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In the goodbye of Sepang, Hamilton bets to extend his streak

In the goodbye of Sepang, Hamilton bets to extend his streak

Three victories in the three Grand Prix disputed after the summer hiatus granted the Englishman Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) the vitola of favorite this weekend in Malaysia, where he goes as leader, with a juicy income of 28 points compared to the German Sebastian Vettel ( Ferrari).

With six races remaining to the end of the season, the bid for the World Cup title seems to be reduced to both, since the Finn Valtteri Bottas – bearer of the other silver arrow – is third, 51 points behind his teammate.

The Sepang international circuit is, however, a propitious territory for the ‘resurrection’ of the Vettel.

The 30-year-old from Heppenheim can boast the all-time record for victories at the Malaysian track. There he won four times. The first three, with Red Bull, in 2010, 2011 and 2013. The last, in 2015, already in command of a Ferrari.

In the nineteenth and last edition of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Vettel aims to obtain a result that allows him to target the events of Japan, the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi with the possibility of contesting the title against his maximum opponent.

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He has a first and last name: Lewis Hamilton, winner of seven of the fourteen races held. In a sweet moment for him, the Englishman raised his Formula One win number to 60 thanks to recent successes in Belgium, Italy and Singapore.

In this time, he has built a sufficient margin to allow himself a mistake. Thus, without emergencies, he sighs for his sixth podium at the racetrack located 40 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur. In 2012 and 2013 he was third; in 2007 and 2015, second. It only succeeded in 2014.

Last year, when a new victory for the Briton could begin to be sensed, he was surprised by an engine problem.

Farewell to Sepang as the venue for one of the World Championship events, Lewis Hamilton wants to forget that unfortunate set. He also has at his fingertips a new feat on an iconic circuit, in which he signed the pole position in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. If he sets the best time in the qualifying session, he would equal Michael’s five. Schumacher.

Mercedes’ ambitious outlook contrasts with the growing need for Ferrari and Red Bull, great alternatives in a Grand Prix where the energy drink team’s subsidiary has taken a drastic measure.

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Neither in Malaysia nor in Japan will it have the Russian Daniil Kvyat, beaten in all the statistics by the Spanish Carlos Sainz.

The Madrilenian, who comes from signing the most outstanding performance of his career in Singapore after finishing in fourth place, will share the garage with the French Pierre Gasly, 21, and current GP2 champion.

«I am not going to comment on this decision. I know that Pierre fulfills a dream and I congratulate him on it, but what happens on the other side of the garage has little to concern me, “said Sainz, more focused on making good the Toro Rosso forecast of passing Williams in the classification of constructors.

With the “desire” to get back in his car, Fernando Alonso was also Spanish.

After receiving a blow at the start of the Dutch Max Verstappen, he had to abandon the Singapore Grand Prix on the ninth lap due to loss of engine power in his McLaren Honda.

«What happened was disappointing and it is difficult to hide your frustration when you are the victim of someone else’s accident. I felt that we had the potential to be really competitive and it is a pity that we could not score points to prove it, but these things happen “, he commented in statements provided by his team.

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The two-time world champion said conditions in Malaysia will be “very similar” to Singapore with “challenging heat and humidity.”

“The configuration will not be so favorable to us, but of course we will continue fighting to achieve everything. There are six races left and we are still putting all our energy into finishing each test in the best possible position, “he declared before starting off on a track of great memories for him.

At the Sepang international circuit, which this season will cease to be one of the Formula One World Cup venues, Fernando Alonso achieved his first pole position and his first podium. It was in 2003.

His three triumphs followed one another later: in 2005 with Renault, in 2007 with McLaren Mercedes and in 2012 with Ferrari. EFE

lsl / ea

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