Scuderia Ferrari scored their first victory since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix in Malaysia on Sunday when four time world champion Sebastian Vettel took his maiden win for the Italian team.
The German started the race from the front row alongside pole sitter Lewis Hamilton and overtook the reigning world champion early on in the race and once the former Red Bull driver got out in front he never looked back taking a commanding victory by 8.569s. As a result, Vettel moves up to second in the championship just three points behind Hamilton.
It was Vettel’s second podium in as many race’s following his third place finish at the season opener in Australia two weeks ago.
Speaking following the race Vettel said:
‘Grande gara, bella macchina! (A great race and a beautiful car). Sorry for starting to speak in Italian, but today is such a special day for me. I don’t really know what to say, I am speechless. It’s not only one childhood dream that becomes true, it seems to be many dreams together. It was amazing to look down from the podium and see the mechanics, the engineers, the whole team and listen to the German and Italian anthems. The atmosphere in the team has always been great, but it’s just getting better and better. For today, the important thing is for all of us to enjoy this moment together and celebrate. I did not swap teams that much in the past, so winning for a new team is always a relief. Since I joined Ferrari I felt incredibly welcome and together we have worked to improve things. The potential, as I always said, is huge, it’s good to see what a step forward we did over the winter. There were a lot of changes in the background (including one driver…) which never make things easy, but everyone saw the positives of that. It just doesn’t compare to last year, when the car was also good but I couldn’t get on top of it. With Ferrari I had a good feeling right from the start. This is a special day, it has been a while since both I and team won for the last time. I’d like to be in the same position at every race, but we must be realistic, Mercedes were a bit struggling today but they have a great package and our target is to make the gap smaller at every Grand Prix and make sure that we are the team right behind them”.
Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari had a cracking race too. The Finn who started the event from eleventh on the grid. The Finn was tagged from behind by the Sauber F1 Team’s Felipe Nasr which resulted in a puncture meaning the Iceman dropped down to the back of the field.
However, the Iceman kept his cool and carved his way back through the field to finish the race in fourth place recording his first point’s finish of the season. The result moves Raikkonen up to fifth place in the championship. Speaking following the race the Finn said:
‘We had a pretty poor weekend in terms of things going wrong. I had a good speed but in qualify it didn’t go well and then today, after a poor start where I had too much wheel-spin right off the line, I found myself fighting with all the other drivers and I had a puncture on the rear left tyre while battling Nasr at the last corner, which means I had to go one full lap before coming back to pits with no tyre. At that point my floor had got a little bit damaged, I had to do a full lap with no tyre and then, even if the safety car helped us, I had to start from way back behind. We did our best and the forth position was the maximum we could achieve. The win of Sebastian is a very good thing for him and for the whole team, knowing how difficult the last year has been; it’s a very good job what the team has done. We knew from winter testing that we have a good car, so it did not come as a total surprise, and probably the track with these high temperatures suited us. I don’t know how it will be in other circuits, but the car has been strong so far, not yet as we want but we have a good package, and we are getting stronger”.’
Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene was full of praise for the whole outfit saying:
‘This is no one-man win: it’s a success for the whole team, which has been working impeccably at all levels. Seb was just unbelievable today, and Kimi was able to put on a fantastic charge from the back. The whole team has showed a great deal of discipline, just like a Swiss watch-or should I say, an Italian one! Today, the whole team gave me great emotions and I wish to thank everybody, including the women and men back at the Maranello factory, for putting on an incredible effort over the last months, burning the midnight oil. Now we’ve got to be realistic, keep our feet on the ground and our concentration at a high level, because Mercedes is still a formidable contender. After the race our President Mr. Marchionne congratulated the whole team. He’s really one of us, he likes to stay away from the spotlight but still gives us a powerful contribution. And he’s a real Ferrari fan!’
© Ben Johnston 2015