Sebastian Vettel triumphs for Ferrari, as he beat Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes to win the Malaysian GP. Second Mercedes driver, Nico Rosberg, came in third, beating the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who came fourth, despite an early puncture. The McLaren’s Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso both retired.
The four-time world champion, Vettel, managed his pace and tyres better than the Mercedes in the tropical conditions; he started second on the grid and took the lead when Mercedes called in Lewis Hamilton for a pit-stop, while Ferrari left the German on track. Vettel had opened up an eight-second lead, when he pitted for the first time on lap 17. Hamilton’s second stop, only seven laps after Vettel’s first, put him a further 24 seconds behind the Ferrari.
This was Vettel’s 40th Grand Prix victory of his career, as he is only one behind Ayrton Senna. The victory also marks a terrific turnaround for Ferrari, who endured their worst season since 1993 last year, with only two podiums.
The Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa followed the Finn, into fifth and sixth place respectively, while 17 year-old Max Verstappen from Torro Rosso was racing remarkably beside his rivals, as he took an excellent seventh, just ahead of fellow team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.
The Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kyvat came ninth and tenth respectively.
McLaren-Honda’s performance showed signs of improvement compared to two weeks ago in Melbourne. Alonso, who missed the season-opening, as he recovered from a concussion sustained in a test crash, was trying to push for a top-ten finish on Sunday, before he was forced to retire with the over-heating of the hybrid system on the 21st lap. As for the 2009 Champion, Jenson Button, he retired from the track due to turbo failure.
The victory of Ferrari’s Vettel is an excellent news for the sport and also a breath of fresh life, as the German manufacturing giant Mercerdes have dominated the sport since the start of last season. The Ferrari win raises hopes that Mercedes will be challenged all the way for the Driver’s Championship.