Vettel refusing to read into Mercedes' Friday struggles in Malaysia

Formula Farce? Every driver runs out of fuel in F1 support race

"Last year there were a lot of mistakes, this year I'm trying to make sure I stay focussed and not make many mistakes", Hamilton said. "I am fine, that is the most important thing".

The drain cover was loosened by Bottas' Mercedes, which went through the corner shortly before Grosjean. "I think that is the first time I have had that in my career".

In an interview with Sky Sports, McLaren driver Fernando Alonso said Hamilton is now the firm favourite for the championship after Vettel crashed out in Singapore. They fixed it quickly and it's a shame I couldn't get out. We went back to one auto trying one, the other vehicle trying the other.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner was furious. "In my opinion this is not acceptable. Starting my first F1 race this weekend is a dream come true", Gasly told reporters in Malaysia ahead of Friday's practice session. "It just seems that it has broken away", said Whiting, explaining that further checks would be made on other drains during the evening.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was confident the issue would be taken care of.

Hamilton and Mercedes endured a tricky Friday with an upgraded vehicle, prompting the decision to switch the championship leader back to an old spec to compare to teammate Valtteri Bottas' auto in FP3.

"We need to see now what the problem was".

Hamilton qualified only fifth and team-mate Valtteri Bottas was sixth on the grid in Singapore. The pair both spun earlier in the session, with Bottas running wide at Turn 11 and Hamilton losing the rear of his vehicle at Turn 7.


"The result in Singapore came as a surprise for us all - and the danger of a result like that is to misjudge your own level of performance", Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff warned.

"I don't remember the last time I have seen him falter under pressure.

It's your question, obviously", Raikkonen said at a press conference ahead of the Malaysia Grand Prix. When Verstappen darted to the inside of Turn 1, Hamilton did not appear to put up much of a fight. Although there was a heavy downpour before the first practice, the track had largely dried out by the afternoon.

Verstappen and Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo traded fastest times throughout the session, ultimately finishing P1 and P2 respectively in the final classification.

"We just have to maximize every opportunity we get", Hamilton said, offering some sympathy to Vettel.

It promises to be a long night in the Mercedes garage.

The Formula 4 South East Asia Championship issued a statement apologising "unreservedly" for the debacle when all nine cars were left stranded across the circuit after a miscalculation on how much fuel was needed.

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