Malaysian Grand Prix 2015 Recap

Sebastian Vettel surprised everybody at Sepang and wins the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix. Nobody would’ve expected this happen as all eyes were on the Mercedes team, but instead Hamilton and Rosberg finished second and third respectively. “Fantastico, fantastico. Ferrari is back!” Vettel told his team after the race. It’s not only Ferrari who are back in F1, the excitement is also back to the sport.

Qualifying

Not even heavy rains and thunder could stop Lewis Hamilton from clocking the fastest time of 1 min 49.834 seconds in qualifying. Sebastian Vettel broke Mercedes’s dominance in qualifying and took the second spot. Nico Rosberg was about .3 of a second slower than Vettel and will take the third spot on the grid. McLaren continued to struggle here in Malaysia. Button and Alonso will begin the race on 17th and 18th spots respectively. Behind them are Manor drivers, Merhi and Stevens. Dutch teenager, Max Verstappen impressed everybody in the qualifying and he’ll start on sixth place.

Racing Conditions

The hot and humid weather in Malaysia always poses a challenge to all the drivers here. Aside from that, there’s also the possibility of a heavy downpour just like what happened during the qualifying sessions. But on race day, it was only the heat that the drivers has to get used to as the weather forecast said no rain was expected to pour. The track in Sepang is in perfect shape and everyone is also ready for the race.

The Grid

he Race

The car of Will Stevens of Manor which had a fuel problem during qualifying wasn’t fixed and he’ll not be on the race. Aside from him, everyone’ good and are ready to compete.

The formation went well for everybody this time. Lewis Hamilton who started at the pole quickly grabbed the lead on lap 1. Vettel secures the second spot after overtaking Rosberg.

On lap 2, one of Raikonnen’s tyres was punctured after it accidentally made contact with Ericsson’s car. He was forced to make an early stop on lap 3 to change a tyre. After that, Ericsson’s car was stranded in the gravel after it spun in the opening corner. The safety car is out and so does Ericsson. Hamilton and other drivers took this opportunity to make their first stop.

Vettel was one of the few drivers who decided not to make an early stop and he now leads the race on lap 5. The safety car went out on lap 7 and the cars are now back in full-throttle. Hamilton went down to sixth after he made the stop and he’s now in fifth after overtaking Perez.

Hamilton skillfully overtakes each driver one by one until he was able to climb back to second spot on lap 10. His teammate, Rosberg is on 7th on this lap. Vettel meanwhile is steady on the front matching Hamilton’s speed.

Vettel made his first stop to change tyres on lap 17 and Hamilton grabs the lead from him. It was a great stop which just took 2.7 seconds. He went back to the race on third position. It was another bad day for McLaren as Alonso was forced to retire as his car began to have problems during lap 21. On this lap also, Vettel with the help of DRS was able to overtake Rosberg for the second spot.

Vettel and Hamilton go side by side during lap 24, but then the Brit decided to pit because he really needs to change tyres now. Vettel is now on the lead. Hamilton rejoins the race in third.

On lap 26, Kyvat’s car was hit by Hulkenberg on the rear. His car spins, but he manages to recover and get back on the race. On lap 33, the stewards decided to give Hulkenberg a ten second penalty because of this incident.

Vettel made his second stop on lap 37 to change to hard tyres. He came back second, but reclaims the lead after Hamilton pits to change tyres also. The Brit had a smooth stop which just took 2.7 seconds, but on lap 39 he radioed to his team that he got the wrong type of tyres.

On lap 42, both McLaren drivers are now out after Button was forced to retire after his car encountered power problems. But isn’t just McLaren who are having a bad day here. Hamilton had an unpleasant exchange of words to the guys at the paddock also during this lap.

Vettel continues to lead over Hamilton by 12 seconds on lap 47. On lap 49, it’s game over again for Maldonado. This brings the race down to just 15 cars. Vettel continues to hold on to a 10.2 second lead on lap 52.

Hamilton was able to cut down Vettel’s lead to just 9.9 seconds on lap 53, but it seems the German now has this race in the bag. Vettel was the first to pass the checquered flag after 56 laps.

After Thoughts

Vettel’s win isn’t just good for Ferrari but also for F1. This is the first race won by Ferrari after almost two years. The last race that they’ve won was the Spanish GP in 2013. It also made the 2015 F1 season exciting. After the Australian GP, many thought that this will be a two car season between Hamilton and Rosberg. Vettel proved them wrong. Let’s see what will happen at the Chinese GP on April 12.