Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, Sepang International Circuit, 2017

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix Star Performers

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Stoffel Vandoorne were F1 Fanatic’s Star Performers of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Here’s why.

Stars

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Sepang International Circuit, 2017
Verstappen put one over Hamilton
Verstappen put Red Bull on top in the wet first practice session but the track stayed dry from then one. Nonetheless he pipped Ricciardo to third on the grid, which effectively became second when Kimi Raikkonen was unable to get away.

Having shrugged off an attack from Valtteri Bottas, Verstappen went after the other Mercedes. He reckoned, correctly, that Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t force the issue if he tried a move and sure enough he succeeded at the first attempt.

From there on he built himself a handy lead and preserved it to the end, taking his first victory of 2017.

Lewis Hamilton

The Mercedes was not the force it usually is in Malaysia. Nonetheless Hamilton, having chosen not to use their aerodynamic upgrade and benefiting from Sebastian Vettel’s absence from Q3, snuck it into pole position by a few hundredths of a second, and well clear of his team mate.

Had either of the Ferraris started near him Hamilton would have been in more trouble at the start. However Ricciardo’s delay behind his team mate gave Hamilton some breathing room, and when Verstappen came at him Hamilton thought of the championship and didn’t fight him too hard.

An early first pit stop helped add to his margin over Ricciardo, and after the Red Bull driver became embroiled in a fight with Vettel, Hamilton had enough time in hand to collect a valuable second place.

Sergio Perez

Only after the race did Perez reveal just how unwell he’d been during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend. He’d been on an intravenous drip due to a stomach infection on Saturday night.

Nonetheless having qualified ninth he made a cracking start which got him ahead of his team mate and Nico Hulkenberg. After that he passed Stoffel Vandoorne and ground out a gritty and hard-earned sixth place.

Stoffel Vandoorne

Despite losing that place to Perez, Vandoorne deserves credit for what was his most convincing F1 race weekend to date. He was a tenth of a second quicker than Fernando Alonso in qualifying, which meant he started three places ahead.

The key moment of his race came when he left the pits on lap 14. The two Williams drivers, who had pitted before him, came out ahead. However they were too busy swapping positions to prevent Vandoorne nipping down the inside. Job done, he was on his way to a fine seventh.

Strugglers

Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Sepang International Circuit, 2017
Palmer had a couple of slip-ups
Palmer actually finished just in front of his team mate. However this was only because Nico Hulkenberg’s strategy had gone so badly wrong he had to make a second pit stop with a few laps to go. For Palmer, two unforced spins spoiled his afternoon and left him well outside the points.

Valtteri Bottas

While Hamilton made the best of a tough weekend for Mercedes, Bottas was well off his team mate’s pace in the race and qualifying. He was 43 seconds behind when the chequered flag fell.

Marcus Ericsson

Similarly Ericsson couldn’t live with Pascal Wehrlein’s pace in Malaysia and finished a distance 18th.

And the rest

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2017
Vettel overcame minimal resistance to take fourth
Is it too harsh to overlooked Vettel given he made up 16 places? Most of those places were gained at the expense of much slower cars. The quicker midfield cars all pitted before he caught up to them with the exception of Perez, who didn’t really put up a fight. That was the last car he passed on-track as he easily jumped Bottas in the pits and couldn’t find a way past Ricciardo. Both he and Stroll could have done more to avoid their needless post-race tangle, though it seems Vettel is the one who will pay a price for it.

Raikkonen missed a chance at pole but it didn’t matter as he wasn’t even able to start. Ricciardo paid the price for getting stuck behind Bottas early on, but still managed to score his eight podium finish.

Felipe Massa left the Force Indias too little room at the start and suffered floor damage which slowed him down. He let Stroll by when his team told him to. Esteban Ocon was doubly unlucky: as well as picking up a puncture when he was hit by Massa, Carlos Sainz Jnr tipped him into a spin later in the race.

Fernando Alonso’s attempt to run a long first stint backfired and left him outside the points. He was followed home by Kevin Magnussen, who Alonso put some manners on along the way, and the other Haas of Romain Grosjean, who fell to the back when he went off on lap one.

Grosjean passed Gasly neat the end of the race. The Toro Rosso newcomer had a solid first weekend despite not being able to drink during the race. Pascal Wehrlein again left the weekend with nothing to show for his efforts, unless Vettel left him a tip for his taxi ride back to the paddock.

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other F1 Fanatics share your view here:

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Author information

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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52 comments on “2017 Malaysian Grand Prix Star Performers”

  1. Would agree with that. Although I wonder if Ocon would’ve beaten Perez if not for the contact at the start, as Ocon was quicker in qualifying and Perez was ill.

  2. Hamilton a top performer? Wow… that’s a stretch even if you’re a fan. He nearly lost pole by not improving on his last Q3 lap. If Kimi hadn’t taken the final corner so wide he would’ve definitely be on pole.

    Hamilton also didn’t put up a struggle with Verstappen and chose the safe option. The smartest choice he could make being the championship leader, but nonetheless just getting out of harms way. During the race he was unable to consistently follow Verstappen and never even looked to be remotely near his usual performance level. The fact Bottas did even worse does not make up for that.

    Hamilton was a solid 6/10 this time, nothing more. He drove a race like Gasly did: safe, but not very sound.

    1. You are downplaying him because he “nearly lost pole”? Really?
      He shouldn’t even be there in the first place!

      1. Nearly losing pole is not a reason to downplay his performance; quite the opposite winning pole after the poor FP sessions supports a Star rating.

        However, losing the lead is reason enough to leave him out of any Star list this week. It wasn’t the car because we could see that ‘Struggler’ Bottas kept the same car behind for another 6 laps.

        Vettel’s race (he did not really enter Q) was of Star quality, but I took him off when I saw the replays of his clumsy get together with Stroll.

    2. Looking at Bottas performance Hamilton really did a great job there, he managed to start ahead of a faster car and finish ahead of another faster car.

    3. @addvariety

      When he wins it’s just because he has the best car. And when he only beats his teammate by 45 seconds and keeps ahead of a car that had clearly faster race pace it’s not a sound performance?

      I suspect Keith happens to know a little about what he’s talking about. Hamilton grabbed a pole the car didn’t deserve, and delivered a race pace sufficient to prevent a charging Vettel in a considerably faster car from having a chance.

      1. @philipgb I’m not looking for excuses here. Hamilton normally is one of the fastest drivers out there. For instance, the past two years have shown that Hamilton is the only one in the rain who’s at least on par with Verstappen, probably better. Hamilton is also extremely consistent and almost never makes a mistake in the race, only Ricciardo comes close. Hamilton is also a qualifying beast, how often has he had at least 2-3 tenths on Rosberg/Bottas the past couple of years?

        So yeah, I know Hamilton’s strengths. But this weekend was not one of them. And do not compare Bottas in this case, Bottas was just very very bad. Finishing 20 seconds behind Vettel and just 12 seconds in front of Perez (who was sick, mind you) is just awful. Some post-race reports say Bottas also had to deal with the horrible new aero package that Mercedes got wrong this time around, Lewis reverted to the previous package, but did lose set-up time due to this. So partly the car’s performance was to blame of course, since Mercedes was 3rd fastest (and Ferrari fastest).

        Nonetheless, looking at Hamilton’s own performance, it was nothing out of the ordinary. And if you think otherwise, I’d love to hear why exactly he was a top performer. Because even Hamilton admitted he played it safe regarding the Verstappen battle, he just wanted to score more points than Vettel knowing he started last. He also admitted he didn’t expect Vettel to storm up to fourth. And Wolff admitted that Verstappen took it easy in his second stint, because on those tyres especially, Red Bull was much faster than Mercedes and he could’ve easily pulled a 30 second gap. Not my words, Wolff’s. Finally, Hamilton also admitted he was afraid to go back to the new aero package before qualifying so he sticked with the old one, primarily due to things going wrong with fitting it in such a tight schedule.

        1. Hamilton normally is one of the fastest drivers out there

          He was the faster driver out there in qualifying. In what you admit wasn’t the fastest car. That’s why he was easily the best in qualifying. We’ve no idea how Vettel might have performed as he wasn’t there.

          As for the race, well, again you admit the Red Bull was much faster! Yet he kept Ricciardo behind him. So how did that happen? Look to Bottas for a comparison.

          Red Bull was much faster than Mercedes and he could’ve easily pulled a 30 second gap. Not my words, Wolff’s.

          Precisely. That’s why he pays the big money to Hamilton.

      2. @philipgb And to comment directly on your statements: “Hamilton grabbed a pole the car didn’t deserve”. True, but he did so because Vettel couldn’t even complete, Kimi made an error in the final corner and because Lewis himself didn’t improve on hif final run. That’s not a “top performer” performance, good and solid though.

        “delivered a race pace sufficient to prevent a charging Vettel in a considerably faster car from having a chance”. Vettel was only really faster during the first 15 laps after his pit stop, just look at the interactive lap times. Granted, it was a full second and then some, but he also had the advantage of super-softs compared to the softs both Red Bulls and Mercedes were running at that point. And after 15 laps or so, his pace was gone.

        1. You are taking his credit on setting pole on Kimi making a mistake on the last corner.
          It’s not his fault if Kimi can’t get a lap together.

    4. Rick,
      You probably won’t find many people to agree with your position. First The Ferrari’s were flying, and it was near impossible for anything but a Ferrari to be on pole. You suggest that the 5th fastest car should have had no problem being there. It was also not very easy keeping up with Max who had shown himself to be at least a half second quicker than Lewis all weekend. That’s about 25-30 seconds over the race. And you fail to acknowledge that Lewis was able to keep a gap to the quicker Red Bull being driven by Ric. while nursing his tires. He did loose time, but none of us know how much of his pace was controlled by team instructions. There is always a big picture, and when I saw qualifying I was pretty sure that Merc was not in a good place this race, that Lewis finished second was in part luck, but also a ton of good driving.

    5. @addvariety You said it yourself Merc is the 3rd fastest car out there, yet he grabs a pole defeating 3 other faster car (discounting Vettel). If you berating him for not improving his second Q3 run, what does the fact that 3 car faster than him that improved in their second run still can’t beat his first run time?

      In the race itself, it’s very obvious he basically will have no chance on keeping the lead from Verstappen. Given the pace difference, at best he can only lead until pit stop and their fight could potentially help Ricciardo join the fight too. Hamilton make the safest, most intelligent decision by not fighting Max. Given the pace of Red Bulls, it’s not exactly cruising along in the 2nd place. If he only running few tenth faster than Bottas, not only Ricciardo that passed him, even Vettel will easily ahead of him at the chequered flag.

    6. @addvariety poor logic. Imagine Vettel had put it on pole on a track where the Ferrari’s were much faster, even if he was only competing against one it was a mighty, mighty lap. And there’s nothing wrong with hooking it up best on your first attempt, track evolution is much greater on some tracks than others.

      The fact he maintained a gap to Daniel Ricciardo is also mightily impressive so yes, star performer.

      1. @offdutyrockstar I just find it weird that when Hamilton does something ordinary, it’s being thrown out of all proportions. While when any other driver does the same, it doesn’t even get a mention anywhere. I hate to say it and I definitely don’t say it to start another argument, but I do think most Brits are biased in this. Sky is no different, they heavily favour Hamilton and are very very harsh on drivers such as Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen.

        @sonicslv Please don’t pull my words out of context like a bad journalist. I was talking about the race, where the order was Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull. We all know Mercedes have that qualifying mode available for some extra power in Q3, something that is both genius and awful at the same time. It has saved them from getting more behind Ferrari in the championship (Ham vs. Vet particularly), regarding poles it’s 11 for Mercedes so far. Compare that to the 9 races they’ve won, which would’ve been 8 if you take into account Singapore’s first corner incident.

        1. I just find it weird that when Hamilton does something ordinary

          And I dont see what is so ordinary about putting the 3rd fastest car on pole, and then putting the 3rd fastest car second in the race.

          What did Vettel do that was above ordinary?

          1. Again, Mercedes isn’t the third fastest car in qualifying. We all know Mercedes has an engine mode that allows them to run with more horsepower than others in qualifying. I don’t know the exact numbers, but rumours say it’s somewhere between 50 and 80 hp.

            Besides that, they also still burn oil for which they knowingly swapped their engines at Monza, just in time for the new rules. Just look at the Renault and Honda comments about this and you’ll see that both easily gives them a big advantage in qualifying.

            Is this cheating? Engine mode not, that’s allowed and Mercedes just have a better and more reliable engine that can cope with this. But oil burning is cheating and that’s why the FIA is putting limits on it, although not enough according to others.

        2. We all know Mercedes have that qualifying mode available for some extra power in Q3

          That same qualifying mode that all us armchair pundits know in depth right? With graphs and comparative data that other teams have had 4 years to copy and which Ferrari went to such lengths to copy and improve upon that they designed this years car with an extra oil reservoir which was taken away by the FIA.

          Sorry but if this qually mode was so great, Bottas would be on the front row every time. It’s hearsay and not much else and used as a crux to try and downplay some of Lewis’s incredible qually laps this season.

        3. @addvariety I’m not sure why you said I picking your word out of context. Mercedes the 3rd fastest car this weekend is a fact that supported by FP1 through race times. Even if you say the Mercedes extra power in qualy, it alone won’t be enough to cover the gap to Red Bull and Ferrari as the FP and race pace has shown. Besides, we know Bottas himself is at the very least above average driver and qualifier as he proven in his Williams days vs Massa and earlier this year vs Hamilton. It’s very possible that Bottas form declining since Singapore, but even then, for Hamilton to pull out almost 1 second it can’t be Bottas or car setup alone. I think if you use average pace advantage Hamilton had to Bottas this year until before Singapore and predict the “expected” Hamilton should finish this race, he would qualified behind the Red Bulls and finish fourth behind Vettel. That is why Hamilton pole lap is something mega and his race is something that many people appreciated.

    7. It seems that L. Ham’s fans would vote him driver of the week even if he failed to show up for the race…. For me Perez and Vandoorne both should be highly commended for the race especially considering the cars they are driving. Perez also has record breaking statistics for consistency in finished races in the points. It takes a lot more than a reliable car to finish over 50 F1 races and then add in, in a points position. I doubt if there are many than can match half that many consecutive finishes in the points. It would seem that Perez’s skill level is grossly understated. Thanks, Racer Norriski

  3. “Felipe Massa left the Force Indias too little room at the start and suffered floor damage which slowed him down” I kinda disagree with that…He was clearly infront of both F.I.He left room for a car,Ocon bogged down behind Vandoorne,he had his front wing barely infront of Massa’s rear tyres,Perez got his inside & slightly pushed him,so the best thing Ocon should have done,he should have backed out of that.Unfortunate racing incident,but i fully disagree this those who blame Massa(as always),who didnt do anything wrong as he didnt squezze anyone etc.

    1. if he backed out he’d be very likely to have hit his teammate + cause a chain reaction behind. It was a lap 1 racing incidentvbut if anything, mass could have gone a bit more to the outside

  4. I’d had magnussen to the strugglers. The fact that Grosjean (while moaning and complaining) managed to claw back to him despite the vast gulf between them at the end of lap 2 is just testament of how badly his race went. Out qualified too.

    1. @Tango

      I disagree with this. He had a fantastic start and managed to make up 8 places on round 1 and most importantly overtake and ultimately beat his team mate. Given the quality of the car, who do you see him outpacing over the full race distance, Toro Rosso, Force India or Williams!? Only thing I would be critical about is that he did not manage to keep Alonso behind him… (although he clearly tried!)… Overall he ended higher than Grosjean, Renaults and Saubers – what more can you expect in his car?

      1. That he doesn’t end up with Grosjean right on his tail when he had been 12 places up and a pit stop ahead ? I’d expect more from him and obviously, as a fan, so should you @Kmagfan

        1. I would not put Mag among the strugglers since he did have a pretty solid race and Gro catcting up on him was down to strategy. Gros was pushed wide in the beginning and had an anonymous race until the end where he did find speed with the super softs, whereas Mag showed off his ability to find the right track and gaps in the first lap and win positions but eventually Mag had put his car in a position where it stood no fighting chance agianst better cars. Both of them ended up with the best result possible in a Haas and both of them did so in their own respective way. So it will only be fair to call both Mag and Gro struggler, though i don’t agree with that either.

          All that being said – I do expect more from Magnussen but I do that from Grosjean as well.

        2. You are missing MAG was on a 1 stop – and GRO 2 stop. It ended up with a 2 stop being the right for the Haas racer – but the team tryed both…. MAG did one hell of a good fight in that slow car.. look a his start! But there wasnt the race pace and he felt back… fighting as ever…

    2. He had minimal time in the car prior to qualifying. Didn’t drive in FP1, FP2 was called short and then he had FP3 to prepare. The reason to why Grosjean could crawl back was because of all the trafic Magnussen was in. He had to defend against faster cars while Grosjean had more free air to drive in. Easier on the tires and better lines.
      Should they have written anything in strugglers it should have been ‘Haas’.

      Its not like any of the two posted competitive laps.

      You’re holding it against Magnussen that he did the best first lap during his time in Formula 1.

  5. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    2nd October 2017, 18:09

    I don’t really know why Ericsson can be a struggler when when there have been plenty of other weekends this year when Wehrlin has been about 30 seconds behind Ericsson and not been counted as a struggler. I’d either have counted Wehrlein much more often as one or wouldn’t have included either. 32 seconds is a huge gap yes, but there was a 30 second gap in Russia and I don’t think Wehrlein wasn’t counted as a struggler here. He even spun in qualifying and potentially cost Ericsson from imrpoving behind him. And the strategies were identical in the race and they pitted as close to one another as possible. I was even a little surprised that Wehrlein wasn’t a struggler in Monaco. He was 39 seconds behind Ericsson before he got took out by Button. So that isn’t even close to the end of the race and that gap was huge.

    To me, it does seem that Wehrlein’s good performances get noticed much more than his bad ones and the other way round with Ericsson. I can agree that Ericsson makes more mistakes and Wehrlein is better, but I don’t think the overall pace difference is that massive. I just personally think it is a bit much to mention Ericsson here if Wehrlein wasn’t a struggler in Russia and Monaco.

    In terms of the star drivers of this weekend, I can agree that Verstappen and Vandoorne are both up there. Although I thought Verstappen’s clash in P3 was rather silly. I think I’ll probably end up giving driver of the weekend to Vandoorne. Other than in the clash with Stroll, Vettel had a very solid race. He could have been one of the star performers I think if we’d seen him in qualifying. I wouldn’t actually count Hamilton as a stand out performer. He did in qualifying, but even if he didn’t show he ful potential in the race, we didn’t really get to see what he could do. Very good, but not enough for me to count him as a star performer. I can’t complain about it though as I understand why he could be rated this high.

    With the strugglers, I can agree that Palmer made a mess of it. Again.

    I think I’ll have to admit that Bottas wasn’t great again. But I think there may be reasons for this that make him look a little worse than he really is. His car seemed strong in P2 and P3. He was really close to Hamilton in P2, and beat him in the following session. He also was slightly quicker than Hamilton in Q3. But the fact that Bottas was the only driver that didn’t improve his Q3 time over Q2 raises some concerns considering he had 2 attempts and looked to make no mistakes. Bottas was running a new setup and the way Toto reacted when asked questions about the upgrade made him look so awkward and uncomfortable. You could tell by his expression that he wasn’t happy with the way what was supposed to be an upgrade had gone. It looked worse than the old setup.
    About his race, he made the best start out of the drivers near the top and got past Ricciardo and very nearly Verstappen too. Verstappen held him off well. But then Bottas started dropping off. But the fact that Bottas was defending Ricciardo until the gap between him and Hamilton grew to 10 seconds very likely prevented Ricciardo from challenging Hamilton at a later stage. As as he got past Bottas, he was then quicker than Hamilton and Verstappen. Ricciardo admitted afterwards that Bottas did some good defending there while he was on the podium.

    Even on this site, Toto now appears to admitted that the team want to make sure the cars are equally competitive next race. I think this shows he admits that this upgrade was a backwards step. Although Bottas most certainly didn’t do well again, which has been the case several times recently, I personally don’t think he did bad enough to be considered a struggler. The gap between him and Hamilton was even bigger than when he spun and recovered in China. I think a gap this size has to have a fair chunk related the the upgrade disadvantages.

    1. Totally agree about the Ericsson/Wehrlein subject. I guess its easier to pick on ERI rather than WEH due to bigger size of the latter fanbase and the political input of the backers.

  6. Sainz seriously is a stupid! Just because of the car, good strategy calls from pitwall and bad teammate make him look better than what he really is. That shunt with Ocon was his fault. At the end, he deserved the retirement.

  7. It seens like you really hate Massa/Vettel. He had a great start from 11th to maybe at least 6th or 7th. If you watch the replay you’ll see that Perez touched Ocon that then touched Massa, it was Ocon who let no space to Perez and Massa didn’t know that.

    And Vettel is a star for sure, he made an awesome start and overtook almost half of the grid in lap 1. And almost overtook Riccardo who was in a fast car also and started far ahead.

    And Hulkenberg was one of the worst drivers this race, his started was terrible, we can’t blame only strategy.

    1. When you have the fastest car and that “half the grid” is 2 Saubers, 2 Haas, 2 STR, and 1 Palmer in a track where it’s really wide and has 2 long straights, it’s not that impressive. As the article said, Vettel almost never need to overtake anyone because he lucky they all comes into pit when he need them gone.

  8. Quite how Hamilton is a star performer and Vettel isn’t, I don’t know. Surely these two should be the other way around?

    Look at the F1 Fanatic driver of the weekend statistics which prove my point (33% have Vettel as DoW) Hamilton did OK but by his standards this weekend was nothing special.

    Vettel did come off badly in the accident after but this was a 50/50 incident. I don’t think he was blameless.

    1. DotW is a popularity contest and as such has only a passing connection with relative driver performance. It doesn’t “prove” anything.

      You say Hamilton did nothing special but he put the third fastest car on pole and then kept it in second place in the race. What did Vettel do that was so “special”? He was in the best car and didn’t get a podium. Hamilton has started from the back at least 3 times since 2014 and still made 3rd. Malaysia is not a difficult track to overtake at and as the article alluded to a lot of the more difficult cars to overtake pitted as he reached them anyway.

      1. He was in the best car and didn’t get a podium. Hamilton has started from the back at least 3 times since 2014 and still made 3rd.

        Oh come on. The W05, W06 and W07 had an extreme superiority over the rest of the field for all of those comeback races he did. The SF70H maybe was the best car this weekend, but nowhere near what the Mercedes produced over the previous 3 seasons.
        Hamilton in Austria came from 8th on the grid to 4th in the car that won the race. Just to put things in perspective.
        H

        1. Hamilton in Austria came from 8th on the grid to 4th in the car that won the race. Just to put things in perspective.

          Oh come on. Are you really comparing Austria and Malaysia on ease of overtaking?

          See anyone can do this. None of your post makes any argument as to why Vettel should be a star performer however.

    2. Would of thought in that Ferrari Vettel had and the pace they had. 4th should of been minimum of what he and the car was capable of. Solid race but not star performer

  9. “ALO was followed home by Kevin Magnussen, who Alonso put some manners on along the way” – Eehh did we see the same GP. MAG followed the rules it was ALO who was blocking by going straight in a turn – which isn’t legal. He didn’t have a penalty as he is allowed to break the rules – as VET and VER is..
    Later we sah ALO performing dirty again when he blocked VET when he lapped him..ruining the battle for 3.th…thanks ALO..maybe ALO need some manners….and MAYBE MAG should have some credit for fighting in a slow car and doing a fantastic start!!

    1. The way I saw it, Magnussen attempted to push Alonso off the track at the outside – very deliberately, going off line to do so. Alonso elected to not be pushed off, and did some pushing of his own… again, deliberately, and going off line to do it.

      I don’t think either of them did anything wrong, other than demonstrate that neither of them are that concerned about finishing the race.

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        3rd October 2017, 14:29

        I do find it odd that when Verstappen indulges in hard overtaking and defensive tactics, he is lauded by half the people on the web, while Magnussen simply gets grief from everyone.

        K-Mag is a hard defender, but he’s not crossing the line. It makes for good TV footage, and I’m eager to see how this scrap looks from the on-board camera. And despite Alonso’s comments, I’m sure he enjoyed being able to fight with someone for a position.

      2. Still ALO was blocking the lapping car – ruining the battle for the 3.th..

        Its like sex witout orgasm:-)

        Would have liked to see that battle – but then VET wheels got hot and he had to slow down.. so a disrespect blue flag penalty for ALO –

  10. wow f1.com driver of the day “SV” gets no mention ? Maybe you should remove your LH view. Crazy how people can be blinded. If this race you swapped SV and LH , LH would have been praised as usual.
    Oh and stroll should be blamed for the crash. https://streamable.com/yxg48

    1. Agree ! This reporter is both dum and blind! …

    2. Had you been regular readers, you’d know the same author has put vettel as star drivers on three occasions more than Hamilton this year. (If my memory serves me well)

    3. His drive was solid, but he probably gets a tranny change and grid drop from a completely pointless, avoidable crash. That keeps him from DOTW/Star Performer in my book.

      I thought taking the steering wheel and side pod ride was an unnecessary provocation, but as he wasn’t penalized we’ll ignore it.

    4. That Ferrari was a rocket in Malaysia. 4th would of been a minimum for SV and his car.

  11. driver of the day “SV” gets no mention ?

    He does. Reread the article, he is under ” the rest”

    Crazy how people can be blinded

    Like you?

    Oh and stroll should be blamed for the crash

    Vettel is equally to blame, as the stewards correctly ruled.

    1. At Ben above obviously, damn this site lol

  12. It’s an interesting debate. Did Hamilton do exceptionally better than Bottas, or did Bottas do infinitely worse? I am feeling more towards the latter than the former. Hamilton did well, sure, but he basically drove what that car could do. That Ricciardo couldn’t do much to him was down to Bottas’ start and Ricciardo not being all that. Bottas truly struggling flatters Hamilton, a bit. Not sure he deserves to be *star performer*, but he clearly got a lot out of that car.

    1. Better remove Verstappen’s star performer too then. Barely out qualified his teammate who in your own words is “not all that” and then in the race he “basically drove what that car could do”

      “Not sure he deserves to be *star performer*, but he clearly got a lot out of that car.”

  13. Bottas was not really bad. He was put out far back to hold up Vettel.
    Read the piece from James Allen. He can explain it in detail.

    Hamilton did give Max the inside. Don’t tell me that’s the side to stay out of harms way. That’s where you get torpedoed if the guy on the inside blocks his wheels. Luckily Max is one of the best in late braking.
    He should have given Max the outside to be safe. But that would have been humiliating.

    That’s how I see it.

    I was surprised about the performance from Alonso. Only notable thing he did was holding up Vettel and make him wine a little.

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