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Hamilton ends tough Malaysia weekend by extending points lead

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Lewis Hamilton was pleased to end a tough Malaysian Grand Prix weekend by extending his lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship to 34 points.

Hamilton rallied from a tough practice to take pole position on Saturday for Mercedes, only to struggle for race pace and eventually finish second behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Vettel fought back from last place on the grid to finish fourth, with his race pace looking stronger than Hamilton’s for much of the 56-lap affair as he rose through the order.

With Hamilton and his Mercedes team extending their leads in their respective championships despite being third-best at times in Malaysia, the Briton was left pleased with his weekend’s work.

“A much better weekend than we anticipated after our Friday. We’ve got a lot of work to do with our car, so considering the issues we did have, it is a good result,” Hamilton said.

“I think Valtteri [Bottas, who finished fifth] obviously seemed to struggle a lot more and I was able to just pull a little bit more out of it I guess.

“These next races are going to be crucial in terms of finding out whether we can iron out some of the creases in the car. But who would have thought the Ferraris would have problems? All we can do is try to capitalize as much on those.

“Naturally, I wanted to win the race and so Max did a fantastic job today but ultimately winning the race is still the goal. So even if you get second, it is not that satisfying.”

With five races to go, Hamilton now leads by 34 points, meaning he remains on-course to claim a fourth world title in 2017.

Hamilton’s fight with Vettel will continue next weekend with the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)