F1 losing its toughest race: Hamilton

Grosjean braced for 'hardest race of the year'

World championship leader Lewis Hamilton hailed an fantastic turnaround Saturday after taking pole for the Malaysian Grand Prix with title rival Sebastian Vettel condemned to the back of the grid.

Raikkonen said that in order to assess his team's performance fans have to look at the whole year's results, not just the Belgian, Italian and Singaporean Grand Prix events where Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes prevailed, reports Efe news agency.

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

The Briton will not need to win another race this season if Vettel finishes lower than second on Sunday, which will mark the final running of the Sepang race after the Malaysian government announced it would not continue to fund the US$67 million (S$91 million) annual cost of staging the Grand Prix. After all, it was the circuit where Raikkonen won his first ever Formula One race way back in 2003. "It's over the whole year".

It allowed Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton to win from fifth on the grid to extend his championship lead from three points to 28.

Mercedes, sponsored by Malaysian state-owned oil giant Petronas, have dominated since 2014 but Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel led the championship until this month.

The day after turning 20, Verstappen turned on the style, making a fine move to overtake Hamilton on lap 4. "It takes the people to try standing together, and I really feel I can identify with a lot of those individuals". He has been on a roll, winning four of the last five F1 races.

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The show's initial run included more than 5,000 episodes on NBC, ABC and in syndication before it first went off the air in 1976. Moving to NY in 1955, he joined forces with writer-producer Stefan Hatos, and the two created the show that would make his name.

The victory was the second of Verstappen's grand prix career, after a first in Spain a year ago, and came a day after his birthday. "I think the auto was in a much better position but I think we were something like four- or five-tenths off the other guys", he said.

"In a wet start it's very hard because the cars are very close together and the visibility is low, so you don't know where all the cars are all around you".

Lewis Hamilton was widely tipped to struggle in the twisty street circuit of Singapore but benefited from Ferrari rivals Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen crashing at the first corner.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was confident the issue would be taken care of. We went back to one vehicle trying one, one auto trying another.

Max Verstappen qualified third ahead of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, while Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was fifth.

"The last race was a strong reminder that sport always has the power to surprise and defy all predictions. I was spinning and heading to the wall", Grosjean said, after reviewing footage. "We have to get it fixed for tomorrow, of course".

Hamilton added that he is hopeful the improvement he showed in qualifying will also translate into race pace.

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