Vettel win is a relief for all except Mercedes

Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:22am EDT
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By John O'Brien

SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - An ebullient Sebastian Vettel spoke at length about the importance of his first win for Ferrari when addressing reporters after his Malaysian Grand Prix triumph on Sunday, yet his beaming smile pretty much said it all.

He was back, Ferrari were back and most importantly, Formula One was back.

Vettel upset the odds with a stunning drive at Sepang, overhauling pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes thanks to Ferrari's ability to get the best out of the faster medium-compound tires in Malaysia's sweltering heat.

The team tactics were also superb, opting to keep the four-time world champion out on track during an early safety car period as rivals dived into the pits for new tires, and he rode the advantage all the way to the chequered flag.

Not only had the German and Ferrari claimed their first victories since 2013 but, by finally finding a way to beat the dominant Mercedes "fair and square" as he put it, the series can now hope for a proper title race.

The 2015 season is only two races old, yet before Malaysia Formula One was awash with negative storylines and feared Mercedes could win everything at a canter.

Red Bull's Christian Horner, principal of Vettel's once-dominant but now troubled former team, had suggested Mercedes needed to be reined in by the authorities to level things out.

Vettel's own German Grand Prix had been axed due to a lack of finances and the confusion surrounding Fernando Alonso's winter testing crash and withdrawal from the Melbourne opener all added to the negative tone.   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 with the trophy on the podium. Reuters / Olivia Harris