Malaysian Grand Prix review

What was looking set to be another Mercedes-dominated season has been brought alive by Ferrari's resurgence as it displayed a huge step forward in Malaysia to take its first win in over a year. F1i looks back at how the race weekend unfolded and opens itself up to future ridicule by checking just how accurate its podium prediction was…

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Malaysian Grand Prix - Race Day - Sepang, Malaysia

The race in 100 words

Ferrari shocked everyone as Sebastian Vettel took a fully deserved victory, beating Mercedes “fair and square”. Lewis Hamilton led from pole but the two Mercedes’ pit under a safety car after Marcus Ericsson’s spin and Vettel showed Ferrari’s pace by leading from the front and making a two-stop strategy work. Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were unable to close the gap in the final stint while Kimi Raikkonen recovered from a puncture to finish fourth ahead of Williams, Toro Rosso and Red Bull. Manor started with one car and finished the race, McLaren started with two and ended with none.

Driver of the weekend

It would be unfair to look past Vettel. The four-time world champion didn’t put a foot wrong on only his second race for Ferrari, so nearly taking pole position on Saturday. Vettel was then robust at the start to hold on to second ahead of Rosberg, before perfectly executing the Ferrari strategy. Had no trouble passing both Hamilton and Rosberg when he needed to on track, and was calm enough in the cockpit to even sing when calling for blue flags when passing back markers, despite admitting he was “sh**ting it” in the closing laps.

Move of the race

Unlike Australia, there were a number of potential candidates for move of the race but it’s a late pass between two team-mates which gets the nod. Williams should be commended for letting Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas fight over fifth place until the last lap, and it was the latter who finally got ahead by going around the outside of his Brazilian team-mate at the high-speed Turn 5.

Prediction accuracy

Podium: 1. Sebastian Vettel, 2. Lewis Hamilton, 3. Nico Rosberg,

F1i’s pre-race prediction: 1. Lewis Hamilton, 2. Nico Rosberg, 3. Kimi Raikkonen

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Malaysian Grand Prix - Race Day - Sepang, Malaysia

Weekend recap


Hamilton quickest despite limited running



Hamilton pips Vettel in rain-hit qualifying



Vettel takes first Ferrari win in Malaysia