30 Mar 2015

Ferrari end drought with victory in Malaysia

6:03 am on 30 March 2015

Ferrari put a dismal 2014 Formula One season behind them yesterday when Sebastian Vettel upset the odds and swept to victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel on his way to winning Malaysian Grand Prix.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel on his way to winning Malaysian Grand Prix. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Vettel had finished third in the Australian season-opener, but Ferrari's hopes were raised during practice at Sepang when world champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg both struggled on the softer medium tyres.

An early safety car period saw Hamilton and Rosberg pit for hard tyres while Vettel stayed out and laid the foundation for victory on his mediums.

Ferrari's 2014 blank was their first season without a win since 1993 while four times world champion Vettel failed to triumph at Red Bull.

Maurizio Arrivabene was then drafted in as team principal, with the Italian saying in December that Ferrari had a hard road ahead to catch champions Mercedes and he would be happy with two wins.

Vettel, a four-time world champion has now racked up 40 career wins, but this is his first for Ferrari.

His teammate Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, showed the car's pace when the Finn climbed from 11th on the starting grid to fourth at the flag despite a puncture.

Malaysian Grand Prix organisers have announced a three-year contract extension that will take the race into its 20th edition in 2018.

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