Malaysian Grand Prix: Formula One live blog

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    Formula One heads to the Sepang International Circuit for the final time, as the Malaysian Grand Prix prepares for its swansong. Join The Roar for a live blog from 6pm AEDT.

    With six races remaining in the title race for 2017, the last ever race at Sepang is a crucial one in terms of the championship.

    The previous race in Singapore saw a dramatic shift in momentum atop the standings, with an imperious Lewis Hamilton emerging with a 28-point lead over Sebastian Vettel – who was left red faced after a controversial first corner incident.

    Sepang presents another race of endurance, with the heat set to challenge the drivers as it did in Singapore. The 5.5km circuit however, possesses more high-speed corners – which with the new cars, should be taken up to 20kmph faster than 2016.

    The race itself is comprised of 56-laps, with weather always variable due yearlong monsoonal rains being present in the region.

    Vettel and Ferrari will be under pressure to respond here, with the pair having had the most victories of any driver or team since the first race in 1999.

    However, the German is set to start the race from the rear of the grid after he failed to set a time in qualifying – with a turbocharger issue forcing him out of qualification.

    Hamilton then starts from his 70th career pole position, having edged out Kimi Räikkönen by the narrowest of margins.

    The Finn will start the race from where he last won at Sepang back in 2008 and appears to be the Scuderia’s sole hope of challenging for the win.

    2016’s race winner in Daniel Ricciardo occupies the second of the grid, behind his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen. Red Bull could yet be a smoky once again, if there is tension at the front.

    A strong qualifying for both Force India and McLaren drivers puts them up there to bag a haul of points, particularly such a competitive midfield and constructor’s championship positions being crucial at this point in the season.

    Toro Rosso have replaced Daniil Kvyat for the remainder of 2017, with reigning GP2 champion Pierre Gasly set to start fifteenth in his first grand prix.

    The odds are against Vettel winning a fifth in Sepang, though there is hope that Räikkönen could steal points off Hamilton.

    With such a tantalising race on the cards, tune into the live blog coverage from 6pm AEST on The Roar and see who will take out the last ever Malaysia Grand Prix.

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    • Roar Guru

      8:06pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 8:06pm | ! Report

      That wraps up this live blog of the Malaysia Grand Prix. It’ll definitely be an event that will be fondly remembered, as the 2018 season will not feature this race.

      Thanks again for tuning in and I shall return for The Roar for the Japanese Grand Prix.

      Until then, its time to watch the NRL Grand Final!

    • Roar Guru

      8:04pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 8:04pm | ! Report

      ——– DRIVER’S ——–

      281 – Lewis Hamilton
      247 – Sebastian Vettel
      222 – Valtteri Bottas
      177 – Daniel Ricciardo
      138 – Kimi Räikkönen
      93 — Max Verstappen
      76 — Sergio Perez
      57 — Esteban Ocon
      48 — Carlos Sainz
      34 — Nico Hulkenberg
      33 — Felipe Massa
      32 — Lance Stroll
      26 — Romain Grosjean
      13 — Stoffel Vandoorne
      11 — Kevin Magnussen
      10 — Fernando Alonso
      8 — Jolyon Palmer
      5 — Pascal Wehrlein
      4 — Daniil Kvyat
      0 — Marcus Ericsson
      0 — Antonio Giovinazzi
      0 — Jenson Button

    • Roar Guru

      8:04pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 8:04pm | ! Report

      —– CONSTRUCTOR’S —–

      503 – Mercedes AMG
      385 – Scuderia Ferrari
      270 – Red Bull Racing
      133 – Force India Mercedes
      65 — Williams Mercedes
      52 — Scuderia Toro Rosso
      42 — Renault Sport
      37 — Haas Ferrari
      23 — McLaren Honda
      5 — Sauber Ferrari

    • Roar Guru

      8:03pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 8:03pm | ! Report

      RACE REPORT

      On the weekend that he turned 20, Max Verstappen won his second ever grand prix as Formula One is farewelled from Malaysia.

      A hectic start to the Malaysia Grand Prix, saw Kimi Räikkönen out of the race before the lights went out – with a turbocharger issue seeing him wheeled back into the pit-lane.

      Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton led away in the open laps, but was quickly reeled in and dispatched by Verstappen. The Briton in the end content with second, as he extended his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel.

      The German, having started from the rear of grid raced to an excellent fourth to minimise the points lost. Despite running an alternate strategy to the leaders, Vettel was unable to crack the podium places – having had to yield his pursuit of Daniel Ricciardo.

      Valtteri Bottas’ difficult weekend for Mercedes AMG emanated in a fifth-place finish, with the Finn having fought Ricciardo early in the race, but having had no impact following his one and only pit-stop.

      The minor points placings saw some action across the 56-laps, with Fernando Alonso involved with the Haas car of Kevin Magnussen and the two Renaults. Neither finished in the points, with Alonso just outside in eleventh – whilst a late coming together between Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer saw the Briton lose out.

      Even though many of the drivers had one-stopped, the strategy for the sister Renault of Nico Hulkenberg backfired, with the German having to pit late in the race for a second time to reach the flag.

      Esteban Ocon found himself in the wars with several drivers and notably Felipe Massa, who forced the Force India off-track on multiple occasions. The Frenchman secured tenth in the end behind the Williams of the Brazilian.

      A continuation of good form for Stoffel Vandoorne saw the Belgian driver finish seventh, despite having run as high as fifth in the early stages. Vandoorne now jumps ahead of McLaren teammate Alonso in the standings.

      Hamilton’s podium ensured his lead in the championship was cemented, with a 34-point advantage having been established over Vettel – who once again endured a difficult weekend, along with Ferrari overall.

      There is a short turnaround now, as the championship resumes next week for the Japanese Grand Prix.

    • Roar Guru

      7:51pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 7:51pm | ! Report

      RACE REPORT AND UPDATED STANDINGS TO FOLLOW

    • Roar Guru

      7:50pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 7:50pm | ! Report

      PODIUM INTERVIEWS – Hosted by Mark Webber

      VERSTAPPEN – “The car straightaway felt good.” “He [Lewis] has more to lose than me.” “Incredible to win.”

      HAMILTON – “Big congratulations to Max.” “The race was a tough one and they just had an upper hand on us today.”

      RICCIARDO – “Seb came so quick at the end and I thought we would have a handful.” “Good race for the team.”

    • Roar Guru

      7:39pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 7:39pm | ! Report

      How bizarre! Vettel’s rear wheel has just flown off and it was blamed on Stroll – who blames the German for running into the side of him. No vision is seen yet of the incident.

      Vettel hitching a ride back to the pits with Wehrlein.

    • Roar Guru

      7:38pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 7:38pm | ! Report

      RESULTS FROM THE 56-LAP MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX

      1 M. Verstappen
      2 L. Hamilton
      3 D. Ricciardo
      4 S. Vettel
      5 V. Bottas
      6 S. Perez
      7 S. Vandoorne
      8 L. Stroll
      9 F. Massa
      10 E. Ocon
      11 F. Alonso
      12 K. Magnussen
      13 R. Grosjean
      14 P. Gasly
      15 J. Palmer
      16 N. Hulkenberg
      17 P. Wehrlein
      18 M. Ericsson
      RET C. Sainz
      RET K. Räikkönen

    • Roar Guru

      7:34pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 7:34pm | ! Report

      MAX VERSTAPPEN WINS THE MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX!

      On the weekend he turned 20, the Dutchman has won his second race.

      LEWIS HAMILTON drives home to extend his championship lead in second.

      And it’s DANIEL RICCIARDO who completes the podium in third for Red Bull.

    • Roar Guru

      7:32pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 7:32pm | ! Report

      FINAL LAP

    • Roar Guru

      7:32pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 7:32pm | ! Report

      Lap 55/56:

      Gasly hounding his countryman Grosjean in a late charge for P13. The pair involved earlier in the race with each other, much to the displease of the elder Frenchman.

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