Rate the race: 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Malaysian Grand Prix.

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The Malaysian Grand Prix was rated 7.4 out of ten.

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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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61 comments on “Rate the race: 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix”

  1. Solid race – good action, good overtakes, nice wheel to wheel racing. Also great drives from Vandoorne, Vettel, and of course Verstappen, who I can’t help but feel extremely happy for to get a long overdue second win.

    1. My take also on your comment!

      1. And Stroll!

  2. Max beating Hamilton on merit, awesome stuff. That takes the sting out of Kimi’s DNS – I’m sure Kimi wouldn’t have capitalized as well as Max on that opportunity.

    Good racing through the field by Vettel, but what was that crazy coming together with Stroll in the cooling-off lap?!

    1. I think Kimi would have in all likelihood walked this race, the Ferrari’s race pace compared to Merc or even Red Bull was mega. Was projected to be about half a second per lap quicker than the Red Bulls. The only reason Vettel couldn’t make it onto the podium was because Ferrari messed up slightly with the fuel strategy, fuelling him low so he could make up places quickly at the start but when he came up on Ricciardo he was having to do some serious lifting and coasting

  3. A decent race. Could have been a bit more battles for a position at the front, but overall not too bad.

    1. @jerejj – if only we had the Ferraris up there, it would have been one almighty 4-way to 6-way fight.

      1. @phylyp nope, it’s clear the Ferrari’s would have been faster

  4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    1st October 2017, 9:24

    Nice to see the taxi ban flaunted

    1. I think vettel will get a penalty.

      1. Nah,.. He put his visor down, so I doubt the Stewards even saw him;-)

  5. 7. Vettel consistently using lower gears through corners makes me suspect the way he drives… Is his driving causing the power unit parts to be used quickly? Also… Ricciardo… This time no luck against Max.

    1. Cheap Chrysler (mopar) parts. lol

    2. @krichelle – if it were that often to manifest itself as mechanical damage, it would shown in his fuel burn, since he’d be running the engine at higher RPMs. That will mean he’ll either have to be overfuelled (which is something teams don’t do), or will be doing a lot of lifting and coasting to save at other times.

      1. Running higher RPMS causes higher fuel and of course, you do not want to use higher RPMS if you want to preserve your engine. He was required to cooldown the engine when he was behind Daniel…

        1. Higher fuel usage yes, that’s why @phylyp is pointing on the need for overfuelling or heavily lifting, which would make absolutely no sense.
          Seems just to be a hateful comment trying to talk Vet down and having Ham look good, something he doesn’t even need at all.

  6. John Toad (@)
    1st October 2017, 9:31

    Average race so average score of 5

  7. Awesome race and result for Max, wonder how the haters will spin this one ;p

  8. Decent race, got a bit boring at the end once it was clear that Seb’s tyres were too shot to get him past Ric. 7

  9. 7/10. Good action for the first two thirds of the race then it dropped a bit. Solid drives from Verstappen, Vandoorne and Vettel, a shame Vettel was too short on his supersofts to have a good fight for third at the end.
    My man of the weekend will no doubt be Vandoorne which beat Alonso on pure merit and held the Williams all long. Well done Stoffel!

  10. Enjoyable race today with action and drama from before the start. Pleased for Max, he deserves it after such a torrid season. If only we could have seen Kimi fighting in a car that seemed so tuned in to the track today. 8/10

  11. Awesome dry race!
    A lot of wheel to wheel action both in the front spots and in the midfield.
    Very entertaining to watch!

  12. 9. Only criticism, as fuel burns races go stale. Shame Kimi wasn’t there.

  13. 10, just due to the fact that a car not a Ferrari beat Hamilton on merit.

  14. Maybe Alonso is happiest to see a Renault engine at the top

    1. Although Honda weren’t exactly terrible today, Vandoorne finished ahead of both Williams. I keep getting the feeling McLaren have bailed just as Honda may finally come good…

  15. Great pity Ferraris weren’t in the mix. Could have been a fascinating race of team strategies. Still, fairly entertaining most of the way. 7/10

  16. 8. Great to see max outdrive Mercedes on a power track. I’m pretty sure Mercedes is still the fastest here as shown by hamilton’s lap times toward the end which matched max’s

    1. Mercedes fastest here? Really? Power track this may be but the evidence since Friday suggests otherwise. Reason why Bottas started fifth and finished almost a full minute off the winner.

      1. Does it matter anyway? When Lewis wins it’s his talent regardless, when any one else wins it’s because Lewis didn’t have a good enough car.

        1. Because when Lewis has a good car, he wins most of the time. This is a fact borne out by his stats in every single season he has been in F1. No teammate has ever beaten him on wins. God figure.

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            2nd October 2017, 11:33

            @kbdavies – You mean when he has the “best” car. He’s had at least a “good” car for every race since the start of 2014.

  17. Above average. Prerace drama with Kimi, great battles in the midfield, a comeback drive by Vettel, and a pass for the lead – nothing remarkable or the race of the century, but a solid entertainment package.

  18. 9, very decent race, proper stuff allaround. I almost wish we had reverse grid starts.

  19. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    1st October 2017, 11:15

    I have no comments.

  20. A 8/10 for me…..plenty going on and a track where overtakes are possible….
    Did anyone else see the scuffle on the grid as a Ferrari mechanic violently pushed a photographer out of the way who pushed back.. as Kimi’s car was being pushed onto the grid{then sadly later pushed off}….I do get fed up with this we are superior to everyone attitude from Ferrari, from team principals who blank out interviewers like Ted K and Mark Webber…and it filters right through the team…..any other team is approachable…..
    Roll on next weekend

    1. I saw this but i think the photographer would have been overrun by the disabled Ferrari had he not been pushed away.

    2. it was more the chaotic way of working on the side of the Ferrari team. It looks every time if it’s the first time they see a racecar. Headless chicken running around the car in the garage if anything goes wrong.
      Strange for a team of that size. But it’s probably part of the explanation for the technical difficulties.

  21. 7/10 a solid race. Would have been great if we had the Ferraris at the front as well.

    But all in all a relatively normal race. Couple good battles through the grid.

    Bottas looks to be going from bad to worse. His demeanor in the press pen says it all, he’s man completely bereft of any confidence in anything. He’s usually ice cool, but today, it was obvious he was flustered. It doesn’t help when your boss pops up on Sky saying that upgrade he’s running is all good and he should be quick.

    Great result from Stoff, he proving he’s worth the money now. The start was key, he made a great one. Mclaren looks good.

    1. Bottas is simply not delivering….he should at least be backup to Lewis…..and I know he has a contract for next year, but Mercedes can afford to veto it….possible replacement??? start with Max

  22. I think I personally am reaching the tipping point this year, in the sense that a lack of success for my favorites means that I am enjoying F1 as a whole less and less with each passing weekend. The race wasn’t that bad, but ultimately didn’t do much for me either. Voted 6/10.

    It seems that lately, even when Mercedes slips up, Red Bull or Ferrari is there to profit. Where are the shock wins like Rosberg and Maldonado in 2012? The redemptions like Webber’s first win in 2009 or Kubica winning at the circuit he crashed so badly at the year before?

    When we have crazy races in this era, it seems to be Ricciardo that wins (Hungary 2014, Azerbaijan this season). Even Williams don’t contend for the podium any more like they did in 2014 and sometimes 2015. It’s just so dull seeing the same team win and two other teams sharing the spoils for the 4th season in a row. I don’t want Liberty to engineer it, but I do seriously long for something like ‘Frentzen battling for the title’ in 1999 or all year title battles with multiple people gunning for it like 2003, 2010 or 2012.

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    7/10 – pity it wasn’t wetter at the start or we didn’t get rain but some good battles through the field.

  24. I really enjoyed it (was certainly worth getting up early for!), it had some great battles and overtakes up and down the field, and was nice to see Vettel carve his way through from the back – definitely a good send-off for Malaysia.

    Did drop off towards the end, and mid-race rain and Ferrari starting at the front would have made it a bit better, but a solid 8/10 from me.

  25. Another track record shattered. The big news is hybrid power units with very significant ( 30% ? ) fuel efficiency can produce F1 racing at equal speed and performance .

    Wonder if a special prize or incentive for fuel efficiency vs. points could be awarded. Seems desirable incentive for the premier technology formula. Or is that WEC…?

    1. Mercedes reported lately that their PU’s breached 50% efficiency. 50%! Twice that of a good petrol road car engine.

      1. On a bench test, not in a car – just to clarify.

  26. An overtake for the win (however early in the race), quite a few overtakes in the midfield and tension for the podium until a few laps to the finish. I liked it, but must admit this is at least partly due to the fact we haven’t been spoiled with real overtaking in the races this season, so little was needed to make this one of the best to me. (9/10)

  27. This race didn’t really do it for me, there were some good battles but it was mostly sorted by half distance. I was bored by the end, gave it a 6.

  28. Vettel’s drive was pretty cool – I didn’t think he’d get higher than fifth so to get within striking distance of third was amazing. Though what is going on with Bottas? He got comfortably beaten by the guy that started last. Poor Raikkonen though, that was naff. Verstappen’s going to win world titles – probably a lot of them – just a matter of time.

    Palmer being overtaken by the wind – lol.

    Looks like the championship’s Hamilton’s by a comfortable margin.

  29. I’ll miss the Malaysian GP. Always delivers a good race. Excellent battles throughout the field.

  30. 9/10 – An overtake for the win, wheel-to-wheel racing all the way down the field. A thoroughly enjoyable motor race for anyone who isn’t a Ferrari fan.

    I’ll miss you Sepang. Come back anytime.

  31. I think the race is a 8/10. Voted 9 because I’m dutch. Thanks Lewis for letting Max win :-)

  32. 7/10. A top drive by Max which showed great maturity. Other notable drives worth a mention were by Vettel of course and Vandoorne.

    I thought the race was going to get more exciting towards the end but it kind of tailed off a bit. Would have been improved by a closer battle for the podium places. It was a shame Vettel’s tyres went off when they did.

    I will be sorry to see Malaysia leave the calendar as I think it often produces above average races. It’s a shame some of the less interesting circuits remain e.g. Russia.

  33. Gave it an 8, kept me interested, after the initial skirmish with Max / Lewis then Dan / Bot the race was on Seb chasing down the podium.
    Have to read the reports to find out what happened to Seb at the end, tyres / heating / fuel, a couple of more attempts at Dan would have spiced it up a bit more.

    Had Kimi been there it may have had a bit more punch.

    Good day for the RB’s.

  34. 6/10 if they pitted RIC 5 laps earlier (lost 10 seconds) he would have been on HAM and a chance VET would have caught them especially if they were scraping for 2nd, would have made the final part off the way more interesting.

  35. Average race, although a few interesting battles, good drive by Max, good drive by Vettel, who obviously had the best/fastest car (it’s a real shame Kimi couldnt race, as he may have won it looking at the Merc pace)

    Loved watching Vettel struggle to get past Alonso, even though the his car is sio much faster , especially on the straights!

  36. Average race, although a few interesting battles, good drive by Max, good drive by Vettel, who obviously had the best/fastest car (it’s a real shame Kimi couldnt race, as he may have won it looking at the Merc pace)

    Loved watching Vettel struggle to get past Alonso, even though the his car is so much faster , especially on the straights!

  37. Found it an average race.

    What i did fnd irritating is the ever increasing amount mood shots. Vettel is trying to overtake Alonso and what do we get to see a grandstand shot. More and more grandstand shots and uninterresting people in the pitbox, helocopter shot rising above the tree line. It is like the directors are forgetting that it is all about those things with an engine and black rubber stuck to the four corners. The only one we saw finish was Max as if the other drivers do not exist.

  38. Some thing not right with sebs car he took the stearing wheel its not protocol at all ?

  39. It was a good race and gave it a 7.25 rating.

    After the opening laps when Verstappen took the lead it became apparent that Mercedes didn’t have the race pace to challenge and with Ferrari out of the equation, I was certain fairly early on that only more bad luck would deprive Verstappen of his first win of the season.

    Elsewhere there was enough action to keep the entertainment levels up and it was overall a good race for Malaysia to sign off with, if not a classic.

    After Friday practice it looked like Mercedes were again third fastest behind Ferrari and Red Bull, they managed to close the gap on one lap pace enough for Hamilton to capitalise on Vettel’s reliability problems and take pole on Saturday but the question was had Mercedes found sufficient race pace to compete for the victory on Sunday.

    It looked like a great chance for Raikkonen to end his win drought and get his first victory since rejoining Ferrari, he was starting on the front row with Vettel on the back row, so it was unlikely team orders would come into play and the Ferrari and the Red Bull seemed the quickest cars this weekend. Alas more Ferrari problems meant he never even made the start.

    When the Grand Prix got under way Hamilton retained the lead but it was clear this would not be a race where he would control the race and take a comfortable victory, some de-rating on the Mercedes coupled with DRS on the Red Bull meant that Verstappen cruised past Hamilton on the straight in a way we are not used to seeing a Red Bull overtake a Mercedes.

    With the way Verstappen managed to gap Hamilton it was obvious that Mercedes had not managed to solve all their problems this weekend and but by the time Ricciardo had got past Bottas, Hamilton had enough of a cushion that so that Ricciardo never got close enough to challenge for second.

    After that opening phase of the race I thought that the podium positions were settled unless more car problems arose, which considering Verstappen’s record this season and what happened to Hamilton when he was leading here last year was not something that would not have been a massive surprise.

    The other question was, after starting at the back of the grid, how far up could Vettel finish, the Ferrari seemed the fastest car this weekend and Sepang is a circuit where you can overtake, so if it was a straightforward race he would definitely get some points and before the race I thought fifth place would be a great result and probably be the best he could hope to achieve, with Raikkonen not starting that changed into fourth, which is what Vettel managed.

    After his pit stop Vettel was closing down Ricciardo for what would have been an unlikely podium, and although he did indeed catch him and make an attempt to get past he had taken too much out of his tyres in the chase and did not have anything left to try more challenges and so had to settle for fourth.

    In a race that was all about damage limitation for Vettel, he probably would have taken the final finishing order if he was offered it at the start of the day.

    Although Hamilton increased his championship lead again and is still the favourite for the title, I think Vettel’s chances have actually improved after this weekend.

    Malaysia was supposed to favour Mercedes and so the fact that they were outpaced by both Ferrari and Red Bull will give them cause for concern. If this form is replicated at the other circuits in the run-in then Vettel not only has a good chance of winning but of having more cars in between himself and Hamilton, allowing him to make bigger inroads into Hamilton’s points lead.

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