Bravissimo. Fantastic weekend for Ferrari. First victory for Vettel with Ferrari, and first victory also for Ferrari with the new 1.6L turbocharged V6 power units. The last time Ferrari won a race was the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. I bet this will not be an easy season for Mercedes.
Mercedes followed a different strategic approach to the race. When Safety Car went out following Ericsson’s spin, both Hamilton and Rosberg decided to change tyres, while Vettel opted not to pit. This turned out to be a poor decision as Hamilton lost some valuable time behind Sainz the following laps after the Safety Car, and the last stint on hards didn’t give him the pace to make up the time lost in the extra pit stop; although Mercedes had some problems with tyre degradation that Ferrari didn’t have.
Raikkonen finished in P4 several seconds behind the podium trio, but a very good result considering he would have lost a huge amount of time due to a flat tyre if it were not for the Safety Car.
Then, in P5 and P6, we have both Williams. A discreet race for them. On the other hand, Toro Rosso did a fantastic job by placing both juniors in front of senior team Red Bull Racing.
— Toro Rosso (@ToroRossoSpy) marzo 29, 2015
Following, I provide some plots so you may draw your own conclusions. You can also compare with last year’s Malaysia Grand Prix.
This plot shows the difference to the average pace of the race winner. That is, the difference to the average lap time, including pit stops.
The steeper the curve, the faster the lap; and as the curves are generated from cumulative sums of lap times, a negative slope implies a lap time which is quicker that the average.