Max Verstappen celebrated his birthday in style today by winning the last-ever Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang

The Red Bull Racing driver, who turned 20 on Saturday, controlled the race from early on and never wavered, claiming only the second Grand Prix victory of his young career.

Starting from third, Verstappen completed a sensational overtake on championship leader Lewis Hamilton of Mercddes at the start of lap four. He never looked back from there and sealed his first and only win of the season in one hour 30 minutes 01.290 seconds.

Verstappen was 12.770 seconds ahead of Hamilton. They were joined on the podium by Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in third, who was a distant 22.519s off the winning pace.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari finished fourth despite starting from last place. Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes was fifth, Sergio Perez of Force India sixth, Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren seventh and Lance Stroll of Williams eighth.

Verstappen said after the race:

“It is amazing to win today. Straight away I could see our pace was good.

“The car was really good and our pace on the soft tyre was better than I expected. It was a very physical race and very warm in the car, plus I haven’t been feeling that well this weekend but we managed to bring it home.

“You can never predict how the rest of the season will go but we keep improving the car and it is looking positive. So hopefully from now onwards we can build on this for the rest of the year and then have a good start to next season.

“I didn’t expect yesterday that we would be so quick today and to win here was unexpected, so I’m very happy.”

The Formula 1 season resumes with the Japanese Grand Prix on October 8.

View pics from Sepang

Race Results

POSDRIVERCARTIME/RETIRED
1Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing30:01.3
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes+12.770s
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing+22.519s
4Sebastian VettelFerrari+37.362s
5Valtteri BottasMercedes+56.021s
6Sergio PerezForce India+78.630s
7Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren+1 lap
8Lance StrollWilliams+1 lap
9Felipe MassaWilliams+1 lap
10Esteban OconForce India+1 lap
11Fernando AlonsoMcLaren+1 lap
12Kevin MagnussenHaas+1 lap
13Romain GrosjeanHaas+1 lap
14Pierre GaslyToro Rosso+1 lap
15Jolyon PalmerRenault+1 lap
16Nico HulkenbergRenault+1 lap
17Pascal WehrleinSauber+1 lap
18Marcus EricssonSauber+2 laps
NCCarlos SainzToro RossoDNF
NCKimi RaikkonenFerrariDNF

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