Sepang (Malaysia), Oct 1: Red Bull’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen on Sunday celebrated his 20th birthday by winning the Malaysian Grand Prix, the 15th race of the Formula One World Championship.
Verstappen clinched the second victory of his Formula One career finishing ahead of Mercedes’s British driver Lewis Hamilton, who remains leader of the World Championship standings, reports Efe news agency.
“That’s how we do it! Extremely happy with this superb victory. Many thanks to @redbullracing for the great car,” Verstappen tweeted.
Red Bull’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo came third, followed by Ferrari’s German Sebastian Vettel, who had started from the last spot on the grid.
“He’s got nothing to lose, whereas I’ve got everything to lose. So I didn’t make it very hard for him,” Hamilton said with reference to Verstappen.
Hamilton acknowledged that there are some “real big problems” with his team’s cars, noting that: “I can’t explain to you what they are, but we really need to make sure we rectify them for next year’s car if we are going to have any chance of fighting both of these teams (Red Bull and Ferrari) next year when they step up their game.”
The British driver added that his team is going to do everything possible and try to “stay ahead.”
Mercedes’s Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas finished fifth.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen failed to take the start at Sepang and went back to the team’s garage just before the race’s beginning due to technical problems.
Spanish Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso also had to leave in the 30th lap due to a mechanical problem.
Hamilton leads the World Championship rankings with 281 points, 34 points ahead of second-placed Vettel.