Ferrari swoops as Mercedes stumbles in Malaysia

Sebastian Vettel completes a stunning victory in his second drive for Ferrari in Malaysia

Sebastian Vettel completes a stunning victory in his second drive for Ferrari in Malaysia

Sebastian Vettel has scorched to a giant-killing victory in a stunning rise to power for Ferrari as Mercedes stumbled in the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Vettel’s win has snapped a dire Ferrari losing streak as the German led home Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

It was the first victory for the Scuderia since Spain in 2013.

Mercedes was thrown off their game early in the race with Vettel’s menacing pace seeing the Silver Arrows forced to switch their strategy.

An early Safety Car to retrieve Marcus Ericsson’s stranded Sauber in the gravel at Turn 1 saw leader Hamilton lead most runners into an early stop however Vettel stayed on track and led on the restart on lap eight.

As both Mercedes drivers were forced to pick their way back to the front, Vettel was uncompromising in a clinical performance reminiscent of his championship-winning days at Red Bull.

Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen recovered from a disastrous start to finish fourth.

Raikkonen suffered a left rear puncture after the opening lap following contact from Felipe Nasr.

Williams put on a grandstand finish with Valtteri Bottas staging a titanic battle with team-mate Felipe Massa before passing the Brazilian with one lap remaining for fifth.

Max Verstappen, 17, put in another performance defying his tender age to finish seventh ahead of Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz jr.

It was a scrappy race for the Red Bulls with Daniil Kvyat finishing ninth and Daniel Ricciardo 10th.

Kvyat had just squeezed past Ricciardo, who was told to let the Russian through after the Australian’s wing damage had worsened, when he was punted side-on by Nico Hulkenberg.

Both McLaren-Hondas of firstly Fernando Alonso and later Jenson Button were forced to retire with power unit issues.

Result: Malaysia F1 Grand Prix

1

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

56

1:41:05.793

2

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

56

8.569

3

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

56

12.310

4

Kimi Räikkönen

Ferrari

56

53.822

5

Valtteri Bottas

Williams/Mercedes

56

1:10.409

6

Felipe Massa

Williams/Mercedes

56

1:13.586

7

Max Verstappen

Toro Rosso/Renault

56

1:39.085

8

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso/Renault

55

1 Lap

9

Daniil Kvyat

Red Bull/Renault

55

1 Lap

10

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull/Renault

55

1 Lap

11

Romain Grosjean

Lotus/Mercedes

55

1 Lap

12

Felipe Nasr

Sauber/Ferrari

55

1 Lap

13

Sergio Pérez

Force India/Mercedes

55

1 Lap

14

Nico Hülkenberg

Force India/Mercedes

55

1 Lap

15

Roberto Merhi

Marussia/Ferrari

53

3 Laps

Pastor Maldonado

Lotus/Mercedes

47

DNF

Jenson Button

McLaren/Honda

41

DNF

Fernando Alonso

McLaren/Honda

21

DNF

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber/Ferrari

3

DNF

Will Stevens

Marussia/Ferrari

0

DNF

Championship standings

1

Lewis Hamilton

43

2

Sebastian Vettel

40

3

Nico Rosberg

33

4

Felipe Massa

20

5

Kimi Räikkönen

12

6

Felipe Nasr

10

7

Valtteri Bottas

10

8

Daniel Ricciardo

9

9

Nico Hülkenberg

6

10

Max Verstappen

6

11

Carlos Sainz

6

12

Marcus Ericsson

4

13

Daniil Kvyat

2

14

Sergio Pérez

1

15

Romain Grosjean

0

15

Jenson Button

0

17

Roberto Merhi

0

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