Verstappen leads Red Bull teammate Ricciardo in 1st practice

Verstappen leads Red Bull teammate Ricciardo in 1st practice”

The Austrian has confirmed it will still be business as usual following the strong result, that saw Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel take himself and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen out at the start of the Singapore race, whilst the Silver Arrows took first and third place, in what was a dream situation for the German squad.

It allowed Lewis Hamilton, who avoided the carnage to win from fifth on the grid, to extend his championship lead from a slender three points to 28.

"Overall, it doesn't change anything for how we tackle the last six races".

The current contract at the Sepang circuit had been due to expire after next year's race but the Malaysian government and Formula One said in April this year's would be the last.

"It goes without saying that our target is to deliver a winning performance to mark the final Grand Prix at Sepang - and to build on the good momentum we have enjoyed since the summer break".

"I really didn't think our auto was well suited to the track, but Lewis' problem opened the door and then I held off Max (Verstappen, Red Bull teammate) in the closing stages to take the win".

Lewis Hamilton says that Formula 1's "toughest race" will be missing on next year's calendar. We have been on the receiving end of those bad moments before, and we know that they can happen as easily to us as anybody else.

"Set-up is always a compromise in Malaysia as you need a good vehicle in the middle sector, but you also can't afford to lose too much time on those long straights", he said.

"It is definitely sad to think this is the last race", the Briton told a news conference organised by his Mercedes team's Malaysian oil sponsor Petronas.

Hamilton, who suffered a similar championship setback to Vettel a year ago in Malaysia when his engine blew while he was leading, was also reluctant to hail the Singapore race as the season's decisive turning point.

"There's lots of turning points within a year", he said yesterday.

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