Race Report: Vettel Slams Mercedes; Ferrari’s First Victory in 22 Months

Formula One took at unexpected turn today as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix thanks to a well-planned two stop strategy. This was his 40th victory in the sport, his first since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton came second behind 8.569 Vettel while his teammate Rosberg finished third. Force India’s Perez and Hulkenberg finished outside of points in 13th and 14th places respectively.

Manor Marussia’s Will Stevens did not start the race due to fuel system issue which had earlier stopped his car during qualifying. His team mate Roberto Merhi started 19th and finished the race at 15, the last position on the grid.

Malaysian Grand Prix 4

While Maldonado did not finish the race due to an issue with the brakes, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson spun out on turn 1 in the 4th lap while trying to overtake Hulkenberg. This brought the safety car into the picture during which both the Mercedes drivers pitted and came out on hard compound tyres.

Malaysian Grand Prix 2

McLaren-Honda had a disappointing weekend at Sepang with both the drivers not finishing the race. Alonso started the race 18th and retired on lap 21 due to ERS cooling problem while Button had to retire on lap 41 due to a turbo issue. The cars though showed some mighty improvements with Button even joking in the middle of the race, radioing his engineer, “Errr… I’m a bit surprised; we seem to be catching cars”.

Malaysian Grand Prix 1

While it still is a long way to the championship but Ferrari’s resurgence to the top after 22 months has certainly raised hope in the heart of Formula One fans. The Prancing Horse folks were able to arrest tyre degradation better than anyone else thanks to the 62°+ track temperature. Things though might not be the same two weeks from now as the action moves to a much cooler track in Shanghai.

Malaysian Grand Prix 3

Here’s the full result for your reference:

  1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  3. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
  4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
  5. Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
  6. Felipe Massa (Williams)
  7. Max Verstappen (Torro Rosso)
  8. Carlos Sainz (Torro Rosso)
  9. Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull)
  10. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
  11. Romain Gorsjean (Lotus)
  12. Felipe Nasr (Sauber)
  13. Sergio Perez (Force India)
  14. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
  15. Robert Merhi (Manor Maurassia)

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Image Source: FIA

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