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Verstappen Captures Malaysia

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 1 2017

Romain Grosjean of Haas F1 finished 12th at Sepang on Sunday. (Steven Tee/LAT file Image)

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Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing won Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Finishing second was Britain’s Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari drove a remarkable race, coming back to claim fourth place after having started at the back of the grid.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas in fifth.

A day after his 20th birthday he has his second grand prix win. His first came year ago in Spain when he became the youngest winner of an F1 race aged 18.

Red Bull now has two wins this season; the first being Ricciardo’s victory in Baku.

Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean finished 12th and 13th, respectively, at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur.

Both drivers made significant gains during the 56-lap race around the 5.543-kilometer (3.444-mile), 15-turn track, as Magnussen started 17th and Grosjean began 16th.

“I didn’t have a great start,” Grosjean said. “I think I was on a wet patch of the racetrack. I got pushed wide at turn four. A car came from the inside and suddenly to the outside, so I had to go wide to avoid him. I was last, and what can you do when you’re last after the first lap? The car felt pretty difficult to drive at the beginning. It came back to life on the last pit stop when we put the aero balance in the car. I think we didn’t choose the right technical setup this weekend, and I include myself in the decision process. We can learn a lot from the weekend. I’m sure in Japan we’re going to get stronger.”

Magnussen made his move as soon as the race went green, deftly navigating his way around turns one and two to rise to ninth. Pit stops and the pace of others throughout the race eventually brought Magnussen to 12th, who used a single-stop strategy.

Magnussen shed the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tires he started the race with for Yellow softs on lap 10. This dropped him to 17th, but he tenaciously worked to regain positions, which included spirited battles with the McLaren of Fernando Alonso and the Renault of Jolyon Palmer.

“I got a decent start and made some positions on the first lap,” Magnussen said. “I just tried to hold on, really. We didn’t have the pace to properly do something today. It was a long race. I chatted to Jolyon (Palmer) after the race when we got out of the cars. It’s always difficult to know what actually happened when you’re out there, but he told me what happened about losing his rear end.”

Grosjean employed a two-stop strategy upon dropping to 19th after the first lap, thanks in part to being forced wide by the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly in turn four. Grosjean pitted on lap 11, switching from supersofts to softs, and returned to the pit lane on lap 33 for a new set of supersofts that would take him to the finish. He used the fresh rubber to attack, rising from 17th after pitting to 13th when the checkered flag dropped.

Despite not winning, Hamilton, who finished 12 seconds behind Verstappen, increased his lead in the championship driver standings to 34 over his nearest pursuer, Vettel.

Fifteen rounds into the 20-race Formula One schedule, Haas F1 Team remains eighth in the constructors standings with 37 points, 14 points ahead of ninth-place McLaren and five points behind seventh-place Renault and 15 points arrears sixth-place Toro Rosso. Grosjean is 13th in the championship driver standings with 26 points and Magnussen is 15th with 11 points.

Only five races remain in the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship, with the next event coming Oct. 6-8with the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 1 2017
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