Sports

F1: Sebastian Vettel romps home in Malaysia

J Srinivasan Kuala Lumpur | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 29, 2015

Sebastian Vettel

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Takes Ferrari to its first victory since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix

The 17th edition of the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang will be memorable for Sebastian Vettel as he drove Ferrari to its first victory since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. It was also his own first win since that year’s season finale in Brazil.

By beating Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Vettel may have just made the F1 that much more interesting as, otherwise, it was becoming an all-Mercedes affair. Hamilton took the pole after acing a wet circuit on Saturday.

Vettel chose to stay out during an early safety car period — following Marcus Ericsson’s spin into the Turn 1 gravel on lap four — and assumed the lead.

Neither Hamilton nor his Merc teammate Nico Rosberg seemed to have the will or the power to pass the German.

The Mercedes team was also caught in a traffic maze of several midfield cars and Rosberg was delayed in the pits queuing behind Hamilton. Vettel only made his final pitstop with 14 laps to go after a long middle stint, and crucially rejoined ahead of Rosberg in second place.

The Ferrari driver then regained the lead when Hamilton pitted. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen stood out in the action elsewhere, clocking in fourth, recovering remarkably after dropping to the back of the field following a puncture sustained in contact with Felipe Nasr’s Sauber on the first lap.

Besides the action on the field, there was some good news for Malaysians as the Government decided to run the Grand Prix for three more years.

The Malaysian Government was having a rethink about continuing with the race; today’s attendance may have swung the decision. Hotels and other industries that thrive on F1-related action no doubt heaved a sigh of relief as perhaps did Team Ferrari with a win and a hard fought fourth place.

(The writer attended the Malaysian Grand Prix as a guest of Tourism Malaysia)

Published on March 29, 2015
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