Ferrari is the undisputed king of the Formula One racing series having won more World Championships than any other team, but in the last few years the Scuderia has lost its touch. In the last five years of racing, Red Bull has won four World Championship titles and Mercedes one, while Ferrari hasn’t won a single race since May of 2013. In 2014 they only stood on the podium twice, once in third and once in second.
Now that the sport has moved into the new turbo era, Mercedes AMG Petronas has been dominating the field, winning almost every single race last season. Coming into 2015, Ferrari has promised a turnaround. They hired in 4-time World Champ Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull, fired the old bosses to bring in trusted talent, and they revised the car to better suit their drivers. The results showed in winter testing when Ferrari was posting competitive times, but still when the first race rolled around, the Mercedes cars were miles ahead of the pack.
But then we get to Malaysia, and everything changed. After qualifying was over, there were not two silver cars sitting on the front row. Lewis Hamilton did manage to score Pole, but sitting next to him in second place was Sebastian Vettel in a bright red Ferrari. From the moment the race started, it was obvious that Vettel would be challenging for first place. An early safety car saw both Mercedes cars pit, but Vettel stayed out and took the lead. What would follow is a series of back and forth from the teams during pit stops, but in the end it was Vettel that stood on top of the podium, restoring honor to the Scuderia.
The good news for Ferrari didn’t end there. Vettel’s teammate, the “Iceman” Kimi Raikkonen took fourth place despite suffering an early puncture that saw him limp around the track for most of a lap before he could pit for new rubber. Considering the amount of time he spent on that lap, there is a good chance he could have been right up front with Vettel, giving Ferrari a 1-2 finish.
It is only two races into the 19-stop calendar, but it seems as if the Prancing Horse may have a good chance to take home the title.
Aside from the battle of Red vs Silver, the rest of the field was a wild collection of outcomes. Neither of the McLaren-Honda cars finished thanks to car failures, Toro Rosso came in 7th and 8th, beating out Red Bull who claimed spots 9 and 10. The two Williams drivers managed to snag the 5th and 6th spots. Outside of the points paying positions sit both Force-India cars, one Lotus, one Suaber and one Marussia. The second cars for Marussia, Lotus and Sauber all suffered early fates and didn’t complete the race.
The next race of the season takes place in Shanghai on April 12th.