Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Vettel and Ferrari beat Mercedes in Malaysia

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix summary

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Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Sebastian Vettel took his first victory with Ferrari in the Malaysian Grand Prix, leading the two Mercedes drivers home.

Vettel held second place at the start between the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, but both the silver cars pitted during an early Safety Car period. Vettel stayed out, and by running a long first stint was able to make just two pit stops.

The Mercedes pair had to come in three times, and didn’t have the pace to make up the time lost in the extra pit stop. Hamilton was also forced to keep using the hard tyres, having used up his medium tyres during qualifying, while Vettel used another set for his second stint.

But the Ferrari was also far stronger at Sepang – a fact underlined by Kimi Raikkonen’s recovery from 11th on the grid and a first-lap puncture to finish fourth.

The Williams drivers finished fifth and sixth after Valtteri Bottas put a late pass on Felipe Massa. The two Toro Rosso drivers also exchanged places late in the race, Max Verstappen becoming the youngest-ever points scorer with seventh place.

The Red Bulls struggled – Daniel Ricciardo’s car ran hot and Daniil Kvyat was tipped into a spin by Nico Hulkenberg. Kvyat came home ninth ahead of his team mate.

Neither McLaren driver finished the race but the sole Manor of Roberto Merhi saw the chequered flag, albeit three laps down in 15th position.

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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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177 comments on “Vettel and Ferrari beat Mercedes in Malaysia”

  1. Great result for Ferrari! Especially with Raikkonen finishing 4th despite his troubles. Their season looks very promising now. Also nice to see Manor finish with one car, something McLaren couldn’t do.

    1. It’s wrong to compare Manor and McLaren. Manor have last year car and engine, this means all reliability problems were solved. At the other hand McLaraen have all new package.

      1. no no no IT IS wrong comparing Manor and Mclaren period

  2. Excellent race from Vettel and Ferrari! Reminded me of Alonso’s race in Hungary last year. Deserved win for them (for the race and probably DOTW). What a turnaround they have made! It’s a much more impressive turnaround than Williams or Sauber. I wonder what the unlucky Kimster could have done had he started near the front. But I highly doubt he could challenge Vettel today. Alonso is probably crying in the McLaren motorhome right now, and as a Alonso fan, I can sympathize. So watching Ferrari do so well and challenge for victories is difficult for me. And Alonso too.

    Mercedes were surprisingly disappointing and lacked pace today. Never thought I’d say that for another 3 years at least! And on the same tyres in the same conditions, the Ferrari was simply faster. I personally think that Hamilton needs to work on his attitude in the car. He complains so much (let the hate begin!). Too much, in fact. As though he feels the team is purposely trying to conspire against him. I think that he should follow Rosberg and Vettel in that regard.

    And maybe 2015 will not turn out to be such a bad season after all. I still think that Hamilton will walk away with the title, but Vettel might clinch 2nd away from Rosberg in the standings. The Ferrari at this rate might win more than two this year, which would mean we would see a Arrivabenne running at full pelt in Maranello (his words, not mine). Kvyat, Verstappen, Sainz, Force India, as well as McLaren-Honda exceeded my expectations.

    P.S. Isn’t Andrea Stella in McLaren? I thought he moved. Can someone enlighten me? @keithcollantine maybe?

      1. @peartree But on Alonso’s radio it wasn’t Stella talking.

      1. @mashiat2 you don’t want me to give you examples of Vettel’s or Alonso’s ‘attitide’ over the radio do you. Why do you expect Hamilton to be any different in the heat of battle. I thought he was excellent and gracious after the race and on the podium.

        1. @blackmamba There are quite a few examples of them raging over the radio, but Lewis seems to have it more often than those. And I haven’t seen Vettel or Alonso raging towards their Team bosses on the radio. After the race he was nice enough, but I’m only talking about on-track here

          1. Please be more specific about instances where Alonso BERATED his team during a race for all the world to hear!!
            Other than a statement of bewilderment to his crew for forgetting to charge his battery last year (in qualy) and once in Spa several years ago, I have NEVER heard Alonso lambaste his team over the radio during a race. Hamilton does it EVERY year!
            I’m not talking about last year’s duel with Vettel because Alonso was complaining about Vettel – not the team.
            Hamilton is hands downs the most condescending driver on the grid. Mercedes should think twice before they re-sign him let alone make him the highest paid driver. I think Hamilton is coming unglued already as he sees he may have some true competition. Put him under pressure Seb – he’ll crack.

    1. i don’t think alonso is crying in the mclaren garage
      racing drivers get over emotion really quickly. vettel will celebrate tonight and be hard at work tomorrow in prep for china
      alonso knew that mclaren would be slow to start off with, as did button, at least their interviews and pre season showed evidence of this
      so i think alonso was prepared to sacrifice this year for a solid next year, or possibly second half of this year
      anyway congrats to vettel and he showed us that he is at least as good, if not better, than raikkonen when raikkonen is on form (when raikkonen is on form, he is usually 0.1/0.2secs behind alonso if we compare to last year)
      im an Alonso fan, but my respect for vettel has risen a lot since he came to ferrari

      vettel haters will be saying that james allison won the race…

      and the media is going crazy saying that ferrari can mount a title challenge. seriously man, it’s one race. last race the media were saying that mercedes is gonna be chanpion faster than last year, and their dominance has increased. i know it’s the media’s job, but they blow things way out of propertion. lets wait and see for a couple of races, if ferrari can keep up the pace with merc, then yes, we have a genuine title battle. if merc are half a second ahead for a few races, the we can probably hope for a couple more wins for ferrari at best.

    2. ForzaAlonsoF1
      29th March 2015, 11:01

      I’m 100% with you on the conflict I’m feeling between Alonso’s DNF and Ferrari’s victory – especially at the hands of Vettel who was previously my sworn enemy! Have to say I’m really coming around to liking SV.

      1. I had my doubts about Vettel but I think this win shows that he does have that extra edge that puts him on par with Alonso and Hamilton.
        I’m not sold that the SF15-T was faster than the WO6 today and partly due to Mercedes rusty strategy calls, Vettel won in a car that was not the fastest.

    3. Michael Brown
      29th March 2015, 11:15

      I can see things from Hamilton’s point of view. You don’t want people interrupting you when you’re focusing, although the engineer does need to talk to the driver.
      I think the engineer talking to Hamilton would know that Hamilton was simply irritated with being talked to while focusing.

      1. I think it was more a case of frustration that the Mercedes strategy had clearly failed – though his team were in some kind of delusional state that he and ROS were going to pass Vettel still – and he was the one left to make up the gap they’d gifted Vettel at the start. Which proved impossible. I’d be more annoyed not about the strategy error, can happen to any team, but about being told he’d catch Vettel 5 laps before the end when he wasn’t even closing. What was the point?

    4. I don’t recall Alonso or Vettel criticising the team’s strategic decisions over team radio, but my memory is not infallible.

      1. @vettel1 I think Alonso was pretty critical of Ferrari at Monza a few years ago during qualifying, I think he might have been put into traffic by the team for his flying lap. Not to knock the guy, it’s understandable that in such a high pressure environment even the most laid back would complain once in a while!

        1. In fact I do remember that @colossal-squid, but to be honest I didn’t blame him either in that situation as Ferrari seemed obsessed with the towing strategy – that simply never worked as the faster Alonso ended up tripping over Massa.

    5. @mashiat2 – it bothers me that people pick on radio transmissions – regardless if it’s about Vettel, Hamilton or anybody else complaining over the radio. These guys drive cars that pull 4-5Gs, pumped with adrenaline with a high heart-rate and lots of stuff to concentrate on – that they don’t always sound calm and collected should never be held against them.

      1. I wish people would also keep in mind that these radio communications are hand-picked to maximize drama and get a reaction from fans and the media. It’s not as though we’re hearing anything like a representative sample — or even close to all the complaints various drivers are making to their engineers.

        1. We have heard “Don´t talk to me in the middle of a corner” or very similar wordings from Raikkonen, Hamilton, Grosjean, Button, Hülkenberg and maybe some I´ve missed in the last years. Kimi´s tone/voice obviously being a bit different from the others, but apart from that, it seems like a completely normal thing to say as an F1-driver.
          However, both Merc-drivers had team-radios today that suggested them being quite a bit uncomfortable with losing, while the engineers didn´t even seem to realise what was happening. That was fun to listen to.

    6. Alonso isnt crying, he said the other day, this is like a dream for him, a great new challenge, and he wants to emulate Senna by being champion in the mclaren. if anything he will be happy for Ferrari, he will have lots of friends still there, and i bet he went over to their motorhome to congratulate them.

    7. Vettel driver of the weekend for me! Overtaking both mercs on track, as well as showing class in quali. Had Kimi managed the podium I would have had to say Kimi, but in the end it wasn’t that close, still a really solid result from Rai even if Vet is clearly the man of the weekend in my eyes (just as Ferrari was the team)

      1. @dr-jekyll – Do you really want to claim passing a driver entering the pit lane as a racing pass?
        It’s not very impressive. Better to talk about SV’s astonishing pace on worn tyres.

        1. @tribaltalker

          Sebastian actually DID overtake both Mercedes on track, when he was on his new Medium, he overtook Nico and then overtook Lewis, Mercedes got scared and immediately told Lewis to pit to change the strategy.

          1. It was Lewis’ choice at that moment to pit.

        2. @tribaltalker as @ducpham2708 said, you’re partly wrong, he DID pass both on track

          His impressive pace and tyre management were VERY impressive, but overtaking both mercs on the track is what pushed him over the top for me, Kimi basically had the same impressive pace but he didn’t bring down the “giants”

          1. not even with his recovery to 4th after being last and a whole pitstop down?
            i must say though, vettel was awesome today. i don’t think he will be able to do it again though, because the high track temperatures and tyres seemed to favour ferrari and diminish mercedes’ advantage.

            i’m waiting for china for a clearer picture hopefully

    8. @mashiat2

      He complains so much (let the hate begin!).

      Personally I don’t see anything wrong with that. The important thing is that he drives his car fast, and I like to think he does – faster than his teammae, even!

      So no, I think he’s doinga perfectly fine job. I like to think complaining in order to get a slight adjustment to make yourself faster is part of the job.

      >=good drivers complain, >=good teams work with the complaints to help the driver go faster, and help the team win.

    9. After many years of participating in many sports…everyone gets intense and yells at each other in the heat of the moment. All that adrenaline and intensity, you can’t expect them to break out with a tea party. As long as it’s not getting personal (e.g. “Tommy, you blew my race and you’re rather fat and ugly”), then it’s just part of the sport.

      The more important part was we had a true race! I’m a big Merc fan and was screaming at the TV, but I have to admit that now there is interest to see what will happen for the general fan. I don’t believe Ferrari is really at the same level as Merc yet, but they’ve proven that if Merc slips…then they can be beaten.

  3. Well, after the great disappointment of Melbourne, that was a real Grand Prix. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Big congratulations to Vettel and Ferrari. I’m not exactly known for being complimentary of Ferrari on here but the way they took the fight to Mercedes and won on merit is not only a credit to that team, it’s also a brilliant thing for the sport.

    Today showed that Mercedes aren’t untouchable. I don’t think this means that we’re going to have a season-long duel between the Prancing Horse and the Silver Arrows, but it does show that if Mercedes drop the ball in any way, they will be punished for it.

    A great performance from Vettel today. I’m sure it means a huge amount to him having left Red Bull and having such an immediate impact at Marenello. The massive restructuring of the team during the off season was clearly something that they sorely needed.

    Obviously a lot of it comes from the fact that they have a better car this year, but the whole team have delivered so far this season and the fact that Raikkonen was able to recover to fourth after all that happened to him this weekend only reinforces their improvements.

    But after this race, I can’t help but wonder what Fernando Alonso is thinking. Yes, the Honda project is all about the long-term goals and the team will make big steps forwards as the year goes on, but it must sting for Alonso to see his former team celebrating a terrific victory after the start to the season that McLaren have had…

    1. Brilliant from vettel…
      Ferrari has defentely made massive progress from last year but I doubt they can challenge or beat mercs consistently … Todays result was more down to high degradation and poor strategy from mercs in my opinion… Unless vettel is right there fighting for the championship come end of the season i dont think alonso would be worried too much…

      1. with degradation in mind, I think we can look forward to at least a repeat of this in Barcelona.

        1. It was Thermal degredation because of the 60+ degrees track temperature, the only other races that came close to having track temps like that before was Bahrain and Hungary, and Bahrain is now a night race, so alot cooler.

    2. “Today showed that Mercedes aren’t untouchable.”

      To be fair, they still practically are. It took an unprecedented 60+ degrees track temp, a bad strategy, and a perfectly timed safety car to ruin their chances.

      Great result for Ferrari but people need to keep realistic.

      1. you need to be realistic… ferrari beat mercedes. you would think even with bad strategy Merc could have won, and mercedes themselves thought so half way through the race, when they told hamilton he is racing for the win and nico that he is racing for second. but they got beaten on the day… forget the track temp, it is the same for all. even in the first 4 laps, hamilton was 1.2 seconds ahead after 2 laps, then only .8 after 4. Ferrari had the pace today – that is realistic.

        1. “forget the track temp”

          Are you serious? How can you be so dismissive of such an important factor in this sport?

          You do realise that certain car use their tyres in different ways in different temperatures right? Did you notice how the Lotus used to come good back in 2013 in blistering track temperatures because it was a car known to be very easy on its tyres? And that it would fall back in most of the races where it was cooler?

      2. Michael Duncan
        29th March 2015, 13:35

        Yeah you’re right. I thought the same, let’s not forget though, Ferrari showed great pace on Friday, Ferrari even said before the start of the season the goal is only 2 wins, and today they looked a league above Mercedes (as much as I hate to say that) I don’t know it Ferrari’s real goal was only 2 wins or if that was a ploy? I was surprised that Mercedes had no pace, first time in two years they didn’t have the pace, if I’m honest for like the whole race I was like “It’s 2013 ALL OVER AGAIN” when Mercedes ate threw their tyres, If you look Mercedes did actually have the pace, when they changed tyres for the first 6 laps they were banging in the laps but then they fell out where the Ferrari was able to keep it up which was the big factor, I THINK if Mercedes didn’t eat their tyres they would have won but saying that the fastest times from Mercedes weren’t a lot faster than Ferrari, I was like, thought the gap was bigger this season? That’s why the heat played a huge part, plus it’s pretty much impossible Ferrari would have made up SO MUCH time from Melbourne that’s why you know it was the heat. We will see in China where it’s a lot cooler and we will see in Sector 1 and 2 where you need good downforce and aero and chassis, Ferrari will gain a chunk on the huge straight, but I EXPECT Mercedes to be a 1-2 starting from China again cause there won’t be a lot of races where it’s that heat. Say that’s Ferrari genuine pace though? The good thing is… It means Mercedes now need to push more!

      3. To be fair, they still practically are. It took an unprecedented 60+ degrees track temp, a bad strategy, and a perfectly timed safety car to ruin their chances.

        In all fairness somethg to similar effect happened at least three times last year.

      4. And a lack of preparation for Hamilton due to reliability issues. It caught them out last year too. The question is, how often can Ferrari capitalise on such errors during the season? I suspect they will have a few good chances.

        1. It was extremely bad call to pit on the 5th lap! I couldnt quite get it why would they do it? It just cost them dearly running behind cars in dirty air for the first stint gave enough damage, and also insisting on running hard tyres despite they didnt work for them at all!

          People who says Ferrari had same pace as Mercs on the same tyre should get eyes checked… Hamilton on slower hard tyres was doing same as Vettel on faster Mediums! Also Ferrari was running on very low downforce due to track layout, gambling on top speed… Also on the same tyres, Hamilton was running .5 to 1 sec faster than Vettel most of the time…

          It was the strategy, that won Ferrari the race, also they have improved hugely compared to last year, but main reason for victory was for bad call by Mercs good calls by Ferrari!

          1. @mysticus You should wait for Keith to print out some graphs regarding the laps for the race. Ferrari had the pace today. No doubt about it. Hamilton was faster on new tires but Vettel was able to keep a good pace consistently for laps together.

            If Hamilton was consistently .5 to 1 sec faster, he would not have finished 10 sec behind Vettel at the end of the race considering that was their gap post SC and clearing the slow runners.

    3. Mercedes are certainly still favourites. Rather, this race showed that they are not invincible and can’t necessarily rely on pace alone to claw them out of a situation where they find themselves behind.

  4. Amazing drive by Vettel (and Raikkonen!). Hamilton (and Mercedes?) seemed to be eating the tyres a bit more. Rosberg nowhere, which is becoming the norm.

    Of course, the question is, was this a one-time result due to the extreme conditions of Malaysia, or are we going to see this more often?

    I hope it’s the latter, but I suspect it’s the first.

    1. +1 on the Rosberg comment.
      If Ferrari doesn’t get in the way, there’s zero chance of Rosberg posing a challenge to Lewis. Ever.
      And the fact is that everyone knows it, though no one says a thing.

      1. rosberg is not considered a top 5 driver, yet him fighting hamilton last year just shows how hamilton wilted when he should have thrashed him. he will probably thrash him this year, as he got the championship win, and will be more free in the mind now.

        1. Hamilton’s car wilted. Even then he won eleven races. Were you watching?

        2. Out of curiosity, are you aware of how reliability affects the points tally of a driver? I would like to hear how you attribute engine fire to Hamilton’s car in Hungary to “Hamilton wilting”. Or a failure of the breaks at over 150mph in Germany to “Hamilton wilting”. Seriously, some comments simply beggar belief and make me wonder if these facts of what actually happened were just the telly playing tricks on the reality of the F1 world.

  5. We need equalisation. Ferrari too fast!

    1. @blackmamba – I’d like a picture of Horner’s face as Vettel lapped the Bulls!

      1. agreed :)

        last year when vettel announced his ferrari deal, horner said that vettel would be staring at their rear wings for quite some time

        i’m sure he didn’t mean it in that way…

      2. I was thinking the same. No one would think about Red Bull problems if we have all season battles between silver and reds. Ferrari got rid of the guy who was whining about the rules and they are getting the results. That is my suggestion to Red Bull if they want to win again.

      3. Too right. Horner and Red Bull look quite stupid now.
        F1 works in cycles. The problem with Red Bull is that they were a new team, then came good and now is the first real drop in their performance. If you look back at the history of F1, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Team Enstone have all had horrific falls from grace, but put in the graft and made good again. Red Bull have never experienced this. As soon as they put the toys back in the pram, get their heads down and graft, they’ll be on the way back.

        1. @eurobrun

          As soon as they put the toys back in the pram, get their heads down and graft, they’ll be on the way back.

          If it were that simple theyd’ve done just that.

          But other teams are doing that so it’s not that simple. RBR then decided that a game of politics is there to be played.

          The politics, for me, is part of “get their heads down and graft”. Not that it’s a good thing, though.

          1. @davidnotcoulthard
            Agree with all you said, but

            If it were that simple theyd’ve done just that.

            I can’t help but get the feeling they are still in the “denial” phase and need to get through that before any kind of recovery is vaguely possible.

          2. @davidnotcoulthard that sounds like ferrari these last 5 years hehe

          3. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
            29th March 2015, 19:03

            It is as simple as that. James Allinson said as much when interviewed after the race by Sky F1. He said if you have clever people, and put in hard work then results follow.

      4. Having the two Toro Rossos finishing ahead of Red Bull was also quite funny.

        But hey, it’s all due to the Renault engine, remember!

        1. @paeschli
          A huge +1 LOL I kept thinking the same thing and I want to see interviews with Horner now! :)

    2. +1 on the Rosberg comment.
      If Ferrari doesn’t get in the way, there’s zero chance of Rosberg posing a challenge to Lewis. Ever.
      And the fact is that everyone knows it, though no one says a thing.

      1. @floring – If anything, Ferrari “getting in the way” could make it worse for Nico, if they split the two Mercs.

    3. It’s all down to the car! Vettel can only win in the best car!

      In all seriousness, it’s a good thing for this season. I wouldn’t mind some Mercedes unreliablity to spice things up.

    4. and we need equalisation between the same manufacturer’s engines too ie. Toro Rosso being faster than Red Bull! Something needs to be done with it, asap! Red Bull built a superb car and now Toro Rosso is faster even with the same engine – FIA needs to get involved so this won’t happen or Red Bull will quit!

  6. Speaking about McLaren, I read at some sources that they actually have a good aero, just a terrible PU. Is this correct ? Could this means they have a decent chance to score points at Monaco and Hungary ?

    1. Yes Monaco and Hungary 2018

    2. @deongunne

      I read at some sources that they actually have a good aero

      Those are just speculations made by pro Mclaren journalists, Prodromo didn’t have the chance to apply all of his ideas on the new Mclaren (just like Allison last year), the 2016 Mclaren will be Prodromo first car

      1. Well, they were racing other cars with far superior PUs.

    3. they are basically doing installation runs for the honda power unit at the moment. yes they will improve, they gained about 1.5 seconds per lap already since melbourne.

  7. This race was decided at the safety car pit stop, with Vettel running in clear air getting a 9 second gap. Not much to it really.

    1. So not a fan of good racing then are you?

      1. There really wasn’t any “good racing” as you suggest at the front, I wanted to see Vettel and Hamilton battle, but the various strategy’s after the safety car negated that. Don’t want to get too carried away.

        1. @scepter It’s a bit like complaining that Relayer is bad because it’s not catchy.

          Strategies is part of the fun of watching F1. It’s not a bad thing.

          1. Don’t get me wrong i have no problem with “strategies” i just thought Merc miscalculated and denied us a great fight to the end.

    2. Well yes, you can say that now….

    3. Others could’ve done the same, so pointless to cry about it.

    4. how did that decide it? 9 seconds appeared like nothing for mercedes to overcome given their dominance. yet they didnt overcome it. strategy is always part of sport, and sarefty cars are there for good reason, for safety. get with the sport!

    5. when ricc won some GPs cuz mercedes failures.. it was GREAT!!.. now with vettel… as he didnt battle with mercede somehow it doesnt feel right??

      THATS JUST HATE

      1. Well whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, those events did happen, and it did decide the outcome of the race, no need to sugar coat it. no hate involved.

  8. Radio message from Toto Wolff: “test, test, test”

  9. Fun fact: Manor did better in this race than McLaren.

    1. Not too much fun if you’re named Alonso or Button ;(

      1. More so for Alonso, seen as he’s jumped from a race winning car into a non-finishing car.

        1. I think he would have realized Honda would go through the same pain, if not more, than the other three had to last year.

      2. @N @eurobrun Xabi Alonso can’t care less.

    2. ahem…. i remember alonso was 8th at one point in the race. mclaren know they have to suffer for a while, but they also came good with their preditiction of being quite a bit faster this race.

  10. Kimi in previous guises had troubles having easy weekends with winning cars. I hope people can understand that Kimi is there with Seb and maybe faster, this car suits them both and their are both development drivers they know what’s fast.

  11. I just wanted to say one more thing. The new safety car procedure, is a double edged sword. The strategy call at the front remains the return to normal racing conditions works okay but if your race had been ruined you won’t benefit much from that, unlike what Sky is saying I can’t see how much did Kimi gained with the SC, I think this new procedure makes the SC innocuous and that’s a good thing for real racing.

    1. By the time Kimi reached the pits at snail’s pace after the puncture and got his tyres changed, he would have been about a minute down on even the Marussia. To recover that time with relative lap performances, it would have taken him 10-15 laps or even more just to get back to the back of the pack, not to mention the load on fuel, tyre and engine doing such flat out laps continuously. However, with safety car, he covered most of that gap in one lap, so that he could use the fresh tyres to actually get through the grid.

  12. F1 Sebastian Vettel wins the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix! The first time a German won in a Ferrari since 2006!
    Congratulations guy!

    1. The German-Italian anthem combination is a good one. :)

      1. @paeschli It’s a combination we heard in 2008, though.

        1. Right…… monza 2008 vettel/toro rosso good spotting

  13. The red Vettel finally breaks the Silver Arrows dominance !!!

    1. Easy, easy. Lets not fly to conclusions prematurely!

      i do agree with other posters that this win is vindication for Vettle tho

      1. Well, he did break it already. He’s not saying it’s been broken totally for the whole season, just for this moment.

      2. Well, they have. It has broken a run of 8 victories, and is the first interruption of 1-2’s not caused by a car failure since Belgium last season.

        1. @vettel1 It was caused by what can be best described as a driving-instinct-lapse from a certain Sauber driver :)

  14. It’s been a while for me but I actually shed some tears of happiness. A feeling I haven’t had since Webber winning the 2012 British GP.

    1. First time in a long time that i’ve been genuinely happy to see Vettel or Ferrari win a race.

      1. same here for that vettel feeling but its the first time to have that ferrari feeling since schumi 2006

    2. @xtwl – I’m British so in general, Ferrari and Vettel don’t usually do it for me but I was delighted to see him win today. Lots have questioned whether he could do it in a car that wasn’t the fastest and he has responded in only his second race away from Red Bull. Congrats Seb!

      1. @petebaldwin

        Lots have questioned whether he could do it in a car that wasn’t the fastest

        Only fools did it when he was at Red Bull and only ignorant do it still.

  15. Amazing, shows you can’t judge a season on the first race. Looks like James Allison has built another great car that’s very easy on its tyres.
    Ted Kravitz and Toto Wolff think that the Ferrari probably had just enough pace and tyre degredation to beat the Mercs even without Merc’s questionable strategy. Vettel’s win is the first time anyone has beaten the Mercs on merit (pure pace without Merc having reliability/collisions/etc.) since 2013. And Kimi, despite starting 11th, getting a puncture and dropping to the back of the field, and sustaining floor damage, managed to finish 4th, over 10 seconds ahead of the Williams.

    Time will tell if this was just a spurious result due to the hot temperatures limiting Merc’s tyre life, or if Ferrari are genuine threats for race victories on pure pace (or even championship contenders?).

    Regardless, even as a Hamilton/Mercedes fan, I found myself cheering at Vettel victory, very glad to see Ferrari back at the front. And glad to see Vettel reinvigorated. Hope that nonsense about equalisation quiets down now.

    To quote Rosberg: “Game on!”

    1. Despite Rosberg’s ‘Game On’ remark, I thought it was interesting to note his body language on the podium… he looked thoroughly defeated by the fact Merc didn’t dominate.

      I’ve never questioned Nico’s mental state before, but he looks downbeat at the moment. He’s got a baby on the way, he’s got to try and find performance relative to Hamilton (who missed out on a lot of setup work this weekend), and now he’s got a Ferrari or two who will genuinely be able to challenge for wins and take points off of the Mercs… It’s the first time I’ve questioned whether he’s got what it takes, and I wonder if he’s thinking the same thing.

      Great stuff from Ferarri. I hope they continue to remain close over the season.

      1. i agree Mark he had the chance to hold Vettel up twice for his team mate but just moved over and let him through,
        once out of pit lane he could have made an effort to slip under or around him right then,
        the other when he was caught at the end of the straight, Vettel just brushed him aside both times, personally i think he wanted Vettel to catch Ham otherwise the gap in points would have been even larger.
        would love to be a fly on the wall at Merc’s next meeting…

        1. i agree Mark he had the chance to hold Vettel up twice for his team mate but just moved over and let him through,

          If that were the case Toto Wolff would be furious at ROS.

          He isn’t, so ROS being passed by VET was not a scene in a soap opera.

    2. In fairness you probably can’t judge it on the second or third races either.

      1. Very true. We need to wait and how the next couple of races play out, but this has certainly added some spice to the mix.

  16. Was it me or were there a whole lot of mistakes by a whole lot of drivers? Is inexperience showing? Are these cars not as easy to drive as some like to believe…

    Oh and the stewards, both penalties were completely out of place.

    1. yes there were a lot of mistakes
      but i think it was partially down to the really high track temperatures and the tyres not being in their operating window

    2. i thought the penalties were fair

  17. Ferrari won! Ducati made an awesome bike and got pole! Forza Italia!

    1. @wackyracer Let’s see what #93 can do though. I’ll be rooting for the young Spaniard.

      1. @wackyracer @xtwl the old rookie is still my ace. go Rossi!

        1. You got it buddy!

  18. Great race from Ferrari and Vettel. Mercedes made mistakes but still Ferrari was as fast as Mercedes. Unfortunately Mercedes is still faster so it won’t happen often like today. still definitely better situation than last year.

    Also I’m happy Mclaren-Honda made a step forward but I have to feel for Alonso…

    1. @eggry – To be honest, I can understand Mercedes’ mistakes this weekend. It has been months (if not years) since any strategical calls they have made have even been relevant. Usually, they just go until they’re a pit-stop ahead and go from there!

  19. It was glad listening to Italian anthem. And, it was unprofessional of BBC Sport to refer Manor team as marussia.

    1. it was unprofessional of BBC Sport to refer Manor team as marussia.

      @kiransripathy Actually, the BBC are correct, and it is you who are wrong: Manor are branded as Manor Marussia (and indeed are racing using a modified version of the 2014 Marussia MR03 car: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/f1-information/f1-teams/marussia/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marussia_MR03

      1. Oh! I didnt know that. Thanks for the heads up

  20. I have to admit, I cried of happiness:) and I was the only Ferrari fan in the whole british pub!!

  21. Gongrats to Sebastian, Kimi and whole Ferrari team! This victory has to be a real treat for them after disastrous last season. If only Kimi didn’t suffer that damn puncture, he could have fought from a podium and even 1-2 victory would have been possible.

    And to be honest, I’m amazed at the moment. Even though there were rumours about Ferrari not using full engine power in Australia, I still couldn’t believe that the Reds would fight against the Silver Arrows very often. Happy to see that the Prancing Horse of Maranello is still kicking. Kicking very well, that is :)

  22. James key to be promoted to red bull mid season

    1. Well, that’s a good point.

      As the sky commentators often mentioned the fact that both toro rossos were racing ahead of both their older brothers, I thought about James Key. His influence is surely being felt in Faenza, therefore it is not entirely stupid to imagine such a move in a time when Red Bull is struggling to take the fight to Mercedes, dropping from best of the rest to the 4th fastest team, behind Ferrari and Williams.

      1. @toiago A little bit more like at best 5th after Malaysia.

  23. I thought I was having a deja-vu after the race. I have grown up watching F1 and most often then not I would find myself hearing the German and Italian anthem. Probably Vettel thought the same, he is always reffering to Schumacher as his idol so all the emotion at the end is compreensible. It was a dream day for Vettel and Ferrari and a great race for us fans to see

  24. Reminiscent of Argentina 1998 where Schumi scored his first win of the season, and quite an unexpected one, after two walkovers by McLaren to start the season.

    I can see Bernie ordering all circuits to install track warming devices that he can control from his home. Boring race? Turn it up to 11.

  25. Matthew Coyne
    29th March 2015, 11:21

    A great result for F1 but people are getting a bit carried away with talk of a title challenge.

    Ferrari have not made up the 0.8 second/lap gap to Merc in 2 weeks. That gap, however big it now may be is just masked on tracks like Malaysia where tyre use is so high for most cars and Merc could not simply use the outright car performance to win the race like they did in Melbourne – there are not many tracks like this on the calendar where this becomes such a big issue and as such it would be foolish to expect a Ferrari challenge to be a regular thing based on the evidence put in front of us thus far.

    It has shown though that the weak spot of that Merc is tyre use, it’s not the perfect car it seemed in Melbourne but it’s interesting that this is an issue – if you remember back to 2012/13 they used to chew tyres more than anyone else on track, something which they seemed to have rectified last season but it has now crept back in.

  26. Sadly, it’s occurred to me rather like an epyphany that Fernando Alonso will never again win another f1 race. Let alone the 3rd WDC he surely so deserved. F1s forgotten man.

    1. Ever heard of Francois Cevert?

    2. Hard times, indeed, but I wouldn’t rule him out so fast. McLaren’s progress is still very good, and for this year I don’t see anyone win the championship other than Mercedes and Hamilton anyway. Being second or third is what made Fernando leave Ferrari.

    3. @Mef. Never say Never in F1….. the possibility of Alonso winning Another race in F1 is 99.99% probably.

      My honest opinion is McLaren Honda will improve although little slower that I thought they would. I was thinking that McLaren Honda will open the season with a cracker by winning or being on the podium in the first 3 races. Anyways They will be there. But they seems to have a lot of catch up to do. And in F1 every team keeps improving. Nobody stops working in F1 !!!!

  27. This is the first time Mercedes lost ‘fair and square’ as Vettel said 2 times on the podium. They didn’t have reliability problems or crashed on its other like last year, and this is a proper racing circuit.

    They did make some wrong strategy choices, but the fact that Ferrari were able to open the gap so quickly after the SC left is amazing, and it is what gave them the win. Last year they had no trouble creating the gap for an extra pit stop.

    For the sake of the sport, lets hope they can keep this form.

  28. Amazing Driver , i remember all people insulting him last year
    and now he has reborn with this new Team that he very love as we can see
    more than Red Bull
    If i make a comparison between Vettel and Alonso we can see the huge difference
    among them , Vettel never complain about car or team and just keep working
    Alonso always complaining of everything and he’s never fault ..
    and he made a big mistake to leave Ferrari for his money wage
    As Vettel said Grazie

    1. @jonni

      Vettel never complains about car or team and just keep working

      He does. I do feel he does so constructively, but in all fairness I think so did Fernando.

    2. @jonni Seb has accused his team of sabotaging him on the radio! There’s very little difference between the top drivers, in terms of how extreme they are. Personally I found ‘get him out of the way’ to be the most unattractive radio message of recent years, but I don’t make a huge deal out of it. And Alonso certainly didn’t leave for money, that’s ridiculous.

      1. maybe though i didn’t remember this “radio speech” i remember Alonso accusing his team saying “wow you are genius or wow you are stupid ” in Italian sounds alike , but Vettel is ever been a well educated pilot .

      2. @lockup

        Seb has accused his team of sabotaging him on the radio!

        Any source for that?

        1. Iirc it was Silverstone, maybe 2012. He came out after a bad stop and said “guys seriously” meaning it had been on purpose. Or maybe I’m confusing it with the time he said sarcastically “thanks boys.” Or it was a car fault? Nobody took much notice, anyway so I don’t suppose it’s on the web but I haven’t looked.

          1. So, you don’t even have any source but you don’t even know what was the thing about.

            Great…

  29. Congratulations to Sebastian! Kimi! & Ferrari!

  30. Great result for Ferrari. Good for team morale as well.

    However, we really should calm down. This victory is reminiscent of Lotus’ performance in 2012 and 2013. They had a good car that could push for the podium and get the odd win if conditions were favourable to them and today was exactly that. Unless I’m proven terribly wrong, I don’t expect Ferrari or Vettel threatening Mercedes for the title. The may pick up a few more wins, but that’s the best they can do.

    As for what Alonso may be feeling, well I don’t think this results will matter much to him. Yes, if he was behind the wheel of the Ferrari today, he would have picked up a win, but it wouldn’t have translated into a sustainable title challenge against the Mercedes. Winning the odd race and making the podium is not enough, desperate times leads to drastic measures, and McLaren Honda was that drastic measure.

    The winner of today’s race was Formula One. Let’s hope there are more if these to come.

    1. To be really honest I think Ferrari has a better chance then McLaren Honda at the title in the future. They have already proven they have a solid power unit this year, their chassis are being developed by James Allison, a great designer. And obviously their morale and confidence have been amazing, and it will be boosted after today.

      Both teams undergo a reconstruct at the end of last season, it’s just that Ferrari has done a better job at rebuilding themself than McHonda.

      The difference between Ferrari and Lotus is probably the resources, Lotus lost Allison and Kimi to Ferrari when they were beginning to shape up and therefore couldn’t develop further. Ferrari, though, can build on their success today and look into a bright future (sadly without Alonso).

      1. To be really honest I think Ferrari has a better chance then McLaren Honda at the title in the future. They have already proven they have a solid power unit this year, their chassis are being developed by James Allison, a great designer. And obviously their morale and confidence have been amazing, and it will be boosted after today.

        Both teams undergo a reconstruct at the end of last season, it’s just that Ferrari has done a better job at rebuilding themself than McHonda.

        @ducpham2708 Don’t forget that Ferrari have a year’s more racing experience with these engines than Honda do, so I believe it’s too early to write McLaren-Honda off.

        Not sure why so many people were expecting them to be winning straight out of the box, given the limited testing allowed these days.

        Also, why is it that people insist on referring to them as McHonda? No one ever refers to Wilcedes or Red-nault.

    2. @jaymenon10 – Would Alonso have won today though if he was in a Ferrari? I’m not questioning his ability but it’s just that ability to control a race that Vettel has when he is in the lead is phenomenal.

  31. You can’t take anything away from Vettel and Ferrari as they drove a good race (Raikkonen arguably a better one to recover to 4th), but Mercedes’ own strategists beat themselves at the end of the day. It seems they made the assumption they had enough pace to overturn any time lose from doing three stops (they won by 30 seconds to the Ferrari in Australia, after all), but this wasn’t possible without an extra set of medium tyres.
    So, Mercedes dropped the ball and Ferrari were there to eagerly grab it, but only time will tell if Ferrari can mix it with the still quicker Mercedes in future (Ferrari did lose over half the advantage they gained by having 1 pit stop less, after all).

    1. I think you are wrong. I think Ferrari had at least the same pace as Mercedes today. Just see Hamilton – Vettel in the first 4 laps, before the safety car. Lewis always tries to create a gap, but today he couldn’t, their difference was 0.8secs, into the DRS zone.

      You can see in their expressions after the race, that both Lewis and Nico were shocked that they couldn’t catch Vettel today. And they were force to use different strategies for each car after a while. Lets see if they can fight like last year if a Ferrari is close ready to take advantage of any excessive tyre wear or one driver holding the other ones back (think last year’s Bahrain for example).

      I am not saying Ferrari will be on par or even at fighting distance at all races, however it seems the gap is not as big as we believed after Australia. And there are further improvements to be made for each time in the engine (where Ferrari has more tokens) and aero, so if Ferrari outdevelops Mercedes they could fight for the title.

      Of couse, as I’ve watched F1 for a lot of years, I can’t judge the cars until we are back in Europe…

      1. +1.

        Saying that Ferrari was “lucky” with the tyres… is wrong! How about saying that Mercedes was lucky last year with the engine, but also with the tyres and the chassis… and that’s why they beat every other team that bad?!? Ferrari just built a car that seems to work somehow better than Mercedes at certain tracks and/or at certain temperatures. Today, under the given conditions ( = surface, temperatures, weather etc) Ferrari seemed to have the pace to keep up with the Mercs. Vettel did not defeat just 1 Mercedes, but both cars. I guess that says something. It was an unexpected win, but a fair win in my opinion, thanks to Ferrari’s speed. Kimi’s 4th position is proof enough that today Ferrari had a strong car indeed, and wasn’t just luck.

  32. The most beautiful team back on top!
    Grande weekend, grazie Seb. Molto bene

  33. With reference to the COTD and many other similar opinions:

    How can people argue that RBR is best or 2nd best chassis next to Mercedes? They, for the second race in a row, have shown, that at the moment, they are not even better than the same-engined STR, and I would hesitate to call the Torro Rosso chassis best, second best, third or even fourth best.

    It’s a new year people. I also suspect that the over-inflated egotistical comments from Horner might have helped to shape some of the public opinion, as is always the case.

    1. Well, in Australia RIC was 6th, and SAI only 9th, so I am not sure what you mean by the ‘second race in a row’. Today RBR didn’t appear to have anything on TR, that is true. However, that itself doesn’t mean they have a poor chassis per se. They appear to be pretty good through fast corners and have a lot of downforce. So, perhaps not 2nd best, but they are better than Williams chassis-wise. The integration with Renault engine is another thing.

      As was clear from Kvyat’s comments he made during this weekend, the main problem of RBR is really with the PU, but not so much with its power output as with its driveability. In particular, he complained about its absolute unpredictability under braking, when ERS is in harvesting mode. He said, that despite many efforts from RBR and Renault to fine tune the software, half the time car misses the apex under braking due to a poor barke-by-wire / ERS combination. So, neither driver could fully trust the car under braking. And when they tried to compromise to improve braking stability, batteries would not charge to the full.

      You also have to keep in mind that not only Renault pushed for hybrid engines as hard as they could, going as far as threatening to quit the sport if V8s were retained, their PU was the most expensive of the three (I have no idea how much Honda costs, but at the moment everything above GBP 0.99 looks like a ripoff). So, if you have to pay a premium price for a sub-par product, you are entitled to be critical. On the other hand, if you are the manufacturer who pushed half-baked product on the market at exorbital prices, the only way to retain any dignity is to put your head down and try to deliver. At this point, Renault should swallow any criticism and just get on with their job until they redeem themselves with a competitive PU.

  34. You what makes a World Champion? Perfection, and calling out your team when they fall well below is part of it. Lewis told his Engineer repeatedly in 2013 and 2014 not to talk to him through corners and yet they still do, so you wouldn’t you be a little annoyed?

    Well done Vettel, think they are closer but won’t be challenging Merc over the season.

  35. I was very surprised. Even allowing for circumstances and a great call on the strategy, Ferrari were much more of a match for the Mercedes than I expected.

    Well played Marenello. Intriguingly, a resurgent Ferrari could help galvanise Mercedes; Hamilton and Rosberg working together to deny an outside threat, as opposed to each other, interests me.

  36. The game has changed. Ferrari now seems to have the pace to challenge Mercedes.

    Such a great feeling seeing Vettel beat both of the Mercs fair and square. Great recovery drive from Kimi, too. The safety car helped him to bounce back, although he was extremely unlucky to have the puncture right after the pit.

    Seeing Toro Rosso outperform Red Bull feels strange. Both Sainz and Verstappen have driven very well so far.

    Bottas’ overtake on Massa was one of the highlights of the race as well.

  37. So much struggle. Every driver I support has struggled badly. A very decent race, and good for Vettel, but Williams was disappointing, Lotus too, without even talking about the mcLarens and the 3-laps-behind-sole Manor. Mercedes messed up strategy, unsorted troubles for Red Bull, many driver mistakes, with the most embarrassing going to Ericsson. An overall lack of excellence I felt.

  38. Great to see a bit of competition for Mercedes at last. Ferrari really have got their act together.

    However, if Ferrari can do this why can’t Renault? Obviously getting the best out of the very complex engine design rules is quite a challenge. All most fans want iis exciting, competitive racing. I suppose Honda can be forgiven as they are working with the design formula from a much later start.

  39. Reviewing this GP:
    1. Start: I expected a contact or two in first sequence of corners. Whilst that didn’t materialised, Nasr hit Kimi at the end of the 1st lap. This is becoming the norm. I just don’t hope it will happen again for the 3rd time in Shanghai..
    2. Safety car: I don’t think it was necessary. Some would argue that sending a crane should be automatically safety car release. I would agree with that, but I just think the marshalls should push Ericsson and let him racing once more.
    3. Drivability: key word for this season. Ericsson spin is showing which car was quite hard to handle. While in some corners (especially hairpin, turn 14) the difficulty are raised from last recent year. So many cars have off moment there, very different lines compared to others.
    4. Tyres: Did Pirelli got the sweet spot? I don’t really know, but as people don’t make big fuss about it, it was good performance by the tyres overall this weekend.
    5. Vettel and Hamilton duel: Mercedes shot their own foot with the strategy, yes. But I think even if there’s no safety car, Vettel would win anyway as he saved a pair of medium set.
    6. Good performers: Vettel winning (of course), Raikkonen on his stellar recovery, both STR youngsters showed glimpse of super talent, Kvyat getting higher than Ricciardo albeit same brake problem and getting hit by Hulk.
    7. Bad performers: duo Force India with their penalties (although Hulk is debatable), Rosberg never pressurized anyone…
    8. Thought on Hamilton: he has every right to complain as he’s been let down by the team. it was clear that he’s been irritated. Mercedes should make a better prediction on tyres performance. but it is just a race, still expect them to bounce back after this disappointment
    9. Keep on Sepang on future calendar!

    1. Thoughts on Alonso’s team-switch:
      no doubt that Alonso is one of the all time greats, some would call him the most complete driver on the grid. but his quality maybe pressurized the Maranello guys, as everyone would say ‘It was super performace by Alonso’ when things get right, and ‘Ferrari has lost it’ when things went another way.
      Ferrari wanted a reformation and unfortunately, Alonso was also leaving. While their engineering departments have got significant progress, Vettel was coming with great attitude, eager to blend within team, and delivering instant result. Vettel is a catalyst and an important ingredients to their positive atmosphere, while it was all pressure when Alonso was there.
      Maybe Alonso have a regret, but surely everyone at Maranello is very happy as it is now.

    2. I dont think No 2 is allowed

      1. It is if the car is judged to be in a dangerous position. But given the Bianchi acident last year we’re probably not likely to see that happen now.

        1. I think he meant pushing the car back to race track for him to continue. I suppose if the marshalls touch the car, his race is deemed to be over.

  40. It was quite interesting to see that the first car not a Ferrari or MB was 70s back. The last of these spotted the field a lap and finished 4th. it was like a multiple class gt race.

  41. Mercedes screwed up! They know it! We know it! While I tip my hat to Ferrari for the win, let’s not get carried away into thinking they’re under any type if threat. Not even close! They’ll close out the championship earlier than last year no doubt! I feel people are getting the wrong type of excitement because they are hopeful that it won’t be lopsided like last year and that it’s not a continuation of the Red Bull years. If anything, this loss will help them address the weakness that is their strategy group to make better desisions going forward. Come China and onward, the world will be right side up again.

  42. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
    29th March 2015, 17:42

    I take nothing away from Ferrari and Seb but is it just me that dislikes seeing races decided or greatly influenced by strategic pit stops under the safety car? For me, the sole purpose of the safety car should be to neutralise the race track for the safety of drivers/marshals/spectators etc, it shouldn’t be used as a strategy element. Now of course it is completely unavoidable that the safety car will close the field up, but that is just something you can’t avoid with a safety car. If you need one, you’re going to get that. I can deal with that.

    What I don’t like seeing is the running order completely shaken up and huge gains made via pit stops under a safety car. For me the race before and after the pit stop should be identical, bar the closing of the field. The safety car, as I say, should be for it’s primary purpose, and then the race returns where it left off. I’ve always hated seeing someone make a huge gain or loss because of a strategy around a safety car. It’s not exciting.

    I remember a few years ago they closed the pit lane during the safety car but it didn’t really work because of refueling. Well, that is gone now. Tires should also not be a problem, if you can’t manage an extra few laps at a slow pace behind the safety car because your tyres are too worn then perhaps you waited too long to change them before it came out.

    1. It is funny that you say that you don’t want to take anything from Ferrari and don’t acknowledge that what VET did is what you think thing must be under safety cars.

      The one keeping it’s place, not entering the pit and doing extra laps was Vettel, not the Mercedes drivers

    2. It was the strategy calls under the safety car which changed things, not the safety car itself. Nobody made Mercedes pit under the safety car, or made Ferrari stay out. Strategy has always been a important element of racing.

      1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
        29th March 2015, 20:12

        Yes, I just don’t think safety cars should be a part of strategy. They should simply neutralise the race, not be a way for a team to try and gain a competitive advantage. How many times in the past have we seen a driver make a huge leap up the field because he pitted at the right moment during a safety car? It has always seemed wrong to me. The safety car shouldn’t have a huge impact on the running order and strategy of a race, it should just do it’s primary purpose.

        and @oletros yes you make a good point, I didn’t word that particularly well. I guess I mean nothing against Mercedes making a bad call. :p

        1. @weeniebeenie If I may ask what were your thoughts on last years Hungarian GP?

          1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
            30th March 2015, 2:06

            I didn’t think it was fair, obviously. I know what you’re going to say, it gave us a great race, and it did, but of course we can’t know what would’ve happened in the alternate reality when the front four were not unfairly demoted down the field.

  43. Impressive VET, more impressive RAI and I expect to see more wins from Ferrari this season.

    Forza Ferrari

  44. Good Job Vettel. Great Job by Kimi. Kudos Ferrari….. Tough Luck Mercedes and Lewis. As far as Arrivibene is concerned he speaks less does more. A refreshing change to Ferrari considering Big Luca in the past !!!! He was so humble speaking to Will after the race. He just said we aimed for 2 to 3 wins this year and so there are 2 more wins left.

    To simply put it I think Ferrari was a smarter team today although on the sheer pace of the car Mercedes is till far ahead. Yes Ferrari has made progress this year.

    This will prove the doubters wrong who said after the Aus GP that there was no improvement in Ferrari because last year Alonso was 35 sec behind Merc (Rosberg) and this year Vet was 34 secs behind Merc(Lewis) respectively.

    I am hoping to see Kimi win a race this year !!!!

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