Lewis Hamilton speaks out after Malaysian Grand Prix: Mercedes have BIG problems

Hamilton finished in second place eating humble pie 12.7 seconds adrift the Red Bull piloted by young Verstappen. On top of this, Vettel and Williams driver Lance Stroll collided on the slow-down lap after the race causing a great deal of damage to Vettel's auto.

"I didn't make it very hard for him".

"Ferrari had problems, but our race speed was comparable, because in the end Sebastian was on super-soft tyres, and you saw that when he was catching Ricciardo he went too close and he ruined his front tyres, so that's why he had to stop his attack", Marko said.

After that he ran his own race, neither challenging Verstappen nor being challenged by Ricciardo. Else Hamilton will equal Vettel's record of four world championship titles.

He said: "You can never predict how the rest of the season will go but we keep improving the auto and it is looking positive".

"We have done an exceptional job with what we have".

Verstappen, who started third on the grid, overtook Hamilton on the fourth lap of 56 around the 5.543km Sepang International Circuit and, with Mercedes struggling for pace, had no problem in cruising to victory. Verstappen then pulled out a lead over the Mercedes, and didn't really look in any danger of losing his spot at the head of the order.

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"I think it is unknown at the moment".

Despite being unable to seal an eighth win of the season, second-placed Lewis Hamilton still opened up his gap at the top of the championship over nearest rival Sebastian Vettel, who couldn't haul in Ricciardo and had to settle for fourth.

"We still have problems with this vehicle and it was magnified here", Hamilton said.

To have one driver - a contender for the title, no less - start from the back of the grid and another fail to make the race was, to put it mildly, not the ideal scenario for Ferrari at Sepang. Vettel had started the race dead last after engine problems stopped him setting a time in Saturday's qualifying. I can't explain to you what they are, but we really need to make sure we rectify them for next year's vehicle if we are going to have any chance of fighting both of these teams [Red Bull and Ferrari] next year when they step up their game.

"I always said when Max's luck would change, it would change in a dramatic way". I think we are quicker so obviously it was a bit of a shame.

"Considering Vettel started last, it's not really that great to be honest", he added.

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