March 29, 2015: Vettel’s first victory with Ferrari in Malaysia – History

It is a cold Italian morning in early spring 2015and the Ferrari writes one of the sweetest chapters of its recent history, characterized by constant hopes of crowning a post-Raikkonen champion who, promptly, will then be deluded: exactly seven years ago, in Malaysian Grand Prixthe man who helped break the dreams of glory of the Red in the 10’s of 2000 it gave birth to another wish, this time in red. On the Sepang circuit, in fact, Sebastian Vettel opened the best parenthesis of his experience with the Cavallino winning for the first time behind the wheel of the single-seater from Maranello, in a race that temporarily closed the accounts with a complex past for various protagonists.

Difficulties that were all generated on the occasion of the previous world championship, in 2014which saw the introduction of the current ones power unit, of the KERS and of an aerodynamic design of the single-seaters that made many fans turn up their noses, still in love with the powerful noise of the engines that was suppressed precisely from that season. In addition to this, the one who best interpreted the new regulations was the Mercedes, which from that year established a real dominance in both championships, so much so that it never experienced a setback of world championship successes from that year until 2021, despite the various regulatory changes underway. Opera. On the contrary, those who paid dearly for the innovations introduced were Ferrari and Red Bull. While the first failed to revive the thirst for redemption of Fernando Alonsowho graduated three times vice-champion, the second did not allow Vettel to guarantee his own defense of his four consecutive titles from 2010 to 2013. In the second half of 2014, therefore, the official announcements: the Spaniard in McLaren and the German in Ferrari for 2015.

While the Iberian will begin one of the hardest and most controversial pages of his F1 experience, the neo-Ferrari driver instead celebrated his marriage to the Cavallino already on the podium in the first race in Australia, 3rd behind the Mercedes of Hamilton and Rosberg. The story, however, changed on the occasion of the Malaysian GP, second seasonal appointment. In a qualifying characterized by bad weather, the front row saw the reigning champion Hamilton in pole position, immediately marked by the neo-Ferrari driver. The next day, Sunday 29 March, the latter managed to combine the team’s excellent strategy with his maneuvers on the track, so much so that he waged a battle for second position with Nico Rosberg, then overtaking Hamilton with the game of pit stops . In this way, having finished 56 laps on one of the most demanding tracks from the point of view of atmospheric humidity, Vettel crossed the finish line first, thus securing his first victory with Ferrari, the 40th of his career. A GP that brought back to the top step of the podium both Vettel himself – who hadn’t won since the 2013 Brazilian GP – and Ferrari, who with Alonso listened to Mameli’s Anthem for the last time in that year’s Spanish GP . Finally, another result of a very young promise, today entered into history, took a back seat: in that same GP, in fact, Max Verstappen he scored points for the first time in his career, finishing 7th with his Toro Rosso. Today again, the record of the youngest driver in points it dates back to that GP, in which the Dutchman established this record at 17 years and 5 months. On the other hand, Vettel’s success gave new hope to the red people, who in those days even caught similarities with another German like Michael Schumacher, authors of indelible pages with Ferrari. A comparison that will soon fail, with the still bitter taste of a missed opportunity.

FP | Alessandro Prada


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