.

      Lewis tried to hold up to Max but couldn’t follow. If you’re behind someone and as fast or even faster, you’ll give the guy 2 to 3 seconds to keep yourself out of the dirty air, Lewis didn’t have the pace.

  8. At the current rate, Ferrari are being their own worst enemies and engaging in what is effectively self-sabotage. Shame as both WCC and WDC should be a much tighter fight than is likely to manifest in what remains of the season now.

    Congrats to VER and VET for their performances. Not for the first time this year, Merc are is headless chicken mode blaming a “diva” W08. For reigning WCCs, even providing for intervening regulation changes, I cannot remember this level of apparent cluelessness with two thirds of a season run. In the lead of both championships, but in spite of rather than because of their own efforts. Car development obviously took a hit with James Allison stepping in for Paddy Lowe after the former had essentially overseen the implementation of concept. It is also obvious to me that that the loss of perhaps the highest engineering aptitude driver on the grid, in ROS, has left them struggling to understand and predictably develop the W08.

    1. You talk some farm crap!

  9. Judging from how much Red Bull has improved since the start of the year, my humble prediction is that they will be very competitive next year. It feels a bit like 2009, when Brawn were fastest after the new regulations and Red Bull caught them mid season and became dominant for the next 4 years while rules were more or less stable. This year too, they started slowly, but their progress is evident and if the Renault engine keeps getting closer to Ferrari and Mercedes, then it will be really hard to stop them next year. I hope they do not switch to Honda; I see more potential in sticking with Renault than Honda.

    So, I am already excited for next year. It should be even better than this year in terms of number of drivers fighting for the championship.

  10. Interesting analysis of the race from Mark Hughes at Motorsport Magazine. Specifically as to the so-called ‘de-rates’, he says that it was not a Merc problem, but that Hamilton used some of his battery on the parts of the lap he normally wouldn’t, because Verstappen was so close and fast, and that caused him to run out on the straights, where he normally would use all. So not any kind of technical issue, simply not as much battery once deployed as he would normally have. Apparently this is partly because (in Hughes’ words, not mine) Verstappen is particularly adept at harvesting and deploying energy (saw this at Spain 2016 against Kimi as well). Playstation generation, I guess ;-).

    Link, for those interested:

    1. That is one of those things with Max. Whether it’s because of the playstation or not – i think not-, he knows how to make use all his energy features exceptionally well. To me his races in China, both in the TR and the RB, are the best examples of that. Lining op for the long straight, using ers and kers and whatever to get him in the right position, and hitting with DRS.

      As you already mentioned, using the electrics very clever was what secured him his first win, the one that people still like to refer as given as a present by RBR. Those are the same people that like to call him crashkid now. Yeah whatever.

    2. @hahostolze I think Max’s time in the comparatively weaker Red Bull has contributed to this – having to be smart with and maximise the use of energy harvesting & deployment to over-come the power deficit inherent in the Renault PU (esp in 2016) vs Ferrari and Mercedes.

      1. I think so too. People should see that the playstation will never be a substitude for the real deal. But it can be a perfect tool to do certain homework.

    3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      2nd October 2017, 12:51

      @hahostolze It should be pointed out that Red Bull was thought to be between 4/10ths and 6/10ths quicker per lap than the Mercedes, so that would have necessitated Hamilton using more electrical power than Verstappen in order to protect his lead. Verstappen finally overtook after DRS was enabled, giving him the vital boost he needed to squeeze past.

      1. Yeah, there is no denying that, but Sky kept making the de-rate sound like some sort of malfunction, when it’s a choice the driver makes in terms of deployment and then gets caught short on the straight. My point is that in terms of creation perception, people assumed it was some form of technical issue, when it’s not.

        1. Sky is a mess, they were saying that VET had lots of chances to get even HAM and secure 2nd place… because he had the speed and the tyres. It was quite obvious he had almost no chances to get HAM because RIC was between them, overtaking is a completely different story, then HAM was like 20sec ahead and 16 laps to go.

  11. Sundar Srinivas Harish
    2nd October 2017, 9:56

    I’m surprised that no one has made a mention of Magnussen’s spirited first stint. That first lap was a teleportation act on his part, and he had some nice scraps with the midfield.

    1. I think to understand that most of the other 19 drivers would very much appreciate a teleportation act by Magnussen. Having himself teleported very very far away that is.

      1. As ALO stated when interviewed on C4: is 19 against 1.

  12. Why didn’t ferrari use all new components, ICE MGU-H, MGU-K gearbox ect. Vettel had to start from the back so a 45 grid penalty was no issue

    1. He had a 20 grid penalty for changing components.

  13. Just to chime in on the Stroll/Vettel contact…I think it was certainly more Stroll’s fault, while at the same time I consider it an innocent mistake. It wasn’t anything intentional, but it is as clear as the light of day that SV does not move his steering wheel toward LS. From the shot from the trailing car’s camera we clearly see Stroll driving into SV. SV’s wheel only ever stays cocked enough to the left to slowly negotiate the left hand turn. Stroll just got surprised by SV being there. I think it will be very unfair if SV does have to take a grid penalty for a gearbox change over this, and I’ll assume he was instructed to take the steering wheel with him and that there will be no penalty for that, as they would have left it in place if a penalty we’re to ensue. Or it is a fine and they are willing to pay it and have SV bring in the steering wheel. Highly valuable data in it I assume.

  14. Esteban Ocon had accused his team mate of causing him to collide with Massa at turn two on the first lap but a greater portion of the blame belonged with the Williams driver. Having started superbly from 11th with the benefit of new tyres Massa’s line through the corner failed to account for the fact he had two cars on his inside instead of one.

    Okay, that’s my W T F moment for today.
    No. Just … no.

  15. Topless Robot Nun
    2nd October 2017, 14:53

    It’s nice for once to not be able to predict with any certainty which car will be strongest at the remaining races this year. Could go either way as it stands, and all it takes is for Lewis to have an engine failure or get nerfed off at the first corner or by a clumsy backmarker to really blow it wide open. This is the best we’ve had it for a while, despite the best efforts of the aero regs. Let’s hope none of the top three teams drop the ball over the winter, Valtteri gels with his car a bit better and Kimi has a mojo transplant or something to give us a six-way fight to the wire next year.

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