Vettel Beats Hamilton To Malaysian Win

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Sebastian Vettel surprised his Mercedes rivals on a sweltering Sunday in Kuala Lumpur to win the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were second and third respectively.

It was an eventful afternoon, with many overtaking moves and action throughout in a race far removed from the season opener in Australia. An early Safety Car saw Mercedes putting both of their drivers on the same strategy, whilch was out-done by Ferrari and Vettel.

Vettel was delighted with his first win since 2013 and commented that the high levels of heat was likely to have been a factor.

“They probably struggled a bit with the heat, more than expected,” explained Vettel.

“We didn’t struggle as much as we probably expected. Both things made us competitive and able to beat them fair and square.

“In the next race, it’s a different type of track. It’s supposed to be a lot cooler. I think Mercedes will struggle in the hot conditions at this stage of season, but I expect them to be strong [in China].

“They are the ones who usually set the pace. Today we capitalised on their weakness a bit. For the next race, we will try to race as hard as we can and see where it takes us.”

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Lewis Hamilton did not think the Safety Car made much difference, instead reflecting on a poor balance as being part of the issue.

“I don’t know whether or not if I stayed out with [Vettel] if that would have made much of a difference,” he said.

“They were probably just as good if not a little better in terms of tyre deg, so it would have been very close.

“Naturally, after the first stop, I just had so much ground to catch up, it was pretty much impossible.

“All day I was struggling with the balance, I had a lot of understeer so I couldn’t really look after tyres.

“I was doing everything with the controls but couldn’t find a good balance.”

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Nico Rosberg said things differently as he reflected on a Safety Car which changed things considerably.

“We didn’t expect so many to stay out, and we didn’t expect to lose time in the pitstop waiting for people to go by because the pitlane was so wide. We thought we could go alongside.

“So those were the problems, and then just getting through the pack afterwards was very difficult and cost a lot of tyre deg.

“I tried to fight back as much as possible, but I couldn’t quite get back to Lewis.

“I lost a lot from that pitstop phase, but I’m happy I got close to Lewis.”

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Daniel Ricciardo had a tough race, finishing in 10th. The Australian had a minor collision with Nico Rosberg early in the race, which hindered car performance for the rest of the race.

“I was ready for a fight and to do something special,” said Ricciardo. “But I think the race was anything but special.

“We couldn’t fight in any situation. Every time I tried we fell back, it was like we paid a price for trying. I was a bit of a passenger.”

Malaysian Grand Prix Result

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1h41m05.793s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 8.569s
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 12.310s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 53.822s
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m10.409s
6 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m13.586s
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m37.762s
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
9 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1 Lap
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1 Lap
11 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1 Lap
12 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
13 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
15 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 3 Laps
Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes Brakes
Jenson Button McLaren/Honda Power Unit
Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda Power Unit
Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari Spun off
Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari Withdrawn
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