Formula 1 Racing Predictions: Malaysian Grand Prix 9/30/17

Malaysia: Lewis Hamilton 'sad' that Formula One is losing its 'toughest' race

Vettel's title hopes have been dealt a setback for the second race in a row.

Greats generally bounce back.

Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen all escaped punishment by the stewards after the Marina Bay crash, which was declared a racing incident. "For sure, it's not ideal, it's not what we want, especially on a day where you feel that you've got it in you, you've got it in the auto but we won't be able to prove that".

"It's always a special thing when you're able to extract a little bit more out of the auto than it's probably willing to go".

The result amounted to one of the team's most uncomfortable - and unexpectedly hard - days in recent memory.

"We will try to make sure we do the first two corners well and go from there". The lights went off, obviously, we did our starts, everyone was trying to move at the start, and it was the way it happened.

Vettel already trails Hamilton by 28 points and the Briton's lead looks likely to stretch further on Sunday.

He will start at the back of the grid despite being consistently quickest during practice.

"I think we have a very quick auto this weekend so we should be able to make up a lot of ground", said the record four-times Malaysia victor, who consoled his heartbroken mechanics after getting out of his vehicle.

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When asked if Ferrari now had to rely on Hamilton encountering vehicle trouble to have a chance of winning the drivers' title, he replied: "I don't think we do because we have a lot of races left, I think we have a strong auto. On Saturday it's been going really well, but I haven't scored a lot of points". The 21-year-old Frenchman told Formula1.com that he is looking forward to the race in Sepang and does not feel any pressure.

Ricciardo added: "I think Mercedes were quite heavy today".

"Like I said, it's a nice circuit, but all you see is the airport, the hotel next to the airport".

Mercedes are expecting the circuit to suit them better than the tight twists of Singapore but they also have a mixed record there.

The final Formula One Malaysia Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) will be a bittersweet one for Azlan Akil (pic) who has never missed attending the race since Malaysia first hosted the race in 1999.

Romain Grosjean triggered the late suspension after a high-speed smash between turns 13 and 14.

Ferrari had swapped Vettel's engine after third practice.

"We just have to maximize every opportunity we get", Hamilton said, offering some sympathy to Vettel. "I didn't sleep very well last night as we didn't know if we would fix the issue". I made the most out of it, there are always things to improve but no lap is every 100 percent ideal anywhere. "It is one of the worst Fridays I can remember".

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