Ferrari's Vettel storms to Malaysia win

Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:07am EDT
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By John O'Brien

SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Sebastian Vettel showed again that form is temporary and class permanent when the four-times world champion put in a faultless display to record his first victory for Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The triumph ended a long drought for Formula One's most successful team, whose last win was at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2013, and was the 40th of the German's career.

Starting from second place on the grid behind Lewis 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 world champion.

"Numero uno is back, Ferrari is back," Vettel was told over the team radio as he took the chequered flag.

"Grazie, grazie. Forza Ferrari" he shouted in reply as he celebrated his fourth win at Sepang, a circuit that has favoured the Italian team over the years with seven victories in 17 editions since 1999.

Hamilton's team mate Nico Rosberg finished a distant third while 17-year-old Max Verstappen claimed seventh place for Toro Rosso to become the youngest ever points scorer in Formula One history.

After Mercedes dominated last season and looked further ahead of the pack when Hamilton led a one-two in Australia two weeks ago, the rest of the field appeared to be even further behind in the second year of the V6 hybrid engines.

Vettel had cut a forlorn figure in his last season at Red Bull in 2014, unable to record a victory and way off the pace of the front runners.   Continued...

Formula One - F1 - Malaysian Grand Prix 2015 - Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 29/3/15
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning the Malaysian Grand Prix on the podium
Reuters / Olivia Harris