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Malaysian GP: Double points for Williams Martini

By Andrew Hooper
October 1 2017

The 2017 Malaysian GP would see the Williams Martini team come away with a double points scoring result. Lance Stroll would finish in 8th while team-mate Felipe Massa was 9th. At one stage in the race Lance and Felipe would fight for position with Lance able to keep in front. But the result was somewhat soured when Lance would make contact with the Ferrari of Vettel on the slow down lap badly damaging the Ferrari. Regardless of this incident the result of the race was the best that the Williams team could achieve so in that sense it was a positive outcome.

 Malaysian Grand Prix Race Review

With their drivers qualifying in eleventh and thirteenth places the Williams Martin i team was in a promising position to look at scoring points in the fifty six lap 2017 Malaysian Grand prix. On pole was Hamilton followed by Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Bottas, Ocon, Vandoorne, Hulkenberg, Perez, and Alonso in tenth. The most notable position on the grid was Vettel starting from last after issues in qualifying. But it was reported that Raikkonen was having an engine issue as he made his way to the grid. There had been some rain prior to the pit lane opening but it was looking dry for the race. But parts of the track and grid were still looking damp. The engine cover was off Raikkonen's car but eventually they would get the car ready and Raikkonen was in the car. But all of a sudden his car was wheeled off the grid with the Ferrari team looking to try and fix the issue in the pit lane.

The grid minus Raikkonen would move off for the parade lap and would eventually form up with a space where Raikkonen should have been. The top ten were all on the super soft tyre with the Sauber's and Vettel going to the soft tyre. Both Williams cars were starting on the super soft tyre. The race would start and it would be Hamilton lading from Verstappen and Bottas. Ricciardo was in fourth while for Williams Lance was in eighth and Felipe behind Hulkenberg. Felipe was able to get past and was now ninth running behind Lance. Vettel was up in twelfth as Lance attached Ocon for seventh. But Ocon would pit seeing Lance in seventh and Felipe eighth. Ocon would switch to the soft tyre after a stop much earlier than expected. Lance was now behind Perez while at the front Verstappen would pass Hamilton going into the first corner using his DRS.


Raikkonen would retire in his pit as Verstappen started to open a lead over Hamilton. At the start Ocon had made contact with Felipe allowing Lance to move ahead as Felipe recovered. Lap six and both Williams cars were still in seventh and eighth while Vettel was up to eleventh. Lap eight and Hamilton was now 2.7 seconds behind Verstappen. lance was now behind Vandoorne as Perez had passed the McLaren. Ricciardo was able to get past Bottas starting his attempt at Turn one and finishing it at Turn four. Hulkenberg would pit on lap eleven with Vettel now ninth having passed Magnussen. Hulkenberg had changed to the soft tyre dropping well down the order. Magnussen would pit the next lap moving Alonso back up to tenth. Vettel was right behind Felipe and closing quickly.

Felipe would pit on lap thirteen seeing Vettel now eighth. Felipe would switch to the soft tyre returning in sixteenth. Lance would pit the next lap joined by Gasly. Lance had said that the rears were starting to go away a bit. Lance would come back out behind Felipe also now on the soft. Lance was looking to get past Felipe but the gap would open between the two. Vandoorne had also pitted changing to the soft and now eleventh just ahead of the Williams drivers. Lance had been able to get past Felipe going into Turn one using his DRS. Lance and Felipe weer now twelfth and thirteenth while at the front Verstappen was now 7.1 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Ricciardo was still third followed by Bottas, Perez, Vettel, Alonso, Sainz, Ocon and Vandoorne. Lance and Felipe were now eleventh and twelfth with both having passed Wehrlein.


The cars down to eighth had yet to make their first stops. Ricciardo was closing in onto Hamilton while Bottas was a distant fourth. Both Williams cars were running very much by themselves still in eleventh and twelfth. Vettel was able to get past Perez for fifth using his DRS and he would start to close the gap to Bottas. Ocon would spin at Turn one having made contact with Sainz as he tried to pass allowing both Williams cars to get past with Lance now tenth and Felipe eleventh. Hamilton would pit on lap twenty eight taking the soft tyre returning in third. The incident between Ocon and Sainz was now under investigation as Verstappen pitted on lap twenty nine. He was back out in second with Ricciardo now leading. He changed to the soft tyre.

Vettel would also pit switching to the super soft tyre coming back out in sixth. Lance and Felipe were now ninth and tenth with Lance 2.1 seconds behind Vandoorne. Bottas would pit on lap thirty switching to the soft tyre coming back out in sixth with Vettel now fifth. Ricciardo would pit on lap thirty one also changing to the soft tyre. Ocon was now right behind Felipe with Hulkenberg and Palmer behind the Force India. Sainz would pit on lap thirty one to retire with an engine issue. Lance and Felipe were now eighth and ninth. Perez was to pit on lap thirty two returning in sixth ahead of Vandoorne. Ocon was still pushing to get past Felipe with one move seeing him run wide. The top seven were separated by quite big gaps so it was not looking like the positions would change. Felipe continued to keep Ocon behind while Alonso had passed Magnussen for thirteenth. Ocon would complain that Felipe was pushing him wide but Felipe was the car in front.


With twenty laps remaining Vettel was putting in quickest laps 10.5 behind Ricciardo. Lap forty three and Vettel was now 4.2 seconds behind Ricciardo while the Williams drivers were in comfortable positions running in eighth and ninth. Vettel continued to close in onto Ricciardo while at the front Verstappen was now leading Hamilton by 9.2 seconds. Felipe would go a lap down after forty six laps while Vettel was now within DRS range to the Red Bull. Lance would also go a lap down as Vettel was slightly delayed getting past Alonso hindering his attack on Ricciardo. Lap fifty and the order was Verstappen, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas, Perez, Vandoorne, Lance, Felipe, and Ocon in tenth. Despite his best efforts Vettel was not able to get past Ricciardo and with a few laps remaining his tyres were gone past their best.

The final alps would be completed and it would be Verstappen who would take victory in the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix. Hamilton was second followed by Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas, Perez, Vandoorne, Lance, Felipe, and Ocon tenth. It was a double points scoring result for the Williams team but it was soured somewhat when Lance would make contact with Vettel after the finish of the race on the slow down lap seeing the left rear wheel of the Ferrari badly damaged. Vettel was going around the right hand side of the Williams and the two would make contact with each driver blaming the other. Vettel would get a lift on a Sauber back to the pits. Regardless of this the result of the race was the best that the Williams team could achieve so in that sense it was a positive outcome.


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Malaysian GP: Double points for Williams Martini
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01/10/2017 09:44
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