It had been 22 months since Ferrari last won a Formula One Grand Prix but Sebastian Vettel ended that drought in Malaysia on Sunday. The win was Vettel’s fourth Malaysian GP win. Lewis Hamilton continued his podium streak making it nine in a row to claim second place.
His Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg finished third but the two teamates were ultimately no match for Vettel. As sunshine shone over the Sepang circuit it was clear track temperature would be critical in terms of how the tyres would behave. A lot of focus was on Max Verstappen starting his second F1 race in sixth and it was going to be interesting to see how he fared.
The race began smoothly but after the first stop Rosberg immediately attacked Vettel for second. Hamilton had a clear lead after lap one and was 0.7 seconds ahead of his nearest rival Vettel. The Ferrari driver saw off the challenge from his fellow German and took the lead early on after rolling the dice and staying out on his mediums.
It was a gutsy move from the Italian team who were clearly confident on tyre degradation. Vettel pitted twice while Hamilton and Rosberg both pitted three times. This proved to be the difference as the German held on to claim an audacious victory and show that Mercedes won’t have it all their own way this season.
Another highlight of the day was 17-year old Verstappen who finished seventh and became the youngest points scorer in F1 history.