Daniel Ricciardo finishes third in Malaysia GP

Slow start costly says Ricciardo

Slow start costly says Ricciardo

"It's been a hard weekend, but nevertheless the speed is there".

Max Verstappen capped a ideal birthday weekend with victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix and then hailed his Red Bull team for giving him an "unbelievable" auto. Championship contender Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari put up a strong performance to finish fourth after starting last on the grid.

Marko believes Red Bull have shown good pace before Malaysia, but was also wary of the prospect of more penalties between now and Abu Dhabi.

The Dutchman, who prior to Sepang had only finished half of the races he started this season, said it was a huge relief. As Formula 1 heads to Japan for the next race, both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton will be ready to fight for their teams and the championship.

The Mercedes man finished second in Sepang behind the impressive Max Verstappen, who picked up his second career win for Red Bull.

Having been visibly moved as the Dutch national anthem played on the podium, he pointed to his early move on Hamilton as the turning point.

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"We must not forget we are talking about the vehicle that leads the constructors championship and leads the drivers' championship, it is not a lame duck", he added.

"The whole race went well". Vettel, too, was quicker than his championship adversary for much of the race. Valtteri Bottas had a awful race, finishing in fifth behind Sebastian Vettel and way, way behind teammate Hamilton.

Vettel had closed to within DRS range of the Red Bull when blue flags were waved for Alonso down the pit straight on Lap 48, but while the Spaniard allowed Ricciardo through, Vettel was stuck behind until Turn Four. The problems have since been offset by the brilliant driving of Hamilton, who has managed to extract the most out of the auto and find extra pace in qualifying following tough practice sessions.

Bottas wished to help Hamilton but Vettel pitted on the 28th lap for a successful undercut.

Vettel was able to take to the circuit but suffered a problem which "prevented the compressor from feeding air to the engine properly", and he was unable to record a time. If anyone can make it to the front from the back in this race, it is likely Vettel.

Verstappen has cut a frustrated figure throughout the season after suffering a spate of reliability failures - retiring from seven of the next 12 races following his podium in China - as well as getting caught up in a number of first-lap incidents.

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