Published: Sat, September 30, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Malaysia wouldn't want to host F1, even for free - SIC

Malaysia wouldn't want to host F1, even for free - SIC

Vettel won this race for Ferrari in 2015, but with help from a wet qualifying session, Mercedes mistakenly giving up track position behind the safety vehicle, and struggling to keep its engines cool in the searing heat.

"It's part of racing".

The Finn added: "We didn't get all the test items tested today, but I think that is going to be the case with all the teams. It's the greatest feeling ever so I'm going to keep going for as long as I can and see what I can do".

However, a first corner accident saw Vettel, his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and RedBull's Max Verstapem all come together, ended their races and throwing the door open to Hamilton and the British star took the chance with both hands, and now leads overall by 28 points.

The champion will be the driver with the lowest score.

"We will need to be on top of our game at every track to maintain our lead", said Wolff.

Bottas has never won this race.

"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".

Ferrari does not have the quickest vehicle at most circuits, despite what Hamilton often claims, and Vettel knew he needed to absolutely maximise his result at a place where Ferrari was unquestionably strong, and Mercedes particularly weak. That means that qualifying is perhaps less essential than at most circuits.

RedBull won this race a year ago with Daniel Ricciardo, who comes into the race after claiming another podium in Singarpore and the Australian is in confident mood.

Hamilton defiantly has momentum coming to Malaysia. "It's not the first time I'm in the situation like this and probably will not be the last time".

But a group of over-exuberant Aussie fans were arrested for celebrating by stripping down to their underwear, a huge no-no in conservative Malaysia.

Hamilton said after his unexpected victory in Singapore that he expects Mercedes "should be OK" in Malaysia. At the moment the auto is unbalanced and you slide all over the place, the fronts and the rears, you overheat them and then nothing goes any more.

Although Hamilton is seen as the F1 title favourite, in the second free practice (FP2) session he struggled at Sepang while Vettel set the pace.

"Last year, the numbers were really bad", Razlan Razali, the chief executive of the government-owned circuit, told AFP. "Now, they get to watch the race in Sepang", he said in a statement. Many would say the crash was Vettel's fault, while others put the blame on Verstappen.

"At the end of the day, hosting Formula One is about promoting the country as a global destination and if the numbers are not there, the investment is not justified".

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