Ricciardo finishes third in Malaysia, Verstappen takes victory

By , Reuters is a Roar Guru

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    Red Bull’s Max Verstappen gave himself a perfect 20th birthday present by winning the last Malaysian GP, with teammate Daniel Ricciardo finishing third behind Lewis Hamilton.

    Hamilton stretched his world championship lead to 34 points with title rival Sebastian Vettel finishing fourth.

    “Super, super job Max. Welcome to being a 20-year-old. Great start to a new decade for you, well done,” team boss Christian Horner said over the radio after his driver took the chequered flag 12.7 seconds clear of Hamilton.

    The victory was the second of Verstappen’s grand prix career, after a first in Spain last year, and came a day after his birthday.

    It also snapped a streak of bad luck for the Dutchman that has seen him retire from seven of the 15 races so far this season.

    He sealed it with a daring pass on Hamilton on the fourth of 56 laps and never looked back, moving sister Victoria and father Jos, a former Formula One driver, to tears as he crossed the finish line.

    “You know, especially after the season I’ve had, I think this victory came at a very good time,” Verstappen told reporters.

    “So I was very happy when I crossed the line and together with my dad I got this far and of course I got the great help from Red Bull.

    “It’s amazing, a very tough race but incredible to win,” he added.

    © Reuters 2017