Ferrari end win drought with Sepang success
Ferrari put a dismal 2014 Formula One season behind them on Sunday with a tactical masterclass that allowed Sebastian Vettel to upset the odds and sweep to victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
SEPANG: Ferrari put a dismal 2014 Formula One season behind them on Sunday with a tactical masterclass that allowed Sebastian Vettel to upset the odds and sweep to victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
"After the difficulties of last year, the amount of effort that has gone in to turn this team around...is just extraordinary," said the Italian team`s jubilant technical director James Allison after Ferrari`s first win since 2013.
"You can`t find the words to explain how good this feels," added the Briton.
"This sport is mainly misery and every now and again you get an incredible rush that makes all the misery worthwhile and it sets you up and makes you just feel utterly fantastic."
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.
"Of course the team is super happy. I have to say I was super happy too. I promised two races (wins), now we make one," said Arrivabene.
"Sometimes it`s an advantage and sometimes it`s a disadvantage to win so early but I`m very happy."
Vettel had finished third in the Australian season-opener but Ferrari`s hopes were raised in Friday practice at Sepang when world champion Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg 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.
"The confidence we had from our tyres on Friday meant we knew we didn`t have to dive into the pits and that allowed us to get track position and then stretch our legs," Allison added.
"It made the race easier, but I think we would have made a very good race of it in any situation."
Vettel`s team mate 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.
"After the podium I was running to look for Kimi and to hug him because he did an unbelievable race and for us it`s important. He demonstrated how strong the car is," said Arrivabene.