The final F1 Malaysian Grand Prix saw a hard fought win for Max Verstappen and Red Bull-Renault, while Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton finished second to extend his championship advantage over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel who managed a fourth place finish after starting last.
Verstappen's second career win capped off a brilliant birthday weekend for the Dutchman who turned 20-years-old. The win was the second successive triumph for Red Bull Racing at the 15-turn, 5.543km Sepang International Circuit, which will not be hosting an F1 race after this edition. Daniel Ricciardo won last year when Hamilton suffered an engine failure and this year it took a lot of misfortune for Ferrari with neither Vettel or Kimi Raikkonen a factor for victory.
After Vettel's troubles in qualifying on Saturday that forced him to start last, technical issues forced Raikkonen to retire into the pits just as the 20 cars lined up on the starting grid prior to the formation lap.
The race was a damage limitation exercise for Vettel who set lap record after lap record to close up on Ricciardo for third place after the Australian had passed Valtteri Bottas for third place. Verstappen had similarly passed Hamilton as both the Red Bull drivers had the measure of the silver arrows.
The race was tense and entertaining with overtaking and good fights up and down the order with Vettel and Bottas having a good scrap as the German passed the Finn for fourth place prior to his tyre stop.
After going as long as he could on the harder soft tyres, Vettel switched to the super-soft Pirelli tyres on lap 29 of the 56 lap race and set off after the leaders.
However, he was only able to get as far as fourth place as Ricciardo blocked his progress, forcing the former four-time world champion to conserve his tyres till the end of the race.
The seemingly cursed weekend was not over for Ferrari, however, as Vettel collided into Williams-Mercedes' Lance Stroll on the cool-down lap after the end of the race and broke the left-rear suspension of his car.
Behind the top five, Force India-Mercedes' Sergio Perez, McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne, Stroll, Williams-Mercedes' Felipe Massa and Force India-Mercedes' Esteban Ocon completed the top ten points scoring classification. Only the top five drivers were on the lead lap of the gruelling race that was the most physically demanding for the drivers since its inclusion on the F1 calendar in 1999.