A WIN FOR FERRARI: Sebastian Vettel has won his first GP in Malaysia for Ferrari. He joined the Italian outfit after winning four F1 titles with Red Bull. Image: AFP
SEPANG, Malayasia - Sebastian Vettel drove a flawless tactical race to claim his maiden victory for Ferrari at the Malaysian GP on Sunday, registering the first Formula 1 win for the Italian team since 2013.
World champion Lewis Hamilton finished second, 8.5 seconds adrift, with Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg crossing the line in third.
Vettel showed again that form is temporary and class permanent when the four-times F1 champion put in a faultless display to record his first victory for Ferrari. The victory ended a long drought for the Italian F1 team, whose last win was at the Spanish GP in 2013, and was the 40th of his career.
'FERRARI IS BACK!'
Starting from second place on the grid behind Hamilton's seemingly unbeatable Mercedes, Vettel and Ferrari produced a tactical masterclass to overhaul the Briton and cross the line 8.5 seconds ahead of the double champion.
Vettel was told over the team radio as he took the chequered flag: "Numero uno is back, Ferrari is back," "Grazie, grazie. Forza Ferrari" he shouted in reply.
17-year-old Max Verstappen claimed seventh for Toro Rosso to become the youngest ever points scorer in F1 history.
The race got off to a clean start with Hamilton pulling away from Vettel on the first lap, but the race turned in Ferrari's favour when Sauber's Marcus Ericsson spun off at the start of lap four to bring out the safety car.
While Mercedes pulled both their cars into the pits to put on hard tyres, Vettel stayed out on the medium compound and made the lead stick until the end of the race.
Vettel, who failed to win a race for Red Bull in 2014 after four successive titles, has now won grands prix for three separate teams - Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari.
2015 Malaysian Grand Prix results
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min41:05.793
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes +00:08.569
3 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 00:12.310
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 00:53.822
5 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 01:10.409
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 01:13.586
7 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 01:39.085
8 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 1 lap
9 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull 1 lap
10 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull 1 lap
11 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1 lap
12 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 1 lap
13 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1 lap
14 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1 lap
15 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 3 laps
(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)
r. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 9 laps
r. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 15 laps
r. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 35 laps
r. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 53 laps
Fastest Lap: Nico Rosberg,1min42.062, lap 43
Driver and constructor standings
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 43
2. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 40
3. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 33
4. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 20
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 12
6. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 10
7. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 10
8. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 9
9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 6
10. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 6
11. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 6
12. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 4
13. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 2
14. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1
15. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 0
16. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 0
17. Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 0
1. Mercedes 76
2. Ferrari 52
3. Williams-Mercedes 30
4. Sauber - Ferrari 14
5. Toro Rosso - Renault 12
6. RedBull - Renault 11
7. Force India - Mercedes 7
8. McLaren 0
9. Lotus - Mercedes 0
10. Marussia - Ferrari 0