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Ferrari woes continue as Raikkonen retires from Malaysian GP

02 October 2017, 01:00 | Percy Christensen

Gripping climax Lewis Hamilton extracted the best from his Mercedes car after the track conditions changed rapidlyFAZRY ISMAIL

Gripping climax Lewis Hamilton extracted the best from his Mercedes car after the track conditions changed rapidly

"It has been an awesome atmosphere but I think even this year will be very wonderful". "The auto felt good".

The four-time champion, whose Ferrari had been fitted with a new engine ahead of qualifying after he ran into trouble at the end of practice, was struck by a lack of power while still on his first flying lap.He trundled back to the pits and, while mechanics tried to fix the vehicle and send him back out, the problems proved terminal.

He will start at the back of the grid despite being consistently quickest during practice.

"I've been struggling with the auto today, so we have to review and try to understand where we have gone wrong with the balance", said Hamilton, who leads Vettel by 28 points. This kind of thing can happen in our sport, but the race is tomorrow. "I think the end of the second stint was looking a little bit better but underlying the vehicle was still having some big problems in some corners, I think Max was just managing the pace.so I don't think we had the pace".

Two weeks ago, Vettel wasted pole in Singapore, causing a first-turn crash that took out Raikkonen, Verstappen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso with him.

Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel on Thursday said the remaining races and his powerful Ferrari were enough to close the gap between him and his rival Lewis Hamilton.

Organisers said a total of 110,604 spectators went to Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur's international airport over the three days of practice, qualifying and Sunday's race.

After the high drama of Singapore, Formula One is set for another weekend of turbo-charged emotions at the Malaysian Grand Prix. "Once I got past Lewis I could focus on my tires", Verstappen said.

"To be honest, I don't know if we're going to miss it".

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"Our record there in recent seasons has been mixed but the fundamental characteristics of the circuit, with its sweeping corners and long straights, should mean the auto is well-suited to the circuit", Wolff said. The lights went off, obviously, we did our starts, everyone was trying to move at the start, and it was the way it happened.

Mistakes on some level are unavoidable but the severity of Vettel sandwiching Red Bull's Max Verstappen in Singapore can not be underestimated in terms of the title. Ricciardo will start from the fourth position and he should be in the mix during the race.

The Australian sensed an opportunity on Sunday.

"Even if we got the greatest of deals, do it for free for example, what's the product?" he said.

Mercedes had been expected to dominate at Sepang, only for both Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas to struggle for grip, suffering off-track excursions and ultimately finishing sixth and seventh respectively.

Meanwhile, the organiser of one of the support events apologised to spectators after every auto ran out of fuel and embarrassingly failed to complete the race.

"Today we arrived and the vehicle was much better but still it looked like Ferrari was a little bit ahead, so some big calls to make ahead of qualifying".

"It's the most challenging for the vehicle and the team, so they are taking away one of the toughest, if not the toughest, Grand Prix of the season, which will be hard to replace".

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