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Malaysian Grand Prix: What the drivers said

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Malaysian Grand Prix: What the drivers said
By:
Oct 4, 2017, 1:35 PM

Here's what F1 drivers had to say after the 19th and the final edition of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

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Winner : Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)

Winner : Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
1/20

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“It is amazing to win the race today. Straight away I could see our pace was good and that Lewis was struggling with traction. I just went for it and used all the battery power I could to get past him. I knew that he was fighting for the championship and wouldn’t take too many risks, so I went for it.
"As soon as I passed Lewis I knew from there onwards I could control the race. The car was really good and our pace on the soft tyre was better than I expected. It was a very physical race and very warm in the car, plus I haven’t been feeling that well this weekend but we managed to bring it home.
"You can never predict how the rest of the season will go but we keep improving the car and it is looking positive. So hopefully from now onwards we can build on this for the rest of the year and then have a good start to next season. I didn’t expect yesterday that we would be so quick today and to win here was unexpected, so I’m very happy.”

2nd : Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2nd : Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2/20

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

"It was a much better weekend than we had anticipated after our Friday, considering the issues we did have with the car this is a good result. But still we have a lot of work to do with the car, some of the corners really magnified the issues we have.
"These next races are going to be crucial in terms of ironing out some of the creases we have with the car. I was having some problems with de-rates at the beginning of the race, so I was struggling with battery power. Valtteri seemed to struggle a lot more; I was able to pull a little bit more out of it.
"Naturally, I wanted to win the race, winning the races is still the goal. So even to be second is not that satisfying. Today was a step towards in trying to win the world championship and every point counts."

3rd: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing)

3rd: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing)
3/20

Photo by: Sutton Images

“I enjoyed the race today. At the beginning I had hope that I could finish second but then after the pit stop it was just about holding on to third as Seb was coming. I was always going to get my elbows out and make it as hard as I could but I was surprised that there was only one proper attack from him. Maybe he used all the tyres to get up to me and then after the attack I guess he had some problems.
"If I’m honest I would have liked a bit more of a fight until the closing stages just to have made it a little more exciting as the last few laps were kind of lonely. This double podium is a very positive result for us today. Obviously Max got the big one and drove well so congrats to him for the win; he drove strong all weekend.
"There were a few extra bits available for the cars here and I think we’re going to try that again in Suzuka; it looks positive for us at the high downforce circuits.”

4th : Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

4th : Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
4/20

Photo by: Sutton Images

"I am still optimistic, because we know that we have a quick car. Of course it was a shame for Kimi who couldn’t take the start, and for me having to begin my race from the back of the grid.
"We tried to fight for the podium, pushed very hard, but in the end the tires were starting to give up and we couldn’t be really there.
"However, it is promising to see the car is good, even if both Kimi and I hit trouble this weekend. I don’t know yet if the issue is the same on both cars, we’ll need to have a look. For sure it’s not ideal having one car out yesterday and another one today. So, there’s something we need to understand. It’s been a difficult weekend, but nevertheless the speed is there.
"So far we’ve had a pretty good record for this year regarding reliability. I am not that worried to be honest, but we need to get on top of the problem."

5th : Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

5th : Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
5/20

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"Today was difficult. I was trying everything I can, I was giving it all I had, but I was lacking pace and I was sliding around.
"The start was definitely the best part of the day. It was really good, I could actually attack a little bit and fight for positions. But not long after that I just started to drop down and couldn't keep up with the others.
"In the first stint I had quite a lot of understeer, so I was struggling with the balance. The story of the race was managing the tyre temperatures. If I tried harder, then I started to overheat the tyre and slide even more, so I had to manage everything and that's why I was so slow.
"We need to analyse the race because the upgrade package should have been quite a step forward in terms of downforce, but I couldn't really see it. There are still a lot of things we need to try to understand, we need to learn from today. For Japan, we need to make sure we choose all the right bits for the car, and hopefully we will see some cooler temperatures."

6th : Sergio Pérez (Force India)

6th : Sergio Pérez (Force India)
6/20

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“It was probably the hardest race of my career, on a weekend in which I feared I would need to give up. It is an amazing result just to make it to the finish: I just kept going out of willingness to do it and I have to thank the doctors for helping me out.
"Having a good start was the key to my race and so was passing Vandoorne during the first few laps. After that, I was able to manage my race and it was all pretty uneventful. We were able to extend the first stint and manage our tyres well. I was only under pressure from Vettel, but that was not really my fight.
"We scored some more important points for the team and I am happy to come home with a good result after such a difficult weekend. I hope to be back to full fitness in Japan.”

7th : Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren-Honda)

7th : Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren-Honda)
7/20

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

"I can say that this was my best ever race in Formula 1 - up until now. All weekend, I’ve been really strong and felt really confident with the car. After qualifying seventh, we weren’t really confident about where we'd finish in the race, so to pull off seventh today is an amazing result.
"I made a great start; we knew it was probably going to be difficult to hold off the Force Indias and the Williams behind, but only Perez came through.
"From then on, I had amazing pace, pushed hard every lap to try and manage the tyres and maintain the gap over Stroll, and I managed that until the end.

8th: Lance Stroll (Williams)

8th: Lance Stroll (Williams)
8/20

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

"It was hot and now I know what everyone was talking about what it is like racing here in Malaysia. I am very happy with the end result, which was fantastic, coming eighth from 13th, having great pace throughout the race, having a good fight all through the race, managing my tyres, and eighth and ninth being a great result for the team.
"Then at the end I was on the in lap, on my normal line, picking up rubber, doing all my switch changes, shutting down the car and Sebastian came flying by me, pushing round the outside like the race was still on."

9th: Felipe Massa (Williams)

9th: Felipe Massa (Williams)
9/20

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

"I had a fantastic start, and overtook many cars, so I was really disappointed about the incident at Turn 2, where I got pushed out by Ocon. I lost a lot of places and damaged the floor of the car. I feel like I could have got higher up if it hadn’t happened. But overall the result was positive for the team. We scored points whilst Renault and Toro Rosso didn’t, so that helps us in the Constructors’ Championship."

10th : Esteban Ocon (Force India)

10th : Esteban Ocon (Force India)
10/20

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“It was a disappointing race and I’m not feeling very happy. The contact on lap one [in turn two] with Massa gave me a puncture and ruined my race. I had to pit on lap two and drive almost the entire race on one set of soft tyres.
"When you consider the condition of the tyres at the end of the race, we did well to score the final point. The other bad moment of my race happened when I was overtaking [Carlos] Sainz and he crashed into me.
"I shouldn’t have been fighting him, but I was out of position because of the puncture and trying to recover. I don’t know what he did, but he just locked up and went straight into me, causing me to spin. So it’s a race to forget for me because the pace of the car was strong and we couldn’t maximise it.”

11th : Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda)

11th : Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda)
11/20

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“It was a tough race today. From the very beginning, at the second corner, the two Williams touched in front of me, and made me lose a few positions. As a result, we ended up in the secondary group, running a little slower than our true pace, and could not overtake.
“So I lost a lot of time, and that really compromised our race. A shame, definitely not one of our best races today. But we’ll have better days, and, hopefully in Japan, we’ll come back with stronger form, and I’ll be able to add my contribution to the constructors’ championship on Honda’s home ground.
“Having scored points at this track and at Singapore, two very different circuits, is really good for the team. I hope we can continue scoring more points in the remaining races.”

12th Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

12th Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
12/20

Photo by: Andrew Hone / Motorsport Images

“I got a decent start and made some positions on the first lap. 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.”

13th : Romain Grosjean (Haas)

13th : Romain Grosjean (Haas)
13/20

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

“I didn’t have a great start. 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.”

14th : Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)

14th : Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)
14/20

Photo by: Sutton Images

“This was a special race for me, as it was my first ever Formula 1 race – a day I will never forget! It was definitely a good experience, I’d say even better than what I expected.
"I tried to do my best and pushed as hard as possible! It was a really physical and tough race – my drink system didn’t work properly, the water was going all over my face and not in my mouth! – and it felt like a long race… But with such a big adrenaline boost that I got, I just kept focusing until the end.
"I was quite close to Magnussen during the whole race, but it was quite difficult to close the gap. I think I also need a bit more experience regarding tyre management – I struggled at the end of the race - and I also think I didn’t manage the blue flag situations perfectly – I lost a bit of time – but this will come with a bit more practice,
"I’m sure! I will now have a look back at the race and see all the things I can improve for the next race in Japan next week. All in all, I leave Malaysia satisfied, it was a positive race!”

15th : Jolyon Palmer (Renault)

15th : Jolyon Palmer (Renault)
15/20

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

“The start of the race wasn’t great I was then following Nico for a good part and there were a few good overtakes. After that I lost the car and I don’t really know why, it came as a surprise and we pretty much lost the race from there. We move on and look ahead to next week.”

16th : Nico Hülkenberg (Renault)

16th : Nico Hülkenberg (Renault)
16/20

Photo by: Sutton Images

“It was a very a disappointing Sunday. It began with a start that wasn’t fantastic, we lost a few positions in turn one but from then on we were on the back foot for the rest of the race. There were difficult situations, we got stuck in traffic and had to pit twice. I took some big risks to try and get ahead, it’s a pity we couldn’t show the speed and the potential of the car. We’ll look to have a better race next Sunday.”

17th : Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)

17th : Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)
17/20

Photo by: Andrew Hone / Motorsport Images

“I am quite pleased with today’s race. Even though I am not satisfied with the end result, I was able to maintain a good pace throughout, and fought my way into the midfield for some of the race. That is a good step. Now I want to look into our data and analyse how this progress was made. The goal is to keep up the good work for the next few races to have more satisfying results.”

18th : Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)

18th : Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)
18/20

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“It was a poor race for me today. My pace was not good enough and I do not understand the reasons for that yet. We are looking into our data to understand the causes and to make sure that I can get back on track stronger for the next race in Japan.”

DNF : Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso)

DNF : Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso)
19/20

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“It was a very positive day for us in general – apart from the retirement, I think that we were doing a very good race and we showed a much better pace than yesterday during qualifying; when it comes to races we always seem to extract a bit more out of the car.
"We were good for points today but, unfortunately, in the end we had to retire due to an electrical issue. It’s a real shame, as up until that point the car was responding very well to everything.
"The good news is that we have another race in only seven days, so we can quickly switch focus and start thinking about the Japanese GP straight away.
I fly directly to Japan tonight, so I will get into ‘Japanese mode’ quickly and start enjoying what has become one of my favourite race weekends of the year!”

DNF : Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari)

DNF : Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari)
20/20

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

"We don’t know what happened today, it’s too early to say. The car had been working perfectly all weekend and suddenly, out of nothing, we had an issue.
"It’s one of those things that unfortunately can happen. Car and speed wise we have been very good, but then unfortunately Seb had problems yesterday and we had ours today.
"I’m pretty sure that I would have had a very good car today, but obviously you never know and it’s pointless to start guessing. We have a good package, but we have to take the most out of it.
"What happened today is very disappointing and hurts all of us, but there’s nothing we can change right now. The next race is a new challenge again, we’ll go there as in any race weekend, and then we’ll see where we are."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Malaysian GP
Sub-event Sunday race
Location Sepang International Circuit
Author Basile Davoine