Max Verstappen beats Lewis Hamilton to Malaysia win as Vettel settles for fourth

Sebastian Vettel battled back admirably from the back of the grid in Malaysia, but the day belonged to race winner Max Verstappen.

Birthday boy Max Verstappen claimed the second victory of his career at the Malaysian Grand Prix, as Sebastian Vettel limited the damage caused by his qualifying nightmare.

Engine trouble prevented Vettel from posting a time on Saturday, forcing the German to start from the back of the grid while championship rival Lewis Hamilton - 28 points clear heading into Sunday’s race - sat on pole.

But Mercedes' fears about their race pace rang true when Verstappen, who turned 20 this weekend, overtook Hamilton on lap four.

The Dutchman set about stretching his advantage as Hamilton struggled to match his lap times, and he was a comfortable leader throughout, taking the chequered flag ahead of the Briton and Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Vettel's relentless charge through the field ultimately earned him a fourth-place finish, while he even threatened to grab third from Ricciardo late on. As a result, Hamilton only added six points to his advantage in the title race and now leads by 34.

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It had threatened to be a shocking day for Ferrari after a turbo issue prevented Kimi Raikkonen from starting the race, but Vettel's recovery will provide some consolation to the Scuderia.

That said, a coming together between Vettel and Williams driver Lance Stroll after the race had finished, which left the wrecked Ferrari needing to be lifted from the track, provided a bizarre ending to the race.