2015 FORMULA 1 PETRONONAS MALAYISA GRAND PRIX
16 August 2015
Safety car was called out on lap four when Marcus Ericsson of Sauber spun his car out at Turn 1, later retired, and things went differently for Merceds. Both Hamilton and Rosberg pitted in immediately for hard tyre while Ferrari decided to keep Vettle running on Pirelli’s medium compound which is faster. This crucial decision made Ferrari to use a 2 stop strategy while Mercedes is running on 3 stop.
By the time Vettle pitted in for the first time on lap 17, a 8 second healthy seconds had been built up. Although no mistakes was done by Mercedes but they just seem to be not pacing fast enough to catch up with the red rocket. The high ambient and track temperature of Malaysia is just the right battle ground for Ferrari. Sebastian took the race with 8.569 seconds gap over Lewis.
At the same time, things seems to be going fairly well for Kimi Raikkonen as well. Suffering from a puncture on first lap. The Iceman quickly fought back through the busy track and ended with a fourth finishing. A great gap set by Kimi ahead of the intra-team battle duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa of Williams.
It’s a good Sunday for Toro Rosso as both of drivers walked hom with seventh and eighth. The 17 years old driver, Max Verstappen, scored with the record of a youngest driver ever to score in world championship. Although team mate Carlos Sainz was just behind him but Max made it to be the last driver that did not get lapped.
Following Toro Rosso, Red Bull bagged another 2 positions back to back with Daniil Kvyat on ninth and Ddaniel Ricciardo on tenth. Tough battle between the 2 team mates which both of them suffered from different difficulties. Daniil was spun at Turn 2 by Nico Hulkenberg of Force India while Daniel’s car got front wing damaged on lap 1.
Felipe Nasr who had a wonderful debut in Australia wasn’t doing great in Malaysia however. He was struggling throughout the whole race and only managed to place himself in 12th behind Romain Grosjean. The Lotus’s driver attempted to overtake Sergio Perez who is in a Force India but eventually got spun and recovered.
The pair of Force India was given a 10 seconds penalty following Perez tangling with Romain while Hulkenburg clashed with Daniil Kvyat. Grosjean went fury on the driving style of Perez over Lotus’s radio. Eventually, Perez finished ahead of Hulkenberg with a gap of four-tenths of a second.
Three laps behind the race leader, Marussia’s Roberto Merhi managed to finish the race and also the final driver to complete the race. His team mate Will Stevens however did not started the race following fuel system problems on Saturday which could not be repaired.
Former Ferrari, now McLaren-Honda driver, Fernando Alonso, did not managed to finish the race as his car was experiencing technical problem after missing the Australian Gran Prix. 20 laps after the retirement of Alonso on lap 21, team mate Jenson Button also retired from 14th suffering power loss.
With Shanghai coming in 2 weeks, Vettel is now only 3 points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ standing. It is now Hamilton 43 points, Vettel 40 and Rosberg 33.Constructor wise, Mercedes remains in the lead with 76 points over Ferrari’s 52 and Williams’ 30.