Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Heatproof Vettel makes Mercedes sweat with surprise Malaysian Grand Prix win

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix review

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In the run-up to the Malaysian Grand Prix Bernie Ecclestone let it be known he considers Lewis Hamilton a superior champion to Sebastian Vettel when it comes to being an ambassador for Formula One.

It’s not hard to see why Hamilton – with his red carpet lifestyle and on-again, off-again, can’t-remember-which-again pop-star partner – attracts more attention to F1 than Vettel, who keeps his public profile low and steers his young family away from the media’s gaze.

But you don’t get to be champion in the first place if you can’t get the business done on track. And in today’s race Vettel put in a performance which eclipsed the memory of his win-less 2014 campaign, and wrote the first page of what could be a very successful new chapter of his career.

Ericsson’s spin swings the race

Start, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Sepang is often hot and this year it was extremely hot. Track temperatures nudging 60C were the norm for most of the weekend, and this had a lot to do with why Mercedes’ shocking 1.391-second margin of superiority in Melbourne was not repeated at round two.

On Friday it was clear they were not treating their tyres as well in the heat as Ferrari were. Hamilton, who missed much of the day’s running with a power unit problem, was not just playing the ‘managing expectations’ game when he said the red cars “looked great” on the Sepang circuit.

Some 48 hours later, the absorbing question left after the Malaysian Grand Prix is whether Ferrari’s heatproof race pace would have propelled them to victory even if Mercedes had played their strategic cards to perfection – something they failed to do.

The start of the race was almost an action replay of the previous year. Hamilton led Vettel and Rosberg on the grid, and when the lights went out Vettel squeezed the second Mercedes to the pit wall. But while last year Vettel was beaten to turn one by Rosberg, this time it was a different story. With a net gain of 17kph beneath his right foot compared to the Mercedes, Vettel held Rosberg off, though they came perilously close to touching in turn one.

Within a few laps of the start Marcus Ericsson’s race was over as he spun into the gravel at turn one, bringing out the Safety Car. This proved a decisive moment in the fight for victory, but in the few laps of action before it Hamilton did not leave Vettel behind. Rather, as lap three began Vettel was within DRS range of the race leader.

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Ferrari get it right

Even before arriving in Malaysia, Ferrari expected to push the silver cars harder this weekend. “Let’s assume for a minute that Mercedes don’t make mistakes,” technical director James Allison said.

“We think we can be a fair bit closer to them than we were in Melbourne if we get everything right.” When the Safety Car came out, Ferrari certainly called it right.

The Mercedes drivers headed for the pit lane, and Vettel gratefully inherited the lead. As the field queued up behind Bernd Maylander’s Mercedes AMG GT S Vettel was pleased to see four other drivers had stayed out, giving him a useful buffer to Hamilton.

Rosberg had to queue behind Hamilton in the pits and lost over seven seconds more than his team mate. So when the race restarted on lap Vettel led the yet-to-stop Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Sergio Perez followed by the first of those who had pitted: Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Massa and then Rosberg.

The Mercedes drivers did not progress as quickly as might have been expected. The team planned a three-stop strategy from the start but their first stop had been very early and tyre management was be needed to ensure they made it to the end. Nonetheless by lap ten Hamilton was back in second and four laps later Rosberg was up to third.

But even once in clean air the Mercedes drivers made little in the way of inroads into Vettel’s lead. He hit the pit lane for the first time on lap 18, taking a second set of medium tyres, and having fallen behind the two W06s Vettel quickly set about demolishing the gap to them.

Lap 21 therefore produced the unusual sight of a healthy Mercedes being passed with ease by a Ferrari. Vettel took second place off Rosberg, and three laps later he was in the process of doing the same to Hamilton when the erstwhile race leader dived into the pits.

If at this point Hamilton had been able to count on using two sets of the medium compound tyres to get him to the end of the race, we could have seen him bearing down on Vettel in an exciting finale.

But Mercedes hadn’t expected to want the softer tyres in the race, and so had used a set in Q1. Hamilton was not impressed when he was told there were no fresh medium tyres available for his last stint, and his ire rose further as he ticked off his race engineer for talking to him mid-corner, and confusingly overhead another radio conversation which was not meant for him.

Raikkonen’s recovery drive

Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Underlining Ferrari’s pace, Kimi Raikkonen recovered from a miserable start to the race to finish fourth. He had missed the cut for the top ten in qualifying amid the one-lap frenzy that was Q2, and in a repeat of last year’s race was tagged from behind by a rookie on lap one and suffered a puncture.

Last year the culprit was Kevin Magnussen, this time Felipe Nasr was to blame. The Sauber driver dropped out of contention with a broken front wing, but despite taking the chequered flag in 12th place set the fourth-quickest lap of the day.

The echoes of last year’s race continued in the all-Williams battle for fifth. Last year Massa gave short shrift to his team’s order to let Valtteri Bottas pass him. This time Bottas took matters into his own hands, brilliantly passing Massa around the outside of turn six, just as he had done earlier in the race with Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso.

Verstappen was the next driver home having also passed his team mate late in the race. The 17-year-old became the youngest driver ever to score points in F1 by doing so, and did it despite mowing the grass on his way into the pits at one stage.

Red Bull suffered even more from the heat than Mercedes did. Both cars struggled with high brake temperatures and clouds of carbon fibre dust began to appear from their front wheels in the big stopping zones. Daniel Ricciardo picked up front wing damage on the first lap which deteriorated as the race went on: from fourth on the grid he was tenth at the finishing line.

Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Sepang International Circuit, 2015New team mate Daniil Kvyat beat him home despite being tipped into a spin by Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India at turn two. The stewards’ decision to hand Hulkenberg a ten-second penalty for the contact seemed severe.

The other Force India driver was also penalised – and there was no room for dispute about that incident. While Hulkenberg left Kvyat ample space as the Red Bull passed, Perez simply ran into the side of Grosjean’s Lotus in the middle of the high-speed turn 12. At least Force India can take consolation from the fact both cars finished despite their front suspension taking significant impacts.

The McLarens had run with the Force Indias earlier in the race but both dropped out before the flag with power unit-related problems. Roberto Merhi, however, took the chequered flag in Manor’s first start of the season – then jumped on a plane to the Motorland Aragon in Spain where he will test his Formula Renault 3.5 car tomorrow.

Formula One delivers

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2015By the end of the race Hamilton’s rate of progress to Vettel had almost flatlined. The contest for the lead may have fizzled out, but there were few lulls in the action behind them.

This was a badly-needed tonic for F1 after a lifeless start to the season in Melbourne. After Australia Christian Horner had urged the FIA to forcibly level the playing field. Ecclestone had reached for a microphone and declared F1 needed all manner of gimmicks – reverse grid races, sprinkler systems and – most bafflingly – the return of last year’s hated double points.

The Malaysian Grand Prix was a reassuring reminder that not all is wrong in the world of F1. “Always it seems that when people are making the most noise about changing the rules, Formula One delivers,” Toto Wolff remarked – a magnanimous verdict given the humiliating defeat the world champions had just suffered.

On this day, in this heat, Mercedes and Hamilton had a real competitor in the shape of Ferrari and Vettel – which bodes well for the year ahead.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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73 comments on “Heatproof Vettel makes Mercedes sweat with surprise Malaysian Grand Prix win”

  1. Anyone notice the futuristic backpacks the Mercedes pitcrew had?

    1. I did, i wonder what is it. maybe a portable air compression system for the mechanics guns? I didn’t notice if the usual bars that are above the pitbox where there or not

      1. I don’t think it was the guys with the guns wearing them. Just some of the guys taking the tyres away:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytn39H_KF0s

        1. Now I am even more clueless, It seems there is only one with the backpack

          1. There doesn’t seem to be any vents going in so I doubt it’s a fan for brake or driver cooling in case the car is delayed in the pits. I’m guessing it’s either some kind of air compression tank or an electrical device. There’s a fat black hose coming out the base that loops to the mechanic’s belt, so he’s got some tool there. Just having one is very curious though, especially on a guy that already has a job during the pit-stop.

          2. Maybe he is the backup of the backup of the gun man if pressure fails?

          3. Is it possible that he’s their main firefighter?

    2. their helmet is also very futuristic

      1. Yeah, I thought so too.

  2. on-again, off-again, can’t-remember-which-again

    Haha ! well said !

    1. I don’t get why @keithcollantine had to pour such derision into that sentence. Hamilton has had 1 girlfriend since 2007 and BEFORE he was world champion. It’s not like Bernie said to him, ‘you are world champion now, go get a pop star girlfriend for the good of the sport’

      1. He was using it to highlight the fact that he attracts more media attention than Vettel, and it just happens to be the sort of thing Bernie likes to see. That and the fact that they’ve split up and gotten back together so often that it’s just a complete joke.

      2. @blackmamba It’s a joke. Nobody cares about how many girlfriends Hamilton has had. It’s a simple joke. And since Hamilton loves to make everything regarding his relationship to Scherzinger as public as possible, it’s a fair one.

      3. @blackmamba

        I don’t get why @keithcollantine had to pour such derision into that sentence.

        Because it’s funny?

        You can’t expect to have such an open “LOOK AT MY RELATIONSHIP/BREAK UP GUYS”-affair like Hamilton and Scherzinger and not get the occasional joke every now then.

      4. @blackmamba No derision intended – it’s purely lighthearted.

  3. So, who’s gonna be promoted to STR next year, RIC or KVY?

    1. @nickf12013 The latter. I know because I come from the future.

  4. Something against Mercedes @keithcollantine? I wouldn’t call this race a humiliating defeat unless you think Ferrari are unworthy or unable to build a good car from time to time.

    1. It’s humiliating because Merc should have won with a 1-2. They screwed up their strategy badly.

      1. What are you talking about @repete86, if you were watching Free Practice you would have noticed that Ferrari and Mercedes had barely anything between them in the long runs. It was never guaranteed that Merc would have won with the same strategy as Ferrari. Ferrari had genuine pace and you do them a disservice in suggesting that they lucked out due to Merc blunder. Give credit where its due and acknowledge that they did a solid job and they greatly deserved their just rewards.

        1. They played it too conservatively. It looked to me like they thought that they had the pace to do it on the hards, but they didn’t.

          1. Be honest Merc were too cocky and thought they had it in the bag.Ferrari showed in winter testing that they have made big improvements.

        2. Ferrari did have great pace, however if you listen to what James Alison said himself, he acknowledged that without Merc pitting under the saftey car they would have found it tricky in getting passed them. So while I don’t agree that Ferrari’s win last weekend was gifted to them in the same way as Red Bull’s were last year, no they had great pace and on this track at least were able to keep with the Merc it is also true that Merc’s strategy call, which can often be less than perfect when under pressure did help Ferrari in getting ahead and building a gap.

          Extremely well done to Ferrari for the win, I only hope that Kimi could have been in the mix as well as he showed great pace over the weekend, slightly faster than Vettel but he does pick up some bad luck.

          Lewis’s potential to challenge for the win was taken away largely by the teams decision to use what they thought to be the un-favoured soft tyre in Q1, without that decision the closing laps could have been very exciting.

          What will be interesting to see if Ferrari can maintain pace in China, James Allison spoke about this and doesn’t seem to confident about that although that could be simply playing down chances. We will see if Ferrari are really “back” or it was simply right track, right conditions at the right time. Time will tell.

      2. You must be kidding! Did you even see the race?! Vettel was on a 2-stop strategy, Mercedes on a 3-stop strategy?! What does this mean?! It means the Mercedes drivers were most time on fresher tyres than Vettel. Still, Ham couldn’t open a gap, Ros couldn’t pass him, while after the SC, both Mercedes drivers barely closed the gap to Vettel. So, today, Ferrari’s race pace was really good indeed. RAI’s 4th place finish, although he started 11th and after lap 2 he was the last driver on track, shows that Ferrari was competitive indeed today. I think RAI could have threatened the Mercedes duo too if his quali&race would have been trouble free.

        1. Did you even see the race? The Mercedes drivers stopped already after a few laps so basically they were doing a 2-stop strategy as well.

          Just a very botched one dropping them well back down the order initially and also leaving them with most of the laps to do on the much slower hard tyre. 38 laps on hard tyres for Hamilton while only 19 for Vettel

          So first of all they lost a ton of time with an extra stop which didn’t give them any benefit and then they lost a lot more time on the hard tyres.

          1. Yup, but you still forgot to mention the subtle things: HAM did 38 laps on 2 sets of hards… not 1 set of hards, as might be understood from your posting. Then, Mercedes had 1 set of mediums less usable in the race for both drivers than Ferrari. That’s because Ferrari managed to save 1 set of mediums in Quali. So, it was better management for Ferrari, no matter as you see it. In the end, I still think Ferrari won on merit, even if it was mostly thanks to better management and/or strategy.

        2. Did you see the race. Before the safety car Hamilton was never able to open a gap on vettel, and vettel was inside the drs when Ericsson had the spin.so this just shows that Ferrari is right there if not in front of Mercedes. Bad news for all hamilton’s fans. I’m not a vettel fan but he drove really we’ll.it is a shame that Alonso is not in that team just when they improve the car. But Alonso in a limited honda PU was 8 at the time he was asked to retired. I can see mclaren winning races and being better than Mercedes and Ferrari by mid season. Also Alonso was faster than button even though he only had 2 and a half days of training, and one less race than button.

    2. Anyone can win a race. The only difference is some drivers got more chances than others. In this season seems like Ferrari are the ones that comes second with more chances to win a race, just after Mercedes. That´s what happens yesterday, Mercedes screws up with bad strategy and Ferrari won, plain simple. Nothing to be shame of.

  5. If Ferrari do have an equal car to Mercedes this year, then Vettel will win the WDC. Not necessarily because he is better than Hamilton, but because Ferrari are a much better team. Mercedes’ strategy was laughable, it’s as if they were too caught up sticking to their pre-race strategy plan and completely failed to react what happened on the circuit. By contrast, Ferrari have been the kings of strategy and pit-work since around 2012. Watch Hungary last year, exemplary. Merc put Lewis on mediums on the last stint while Ferrari put Alonso on softs, which meant that Alonso was able to beat Lewis despite driving a far inferior car.

    1. Ferrari have apparently improved a lot since the blunder where they called Alonso in to follow Webber, while Vettel raced of with the Championship, but last race Kimi had a DNF due to a rear wheel not fitted correctly. But I must say Ferrari this year impresses me a lot and the post Montezemolo era is promising so far.

      1. no.. kimi pushed gear and the wheels moved and and got damaged..

    2. @kingshark You’re having a laugh? The only reason this went tits up for Merc is down to a decision they made yesterday to use some option tyres to set good banker times that unfortunately compromised them today. You might say to pit so early under the safety car was a bad idea, but that’s also always a gamble – had Vettel also pitted then, who knows?

      Ferrari were simply faster down the straights and they didn’t have the answer *just* when they needed it.

      1. @optimaximal
        No, Mercedes lost the race because:
        1. They pitted on lap 4 when their original tyres were still fresh and handed the lead to Vettel on a silver plate, while they themselves went on the slower tyre and came out in a load of traffic.
        2. They put Hamilton on primes on his final stint instead of options; even if the options were used for one flying lap in qualifying, they would have still gave Lewis a better opportunity to attack Vettel than equal primes.

        #1 was the real reason to why they lost the race though. What is even more mysterious, is why Mercedes didn’t split their drivers’ strategy.

        Again, the exact same thing happened at Hungary 2014, where Ferrari beat Mercedes despite having a way inferior car through pure strategy. Ferrari’s pit-wall is simply more competent than Mercedes’.

        1. We’ll never know for sure……. if Mercedes lost or Ferrari won just because of the strategy. In my opinion, I still think Vettel had the pace to challenge HAM for the win, even just a little. Just think about that the SC was deployed on lap 4… and the gap between HAM and VET at that very moment was less than 1 second! And HAM was in clear air! So, after almost 4 laps, HAM managed to create the minimum gap, while in every other race he managed to increase the gap by 1 second per lap.

  6. I am convinced that Vettel would still win this one just because he had a similar pace to the Mercedes (or so it seemed to me) and with one less stop he always had an advantage.
    The Mercedes were caught up in traffic after the pit-stops, but a pit-stop during normal race were always going to leave a big margin to Vettel, as I don’t think Hamilton could pull a big gap to Vettel and they always had to pit earlier.
    And Rosberg was already behind and too concerned about what other people were doing to ever be in the challenge… Talkign about him, he put-up a nice fight last year, but this year there will be no repetition of that.

    1. Yep i think it would of been really tight had the safety car not come out! i still think Merc would of won but by no means a big margin. The Ferrari was just so much better on the tyres in my opinion. Im predicting it wont be like this at most races. But kudos to ferrari, they had the perfect day

  7. Wow, ‘humiliating’, someone pushing hard here to get a sense of drama in this race after that borefest at Australia.

    It was a good race and a great performance by Sebastian and James Allison, who knows how to design a car that treat its tyres very well.

    But I would say that real loser here was Horner and Red Bull and not Wolff and Mercedes – and that’s why Toto has been so magnanimous: he knows he still have the best car and can carry this advantage in a subtle manner, without much fuss from Red Bull and Horner, Bernie’s best friend…

    1. Heh, it’s a bit harsh, but I really think they deserve it. Ferrari was closer to Mercedes, but if they had used the same strategy as Ferrari used for Vettel they would have easily been well in front at the end. Maybe not 30 seconds, but still at least 10.

      Agree that Red Bull was a lot more humiliated though. Especially seeing how the Torro Rosso’s both ended up ahead of them with the same underperforming engine and a budget probably only a third of the RBR main team.

      1. Looking at the pace and the tyres degradation, no way

    2. It was a good race and a great performance by Sebastian and James Allison, who knows how to design a car that treat its tyres very well.

      Not once has anyone mentioned the designer of Lewis his car and Vettel stepped to the top step once and there he is! Low, just low and ignorant.

  8. Good Race Report @Keith

    Make hay while the Sun Shines or Strike the iron when it is hot !!!! This is what Ferrari precisely did today. Smart Work, good discipline and great execution despite the bout of bad luck for Kimi

  9. Surprising, but not based on the course of the weekend. Ferraris pace was stellar on friday. People were questioning the decision to use up options in q1 by Mercedes. Hamilton was much behind on set up work. And in q3 Vettel was up there on real pace. Even if MB had a perfect strategy, it would have been very tight. Yes, in times past, even a mediocre Friday for MB has preceded a MB blowout. But the signs were there.

  10. how I craved to hear the German/Italian anthems! Made me all emotional!!!! awesome race

  11. I love the new Ferrari team. I’m not a particular fan of either driver, but I’d rather have Vettel as a champion as Hamilton. Hamilton is a bit too “gangsta” for my tastes (which doesn’t take away the fact he’s a phenomenal driver). It would be great if we could have a battle between the two, but I don’t think we will have that this year.

    1. Do you even know the meaning of gangster?

      1. @wil-liam Read again, I said “gangsta” (in quotation marks). It’s an internet idiom/joke about a certain dressing style. Rapper-wannabe also applies.

      2. @wil-Liam Maybe you should stick to predictions – oh wait.

        “Vettel has no chance tomorrow and we all know it”

        /facepalm

    2. David mcgrory
      30th March 2015, 1:31

      Sebastian is better than Lewis all the abuse he only wins in the best car he beat the self proclaimed fastest driver by 10 seconds in a slower car

      1. Can you tell us why Vettel is better than Hamilton?

  12. Ferrari are halfway to their two-win target for this year, although I suspect that they have set their target higher by now.

  13. Mercedes were sandbagging for sure and they did not use the same strategy as Ferrari .
    They will lap every team next race not once but twice for to snub the rebels.
    Ferarri were for sure showboating this race come to next one they will finish dead last.

  14. I also don’t agree with recent tendency to spread”humiliating” defeats everywhere.

  15. I hope Merhi does two races in one day at Monaco (and I hope the Manor is the faster of the two by then) but I can see the F1 fun-suckers stopping that.

  16. This is why they should have kept Ross Brawn. He positioned them to be technically best and they got complacent thinking he was no longer needed as principal.

    Last year they dropped the ball a few times and were saved by technical superiority. If they lose that they I just don’t think that between Paddy and Toto they have the cunning to improvise strategy.

  17. Does anyone apart from me think it was all a bit convenient that Ferrari was so much closer that the last race were Mercedes dominated on pace, just when there is cries to change the formula and work against the leaders to give other teams a chance. Toto Wolf did not seem all that worried after the race, in fact he looked very happy, even made a joke about when David Coultard suggested this theory to him.

    I reckon they will turn their engines back up a little more (not too much) for the next race, to make sure that Ferrari don’t catch them out again.

    1. If that were the case then every team would have been much closer to the Mercs not just Ferrari! Look at Williams for example – they were up with Ferrari in Melbourne which suggests that Ferrari were closer to Merc at Sepang by virtue of their race pace not Mercedes going deliberately slowly.

  18. I find it quite hard to judge this race. From one point it was really exciting and had few interesting battles but from the other I didn’t really enjoy it that much. The quality of drives during it was quite bad in my view. Drivers going of the track, bumping each other, messy overtakes (of course there were some great ones) and lack of fight at the front. On top of that SKY’s coverage was just awful yesterday. They couldn’t name the drivers right, mixing them all the time, they didn’t know what is happening on the track and they were convinced all the time that Hamilton/Rosberg will challenge Vettel. I mean seriously, because Mercedes’s engineers tell their drivers that they will be there at the end commentators should really blindly believe in that… I knew after the Safety Car and the time when Hamilton couldn’t narrow the gap of 9 seconds to Vettel that it’s not going to happen. Ferrari was just better on their tires and pace wise.
    apart from all this moaning above I still think that it was the best race in a while although the grid still looked quite small.
    Great job by Raikkonen, Sainz, Vettel and Bottas. The rest didn’t really made any positive impression on me.

    1. What, Sainz gets a mention and no Verstappen? finished ahead of Sainz and his pass was pretty good on his team mate to to take 7th

  19. There was something Vettel said during the safety car period, that Mercedes were going too slow, something like +10 delta.

    Couldn’t make anything out of it. Did anybody else hear / notice that?

    1. Yes, he said something like: “We are good from here guys ….” but I couldn’t hear clearly because our stupid TV commentators kept talking. Waiting for the radio transcript from Keith (if there will be one).

    2. They where going very slow and stioping the field to push down their deltatime and then they speeded into the pits trying and gained a few secs compared to the pack. Not very sportsmanlike but legal.

  20. Age records are useless, depends on how early u arrived to sport. What matters is championships and wins. And Verstappen is not ready yet for f1. He had lot of problems yesterday, but in the end he got good result. But that pit mistake could have cost him the race.

    1. Lewis did the same in 2007 on worn tires, oh and nearly won the championship. Was he not ready too?
      Seriously, that was one mistake over the entire race. Did you see the other drivers? Erricson, more experience, Hulkenburg and Perez? Bottas giving someone a puncture. Should they not be in F1 either?

    2. The same can also be said of “championships and wins”, if you are not in a good car, you really can’t compete for wins in F1.

  21. Mercedes will claw back with cooler tracks. But Ferrari will be slightly closer I feel.
    We shall see in China and take it race by race. If there’s a good fight from Ferrari or Williams that’ll even be better for us. I’d like to stay optimistic though.

  22. Nice job by Ferrari, hope it continues. Toro Rosso is flying, too.

  23. I’m new to this forum but it looks really interesting.

    Anyway, I have a question about yesterday’s race:-

    When Vettel made his first pit stop he came out ahead of Rossberg. The TV coverage then focussed other stuff but cut back to Vettel a few laps later where he was behind Rossberg and then quickly went on to overtake him. How did Rossberg get ahead of Vettel?

    Graham

  24. My feeling is that Ferrari have learned important lessons about their strengths and Allison is being deliberately modest in what he is saying. Although their engine power is still some way from the Mercs, I think they’ll be working hard to try and put together a car set-up to maximise their potential rather than simply mimic others. For example, the Ferrari is significantly more forgiving on its tyres than the Mercs; while this helped in hot and sultry Malaysia, it would be another story in cooler China. No one knows this better than Allison and his staff and they will try to use the conditions to their benefit if possible. Even in China, tyre wear is bound to be a factor, albeit a smaller one than in Malaysia. Ferrari will probably want a set-up with just enough downforce so as to make their cars stable on the cooler circuit and still be able to run longer on their tyres than the Mercs.
    I feel that while still behind the Mercs, Ferrari have made a significant step forward in engine power too for 2015. They did not do badly in Australia considering it was Vettel’s first Ferrari drive in anger and he did get past a Merc powered and increasingly competitive Williams. Unlike the established Merc, the new Ferrari is a learning curve for all concerned and now that they have shown everyone – especially themselves – that they can beat Mercs on the track, they will work darn hard to get the best out of their machines for every race from now on.

  25. I believe it was staged managed, Mercedes may have turned down their engines given the outcry after Melbourne over the perceived advantage the Silver Arrows held. I would have done the same thing to screw Horner, and give F1 something to talk about. The show must go on!

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